◊ THE CLASS: Spin ◊
WHAT YOU NEED
If you haven’t already heard of Quad Spin, we’re sure you have actually seen it. Located on King Street West just east of Portland, this basement studio has perpetually steamy windows running along the busy street that we’re sure have caught your eye. If that hasn’t, this veteran studio shares the same entrance with Elle Fitness, so the amount of beautiful sweaty Lycra covered fitties strolling out the front doors of the old heritage building on 580 King, is a constant attention stealer. As we ascended to the basement of Quad Spin, we were immediately taken by the increased temperature, palpable energy but laid back vibe. The layout is unlike any spin studio we’ve been to so far, in that the space isn’t compartmentalised with a separate dark spin room. Nearly 60 bikes are crammed into the wide open-concept space alongside a casual sign-in desk that makes for people coming in and out, sometimes late to class, it’s casual air. With classes that are more like a traditional spin class (hills and sprints vs choreography on the bike) and clip-in shoes not a requirement, this studio is a welcome pace for beginners and a fantastic change up from many spin studios that are on the Toronto scene.
Quad Spin has one location on King Street West, in between Portland Street and Brant Street on the north side. Tucked away in one of the busiest brick heritage buildings on the block between The Keg and Lee Valley, Quad shares the building with Elle Fitness and The Everleigh Nightclub. Being in the heart of the Entertainment District it’s easy to get to by public transport with the King streetcar, and the St. Andrew subway station is about a 15-minute walk down King. Parking is more challenging in the area for sure and street parking is your best bet if you can snag a spot.
CLASS SCHEDULE + PRICE
Quad’s class schedule is geared to accommodating the 9-5 crowd with mostly all 45-minute classes starting as early as 6:30am, a lunch hour ride, and 3-4 evening classes starting up again around 4:30pm. There are some exceptions with a Thursday mid-morning class, a quieter schedule on Fridays, and a 60-minute Endurance class on Saturday mornings, but for overall the week is consistent in offering 6-7 classes every day. Most are their signature Quad Ride which is an interval class focusing on tempo, timing and rhythm, but there’s also a Tabata Ride once a week (a fast-paced high-intensity interval training class that blasts calories), an Intro-Beginner Ride on Saturdays at 12pm and, our favorite, Crush it Friday which is a double instructor class for extra energy that’s served with drinks after class. YAS. Capacity of the space fits nearly 60 people so the chances of a completely full class are low, so its a great option if you want to pop in last minute.
Class prices at Quad are the lowest that we have seen in Toronto! They’re on par with Torq Ride in Leslieville with a drop-in rate at $22, but they offer membership and class pack options that drive the price as low as $17 per class for a 30 class pass or $13 per class if you went twice a week with a membership. On top of that, the first class is free, which we rarely see, and they have plenty of class pass and membership options to find something that suits you best. Memberships make more sense than class packs if you’re committed to more than 2 rides per week, and class passes are valid for a year.
- Drop-in: $22
Intro trial week: $35 + HST
Current Promo – 5 Class Pass: $66.37 +HST ($14 per class)
10 Class Pass: $190 ($19 per class)
20 Class Pass: $360 ($18 per class)
30 Class Pass: $510 ($17 per class)
1 Month Unlimited Membership: $160
3 Month Unlimited Membership: $339
6 Month Unlimited Membership: $652
Annual Unlimited Membership: $1250
The design aesthetic at Quad has somewhat of a 70’s basement vibe with unexpected pieces of art scattered amongst white washed brick walls, unfinished concrete, old school record players, and soft brown leather couches. There’s an un-fussed, relaxed and imperfect way about the studio that makes it feel familiar and worn in. When first coming into the studio you enter into an open concept studio space, that’s packed with nearly 60 bikes next to the sign-in desk. The men’s and women’s change rooms, washrooms and additional stretching area are further into the studio past the sign-in desk/spin room. Change rooms are compact with locker space, a changing area, 3 showers and 2 washrooms.
Depending on the time of day, busyness of the class and when you arrive, there’s potential for a heavy traffic jam between the sign-in desk, small walkway area to the back, and within the small change rooms. The open layout of the spin room also means that if people are running late (which many people were for our class), they can slide onto a bike relatively unnoticed. However it can make for a distracting start to the class as people leaving from the previous ride need to walk through/beside the next class. Because the open-concept spin room is housed in the basement of an old heritage building on king, the street windows and time of day dictate the type of light you’ll get for your class. Unlike many spin studios we’ve been to that have a separate spin room that’s purposefully dark, Quad will only feel that way at night or early mornings. Middle of the day classes, like our Sunday 10:30 am, are bright and awakening. We enjoyed the switch-up but it’s noticeable if you’re used to getting hardcore into your ride in the solace of a dark spin room.
The crowd at Quad is a serious mix. The 60 capacity class was about 45% full with a large contribution of that being regulars fully decked out in their padded shorts and personal clip-in shoes that knew the staff personally. There was also a fair amount of “Soulcycle” types, i.e. groups of young, beautiful, fit women wearing the latest athletic gear very well. In addition there was a smattering of people that were new to spin, less fit but giving it more effort than the rest (props), and a great age variety from low 20’s to north of 60. Variety is the spice of life, peeps.
- Towels included on the bike
- Shoes can be rented for $3, although not a requirement and you can wear your regular runners. Bikes are equiped with SPD compatible pedals.
- Clean gel seats available for every class
- Lockers – bring your own lock or locks can be purchased. Can also be rented for $10 a month, $100 for the year plus taxes.
- Quad merchandise including padded shorts available for purchase
- Blowdryers, hair brushes, and plenty of hair products (hair spray, hair powder, shampoo and conditioner) and face and body products are available (deodorant, hand/body creams)
Quad Spin is owned by Micheline Wedderburn, a cool mother of three who has always had a foot in teaching, from school teacher to art teacher to film tutor. She first discovered spin in California and self-proclaimed that she “pedaled miserably and puffed her way though an intense 45 minutes.” Micheline’s real, energetic, and relatable nature is what makes the vibe at Quad Spin what it is. Who knows, if your not a spin fan, she might make a believer out of you too. The rest of the staff we met during our time were incredibly helpful, friendly and cheerful, ensuring we had everything we needed to properly set up our bikes and be ready for class. The instructors also knew 80% of the riders by name, it’s obvious there’s a loyal biker gang for this OG Toronto spin studio.
Brittany Anderson was substituting for Steve Miranda’s for the class we attended, and although we haven’t had the pleasure of attending Steve’s classes, we absolutely loved Brittany. Her teaching style was energetic (a must for any spin instructor), motivating and sweet. Her playlist was more alternate/indie 90’s jams, which we were totally into and had us flashing back to our teen angst with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bush, and Everclear. Brittany didn’t fuss with getting everyone to ride to the same rhythm, although she was constantly on the beat, she focused rather on connecting us to the music by “sprinting” to fast-paced choruses or interludes and calming us down with more chill music. Brittany’s on the schedule on Friday mornings at 6:45am if you want to check her class out!
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
We’re rating this class Hard, although like any spin class, most of the work is up to you and it’s in your hands if you want to push that to a Way Hard level of difficulty or back it off to a Middle of The Roadies. Because the room is able to fit nearly 60 spinners, you can’t necessarily see the instructor from every bike, so if your somewhere in the middle back it can be tough to pick up on instructions. That said, the instructions for this class were less crucial than many other classes we have come to expect in some of the newer, trendier studios, in that the focus is on the pure riding. There was not any choreography weaved into the 45 minute ride, the variety was only in hills vs sprints (speed) and we would mix it up with rollers (a version of both.) Depending on your style, this might not be enough for you and for others this might be exactly what you want out of your spin class. We chatted with a few men afterwards and they said they felt more comfortable in this style of class since there was less to worry about and it allowed them to focus solely on pushing to their personal max vs trying to keep up with the class with full-body choreography. See, something for everyone.
To try this class or anything else on their schedule, see Quad’s contact info below.
Quad Spin Web: www.quadspin.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org PHONE | 416.203.1811 Instagram | Facebook