Well, this got off to a slow start isn’t it?
But, Facebook marketing worked it’s magic and along came a free class code into my Newsfeed – and on Saturday, I found myself cheating on my beloved.
I’ve compiled a full ‘Pros vs. Cons list’ and comparison analysis. I mean, someone else out there has to be wondering the differences between the two, right? Without physically dragging your ass there to two pretty boutique, high-cost fitness venues? That’s what I’m for. Aside from the fact they’re both high-intensity, spin workouts, I actually did identify some MAJOR differences:
If there’s anything all marathon runners have in common, it’s that we are all super competitive. While Soulcycle is no doubt a hard workout, FlyWheel took it to a whole new level. You can opt in (or out) of the ‘torque board’ – showing how you compare to other people in class. Oh, hell ya. I LIVE to race against other people – clearly. I definitely found myself pushing WAY harder during my workout from the digital accountability – definitely harder than I’ve ever done before in a Soul class. I probably would’ve let my legs fall off before I left the class Top 5.
I have to say, Soulcycle has FlyWheel beat in this department. The whole concept of SoulCycle is a family-esque environment that appeals to your inner mantra. Not only do you usually recognize faces in class with you and have a culturally strong environment there, the whole class is more of a ‘zen’ experience where your best effort IS always good enough. FlyWheel is probably the exact opposite (or at least that’s the vibe I got in my first class). You are pushing yourself to the absolute max – which can be good and bad. I could see how being at the bottom of the board could be discouraging (especially class after class). Soulcycle thrives on a strong concept of not comparing yourself to others. HUGE difference between the two places, and could be why each audience is so loyal to their brand.
Bottom line – Shoes are a $3 rental at Soulcycle, free with your class at FlyWheel. This is huge – I really don’t want to buy my own spin shoes. Knowing me, I’ll just end up forgetting them at home and it’s one more thing I have to carry with me in my gym page. No fee to rental = best case scenario.
Outside of the shoe rental, the classes are both $30 each. It’s a tie! I am fine paying this fee, as I feel I get a high quality product at each place.
I got tempted to try FlyWheel due to a Facebook ad offering a free class popped up on my feed – your first class at Soulcycle is discounted, but free is free. Upon completely that free promo, a follow up promo was sent that if I completed three classes for the upcoming week, I’d be rewarded with a free one. Soulcycle does offer incentives for participation – i.e. a beach towel, a gym bag that I use religiously. But, let’s be honest here. Free classes are what I’m ultimately after – the only time I’ve seen Soulcycle offer that was if you completed TWENTY IN ONE MONTH. That’s a little extreme.
Tracking & Guidance
I’m sort of torn on this. While I love how FlyWheel offers the calorie counter and the resistance tracker on the side of the bike, I almost like that Soulcycle let’s me kind of forget about calories for awhile. Sure, I know I’m working out, but it’s nice to almost have that back of mind and just work towards pushing yourself. That being said, I know it’s hard to understand how much resistance to apply or how hard you should be pushing yourself without something visual, so in terms of beginners FlyWheel definitely provides a lot more guidance. You know exactly what number you’re supposed to be at – period. I definitely felt myself pushing a lot harder – simply because I knew exactly where/how much resistance I was supposed to be applying via numbers, as opposed to number of turns.
I’m not entirely sure why, but I really like Soulcycle‘s bikes better. They’re more of a true ‘bike’ style – it’s a little more forgiving to the choreographed movements that you’re asked to perform during class. It’s more comfortable for me overall, and I think a lot of that might attribute to me just being short (if that makes absolutely any sense). The common ‘tap-back’ command is a little easier on the yellow bikes, as opposed to the more slanted front wheel set-up a standard spin bike has or those who use the traditional spin bike style model. Clearly, I’m no expert on ‘spin bikes’ – so I’ve linked to what I’m trying to describe. As a regular spin attend-er, I like Soul bike better.
As much as I DID love the style of FlyWheel’s class and in honest, would highly recommend it to anyone that might just be starting out in spin classes. However, I really, really, REALLY love Soulcycle – and I’ll tell you why. The sense of community and familiarity that Soulcycle has built their brand around is really what makes people so loyal. The communication with instructors and ‘team’ mentality, as well as the high-energy choreography and ‘tribe’ like feel is much more appealing to me on a day-to-day commitment – personally. I am excited to go each week, where I can see myself getting the ‘dreary gym’ syndrome after one too many FlyWheel classes where I push myself to the edge trying to beat #3 on the damn LED screen. Also, for me, Soulcycle locations in regard to my office are just purely more convenient – which speaks volumes to if I’m actually going to get my ass there or not.
Let me know your thoughts, and if you’ve tried both!
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