In The City — 06 January 2017
New studios put indoor cycling into high gear

By Mark Gauert

City & Shore Magazine

Here’s the problem with so many indoor-cycling classes:

At most indoor-cycling classes, you wait at the door of the indoor-cycling room until the previous class has finished indoor cycling. Then, before the previous class has even unclipped from their stationary bike pedals or toweled off the equipment (we hope), there’s a mad, running-of-the-bulls style moment when the new class of indoor-cyclists dash into the room to grab the bikes that actually work.

So many indoor-cycling classes in South Florida have this problem: old or bad stationary bikes.

There are work-arounds, of course. Go to any indoor-cycling – also called spinning – class long enough and you wise up about which bikes in the room work the way they’re supposed to work and which will stop working abruptly in the middle of, say, Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais remix)which, in this correspondent’s opinion, is the single Most Awesome Spinning Song ever resulting in:

— The bike losing pedal tension/resistance, sending the rider wildly out of Summertime Sadness Remix reverie into something like hamster-wheel wipeout.

— The bike gaining resistance, sending the rider wildly out of Summertime Sadness Remix reverie over the handlebars into something like the floor.

— Snickering from fellow spinners riding the good bikes.

Not so at the new CycleBar franchises, now open in Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Weston and other South Florida locations.

Every bike at CycleBar is exactly the same. Which is to say, in this correspondent’s opinion, every bike is wonderful.

And not just the bikes are wonderful.

At many indoor-cycling classes in South Florida, the indoor-cycling room is used for something other than indoor cycling. You’ll often find them set up on basketball courts, for example, or threadbare community center floors or, I don’t know, food trucks. The music delivery system is usually not much better, playing music from speaker systems last upgraded during the Clinton Administration, or CD boom boxes or an a cappella group of instructors.

Not so at CycleBar, where the music is delivered in an acoustically tuned amphitheater – a CycleTheatre – that you suspect was inspired by every cool vision of the future you’ve ever seen in a sci-fi movie. (But involving stationary bikes, not space stations).

“The CycleTheatre features tiers for 48 bikes plus LED lighting, wide-screen graphics and state-of-the-art audio with a DJ booth,’’ the franchisers say. “Riders are able to track their performance via CycleStats – max RPM, calories burned, rank in the class, etc. – as well as download the playlist used during their classes using the Cyclebeats app. After class, riders cool down with fresh fruit and water, while aromatherapy helps guests relax throughout the facility.”

No summertime – or any kind – of sadness here.

Best of all, there’s no mad, Pamplona-style dash into the room to get a bike that works. Instead – how civilized – you reserve the bike you want at the time you want, where you want it in the CycleTheatre, your instructor and your clip-in bike shoes (!) in advance online.

Then you relax before the ride in the locker room – stocked with water bottles, hair-pins, ear plugs, energy bars, fruit, chilled and room-temperature water – and chat with your fellow spinners about the problems with indoor-cycling classes everywhere else.

CycleBar Davie, 2270 S. University Drive, Ste. 120, 954-361-2559, davie.cyclebar.com; CycleBar Fort Lauderdale, 525 N. Federal Highway, 954-715-6533, fortlauderdale.cyclebar.com; CycleBar Weston, 2222 Weston Road, Weston, 954-834-6220, weston.cyclebar.com; and coming soon to other South Florida locations. No membership required, you pay by the class. A single, 50-minute “drop-in” class’ costs $25, but, packages are available that reduce the price to $16 a ride. 

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