◊ THE CLASS: Spin Class ◊
WHAT YOU NEED
Lightweight and breathable clothes (it gets hot in there)
Clip-in shoes (bikes are compatible with Look Keo cleats or you can rent for $2)
These guys are kind of killing it. Considering One Cycle is Calgary’s first ever spin studio and has been around since 2012, you might think they’re dated, tired or surpassed by the latest on the scene but oh my dear friends, they most certainly are not. Located in one of Calgary’s coolest neighbourhoods, the studio is spacious, beautiful, and constantly changing. Just this month their front entrance received a stunning mural upgrade from artist Michelle Hoogveld (see above), and that’s only one of the many instagrammable opportunities featured in the studio. Reasonably priced, a ton of amenities, and a class that was our Goldilocks of spin, we’re most certainly big fans.
One Cycle is located in the heart of Mission right on 4th Street, between 22nd and 21st Avenue SW. The location is kind of perfect and getting full fruits for it considering the area is littered with great boutiques, restaurants, cafes and bars that will be happy to take your business after class (Phil and Sebastian is one of our favs, as is Mercato and AÑEJO – hmmm spin and a margarita anyone!?). It’s easily walkable from downtown or 17th Avenue, and taking public transport is pretty easy with buses running along 4th St. and 17th Ave. There are four reserved parking stalls next to their building and the others can be used when their neighbours are closed – but pay attention to their neighbours business hours so you’re not caught in the stall when they’re open, i.e. early morning class that gets out at 10:20am but the shop opens at 10am.
CLASS SCHEDULE + PRICE
Guess how many classes One Cycle has?! One. hah. Their name is actually meant to represent their philosophy of oneness, riding as one, one tribe, one love, one cycle, etc. etc. – but it also happens to represent the amount of class styles they have. You can expect every class to include high-intensity cardio, muscle-sculpting strength training, and rhythm-based choreography. Almost every class is 50 minutes long, except for one Sunday evening class that’s 60 minutes, and any variation from class to class will come from the instructors. The class schedule is super consistent with the same six classes every day Monday-Thursday starting at 6:30am, but the the last class is at 6:30pm, which isn’t that late – especially if you don’t even get out of work until 5:30 or 6:00 (we’ve talked about this with Stax – we know Calgary is an early city but stiiiill). Fridays are leaner with the last class at 5:00pm and weekends have 4-5 classes per day, Saturdays wrap up by 11:30 and Sundays have the 60 minute class at 4:30pm – which we like – that’s a great time. You can definitely book online ahead of time, but unlike many spin studios now, you only choose your bike when you check-in on a map at the front desk. If going with friends and you want to be together, or you have your fav spot, it’s recommended to show up a bit earlier to do so. Considering all classes are the same “spin class”, all levels of experience are welcome and if you’re newer to spin, it’s recommended to arrive 20-25 minutes before the start of class to select your bike on the map and properly get set-up.
Pricing at One Cycle is pretty reasonable at $18 per drop-in, however shoe rentals and shower towels aren’t included and cost $2 (each) per visit, which puts them on par with their Calgary friends YYC Cycle at $20, and above Stax Cycle Club at $17.50 including shoes. Monthly and annual memberships are worth signing up for if you plan on attending class more than four times a week, otherwise the 20 Class Card is your best value. The funny thing is they call the memberships ‘unlimited’ but you can only attend a maximum of seven classes a week – not that most normal humans would go more than seven times a week, but anyhoo.
- Drop-in: $18
- 5 Class Card: $80 ($16 per class), w/ shoe rentals $90 ($18 per class)
- 10 Class Card: $150 ($15 per class), w/ shoe rentals $170 ($17 per class)
- 20 Class Card: $280 ($14 per class), w/ shoe rentals $320 ($16 per class)
- Monthly Unlimited Membership: $179, w/ shoe rental $199
- Annual Unlimited Membership: $1600, w/ shoe rental $1650
The vibe at One Cycle is polished, open, and oozing with experience. Not to say they aren’t incredibly welcoming to beginners, but there’s no doubt this studio is crawling with regulars and many that have been mastering the clip-in since day one, which was six years ago. With a large double sliding door entrance and a wall of windows, the front foyer is big, open and bright. One of our favourite things about this space is that almost every piece of interior decor has a deeper meaning. The heavily instagrammed giant angel wings on the hallway wall, for example, are made from recycled paper and symbolise how riding at the studio should make you feel; representing speed, freedom and power. They recently had the front nook get a GORGEOUS makeover by artist Michelle Hoogveld who also did a huge mural in Calgary’s 4th Street underpass in the newly revitalised East Village and a collaboration for Lululemon in LA. There’s also a graffiti style piece that sits above their water fountain at the front of the studio that has the words “NEVER NEVER GIVE UP”. See – v intentional. There’s one spin room, a retail boutique in the front lobby, a lot of space to wait before and after class and large womens and mens change rooms equipped with everything you could need. They use Aveda products (that have been rebranded with Aveda/One Cycle bottles btw – NBD) so the place smells like a heavenly spa. The spin room is mostly black, features a disco ball, “unity” in giant letters across the side wall, and has a class capacity of 41 with the back rows on a raised platform for optimal viewing (we like that).
The crowd is pretty damn experienced with many in our class being regulars, and only two being new to the studio but not new to spin. Our class was split down the middle with men and women, and ages ranged from teens to 40’s. One of our friends that we ran into, attends class four times a week and that seems pretty standard for their clientele. It also seems to be quite the common story that once people try it, they become truly addicted. The best example ever is one of their clients, who’d only been to three classes prior to starting their 40 classes in 40 days spin challenge, did 70 classes in those 40 days. SEVENFRIGGINGTY. Needless to say his spin form was bloody perfection.
- Bikes are compatible with Look Keo cleats, available for rent for $2
- Sweat towels on the bike are included & complimentary cold lemongrass towels when you leave class
- Shower towels $2
- Mens and womens change rooms with showers, blow dryers, and toiletries (which include Aveda product that make the showers smell like a heavenly spa)
- Programmable lockers
- Purist water bottles for sale
- Hair-ties, gum, ear plugs
- Retail boutique that includes Varley, OC X Splits59
- Filtered water
- OC disposable sweat bags
- Selection of cold beverages and sparkling water & assortment of locally-made real food fuel by Food Glow
One Cycle first opened in December 2012 and was founded by the inspiring and energetic Elmira Barry and her super fit partner Paul Barry. These two are exactly the sort of people you imagine when you think of those that own a boutique fitness studio; bubbly, not an ounce of fat, and uber passionate about living happy, healthy lives. The two decided to capitalise on the success of spin studios in the States and be the first to bring it to Calgary. They also own Hot Yoga on 17th and Hot Yoga on Crowfoot (review coming soon) so these two have turned into quite the business mogul’s in Calgary’s fitness scene. They’ve built an instructor bench of more than 27, so there’s plenty of opportunity to experience a very different class by way of the instructors.
Adam only moonlights as a spin instructor as he’s an architect by day and major soccer player in his other spare time. He provided a somewhat challenging class, but nothing major stood out to us in his teaching style or his class. Adam was super helpful at the beginning of class, checking with everyone in the room if they needed assistance getting set-up, and he referenced form and technique a handful of times, which we’re always big fans of. He’s passionate about building you up mentally and he aims to have you leave his class with more confidence than when you came in, so that’s nice. His playlist was pretty great, with a lot of club-like beats that focused on twerk, booty bass and rap (his words). You can catch Adam’s class every week on Thursdays at 9:30am.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
Ok so first off – in Calgary you wear your spin shoes in the spin room only. The most random thing to stand out between Toronto spin studios and Calgary ones, but it’s actually a thing and One Cycle even says so on their website – i.e. only put shoes on when you get in the studio. Apparently it’s a safety thing but I guess in TO we’ll take our chances. Anyhizzle, it’s worth arriving early because there’s easily five minutes of prep before you even get on your bike. Before entering the room, you’ll want to grab a sweat towel from the front desk, weights (that are in crates just outside of the door and sticking to 2lbs is TOTALLY ok), your clip in shoes, your water bottle and anything else you might need like ear plugs if that’s your thing. Then you’re ready to find your numbered bike that corresponds with the number you chose on the map at the front door and get your bike set up. PS, the front row sets the example for the class; so if you’re having an off day or you’re new, pick a bike in the back row so you can modify your ride without leading anyone astray. One Cycle has Schwinn bikes which are fairly easy to adjust and you’ll want to consider the height of your saddle (hip height is ideal), the distance of the handlebars to you (just be comfortable) and the height of your handlebars. Once you feel comfortable, and feel free to ask any employees btw Adam was more than willing to help anyone who needed it, you’re ready to rock.
Adam started our class right on time (which we always appreciate) and kicked things off with an easy warm up at a moderate pace. As is the case for any spin class, how hard you work is really up to you as you can choose the difficulty level on the dial, but Adam encouraged us to adjust it a comfortable amount in the class. There was a bit of choreography in the class like tap backs, dips and pumps, and a few four corners, but it wasn’t over the top. There were two super fast paced songs, one song reserved solely for arm work, and 2-3 songs at a slow pace so we could work on “hill climbs” with a lot of resistance and heavy legs. The class was challenging, fun, and of course worked us into a sweaty tizzy. This class was basically the Goldilocks of spin classes; not too hard, not too easy – it was just right.
To try this class or anything else on their schedule, see One Cycle’s schedule here.