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.
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?