My first Cyclebar class

What is Cyclebar? Is it worth the cost? Sharing all of the details and a full review in this post!

Hi friends! Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful long weekend. I’m definitely in that, “What day is it? Where am I?” kinda mode. We had an amazing trip to San Diego – I’ll share more pics and adventures from our trip soon – and today it’s back to the usual swing of things. The good news is that I did all of our laundry before we left so I don’t have a mountain of dirty clothes staring at me. It’s the little things. 😉

With the exception of the cruise (since we had a full gym and free childcare on board!), I haven’t been working out much on vacations lately. It hasn’t made sense with our schedule, and when we’re walking around and exploring/playing a ton, I get in a lot of movement. It can also be tricky when we’re in a hotel – I don’t want to leave early and wake everyone up as I’m walking out – but since we stayed in an Airbnb, it was so much easier to sneak out. I left early one morning while everyone was still snoozing to try my first Cyclebar class.

The TDLR version: I wasn’t super crazy about it. 

It didn’t blow me away the same way I felt when I first tried Orangetheory, Pure Barre, barre3, or BODYPUMP. It was ok.


When I got to the studio, I was so excited to try out the workout. I’d heard a bit about Cyclebar – we don’t have one in Tucson but there are a handful in Phoenix – and I knew they used a leaderboard for the class. This was intriguing to me, especially since the leaderboard often makes me work a lot harder in my Peloton classes at home.


Cyclebar review

What to bring:

– Socks, a water bottle, a sweat towel

– Any comfortable fitness attire

*You can borrow cycling shoes at the studio. If you have your own, I’d just make sure they’re compatible before class. I’m pretty sure the Hillcrest studio used the Look Delta clips.

Here’s what my experience was like:

I walked upstairs and was instantly impressed by the design of the studio. It was bright, clean, open, and had quite a few Instagrammable red and white walls. 😉 I got my shoes, found my bike, and got set up. They use Schwinn bikes (LOVE) in a stadium setting, light effects, and had two large screens with a Miley Cyrus music video playing. I loved the vibe and was super pumped about class. But… it kind of went downhill from there.


I don’t want to say class was bad, but it’s not something that I’d pay to attend on a regular basis. In all fairness, I don’t think I had a strong instructor. She mentioned that she was new, so I feel bad because I’ve been a newbie instructor myself (and bombed my first spin, Zumba, step, and everything classes), but I didn’t have a noteworthy first experience. The music was great, but the cueing was vague and uninspiring. The worst part was that they only used the leaderboard two times for two 30-second sprints. (I realized after writing this post that they focus more on the leaderboard for specific class types. I’m not sure which class I took but it sounds like a performance class would have been more fun and motivating.)

After class, I received an email with my leaderboard stats, but I wish I could have seen them in real time instead of after the fact.


I think the leaderboard aspect could make class really fun and interesting, but I don’t think I had the full experience of it.

The sound system was incredible and loved the idea to play music videos on the screens before class. I also found the lighting to be moody and cool; it was a fun effect without being distracting. 

I liked the strength portion of the class. You use a short weighted bar (one is 4 lbs and the other is 6 lbs) that are like heavy magician wands, and perform traditional endurance strength training moves. We did some shoulder work, biceps curls, and overhead triceps extensions. 


I think like anything else, the instructor makes the class! I’m sure there are rockstar Cyclebar instructors out there, so I absolutely think I’d give i another try.

Also, I think they had way too many bikes in the room. There were 44 bikes in the studio (!!!!) and only 18 people in class. It made the class seem empty and low-energy even though there were a decent amount of people there. I understand why they cram so many bikes in there because during peak times, it’s probably pretty full, but it seemed empty.

Have you tried Cyclebar? My group fitness-loving friends: what’s your absolute favorite studio? 



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  1. Jodie on July 8, 2019 at 7:21 am

    It’s been on “list” of group classes to try. Thanks for the review.

  2. Liz on July 8, 2019 at 9:56 am

    We have a cyclebar in DC. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either. I don’t really like spin that much but I find this studio to be one of the least annoying ones (don’t even get me started on soul cycle) and decently priced. I will also admit that most of my favorite studios in DC, with the exception of maybe Barre3, are all independently owned.

    Have you tried SolidCore yet? Very curious to know your thoughts on that one!

  3. Amanda on July 8, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    I enjoy Cyclebar, but not enough to pay the class fees. Spin for me is a 1 or 2 class per week type of class, so I cannot justify the price. They offer some discounted classes as well as charity type classes that I have attended (maybe 2/3 per year sicne they opened here). At the moment, I am completely in love with Burn Bootcamp. The variety and atmosphere cannot be beat for me.

    • Fitnessista on July 8, 2019 at 1:23 pm

      we’re getting a burn bootcamp this winter and i can’t wait!!

      • Kathy on July 9, 2019 at 12:07 am

        I definitely think instructors make or break a class! I like CycleBar! I don’t love it bc I’m not super into spin classes in general. I’m a runner at heart although I love mixing it up! I enjoy classes where they use the screen to push yourselves during sprint sessions. They’ll either do boys vs girls, right side vs left side, or getting everyone’s average to reach a certain number. And I like to have multiple check ins especially when I’m near the top to try to push myself. I think that some of the stats are on the bike like distance and all your averages when you are done, I think calories burned is the only one that isn’t on the bike but is in the email.
        I just started taking a versaclimber class and it’s only 30 mins and a good sweaty filled workout, curious what your thoughts would be if you ever come across a studio!

  4. Mary Carter on July 8, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    It doesn’t surprise me the instruction was so-so. I met with the corp. people about franchising one of their other brands, Club Pilates, and I felt like they were too focused on trying to cash in on the boutique fitness craze while it’s hot and didn’t really have their eye on the ball with the actual product, especially given their growth phase. So I appreciate the honest review.

    I’ve been a Club Pilates member for years and the instruction just keeps getting less good while the prices and fees increase. It’s on my list to find an independent studio to join but the decent app and the ton of daily classes are hard to let go.

    • Fitnessista on July 8, 2019 at 10:49 pm

      i had no idea that they also owned club pilates. that’s also very hit or miss. the club pilates in san diego was great and i haven’t heard good things about the studio here, so i haven’t even ventured to check it out

  5. Dominique on July 8, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    Great review, glad to know I’m not alone in my experience! I tried my first Cyclebar class recently when my friend found a deal for discounted first-time rides. Like you, I was disappointed with the lack of leaderboards use and overall not terribly impressed with the class. I will say it was a great cardio workout (there’s being in shape, and then theres being in *spin class shape* you know?) and our class was a 90s pop/hip hop theme so the music was so fun! I’d go again for a theme workout for a girls night with my friends, but personally wouldn’t pay for regular classes.

    • Crystal on July 8, 2019 at 6:38 pm

      I haven’t tried Cyclebar, but I’m a Soulcycle devotee, so idk. I really feed off the energy of the instructor and other people in class, so that’s a bummer that this wasn’t so great.

      • Fitnessista on July 8, 2019 at 10:48 pm

        i still want to try soulcycle! i also feed off the energy of others so it was very meh

    • Fitnessista on July 8, 2019 at 10:49 pm

      same – i think i would do a theme workout, but it’s not anything i want to add into my regular rotation

  6. Lindsay on July 8, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    I am so glad that I am not missing out with not having access to Cyclebar. I live in Minnesota where there a number of Lifetime Fitness locations within driving distance. I belong to one and go to two. lol. So I am fortunate to have access to multiple different instructors. I go to one type of class and when there are two different instructors I get two completely different workouts. Also the two different gyms have completely different feels. Do you ever go to Lifetime??

    • Fitnessista on July 8, 2019 at 10:48 pm

      you’re not missing out at all. i WISH we had a lifetime!!! i’ve only been once (in las vegas) and it was incredible

      • Lindsay on July 9, 2019 at 8:43 am

        If you ever come to Minneapolis I’ll totally hook you up with some awesome spin classes! There are so many bikers in Minnesota that the spin classes have to be pretty awesome!!

        • Fitnessista on July 10, 2019 at 10:34 am

          that would be amazing!

  7. Cristy on July 9, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    We have one in Miami. Tried it a few times and never went back. I agree….the leaderboard seemed useless. I wasn’t impressed overall. We have incredible fitness studios here and in my opinion Cyclebar was eh.

    • Fitnessista on July 10, 2019 at 10:34 am

      totally agree. i was meh about the whole thing

  8. elizabeth on July 12, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    I agree. We have some in Chicago and while I liked it, it wasn’t better than Flywheel. I still haven’t tried Soul Cycle after all this time and we also have a few of those.

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