◊ THE CLASS: Hip Hop (45 Mins) ◊
WHAT YOU NEED
Form-fitting bottoms, and you’ll likely want a loose fitting top
(Shoes are provided)
CycleBar is one of the newest spin studios to the YEG fitness scene and we’ve been hearing A.LOT about them since their big red fanciness opened on March 26th, 2018. CycleBar is a spin lover’s classic, but with a lot of techy plus’s that make it standout from the crowd. This hella successful ‘premium indoor cycling’ franchise started in 2004 in Boston and have since spread across North America, influencing how people experience spin all over the damn place. Although the drive to
Mexico Windermere was quite the journey, the sweat ended up being totally worth the trip. The impressive studio is red and black all over, comes with all the amenities you can think of and includes instructors like, Farha Shariff, who’s an Edmonton fitness legend. In a word – we’re impressed.
K, that’s two words…
You may have already picked up, the drive to CycleBar was a bit of a trek. We’re partial to studios in the core, and we typically award full fruits for a location that’s easily accessible to everyone no matter how you’re getting there; bus, car, bicycle, or foot. CycleBar is located in Windermere, which is one of Edmonton’s most southern communities, making getting there from the core quite the endeavour for some. The studio itself is easily accessible by car, and is located just off of Edmonton’s ring road, meaning that you should be able to get there in under 40 minutes from anywhere in the city (depending on traffic or time of day). We attended a 6:15pm class and definitely struggled with getting to class in time with rush hour traffic. So beware, while this studio is without a doubt WORTH THE TRIP, leave yourself plenty of time if you’re coming from downtown or Whyte. Also worth noting, this is one of only two studios in Canada <what what> with the other in Toronto’s Leaside (we’re coming for you).
CLASS SCHEDULE + PRICE
From the research we’ve done, we can see that CycleBar Windermere caters the class schedule to their neighbourhood demographic, and we’re giving them the full nod for that. On a daily basis from Monday-Friday, classes often start at 5:30am, catering to the early morning 9-5ers, and there’s a mid-morning, lunchtime, and two evening classes (6:15pm and 7:30pm) for the after-work crowd. On weekends, there are fewer opportunities to spin with all classes in the morning. You’ll need to sign-up online prior to class to reserve your bike, and you should arrive 15 minutes early to get set up properly. If you’ve never been to the studio, the staff will 100% show you around and get you settled (legit, they’ll walk you through ALL THE THINGS). When you book online, you pick your bike number and enter your shoe size and they’ll have everything reserved and ready for you when you get in (oh hey, streamlining, we see you and we like you). Seriously, about the streamlining – when you check in on the iPads, you’ll get a confirmation of your bike number and then you find your shoes in a cubby marked with your bike number, and then find the locker that corresponds with your bike number. Pfffff.
The prices at CycleBar tend to be on Edmonton’s steeper end, with drop-in rates at $25 and a 10-ride pack working out to approximately $22 a ride. That means that the 10-ride pack will work out to more, per ride, than most of the competition’s drop-in $. Ouch. However, we’re thrilled at CycleBar’s monthly fees, which is where the cost savings really are. With an unlimited monthly pass at $179, if you visit 10 times in a month, it will even out to just under $18 per ride. Overall, while the prices are on the top end in Edmonton, with all the extras this studio provides, and the seriously talented instructors, we still think you’re getting great value for your money. Oh also – memberships are not transferrable to other locations (there are over 200 in North America) :(.
- Unlimited (monthly recurring): $179
- 20 Rides (4 month expiry): $400 ($20 pc)
- 10 Rides (2 month expiry): $220 ($22 pc)
- Drop-in: $25
This studio provided us with all the good spin vibes. The building itself caters so well to what we’re looking for in a spin studio bc there is space for DAYS, and the décor and flow is on point. There’s plenty of open space for riders to transition in and out of classes, with a great sized waiting area just outside the spin-room and programmable lockers to store your things. We also have to stop for a minute and talk about the smell. Yes, you read that right, THE SMELL. CycleBar Windermere has a signature scent that is beyond good smelling. For a place that’s always filled with sweaty humans it smells damn heavenly. The change rooms are all individual, which is super convenient and gender-neutral (another nod), and offer lots of privacy to de-gross yourself after class. In total, there are three showers and three bathrooms, and each of the shower rooms are stocked with tons of extras like blowdryers, hair ties and plenty of product. The design of the studio can be described as red-done-right, with a lot of white to set everything off beautifully. The cycle studio is set in a dark room with a ton of red light and the COOLEST CycleBar light which leaves the room mostly dark except for lights just above the instructor. Pair this with the killer beats and sweaty bodies, and you’re bound to have a good time.
There were two really cool aspects to CycleBar that really set them apart. One – there are TV screens in the spin room that report on your performance in the class and will show results for the races, which really spoke to our competitive nature. After class we even got a nifty email with all of our metrics from our ride. Second – instead of dumbbells for the upper body workout, we had actual weight bars. Cycle-BAR. Get it? So clever.
The crowd for our class was another pleasant surprise. We won’t lie, while driving to the burbs, we had an idea of what we might see in the class (think soccer moms) – but DANG were we wrong. There was an awesome mix of ages, genders, body types, fitness levels, skill levels. Everything. We have to say, this was one of the most diverse classes we’ve seen in YEG and we were hella proud to be part of it.
- Gender-neutral, individual change rooms, three washrooms, and three showers (is it weird to say that the showers are a must-try?)
- Shoes are included
- Filtered water (custom and beautiful, with different temperature settings, oh yes)
- Full towel service including towels on the bike and bath towels in change rooms
- All the extras (blowdryer, product, hair ties, etc.)
- Guys, there was a fruit basket, enough said.
We’re used to the staff at studios being helpful and welcoming, but the crew at CycleBar Windermere are next level. They were absolutely the friendliest and kindest we’ve run into yet. CycleBar has a small roster with only eight ‘CycleStars’ instructing in Windermere, which is great because it means you’re guaranteed an experienced and well-trained instructor when you go to class. We really want to point out that our experience at CycleBar was one of the best we’ve gone to where our safety was a concern. If you’re looking for a super technical ride with an instructor who truly understands how your body should be moving, and how to use this workout to maximize the benefits for you – this is it.
We already knew of Farha before attending this class, because she’s basically a YEG fitness icon at this point, and she’s been involved in establishing some of Edmonton’s best spin programs. To say we were excited to finally take a class with her is a bit of an understatement – we fan girled out a bit. Beyond being the picture of fitness goals, she’s an impressive human all-round. She is a mother of three kiddos, and teaches at the University of Alberta’s faculty of Education (of which yours truly is an alum), focusing on critical pedagogy for social justice. We were especially interested when Farha told us that she isn’t the biggest fan of group fitness, but instead chooses to focus her energy on promoting community fitness – as she explained, you can be in your own zone but use the energy of others to build on. We like this philosophy, a lot, and we totally see how this ethos helped shape her instruction and allow every single person in her class find their limits and crush them.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
What we found both from attending this class and from talking to Farha, was that all CycleBar classes follow a sequence, and will be approximately 45 minutes including a stretch. What happens within that sequence will depend on the type of class you attend;
- Classic (what we did): There’s a lot of focus on form, choreography, rhythm and gears so that people know where they are the whole time.
- Rhythm (Connect): These classes leave out the metrics and focus on the beat of the music and the resistance on the cycles to work it out.
- Performance: This class is extremely structured and will have the screens on to track how you’re performing throughout to cater to the super competitive folks among us.
One of the things we found most interesting about CycleBar is that we believe it’s a suitable studio for people of ALL fitness levels and experience. If you’re crazy experienced and want to get a super intense workout, you’ll be thrilled. If you’re brand new, not sure what you want and just don’t want to die or embarrass yourself, you’re also set here. It’s so well rounded that we’re confident you will both enjoy yourself, and get a killer workout. For that reason, we’re rating the class full fruits and a ‘Middle of the Roadies’ – the difficulty is entirely based on what you want. Suffice to say, we’re thrilled with our CycleBar experience and can say we’ve found you a new reason to leave Edmonton’s core.
To try anything else, see Cyclebar’s contact info below:
Web: www.windermere.cyclebar.com Phone: 780.760.7746 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram | Facebook