You’ve probably already heard by now that we’re major fans of the Turnstyle Cycle South End location. So we were pumped when the opportunity presented itself to head to their original location in Back Bay and experience where it all began at Velo-City. But please, don’t make the same mistake we did; Velo-City is NOT TurnStyle. The facility, equipment, amenities and overall vibe is not that of its spin sister. But if we were to recommend a studio to our baes that are new to spin or want an unintimidating studio, the depths of the basement on Fairfield Street might be just the place.
No surprises here, Velo-City followed the same format as almost every spin studio in Boston: rolling hills, a few sprints, one big steep climb, arms and a few more sprints to take it home. It was also the usual suspects for choreography: push-ups, crunches and tap-backs. In this particular class, the choreography was basic and minimal, but we don’t always find that to be a bad thing. In this case, it allowed us to focus on our legs and “hit the beat” every time. It’s actually pretty refreshing to take a no-fuss spin class where you feel in control, not flailing around trying to keep up. We would recommend this instructor to our friends who don’t feel comfortable with choreography. Our advanced ladies and gents? Eh, maybe pass.
The M.O. of Velo-City (and Turnstyle) is themed rides. We like this. It’s nice to know what type of music you’ll be listening to for a 45-minute workout. The theme of our morning ride was KE$HA, A$AP ROCKY & TY DOLLA $IGN. See what they did there? Anyways, the music was On. Point.
Heather was pretty good. As we already mentioned, she didn’t throw in every type of choreo possible, but that’s cool with us. Her class was simple, yet solid. The class was basically empty, so we give props to Heather for keeping the intensity high and the energy positive. It can’t be easy trying to motivate a handful of sleepy spin bitches at 7 a.m. And let us reiterate our note above–her music choices were on FIRE.
Oy. Where do we start? The studio facility is definitely the downfall of Velo-City. Although the location is prime, right between Boylston and Newbury in Back Bay, the studio itself is lacking. It’s located in the basement of an office building, so it lacks natural light and, well, windows. The spin room is big which means that the bikes are spread out, allowing you to tap back and not feel as though your behind is in someone else’s face. Also, no showers. Bottom line: Velo-City could use a little extra dose of Turnstyle.
Note: When booking classes online you are not able reserve your bike ahead of time so make sure to get there early to jockey for the bike you want. The studio does supply you with free shoe rental so you don’t have to worry about lugging your spin shoes around town.
43 Fairfield St, Boston, MA 02116 Back Bay Spin $
Turnstyle Cycle Back Bay
Back Bay Spin $
43 Fairfield St, Boston, MA 02116
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Katrina is the definition of a morning person. She was so pleasant, we almost forgot how early it was. Before class started she asked everyone’s names, trying to get to know her 6am crazy ladies better. It’s always a definite plus when instructors take the time to get to know their regulars. Katrina worked her butt off right along with us, making every resistance turn and taking every sprint she called. We loved her for her positive motivational techniques. If you’re new to spin class, she’s a great instructor to break you in.
You know that girl in high school that everyone loved, who was constantly smiling and happy but you secretly wanted to hate but never could? We’re convinced that was Maggi. With a packed house and a playlist with all the inner workings of a kick ass class, Maggi was primed for greatness. Rocking out to Tina, Cher, Whitney and Christina Aguilera is our idea of a good time and Maggi treated us to just that. Smiling ear to ear for the entire class, she talked us through 45 minutes of all the usual suspects which amounted to a an above average spin class with no added bonuses. There was limited direction on the resistance and if you didn’t know where the dial needs to be, you might find yourself spinning a little too fast and light for most of the class.
We are usually suckers for packed classes and being surrounded by large groups of like-minded people. But on a morning when it was raining and cold a smaller class (5 people) gave us room to breathe. Brittany led a good class. It was as predictable as predictable gets at TurnStyle. If you are new to the world of spin and are looking for an unintimidating instructor to get your feet wet in the world of indoor cycling classes, Brittany is a great place to start. Her class will not scare you off or have you running for the closest exit. The only wild thing we did were a few fast sprints out of the saddle. Everything else was well within anyone’s reach.
Steph has a following and we are well aware of it. Her classes are sometimes hard to get into and she typically makes the basement fog up after one song. That’s the sign of hard work. We would call Steph “Classic Turnstyle”; delivering a solid spin class with pep and charisma that reminded us of Jane Fonda circa 1980. Our only complaint would be that that while riding to the beat of the music is totally our thing, the music beats alternated between the same two speeds. Fast, slow, fast, slow. With little variation in the BPMs the class felt a little monotonous.
Straight off his Academy Award winning performance in “Be a Marketer” Matt delivered a class just as we imagine cycling classes to be back in 2002. You know, before the influx of expensive studios, snobby clientele and excessive choreography. Matt’s class was simple but straight up tough. This might have possibly been one of the toughest spin classes we’ve taken to date. There was a solid mix of heavy (HEAVY) hills and all out sprints. He hit us with isolations – both in second and third – and then we peeled the resistance back, hit the saddle and SPRIIIIINTed. Our legs were absolutely demolished. We repeated this multiple times throughout the class. By the end of class, we were absolute toast.