From sunrise sprints and euphoric raves to frills-free fitness and the toughest sweat session you’ll do all week, these are the best spin classes in London
Words Rachel Avery
The king of spin has made it’s way across the pond and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Having already garnered a huge cult following in the States and Canada, SoulCycle has opened the doors of it’s first London studio. The high-intensity, 45 minute workout is beloved by the likes of Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the Beckhams, Lady Gaga, Khloe Kardashian, Michelle Obama and Madonna, and promises to deliver a complete mind-body-soul experience. The multi-level Soho site features a 63-bike studio and a bright and airy retail space where you can kit yourself out in SoulCycle merch. Once you’ve sweated your stresses away, The Good Life Eatery is on hand for refueling, while Le Labo, Drunk Elephant and Dyson products in the changin rooms will ensure you leave looking your best.
As I entered the Fulham studio, the people from the last class poured out with beetroot red faces and dripping with sweat. That’s when I knew that this ride class would be in another league.
Each of the bikes comes with a screen so you can track your progress, but what makes this class extra special is the fact that there’s a ‘burn board’ on the wall. The burn board is essentially a leaderboard showing who’s burned the most calories. My competitive nature made me determined to make the board and I’m convinced it made me work 10 times harder than I usually would.
It was not in any way an easy ride and the teacher ensured that we all worked to our absolute max the whole way through. By the end, I felt positively exhausted and every turn of the peddles was painful, but it meant that the cold refreshing towel that got handed round before the last track was like a gift from heaven.
Price: Three classes for £30 (new customer offer)
This brand-new studio, with a whole new concept, has popped up in Westfield London recently. Their USP is that there’s a huge screen behind the spin ‘maestro’ as they are called here, and the screen takes you on the journey from sunrise to sunset – and each week there’s a different city. It sounds pretty gimmicky, but when you’re there in the moment dripping with sweat as the sun shines brightly over the London cityscape, it is actually pretty awesome.
What makes the experience even better is the instructors. They have clearly been chosen for their enthusiasm and motivational prowess. If you’re not tempted to throw your hands in the air or whoop at least once in this class, then you’re simply not doing it right.
It’s a shiny new spin studio, where the classes haven’t become overcrowded yet, so get in there quick before you’re battling for a bike.
Location: Westfield London, White City
Price: Two classes for £20 (new customer offer)
This is a spin studio with a slick operation. There’s a smoothie bar for a pre-workout drink, Dyson hairdryers to sort your mane out post-sweat session and a whole bunch of friendly faces behind the welcome desk. As the name suggests, this studio is all about the music. The tunes are cranked right up and (much to my delight) Beyoncé features heavily. Halfway through the class, I looked up and notice the entire mirror had steamed up due to the heat we were all creating. Now if that’s not what you call torching calories, I don’t know what is.
The changing rooms, may I add, have definitely been designed and kitted out by a woman. They come complete with multiple mirrors, deodorant and there’s even a tampon stash. Boom cycle is also championing a #CutLoose campaign aimed at getting people to concentrate on how they feel when working out, not how they look – Amen to that!
Location: Holborn, Hammersmith, Battersea and Monument
Price: Three classes for £29 (new customer offer)
I had heard lots of good things about Psycle before I went, so I wanted to see if it lived up to the hype. I headed to the Mortimer Street studio, right in the heart of London where city workers go to spin out their frustrations after a hard day in the office.
And it’s safe to say it is as fabulous as everyone says. You can’t get a cooler spin studio than this. If you’re not into cheesy, feel-good speeches and cringe and the thought of a ‘this is going to change your life’ pep talk, then this is the class for you. It’s gritty, it’s raw and the teachers don’t go easy on you.
There was one point where the sweat was actually flying off my ponytail and by the time the weights made an appearance, I was dripping. There is no denying that it’s very hard work, but you will walk out of that studio feeling like your workouts have been taken to the next level. Just don’t strut on out the door without stopping by the smoothie bar for a post-workout pick-me-up.
Location: Mortimer Street, Canary Wharf, Shoreditch, Clapham
Price: Two classes for £20 (new customer offer)
This gym is in a prime location on the fringes of Holland Park, just off of Kensington High Street. Most spin classes have clip in shoes, called cleats, but here you can choose to hire the shoes or simply strap in your trainers. Making it a good option for newbie spinners who don’t want to faff with clipping in and out.
The instructor managed to strike the perfect balance between motivational and stern and I loved her inspirational words and banging soundtrack.
It’s the first spin class I’ve been to where each bike comes with a digital screen. The display shows you things like percentage of resistance, rotations per minute and calories burnt. And boy does it make you work harder. When the instructor told us to keep it at 115 RPM I was determined to peddle furiously to make it happen. In a 45-minute class I had burned over 400 calories and I was pretty impressed with that – surely that deserved a bagel and smoothie in the cafe on the way out?
Location: High Street Kensington, Knightsbridge, St John’s Wood
Price: Five classes for £60 (new customer offer)
I headed to the studio in Victoria and this place has to be awarded the king of all spin studios – just for its sheer size alone. I later find out that it’s the largest ride studio in London! But the amazement didn’t end there…
Inside the class, the two-floor studio looks more like a nightclub than a place for fitness – there’s more disco lights than you could ever begin to count, a huge sound system and even a smoke machine (yes, really!). And I knew it was going to be a real party when I was offered earplugs at the start of the class – but, no, I didn’t want anything getting in the way of my ride experience.
It was an amazing class and the instructor spoke motivational words of wisdom throughout. The whole experience was incredible. I think first-time spinners might be a little overwhelmed, but if you’ve already got the bug, this is the place to step up your cycle addiction.
Location: Victoria, Broadgate, St Mary Axe, Southbank, Bayswater
Price: Three classes for £39 (new customer offer)