We are obsessed with the space – this location should really be considered the gold standard for their NYC locations. It’s comfortable, sleek, and large, and has tons of towels and hair ties. Aside from the space, the instructors are good but not phenomenal. And the energy in the air is far from electric – a quality we desperately need to feed off before heading into class! It’s up for much debate as to whether or not the “stadium” style seating for these studios works, but in our opinion, this brand-defining setup makes the experience more intimate and engaged with the instructor. Even so, UWS lacks that sense of community that we thirst for and keeps us coming back. Moral of the story? Fabulous packaging, but lacking in personality.
FlyWheel, unlike its soulful cousin, is a huge proponent of competition and stats, using changes in “torq” (aka resistance) to increase the miles you cover and the power that you produce. It trades out the candle burning and mantras for a circular seating structure that brings you a bit closer to the instructor. Each “flyer” gets just a hit of visibility of the monitors of the bikers in front of them. Oh yes, there is a monitor at each bike that reminds you just how awesome you’re doing (or how much you might be dogging it). If that doesn’t build enough competitive tension, there are two large “Torq Boards” at the front to see where you rank against other riders.
Speaking of which, Ben is ALL about the challenges – timed speed rounds that are guaranteed to leave you grasping for that second towel. And there is no mercy during the hill sections. We are not kidding about those short breaks. We think his record was about four “pushes” in the same song.
Let us craft a mental image of Ben for you. Picture a buff Marshall Eriksen at center stage of a stadium taking cues from this genuinely nice guy with a bit of a biting sense of humor who isn’t rough on the eyes. Is it just us or does this lighting seem to accentuate the most attractive qualities of these instructors? Now, before you spend half of the class mesmerized by the blue glow highlighting his biceps, we’ll save you the time: there’s a wedding ring on that left hand. But hey, a girl can dream, right? Good looks aside, he is a fantastic motivator who rarely lets up on the torq. It’s one sprint or hill challenge after another with “active recoveries” that last no more than 15 to 20 seconds. Ugh. But when a sexy piece like him really wants it for you, you somehow find the strength to carry on. The one thing we will say is that we already have trust issues (damn you, Barre instructors!), so ease up on the “last one” comments, unless you actually mean it.
YAAAAAS QUEEEN! Flywheel UWS is everything a fitness studio should be in design. As for the staff, it’s hard to say what they are really like since we mostly engage with the tablets they provide for check-in. In reality, this is the only draw back we can think of – in their model, the staff becomes a little faceless instead of feeding life into the studio. Otherwise, the space is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. There’s a wide open locker/storage area, luxurious shower and changing areas, and extra hair ties and towels right at the door when you walk in. But the pièce de résistance for us is the fresh fruit available on the way out. Yes, we know this is available at all locations, but here on the UWS it’s accompanied by a super cozy (as in “comfortable,” not a cute way of saying small) lounge area. Can we just hang out here instead of at Starbucks and get work done?
470 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024 Upper West Side Spin $$$$
FlyWheel Sports Upper West Side
Upper West Side Spin, $$$$
470 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
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Bethany’s frequent saying was “just breathe.” The ironic part, though? We felt like we could barely breathe the entire class. Her workout was tough – from jumps to sprints to hills and tap backs, it was a well-rounded class. Bethany had a lot of energy, but lacked the ability to pull it out in the riders. At times, she bordered on overly talkative, which isn’t our favorite. That said, we were very impressed by her music selection. She was heavy on the party and EDM beats – our faves. She pedaled fast but could’ve had a stronger focus on form (especially for the newbies). Our recommendation: keep turnin’ up that torq. Bethany was very friendly and made riders feel comfortable, and this was a nice touch!
FlyWheel classes, especially after-work ones, are ALWAYS a challenge – and sometimes we find too many people getting competitive about those races. Brandon did a good job of making this class a hard but individual workout, which we needed on this day. We felt like we were pushing against our previous bests and the riding we had done earlier in class when he encouraged us through sprints and up hills, rather than fighting a losing battle against the super enthusiastic gunner next to us. Spin class always feels like you get out of it what you put in and Brandon’s philosophy was to bring out our best workout on this day. We’ll be back for this!
Brandon’s bio says he was in a boy band and we believe it! His music heavily focused on early 00’s Timberlake jams with a little Demi Lovato. He was pretty self-conscious in his pre-class intros and talked about how he didn’t want to annoy us but led a really good class and was super approachable afterwards. We loved Brandon’s hard sprints and how often he showed the TorqBoard, which allowed us to get a good power score without burning out in the middle of class. Brandon is our new favorite Fly Tribeca instructor.
Paige leads a great class with minimal chit chat and a motivating playlist, in a newish FlyWheel studio that maintains a few luxe touches from its next door neighbor, the Gansevoort Hotel.
Fly45 can be hit or miss for those of us looking for a very intense workout – some instructors seem to focus more on some good beats or just want to give shoutouts to their friends who are regulars, but this class was a great surprise. Paige took no prisoners and had us climbing a mountain right out of the warm-up, after which we were sweating the entire class. Switching back and forth between two different genres of music just seemed to make things go by faster, but we were working quite hard to maintain our position across a number of well-placed 60-second races to see who was working hardest in the class. This was a great sweat and a balanced cycling class.
Paige Festa is a great, intense instructor who provided only a little bit of extraneous talking while leading a challenging, focused class. This class had a musical theme of Lady Gaga vs G-Eazy but somehow this didn’t distract from a solid set of hills, sprints, and races that had us sweating for the full 45 minutes. Too often in a FlyWheel class, an instructor will avoid telling you how many songs there are after the brief arms section because their playlist may get cut off by the automated 45-minute score tracking software, but Paige did an excellent job of pacing this workout and letting us know where we were.