I was asked the other day which different indoor cycling studios I’ve tried out. I had to go through my list to figure it out, and I realized that I’ve now tried out quite a few. My first experience was with ZengoCycle (two different locations), then Cyclebar (3 locations), then SoulCycle (just one so far, when I was last in Miami), and now Cycled – a DC-area studio with two locations. Combine that with all of the gyms where I’ve taken cycling, and I realized I have taken A LOT of indoor cycling classes! I love comparing all of the different styles, workouts, and quality, and feel that I can confidently provide feedback and recommendations on different studios I’ve experienced.
I love Cycled! I have visited the Takoma Park location twice now. The first time was on Black Friday. My friend Linda and I went in to get a good sweat in after all of the delicious Thanksgiving treats we enjoyed. The first class we took was $20, which was a pretty good deal for a boutique studio. They included a towel to use during class, but it didn’t come with water or anything (you could purchase water at the front desk). For a small, local studio, I think Cycled met my expectations in this regard.
Let’s talk about the studio for a sec: Cycled! is a black-woman owned small business. Their first location is in Downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, and this Takoma Park (on the DC side) location is their second. There is free parking directly in front of their Takoma Park location, and there is a huge parking garage next to the Downtown Silver Spring location. It’s a small studio (I believe the Takoma Park location has 19 bikes for clients), but it feels cozy and inviting. The Takoma Park location has an upstairs level that has yoga and core training classes. Soon, they will also teach barre classes! Note: I have not visited the Downtown Silver Spring location yet!
The studio was very clean. They have wipes on the walls nearest the exist for riders to use after class. They have a cubby area for you to store your things during class. The down side is that that don’t lock, but the plus side is that they have staff at the front desk and walking around during class to help you out, so I personally felt like my things were secure (with the caveat that I don’t generally bring anything worth anything with me to the gym).
I really like that they have such caring and patient staff. My friend was a first timer, and the teacher really worked with her to make sure that her bike was set up correctly, and that she was comfortable. She even circled back with her throughout the class, and gave her some pointers at the end of class. I really appreciated seeing this, especially as a soon-to-be instructor myself. The front desk staff was also super helpful! They checked us in quickly and easily, and told us exactly where to find our bikes.
On Small Business Saturday (the day after Black Friday), they had several free classes throughout the day. Each class was 30 minutes, and had a live DJ! So much fun! They also had some bagels, cream cheese, and other snacks for the riders. Yum!
The format of the class is pretty similar to most other boutique studios, with the exception of the fact that there were not a ton of contraindicated moves. There’s a fair amount of hills, which I’ve complained before I’ve found lacking in other studios. I actually felt like I was being challenged with the actual ride, and not so much with remembering choreography that probably wasn’t great for my body anyway.
They do have a weights segment, and the teacher walked around and handed us all our weights. They’re light weights, and we really only worked with them for about one or two songs (though I was told that the Cardio Sculpt class has about double the amount of upper body work). Nonetheless, I didn’t feel unsafe during the ride, which is a big plus for me.
The music was probably the best part. I got to hear a lot of music that I wouldn’t normally hear in a spin studio. There was some throwback 90s Pop R&B music, and less EDM than what I’m used to. I was diggin’ it! It’s always nice to mix it up!
The last thing I’ll say about the inside of the studio is that they have some sweet merchandise. They sell TIEM shoes, which I’ve been stalking online because they’re basically exactly what I’ve been looking for in indoor cycling shoes. I think they’re even prettier in person! They also sell Polar heart rate monitors, water bottles, and clothing. The checkout process was super easy, and the staff was really helpful with getting me rung up pretty quickly.
Let’s step outside of the studio for a sec: Cycled is super convenient. Both locations are just a couple of short blocks from the Metro, but even more important than that (or not, idk) is that you can book everything so easily online, PLUS, you get your stats in an email right after class!
I wish they sent you the playlist too, but this is all really helpful information, and is a sweet bonus to an already great experience! If you’re in the DC area, I encourage you to check out this local small business. They will definitely make you feel welcome, and you will have a great ride!
What do you look for an indoor cycling studio? Are there any specific styles of class you prefer? What kind of music do you like to listen to while you’re in the saddle?