I’m Flyyinnng – FlyWheel DC Review

April 30, 2015

New cycling/or barre studios have been popping up all over DC (here is my RIDE DC review from last year).  This past month Flywheel opened a studio in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC.   Housed in a former theater, this location is their largest studio with over 60 bikes and a space dedicated for Flybarre classes. 

Cycling studios such as Flywheel and SoulCycle are on the pricier side, so I was not planning on trying a class unless there happened to be a community event (aka free) or introductory deal (I haven’t tried SoulCycle).  About two weeks ago my friend Rachel saw a sign at our Core Power Yoga studio that CPY members could receive two complimentary classes at Flywheel DC….score! I am not sure why there was a cross promotion deal, but after some research I learned that Core Power Yoga and Flywheel have the same private-equity investor…so that could be a reason.  We signed up for an evening class the following week. 

When I entered the studio I was welcomed by their two friendly front desk staff.  The check-in process was very easy! You could do so through the Flywheel mobile app, their laptops (shown below), or the old school way… with their front desk.  I opted for the latter (I forgot which bike I reserved). 

I brought my own spinning shoes – but you could borrow a pair for free! They also had a spacious waiting/retail area. 

Nice decor.

The Flywheel stadium map – as the name suggests the bikes were set up stadium style.  Bikes are reserved during the sign-up process. 

Because this was my first class, one of the Flywheel employees offered to show me around the studio.  Social media board with all their hashtags.

Pretty cool water fountain – never seen anything like that!

There were complimentary lockers – no locks required! Some of the lockers had outlets so you could power up your devices while in class (so smart).

Such a nice touch when studios provide blowdryers, lotions and other toiletries.

Bright, spacious, and clean showers (towels included).

After the previous class ended the cleaning crew went inside to wipe down the bikes before we were permitted to enter.  I grabbed a towel and went inside to adjust my bike (staff were available to assist with bike setup if you were new).  The flat screens were the Torq boards – which displayed rankings throughout the 45 minute class (you could opt in or out when registering).  

Each bike had a monitor that displayed your resistance (“torq”), your speed (RPM’s) and your power output (current and cumulative for the class).  To the side of the bikes were weighted sticks (maybe a foot long each)  for the sculpting portion of class – I thought that was pretty innovative (most studios use traditional hand weights which are usually stacked on the handlebar). 

Soon the lights were dimmed and our instructor, Gregg, kicked off our ride with some Tay-Tay! His class mix was Taylor Swift vs. Katy Perry – which kept me entertained throughout the class. We went through a few climbs, jumps, and sprint sets – nothing stood out to me. After class performance data is posted to your online account.  

  • The website is informative and easy to navigate. There is also a mobile app you can download online. 
  • On Sunday at 5:00PM you can register for as many classes you want for the following Tuesday through Monday. SuperFly members have an earlier window and can register for the coming week’s classes on Friday at 2:00pm.
  • Popular evening classes sell out – I recommend booking earlier in the week (our 6:30PM class was sold out).
  • Unless you purchase a bundle, it is $28/class (barre or cycling).  For comparison, RIDE DC is $22/class and SoulCycle is $30/class. 
  • Fun fun fun playlist. 
  • There were times I had difficulty hearing the instructor – loud music + sitting in the back probably did not make for a good combination.
  • The Torq board did not display the rankings the entire class. Also, it only show the Top 20 – which was a bummer for me – I wanted to see where I stood + it would have motivated me. 
  • I like that performance data is saved to your account – a good way to measure progress. 
  • Beautiful studio and amenities. 
  • Really nice they loan cycling shoes without charging a rental fee.  
  • Not in DC? There are currently 33 other locations in the U.S and 2 studios in Dubai.  I even read some newer cruise ships have Flywheel classes. 
  • There are options to host private/charity events. 
  • It is nice they diversified their studio with both spinning and barre classes.  
  • If you are looking for a deal, I noticed there was one on Gilt City last week (may be sold out). 

Overall I had good ride. This was my first time in a large class, while it was fun, I do prefer the intimate atmosphere of smaller studios (I was the same way about school).  If I make another visit I would like to try one of their Flybarre classes to see how they compare to Pure Barre and Barre 3 (their barre studio was upstairs).  

On a related note (and for those those SoulCycle lovers), SoulCycle is opening three more studios in Washington, DC. 

Disclosure: As a Core Power Yoga member I received a complimentary FlyWheel class.  All thoughts and opinions on the blog are my own.

Have you tried Flywheel before? How does it compare to SoulCycle or other studios? 

Do you prefer barre or spinning?

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    1. Wow, I love that you can reserve a specific bike in advance and all the nice little extras like the free lockers and shoe rentals plus the data on your performance in your account afterward! But that is a high price per class. I haven’t given one of these types of classes a try yet. I did see that there was a new Soul Cycle in Bethesda so maybe I’ll give it a try after I finish with my barre classes ๐Ÿ™‚
      Chaitali recently posted…Ben’s Run 5k 2015My Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        I would agree the classes are too pricey for my liking. In my 8K goodie bag this weekend I received a voucher for a free class at the Soul Cycle Bethesda โ€“ I may try it then ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Run Jenny Run

        I was impressed with the facility, but not enough for me to be a repeat customer. I do not like the trend of fitness classes getting so expensive – I’ve been seeing to many $30/class lately.

    1. Wow! Looks like a really nice place! I’ve done a bunch of spin classes when I was a member of Gold’s Gym and loved it! I haven’t tried Barre but it is something I would like to try sometime. Great review of the place! Pricey but looks worth it with all the nice amenities and I like how it tracks your performance data!
      Sharon recently posted…Baldpate Mountain Family Hike Trip Report 4/12/14My Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        The spin classes at my gym are pretty good so I’ll stick with them or an occasional drop in at Ride DC. I found several spin instructors rotate around studios/gyms as well. I do like that Flywheel includes the shoe rental in there, my sister goes to Soul Cycle and has to rent each time (until she purchases her own).

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Oh I probably would like that – I think I will use my second class at the barre.

    1. Just stumbled upon your blog. Love it! I’ve never taken a spin class, but enjoy cycling (just use a bike trainer inside when I can’t get out). A class like that looks like it would be a blast!!
      Bianca @ Mitten Runner recently posted…5 Reasons Why I RunMy Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Best part of a bike trainer – you can pick your own playlist at home ๐Ÿ™‚ Do you recommend any particular trainers? I think I would like to get one eventually.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        I still would like to try Revolve one day – I know you like that studio very much.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Do they have several barre studios in Baltimore now? It has changed so much since I left MS in 2009 (I got a FB memory notification that this week 6 years ago was my last week there haha).

    1. Jenny, the studio looks REALLY awesome; I’m with you, though – that’s a pretty large class! I kind of like that there are only about 20 of us in my gym’s spin classes; I recognize most of the folks who are regular attendees and it makes it a little more comfortable for me. I definitely would not be able to afford these classes on a regular basis, but it would be fun to try it out. Thanks so much for telling us all about it!
      Tara @ Running ‘N’ Reading recently posted…Five Songs for Race DayMy Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        I imagine (well at least for me it would be) intimidating if you were there for the first time (you would have to mirror everyone else) since there isn’t much 1:1 interaction. It is nice when you recognize other people in your class.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        The beer tap water fountain was a first! I thought it was creative. I do like the reserved seating aspect of these studios. At the gym it is a rush for the prime bikes.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        I agree, the price is pretty steep! Hopefully there are studios out there that will give you a freebie..but then again… may get hooked!

      1. Run Jenny Run

        I think your first class is free! Definitely can check it out.

    1. That studio is gorgeous and includes loads of great amenities too. However, that is a steep price tag for just a class. I belong to a gym that includes classes, but they are much more basic. I do think the spin classes are really good though!
      Pam and Christine recently posted…What’s next now that Boston is over?My Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        It was beautiful, but I agree the price point is too high for my liking. I was comparing my training logs from last year to 2015 and realized I attended more spin classes in 2014…. will be adding it to my schedule in the upcoming weeks.

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