WHAT TO BRING
Underwear, cuz you’ll get hot
If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. That’s 6ix Cycle’s motto, and we are so totally into it. We’ve now taken classes from owner Julie Harrish and one of their main men, Adam Deunk, and holy yellow penguins did these guys live there motto. The studio is clean, fresh and just as approachable for men as it is for women with graffiti spattered decor, a lime green theme running throughout, and a simple no-fuss, high sweat, street vibe about it. They’ve got you covered for everything you need, they’re approachable and not douchey, and we like that they’re far west on Queen West where no one else really is. Worth a trip, homies. worth a trip.
6ix is on West West Queen West, past the Drake Hotel right on Queen Street and just east of Dufferin Street. Most notably, they’re beside the lil’ ice cream and milkshake bar, Hollywood Cone. which means a 600 calorie burning 6ix class can be followed by a 600 calorie butterfinger ice cream takedown. It’s about balance, guys. Getting to this area just south of Little Portugal is easily accessible via the #501 streetcar along Queen or the #29 streetcar running north/southbound on Dufferin. The nice thing about this studio being further down Queen West is that street parking is easier to find with free parking until 1pm on Sundays. Woot.
6ix Cycle’s signature class is the 50 minute Spin where you can expect a dynamic ride on and off the saddle, with weights, sprints, hills, choreography and high high energy music. They have themed rides every week like Throwback Thursdays, and Adam’s signature #DeunkNDonuts class that hands out donuts from Glory Hole afterwards – WHY HAVE WE NEVER BEEN TO THIS?! They’ve found their groove with the class schedule with Monday-Friday being nearly the same everyday with a 7am, 9:30am, 5:45pm, 6:45pm, and 7:45 pm class (sometimes the 7:45pm class is dropped on Thursday Fridays, like in summer when everyone in Toronto is at the cottage). They used to have a 6:00am class, which we were huge fans of cuz it gave us enough time to get ready and get back for el worko, so we’re a bit sad face they dropped it. Weekend rides are similar to what we see from other spin studios in the area, concentrating classes in the early part of the day with the last one around noon BUT they’ve added a 4:00pm ride on Sundays which studios never do so THANK YOU! It’s ideal to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to get set up with your spin shoes, your bike and all your gear and they encourage starting and finishing rides together, so if you’re not able to stay the full 50 minutes then don’t commit. They won’t allow late entries. We like the discipline.
As far as pricing goes, they sit in one of the more expensive buckets at $25 for a drop-in ride, however that’s the same as what most of their direct competitors are doing (Spokehaus, Cyclebar, close to Ride) and considering the price includes clip-in shoes, towels and a lot of amenities in the change rooms, we’re down with it. They have one of the best deals in multi-class packs, with the 20-ride pack dropping each class to $18.50 which is the best value out of those $25 drop-in studios. Memberships though, are a bit high as they only make sense if you’re planning to ride more than four times a week.
- Drop-in $25
- 6ix pack $132 ($22 per ride)
- 10 pack $200 ($20 per ride)
- 20 pack $370 ($18.50 per ride)
- 1 month unlimited membership $225/month
- 3 months unlimited membership $199/month
- Promo: 2 weeks unlimited $60
The design aesthetic of 6ix Cycle is the perfect balance of the sexes. It’s just as approachable for the guys with graffiti walls and lockers, a black, white and lime green color scheme (which apparently is a major male favorite); but the chicks are considered in the details too with the space being clean, organised, and all the required beauty tools waiting for you in the change rooms. The love for Toronto comes in a bit throughout the studio with Toronto skyline shower curtains but considering 6ix has secured such a boss name, there might be opportunity to differentiate themselves even further from the spin competition with a deeper tie to the city. The facilities are well laid out though and they use every inch. There’s kind of a loop layout with the main lobby and main entrance to the spin room at the front, a bunch of lockers lining a side hallway that leads to the spacious mens, womens, and handicap change rooms, and it continues to the back door of the spin room where they have you exit class from. In the back is also the Q water station and no joke, this is the best water of LIFE. I filled up thrice during my last visit.
The spin room is dimly lit and lined with blue lights, and has a common layout with the instructor podium front and centre, a couple rows at the front facing the instructor, and the rest of the rows facing the mirrors/front. With a capacity of 50 bikes the space between bikes is good – you’re not too close to make things annoying. The bikes themselves, although not having little holders for weights so you have to place them in your cup holder, are super comfortable which is everything when you go sans padded shorts (bc who really wears padded shorts anymore unless your a hardcore cyclist? Or no, do people do that? Tell us please). Oh, and clipping in and out of the bikes is super easy, which we appreciate since we’re no strangers to the awkward still-attached-to-bike dismount.
The crowd is a nice balance of spin fanatics and those who don’t get (or don’t care?) about riding to the beat so it’s a very very approachable studio for newbies. Yet, given how hard Julie and Adam made us work, classes are still super challenging for seasoned spinners. Our classes had about a quarter men and ages ranged from early twenty’s to thirty’s so it was a fairly young crowd.
- Spin shoes provided (Shimano). Recommend to wear in spin room only so you don’t slip all over the place
- Towels provided (both shower towels and sweat towels for class)
- Mens and womens change rooms with shower facilities and washrooms, and one handicap washroom
- Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, blowdryer, straightener, spray deodorant, hair ties
- Q filtered water
- Programmable lockers
- Retail boutique with Toronto products by Nadia Lloyd, 6ix Cycle branded gear and Calgary made leggings, bras and tanks for purchase
Despite the name, the owners of 6ix Cycle aren’t originally from 416, or even 647…or even 437, they hale from my hometown, Calgary, AB – so they get full fruits, jk jk. Really though, Julie Harrish and her husband, Sheldon Harrish, are the kind of small business entrepreneurs you want to get behind bc they gave it all up to pursue their true passion. They left their corporate, secure jobs in YYC to take the massive risk of moving across the country, start anew, and open a fitness studio pretty much on their own with the small goal to change lives through sweat, fitness, positive energy and hard work. One of the coolest things about their beginnings is that they trained from scratch 16+ instructors from the coziness of their personal living room. They brought in 18 stationary bikes into their apartment and trained their team every day for 6 weeks. What a team. Since then, the OG team has changed a bit but you can always count on this rockstar couple to deliver instructors that run unique, high-quality, and challenging classes.
Adam is also a born and bred Calgary man, so we automatically heart him. He’s such an incredible source of energy, positivity and sheer fitness, that he always makes our time enjoyable, and hard. Very hard. Adam’s been teaching spin for just over a year but he’s a born natural. He also moonlights as a BOSS photographer, so if you’re newly engaged and looking for a wedding photographer that can also shave off some inches he is the full wedding package. For our class, Adam had the energy of the room on ultra-high from the moment we started. Calling out nearly half the riders by name, he made it personal and acknowledged every rider. He sees you. His teaching style is loud, shouty (but in a good way) with high energy the entire damn time. Think spinning your towel above your head like a fan to the beat while riding. Adam incorporated a fair bit of choreography and a lot of the songs were double and triple time so it was a fast class with a lot of full body movement. His playlist was a motivating mix of pop, rap, and dance so he kind of hits up everybody’s tastes.
Julie’s classes are notoriously full-on. As the owner and ex-weight lifting boss babe, she’s also known for her hip-hop heavy playlists. Think ‘Mo Money, Mo Problems’ remix, ‘Say My Name’ remix, basically all of the best hip-hop and pop r&b hits from the 90’s and 2000’s which is everyones cup of tea, yes? She wasn’t a stickler for the beat and which foot had to be at the bottom so everyone was together – she would mention it a handful of times, especially when she wanted us riding side to side as one, but Julie was more focused on encouraging us to push harder and switching up the choreography. One of my all time favorite things about Jules though is that she reads the room well and, in our case, gave MUCH needed breaks when the class was getting fatigued. She had us cup the back of our heads with our clasped hands, like you would do if you were sun tanning like a dad, and it let our bodies find some new air. I’ve never had an instructor do this before mid-class but it’s so damn simple, yet so damn affective to recharge. So, 👏🏼.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
We’re rating these classes Hard and awarding full fruits. First off, before getting in the room ensure you grab a towel from a cart outside the main door, you have your water and your shoes, and grab weights from the crates beside the instructor podium. Choose your challenge for 2, 3, 4 or 5 pounders & 6ix’s bikes don’t have the little weight holders by the seat so just pop ’em in the water bottle holder. Then set up your bike for your personal height and preferences. Instructors will be milling about to help you, but this is key – defs don’t just hop on a bike and think Johnny Giant from the 6am class has the same settings as you.
K, so the classes at 6ix are the full-body, choreography injected, dark room, vital playlist spin style types that we’re starting to see more often – and Adam’s class was just that. It was so high-energy from the moment we stepped on our bikes and incorporated a fair bit of choreo amongst sprinting and hills, off-the-seat hovering, tap backs (driving your toosh and hips backwards to hover over the seat to activate the glutes) and an arms section. The thing to caution with these fast-paced style of classes, especially for the intimidated beginner, is that the instructor can only assist so much with corrections on form so it’s key to keep your shoulders down, not to hunch over the bars, and as silly as it seems, remember to breathe. You can adjust the difficulty level at your discretion, and although the instructor will encourage you to ride to the beat with the rest of the class, you do you. There were two of us for this class and we were at different fitness and experience levels, yet both found a super challenging, sweaty ride that left us feeling our glutes and inner thighs in the days following.
Julie’s class was definitely similar, but had some key differences. It was the perfect kind of class for an early Friday morning in that it was a fairly simple ride with not a lot of choreography. There were some dips and pumps, and some tap backs – but that was about it. Julie is also a big fan of the hover, and we hovered in ALMOST every single song for at least 8 counts, twice. We usually stuck to a pace for the particular song and the variety would come through by adding choreography in time for the chorus of the song. What I did like was that the class had a nice blend of triple time speed and a medium easy-to-find-the-beat-and-get-down speed. We din’t do anything super slow, and hard, i.e. hill climbs which I kinda missed having even one. Towards the end of class, we had a full song to ourselves to ride in the dark which was bloody glorious. For those that wanted to take it easy (i.e. Adam who was teaching the next class so, fair) or if you wanted to push yourself hard and ride the song heavy and off the saddle – it was up to you. A nice option that you don’t often see.
*Side note – I took Adam’s class when I was six months pregnant, so I’ll digress for a hot minute about spinning while expecting*. Biggest thing – ensure to take it at your own pace and drink even more water than you normally would, bring a little snack pack of almonds or whatever for after class and ensure your not pushing yourself to the same standards your normally might. You might find that your legs just won’t quite move to the quick beats as easily as they did before, and that is totally ok. I adjusted the class by keeping the pace but not pushing my resistance level so hard so that I was challenged and sweaty, but in a way that I felt comfortable. The most important thing is to stay connected to your body and listen to what it needs, always.
And that’s it! See ya next week, fineapples!