You’d think when you build a new studio you’d learn from the past, making extra sure not to repeat mistakes. Unfortunately Recycle didn’t learn their lesson. The South End studio is an an improvement on their Boston Common location which is good news to the ears. But some of the things we’d hoped they address still remain present: no lockers, poor acoustics, low quality sound system and old bikes. What a shame; a little neighborhood spot on one of the best streets in Boston had so much potential.
Recycle’s signature Reboot Ride was more choreographed than an MTV music video circa 2000 (the good ol’ TRL days). While the workout was good for a sweat, the routine lacked general flow and ease of transition between songs making for a jerky ride. Overall, class maintained an unenthusiastic ebb and flow, and we left feeling uninspired and with only a slight glisten of sweat on our foreheads.
Good news: Our class was just about at capacity. Bad news: This means another free for all when it comes to getting a bike. Unassigned bikes leads to people throwing elbows and inevitably someone ending up on a bike against the walls.
Before the class kicked off, we got the basic spin tutorial on hand positioning, mechanics and the what to expect from class. After that, we were off to the races with heavy choreography coupled with crunches and jump combinations. A weighted arm routine was incorporated at exactly the midway point before concluding with the predictable climb and sprint to the finish.
Heather’s strong suit was her well-timed cues and counts. But coupled with the elaborate choreography and busted sound system (think “souped up” hoopty sporting neon undercarriage lights from the old school high school parking lot days), it all just came through the speakers as a muddled, unintentional mash up–disproving our previously held belief that there’s no such thing as a bad mash up.
Recycle South End first floor storefront location is definitely a step up from its Boston Common counterpart–well, figuratively speaking since Boston Common is on the fifth floor. It still has a similar white, sterile interior, but some South End-inspired art and decor brings it a bit to life. The staff was friendly and helpful, providing complimentary shoes and towels upon check-in. In addition to cubbies, there was also a small wall of lockers. We use the term “locker” loosely since they can only be secured if you bring your own lock. A narrow hallway leads to bathrooms and showers that have limited space. Since it’s centrally tucked away in the quaint South End neighborhood, we imagine these don’t get too crowded, with most riders opting to make the quick trip home instead.
18 Union Park St, Boston, MA 02118 South End Spin $
Recycle Studio South End
South End Spin $
18 Union Park St, Boston, MA 02118
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Why did we expect Channing to be a big, hunky man? Don’t get her confused with Magic Mike – Channing is of the female persuasion. And she was pretty solid. Channing incorporates lots of hills into her ride, which we can seriously get down with. She also ran us through a 6-minute arm song. Yes. SIX. MINUTES. She’s not the hardest instructor we’ve ever had, but she got the job done.
Erin F used almost every type of choreo in the book – tap backs, push-ups, hovers, crunches – and there was never a dull moment. On top of that, her music was solid. We love when instructors throw it back to classic hip-hop instead of opting for the typical EDM you find in a spin studio. Erin F was super motivating. She’s the type of instructor that cues up those motivational speeches when you really need them. You know, when you’re hustling up a “9” hill.