The Handle Bar South Boston



byCarolyne McManama, July 3, 2017

Is it just us or are spin studios popping up on every street corner lately? There are literally dozens of places you can go if you have the urge to spin/crunch/tap-it-back. The Handle Bar isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel (pun very much intended); they just want you to get a good sweat on and have fun doing it. It’s a super friendly place that will go the extra mile for the customer. So if you want a solid, fuss-free workout surrounded by smiling, happy people, The Handle Bar is for you. This is not the hardest studio in Boston, nor is it the trendiest; they aren’t incorporating anything crazy into the workout, but the tradeoff is a space and people that are welcoming, great music and the promise of a decent workout.



This class crept up on us. About two songs in, we realized we were enjoying the class a little TOO much. Translation: The class was super easy. We bopped around casually with some medium resistance and non-challenging choreography to some mellow Justin Timberlake, circa 2014 (which we loved so much that we added to our own playlist). It was fun, but not really what we came for. Just as we thought the class was a waste ofour workout time, things slowly started heating up. Before we knew it, the class went from “this class is for amateurs” to “this class is hilly AF!”

All of the rides at The Handle Bar adhere to the general template of spin classes–ride, then do some arm exercises, ride a little more, stretch, then walk out with your ponytail in a rat’s nest. Arms were a bit of a let down, as all the weighted bars had been removed from the bikes with acknowledgement but not explanation. It was OK, but not as difficult as a normal weighted session, instead requiring a lot of repetition to feel any burn.


Matt U. (there are two Matts) was a doll! At the beginning of class, he came over to the person next to us to wish her a happy birthday and during class he gave a shout-out to his friend who introduced him to The Handle Bar “almost exactly” two years ago. Matt kept the choreography straightforward, which is totally in our wheelhouse as sometimes over-complicated dance moves can feel forced and unnecessary. Matt hopped off the bike and walked around the room a few times but it felt a little inauthentic, like he only did it because it was in The Handle Bar employee handbook (or so we’re going to assume).

As we mentioned, class started off pretty chill but Matt warned us that there was a “serious hill” in the workout. What he didn’t tell us was that we would be riding that hill to Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet.” AH-MA-ZING. Matt’s music was fantastically random and slightly hip-hop focused–a nice change from the EDM playlist that’s been blaring in every gym lately. Matt knew how to get our hearts and breathing jacked. It wasn’t a lung burner or anything, but overall a solid workout we truly enjoyed.


The Handle Bar’s South Boston location is cute and matches the friendly neighborhood vibe they have going on. The lobby area is light and bright and the restrooms are stocked with face wash, lotion, and even dry shampoo. The riverstone floors are a nice touch too.

The lobby is a bit narrow so it can get kinda congested when hordes of sweaty class-goers are milling about, but we think R. Kelly said it best: “There ain’t nothing wrong with a little bump and grind.” We’re all friends here!

The Handle Bar always seems to have a fresh assortment of sassy merch (think branded crop tops and off the shoulder sweatshirts…SUH CUTE). There isn’t a ton of it, and the selection is constantly changing, so if you like something, buy it now–as we clearly learned the hard way.

The studio itself is pretty standard, dark with interchangeable lighting situations. We generally ride shotgun in spin class but made sure to check out the lay of the land for you back row people–and you will certainly be able to see the instructor from any place you choose. Post class we did some Twitter research on the arm weights situation, and found upgrades are to come (new bikes, new weights) Not sure why the old weights had to be removed in order to do that, but we appreciate that The Handle Bar is trying to up their game.

The Handle Bar South Boston

41 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA 02127
South Boston Spin $$$

The Handle Bar South Boston

South Boston Spin $$$

41 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA 02127

More studios in South Boston