On Saturday, I tried out the third cycling studio to open in Back Bay this year, Velo-City. They offered free classes for students the entire first week of December and I was happy to take them up on the offer.
Located at the corner of Fairfield and Boylston, the entrance is a little hidden and can best be described as on the corner of the alleyway between Newbury and Boylston on Fairfield. They had an old bike outside for direction but it made me nervous the bikes inside were a similar style.
As your walk down the steps to the studio, the walls are lined with neon green and black graffiti. The studio is located way below ground level and may feel like you are in a maze almost at first. I took the 1pm Saturday spin class with Emily, an instructor who also teaches spin at Sweat and Soul Yoga. This class was added due to demand and is not on the regular schedule.
While the class was free the day I took it, shoes are always included in the class rates. The bikes were all brand new and looked like your typical spin bike with lots of adjustable knobs to find a comfortable position. Emily came over and helped me right away when she saw me struggling with the handle bar. Note, you cannot wear sneakers but you can wear your own spin shoes as long as you have the SPD clips.
The room has no windows and basic branding design elements. The instructor is up on a little stage in the front of the large room with clients in front and on both sides. There is a long mirror but chances are good you probably won’t be able to see yourself since there are over 40 bikes in the room. I brought along my buddy Rebecca to take the class with me and while it wasn’t completely full, there were only a couple of bikes open.
Velo-City prides itself on having over 10 instructors on the schedule. They believe Boston has many talented instructors that will attract different types of clients. They want their members to find instructors that they love and become regulars to the time slot and instructor. As a fitness junkie, this is the first studio I’ve visited to use this or lack of schtick.
Emily taught a great class. I loved her music. The choreography synced up with her playlist. At the beginning of each song, she told us what we were going to be doing. She used an RPM scale of 7-10. We did lots of jumps, and rarely sat still for very long. I love classes like this! My friend Sara is more a road cyclist and isn’t the biggest fan of this style, but this is where Velo-City’s schtick may help appeal to a wider audience. The last song was a little like Barry’s version of Tabata in dynamic mode, 20 second sprint with a 20 second recovery at 80%. It was intense and I was sweaty. I walked home in just a light long sleeve T-Shirt in 40F weather I was so sweaty and hot.
Emily used a black light for half of the class which was a funky mood enhancer. Combined with her fantastic music, it felt like a club for a few songs. We did two songs for arms. The first one was way too easy. The second was a little more challenging but still only one quarter of the difficulty I have at Recycle Studio. She asked us to extend our arms out wide for arm circles but with Rebecca and her future brother in law on both sides of me, I just did circles to the front and let them have the lateral real estate. Overall though, the class was really good and I would definitely take Emily again. Other instructors I’ve reviewed on SarahFit.com who are also teaching at Velo-City are Megan from Sweat and Soul and Aly from Equinox.
The studio has two bathrooms that also serve as changing rooms. They also provide filtered water to fill up your water bottle. Cubbies are available, not lockers are not. Your first class is just $10, a single is $24 and unlimited monthly passes are currently $150. The studio has more of an urban vibe than a spa like Recycle which can probably be attributed to the fact that it is owned by a group of 4 guys. Each instructor will bring their own personality to their ride. Some will do arms and booty taps, while others will not. Velo-City hopes to have each instructor with their style descriptions up on their website soon.
Boston is starting to feel a bit like New York with all the studios popping up which I love. What is your favorite Boston studio?