There aren’t a ton of things that I miss from DC that I can’t find in NYC, but occasionally I’ll miss something from DC that’s seemingly irreplaceable – cherry blossoms, Taylor Gourmet’s sandwiches, and most importantly, Zengo Cycle. Zengo was my favorite spin studio in the DC area because they offered a more rhythmic “ride-to-the-beat” style without the pretension of SoulCycle. I’ve been on a mission to find a similar spot in NYC until Zengo opens here (on the extreme off-change a Zengo studio manager is reading this…HURRY!), so I decided to try Cyc Fitness.
Cyc has three studios in Manhattan: Chelsea, Astor Place, and Hell’s Kitchen. I haven’t been to the Hell’s Kitchen location yet, but it looks like it’s in the heart of Times Square–nice try, Cyc, but I’ll avoid this location at all costs unless the whole 42nd street crew can join me (Elmo, Mickey, Elsa from Frozen, etc.). The Astor Place studio is located in the basement of DavidBarton Gym, so you can chill in the lobby and try to spot Anderson Cooper after class (just me? ok.). I attended class at the studio’s Chelsea location, which is inside of BFX (shameless plugin-read my review of their barre class here), which has a spacious lounge area and a stocked locker room. Cyc has clip-in spinning bikes and offers free shoe rental, which is super clutch.
The spin studio itself is your typical dark room with some funky lighting. Lots of Cyc employees (or “cycologists,” as they call themselves) were available to help the n00bs set up their bikes.
I took class with John Thornhill, who gave off SoCal bro vibes in that he had long-ish hair and high-fived every student on their way in. He definitely seemed more into the music than I did, but I guess that’s what you want from an instructor, right? In all seriousness, he did a good job of motivating the class, and even gave sweaty high-fives to every student on their way out of class, too (germaphobes, beware: I tried avoiding this to no avail).
I walked to the BFX front desk and told the receptionist “I’m here for the Kira Stokes barre class – CYC! I’m here to spin!!!!” Jk, I just came in and awkwardly said hello, but I really wanted to do this. Somehow I ended up front-and-center, for this class, which was both amazing and terrifying.
As noted, Cyc is a “ride-to-the-beat” approach to spinning, so you won’t see any sort of crazy metrics on the bikes here. The instructor tells you approximately how much resistance to put on the bike, so you have some guidance for each song. Class alternated between sprints (seated and riding fast), riding out of the saddle, and lots of “jogging” (riding fast while hovering over your seat), which is my personal least favorite because I’m not that coordinated. After every few songs, we’d give our legs a break and use light weights for a brief but tough arm workout. We finished class with a final “jog” and a stretch. I was completely covered in sweat.
This was a really fun class and a good workout. I still prefer Zengo, my DC spinning home, though. Until pigs fly/SoulCycle joins Classpass, this is my spin solution in NYC.
A 45-minute class runs $28.
All images from Cyc’s website.