Spin City: Chicago Cycle Studios That Are Just Your Speed

Go Cycle (Photo: Courtesy Go Cycle)

Loving Chicago but bummed you had to miss your cycling class? Don’t fret! Whether you’re looking for a competitive environment, a friendly and nurturing atmosphere or even individualized attention, Chicago has a spinning class waiting for you.

For the data-driven cycler: Flywheel

With 30 locations nationwide, and two in Chicago (Old Town and the Gold Coast), Flywheel’s connected technology allows members to sign in through the cycle’s “tech-pack” and access all their past performance metrics from previous workouts (torque, RPM and output). Flywheel’s “Torqboards” are leaderboards displayed on large screens, allowing riders to opt-in and race against other class participants. All workout data is transmitted through their smartphone app in real time.

The details: The room features 47 Flywheel bicycles in a three-tiered stadium configuration with ambient lighting. There is complimentary water and shoe rental. You may also bring in your Atlas- or SPD-compatible shoes.

For the friendly cycler: Go Cycle

Owned by Emmy Rigali, Go Cycle is considered the original cycling studio in Chicago. Opened “long before the bigger guys came to town,” Rigali and her instructors have built a loyal following thanks to great music choices and a non-judgmental teaching style. The studio’s vibe is one that welcomes newcomers and builds camaraderie among participants.

The details: The studio is home to 28 Keiser M3 bikes. Water is bring-or-buy and shoe rental is complimentary. You can also bring your own standard fitness shoes or SPD-compatible cleats.

For the serious cycler: Real Ryder Revolution

Real Ryder studio showcases their branded cycles that lean 20 degrees to the left and right. This additional movement is the basis for their “5-in-1″ workout. Staffed with accomplished competitive athletes, this no-frills studio is all about the bike and the burn. Participants enjoy the high-intensity workouts and core exercises while cycling.

The details: The main studio has 25 Real Ryder cycles. Water is bring-or-buy. Bring your own SPD-compatible cycling shoes or fitness shoes.

For the non-cycler: Core Chicago Pilates

A boutique studio that offers less than a dozen cycles, Core offers a one-hour class that combines Spinning and Pilates called “Spintervals.” Holly Swanson, both the owner and primary teacher, utilizes traditional Pilates equipment (the Reformer) to quickly transition students between machines in one full-body group workout. Swanson is also a certified trainer for breast cancer rehabilitation, and classes are size-controlled for individualized attention. Participants often converse and socialize throughout the workout.

The details: It’s an intimate space with fewer than 12 cycles in the room. Bring your own fitness shoes. Water is free.