The Handle Bar Harvard Square

4.0

BostonSpin

Review:

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byTori Scott, February 20, 2017

There is something about that moment you walk into a Handle Bar studio. The doors open, the space pulls you in and you are greeted by the front desk staff with friendly smiles as they welcome you into their “home”. The vibe is laid back, the decor is homey and the scene is far from intimidating. The Harvard Square studio is no exception. Staying true to what we’ve come to  Handle Bar is known for, the Harvard Square studio delivered a non-intimidating experience with a perfectly standard, middle of the road spin workout.

RUNDOWN

WORKOUT

Every studio has their “thing” which is a necessity in this day in age when there is a spin studio on every block. Owners need to find their “special sauce” to stand out from the pack. The Handle Bar delivers a consistent, standardized classes across the board. All of their instructors have been through a training program which teach them “The Handle Bar Method”. At The Handle Bar you ride “to the beat of the music” and the playlists are designed around 1-10 scale for the resistance wheel. Which means that throughout the class the instructor will let you know how many turns should roughly be on your wheel based off of the “Beats Per Minute” in each song. To technical for you? Faster songs, higher BPM, less resistance, move your legs faster. Slower song, lower BPM, more resistance, think hills. This method was clearly displayed in our ride at Harvard Square. Well it all sounds great on paper we had a little trouble putting this method to work in our class. Songs were calling for a faster beat but our instructor was calling for an 8 or 9. 8 or 9? “But that’s a hill!” We wanted to yell back. Maybe we’re just out of shape. Technicalities aside, from start to finish the workout hit all the check boxes and provided a standard spin ride.

INSTRUCTOR

Raisa Hoffman is the definition of a Handle Bar success story. Rider, turned front desk staff, turned instructor. You can tell that her riding roots are anchored in “The Handle Bar Method”. As she delivered a classic ride start to finish. Definitely not a drill sergeant, Raisa is charismatic, bubbly, welcoming and encouraging. All the songs on her playlist were manageable as far as speeds go and the choreography won’t overwhelm you – tap backs, crunches, presses, jumps and one around the world to push the envelope. She seemed right at home on the podium in the class amidst the heavily populated student body. 

SPACE

Staying true to The Handle Bar brand the Harvard Square studio has the same look and feel as the other two studios. So no matter where you ride you will feel right at home. When you walk in you are greeted by yellow walls, a large white reception desk and the trademark Handle Bar wood sign. We’d imagine the owner has a copy in her own apartment. The lobby hosts a very small retail area, cubbies to store your belongings (no lockers here) and benches to sit on. Rejoice, The Handle Bar Harvard square has showers! And not just one but three women’s showers and one men’s shower inside the locker rooms. Yes, you heard us a locker rooms with a changing area and bathrooms.

Inside the spin studio the layout is well planned out. The bikes aren’t too close together so we weren’t dripping sweat on our neighbors. But we must note that the instructor’s mic wasn’t ideal. It felt scratchy and was in constant competition with the music.

The Handle Bar Harvard Square
4.0

1030 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA
Cambridge Spin $$$

The Handle Bar Harvard Square

Cambridge Spin $$$

1030 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA