If you’re ready to tap it back, hustle, go around the world and sweat it out on a bike in a club like experience, we’ve got the breakdown of all the cycle studios to help you find which one is the best fit.
At face level, all cycle classes are pretty much the same: specialty shoes clipped into a bike, dark room, cardio workouts with “push-ups” and “crunches” timed to flashing lights and music, 10-minutes of arm toning, followed by a “hill” or “sprint” and inspirational commentary from an enthusiastic instructor on a podium up front, with cooling towels and luxury showers and changing rooms welcoming you at the end.
To determine what makes each one unique, I set out on a mission to dive into the nuances that makes each Houston cycle studio distinctive from each other. This list contains all the Houston studios whose primary service is spin (sorry Equinox, LA Fitness, etc.), to help Houstonians figure out which one is best to suit their needs.
In alphabetical order, here’s all the cycle studios in Houston:
- Colors: Red and Black
- Location: Sawyer Heights, Heights, Sugarland
- Number of bikes: 55
- Price: 3 for $24 for New Riders / $24 Drop-In Class / $69 for 5 Rides Sample Month / $159 Unlimited Monthly Pass
- What makes it different: In addition to being the (relatively) cheapest of the spin options, Cyclebar provides a huge community for riders. It seems like every month there is some sort of challenge going on that incentivizes members to not only come into the studio more often, but to make friends and visit other local haunts like Holler Brewing and Postino. The ride is somewhat different from other studios too in that your bike has a screen and tracks your stats — you get a post-ride email with them. There are TVs in the spin room and instructors will occasionally turn them on to show you your rank in class or to start a short sprint in which you use power to get to the top of the leaderboard! It gets crazy competitive. Instead of hand weights, each bike has a 4- and 6-pound weighted bar for the arm workout song. Lastly, there’s a connect song during each class around 2/3rds of the way into class. Instructors turn off the lights, have you cover up your screen with the towel and talk you through a thought-provoking reflection of sorts.
- COVID Considerations: Limiting classes to 18 people to maintain 6ft+ between riders.
- Read more here!
- Colors: Blue and White
- Location: River Oaks, Tanglewood, Heights, West U, Memorial Green, Bellaire
- Number of bikes: ~25-30
- Price: $24 Drop-In Class / $195 Unlimited Monthly Pass
- What makes it different: Each Define studio is a franchise and have very different classes and offerings. So when you buy a package, you can’t switch between location but you can choose the location that offers what you care about most whether that’s barre, yoga, or niche classes like hammock, trampoline, etc. The spin classes (called “Revolution”) can be found at a few of their studios in Houston. Probably the biggest difference between Define and all other spin studios, is that you’re not in the dark with a laser light show. Define studios are well-lit with large windows and plenty of natural light.
- COVID Considerations: Some classes (like Bounce) have been taken outdoors.
- Read more here.
Empower Fitness Lab
- Colors: Lime Green and Black
- Location: Washington Ave.
- Number of bikes: 20
- Price: $28 Drop-In Class / No Unlimited Monthly Pass, but 10 Classes for $200
- What makes it different: Their focus is small groups for personal training. Complement your spin workouts with yoga and HIIT classes to get a full-body experience.
- COVID Considerations: TBD. This place may have closed.
- Check out the website
For the People
- Colors: White and Black
- Location: River Oaks
- Number of bikes: 48
- Price: $28 Drop-In Class / No Unlimited but $240 for 12 classes
- What makes it different: Formally known as Vortex, For the People opened up when a bunch of spin instructors in Houston banded together to create a new studio that’s more inclusive. FTP is a Black-owned, woman-owned and LGBTQ-owned and run business. Assuming they kept the same light system as Vortex, it’s by far the best lighting setup with all sorts of rainbow color coordination patterns to flash and keep you entertained during class. Inspired by our friends at the Studio Form, on the 5th of each month we will be donating $5 per reservation made in all classes to local charities.
- COVID Considerations: Temperature check upon arrival. Limiting classes to 22 bikes.
- Check out the website.
- Colors: Light Blue and White
- Location: Upper Kirby, Galleria, Sugarland
- Number of bikes: 54, 48, 40
- Price: $28 Drop-In / $49 Unlimited Month for New Riders / $159 Unlimited Monthly Pass (just cycle)
- What makes it different: Paired with a yoga studio, Revolution’s spin classes are planned 15 minutes apart from yoga classes so you can “Hustle and Flow.” Expect a continuous meditation and inspiration from instructors to take you from the sweat-soaked bike ride to a hot yoga stretch sesh.
- COVID Considerations: Instructors are supposed to stay on the podium (but sometimes they get off). Specific lockers are marked for use. Currently, 22, 22, and 18 bikes available, at the studios respectively.
- Read more here!
RIDE Indoor Cycling
- Colors: Orange and White
- Location: Heights, Woodlands, West U
- Number of bikes: 45
- Price: $15 Drop-In Class / 2-week Free Corporate Trial / No Unlimited Monthly Pass, but 10 Classes for $205
- What makes it different: Expect your standard spin class with lights, bumping music, sweaty mirrors and all around good cardio. During the arms section, they’re known to do different things with the towel and resistance bands instead of just weights.
- COVID Considerations: Nurse (and influencer!) drop-in rate of $16. Operating at 50% capacity to maintain social distancing.
- Read more here!
- Colors: Turquoise and White
- Location: River Oaks, Downtown
- Number of bikes: 40, 57
- Price: $24 Drop-In Class / $30 Intro Week / $195 Unlimited Monthly Pass
- What makes it different: Each bike has a computer tracker that monitors your speed, watts, and RPM, and after each class you get an emailed summary of your performance. The Downtown location is centrally located and one of the only fitness studios in the area, so it’s perfect for your pre or post-work sweat sesh. Get a free class added to your account to use within 30 days of your birthday.
- COVID Considerations: Temperature check upon arrival. However, studio is operating at 75% so at peak times expect to have 30-40 people in class with bikes within less than 2 feet of each other. Also instructor got off the podium (mask-less) and walked around the room.
- Read more here!
- Colors: Yellow and White
- Location: Upper Kirby, Memorial (temporarily closed)
- Number of bikes: 56, 60
- Price: $30 Drop-In Class / No Unlimited Monthly Pass, but 20 Classes for $540
- What makes it different: SoulCycle is the OG studio that made spin what it is today–lights, candles, inspirational mantras. The instructors are the most extensively trained, having gone to 8 weeks of auditions and training in NYC before they get placed in a studio somewhere in the US–and the prices reflect that. That being said, the experience is seamless and worth the visit. SoulCycle cancels any class with less than 5 people in it because they require a certain vibe. Best way to get into a class? Plan ahead because that ish gets booked early, but also befriend someone who works in the studio. All workers are allowed to have a friend ride in a class during their shift.
- COVID Considerations: Temperature check upon arrival. Bikes spaced out to accommodate 6ft+ distance in the room. Lockers cleaned between classes. Currently only 16 bikes available. Instructors don’t leave the podium.
- Read more about Surviving SoulCycle
- Colors: Black and White
- Location: Montrose
- Number of bikes: 12
- Price: $40 Single Class / New Joiner 3 Group Classes $45 / No Unlimited Monthly Pass, but 20 Classes for $550
- What makes it different: By far the smallest studio in Houston, STRETCH provides a very intimate cycling experience with just 12 bikes. STRETCH also offers yoga and Pilates classes with a focus on smaller and private classes. Note: if you’re looking to spin here, bring your own clip-in shoes. They’re the only studio I know of that doesn’t provide them. Also be sure to swing by and snap a pic in front of the colored rose wall!
- COVID Considerations: Temperature checks upon arrival.
- Read more
To me the greatest defining factors in choosing a studio are: physical location, class time, and instructors. Once you find someone whose style you love between the music, their pace, and their workouts, you’re set. The best way to find your favorite studio is to get the sample week, take as many classes as you can with as many instructors as you can until you find someone that you jive with.