On Sunday, I drove out to the ‘burbs to take part in SoulCycle’s opening weekend festivities by taking a class. Aside from balloons and a few samples from SuperCandy at the checkin counter (that disappeared quickly), there was nothing extra special going on. Check in was chaotic even 15 minutes before class began so I was glad I arrived early to the sold out class – that’s 55 people plus the previous class leaving!
There are only two bathrooms and two showers, no locker rooms but plenty of lockers down a narrow hallway. This is similar to FlyWheel in Boston but has a more cramped feeling since the locker hallway is tucked away in back, blocked by people waiting to get into the studio.
Like FlyWheel, specific bikes are reserved. I grabbed a spot up front when signing up and quickly set up my bike. Shoe rentals are $3 but I brought my own from home. First time riders get to rent a pair for free but you cannot wear sneakers with the bikes. Earlier in the week I got an email from SoulCyle gifting me a free class since I have visited the NYC and LA studios with an address listed in Boston on file. I assume many other Bostonians got this offer too. Your first class is $20 but a single walk in after that is $30 – a ten pack saves you only $20.
The bikes are beautifully branded with unique handle bars that lie flat. The bikes you could tell were new before even getting on. The room was branded with typical SoulCycle slogans and mantras. The back rows were elevated for a stadium seating feel.
So the class was taught by Charlotte, an instructor who came from Brooklyn. SoulCycle brought up all their instructors from New York to relocate and teach at the new studio. I will admit, I had high expectations because of this little fact. My instructor is on the schedule a total of 16 times this week. That’s a lot of cycling considering they do most of the workout with you.
At the start, she had us take off all our resistance and said we would never be there again – but then I must have missed when she told us how much to put back on. We started in 3rd position, like my last SoulCycle class, and stayed there the entire first song. Since I missed the resistance cue, I kept waiting for another command to increase speed or make it heavier but none were given. I loved the music and it helped me find my own groove. The next few songs were well choreographed but I never felt really challenged beyond my comfort zone like I usually do at other SoulCycle locations. I either kept missing the resistance cues or she wasn’t giving them. Here is my LA review <- favorite class at SC so far!
The arm sequence worked and was challenging but then after, we went back into third position for an entire song again without any resistance adjustments or position changes. I feel like the class lacked intensity but given the instructor is teaching so many classes, I can understand and honestly, don’t blame her. I didn’t realize how much it effects the class when the instructor is not doing it with you at the same rate.
- Good Music
- Good workout for SoulCycle beginners
- Clean studio, shiny new bikes
- Great location in the burbs – will be next door to Wegman’s in about 55 days and soon SweetGreen too!
- Awesome apparel to buy!!
- Not as challenging as other SoulCycle studio classes
- Instructor kept calling us “Chestnut Hill” or “Hill” which felt awkward
- Cramped changing quarters
- 25 minutes outside Boston 🙁
I guess I’m being hard on SoulCycle in this review but only because I know they can and will do better. I have taken classes in NYC and LA many times, and usually love my experience. I did not take and haven’t taken any of the other instructors that moved up here. Depending on who you take, your class experience will drastically vary. At the same studio, it is possible to find your spirit sister instructor but dislike another. I’m excited to go back and try another class, especially when Wegman’s opens up! The studio will do great once it gets a normal sized instructor roster for a studio.
The lobby also has a killer retail area. The clothes were really cute! Did you check out the opening weekend at SoulCycle? What did you think? Did I have a bad class experience or did you find it similar?