While I was in Chicago I had the opportunity to take a class at Flywheel, an indoor cycling studio specializing in high-energy cardio a la Soul Cycle and Swerve. Flywheel has locations all around the world, but I haven’t had the chance to check it out yet at home. So what better way to cure a bit of home sickness than with a cycling class that started in NYC.


What instantly won me over to Flywheel was how stress-free it was for a first-timer like me. It was quick and easy to register online, to sign up for a class (first class is free), and to check-in upon arrival. I was greeted by a lovely gent named Jonathan at the front desk with a great smile. Because I had pre-registered and created a profile online, I was able to check myself in at a computer station AND Flywheel had my shoes ready for me in the cubicle associated with my bike number. WHAT?!?! They had my shoes waiting for me!!!! Can we say SUPER ORGANIZED?!?! ALL FITNESS STUDIOS PLEASE TAKE NOTES HERE!!! It’s like having clearance at the airport and bypassing security- that’s how great it feels to skip check-in!


I had a phenomenal experience at Flywheel, and was glad that I was able to drag my butt out of my hotel bed and get to class…in the rain. I think I get special “no-calorie” brownie points for that! Is the Flywheel workout different from Soul Cycle or Swerve? No. It is arguably the same high-energy, cardio spin class in a dark studio with bumpin’ music. The workouts are all equally great but the small details are what separate them, and provide very different experiences depending on your fitness goals.

I took a class with Erin, the lead instructor at Flywheel Chicago (Goldcoast location). Her energy was infectious, her instructions were clear, and she was motivating. She cycled with the class and I gawked at her lean arms and legs. I wished the upper body workout had been longer though. That is one thing Soul Cycle does better than the rest – their spin class is a full body workout for the entire duration. That is important for ME since my upper body is so weak and I need the extra upper body push.

However, one thing Soul Cycle does not have and something that stands out at Flywheel is the Torq monitor. The Torq monitor calculates rotations per minute (RPM), miles completed, and resistance level (Torq). It was easy to read and gauge how hard I was working, similar to Swerve. Also similar to Swerve, Flywheel ranks your performance in the class if you choose to opt in. I’m a competitive and numbers-driven person, so both were great motivators. When I’m fatigued, I THINK I’m working hard when I’m not. The Torq monitor is a healthy dose of reality.

**Calorie burn is based on a rider between 145-165 pounds. Luckily I fall in that range, but cardio machines can overestimate calorie burn by up to 30%.

If I could summarize Flywheel in one word, it would be efficient. Flywheel is all about maximizing performance and providing the best environment to be your best self.

I’m now excited to check out Flywheel in New York to see how it compares. I have friends who rave about it and try to convert me…we’ll see how that goes 😉 have you tried Flywheel?

To find your nearest Flywheel location, visit the website to sign up for your free Flywheel class.

Studio images provided by Flywheel


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