Indoor cycling isn’t a new fitness trend, but in Toronto it’s having a moment, with spinning studios popping up nearly as fast as cold-pressed juice bars. Credit the social “we’re all in this together” vibes, the party-on-a-bike tunes, or just the fact that it’s a great way to get your sweat on. Here’s your guide to the city’s spinning scene.
70 Dan Leckie Way, Toronto, 416.220.4641, spokehaus.ca
At first glance, you’ll notice the Instagram-bait decor (like the neon sign declaring “Music Is a Safe Kind of High”) and the chic athleisure lines you can shop, but beyond the attention to style, Spokehaüs co-owner Christine Tessaro wanted to create a community where cyclists motivate each other. Unique classes include the extra-sweaty Hot Box, where you spin in a studio cranked up to nearly 30 degrees Celsius. And brand new for this fall is #FridayNightFightClub, which splits your time between spinning and shadowboxing off the bike. 45- or 60-minute rides; $25 for one class.
580 King Street West, Toronto, 416.203.1811, quadspin.com
Long before the current indoor cycling boom, there was Quad, which lays claim to being Toronto’s first spinning studio—it’s been open since 2002. (Look out for the Retro Pricing promo offers—$66.37 for five classes, the best deal in town.) The soundtrack ranges from indie to house, and the workout will have you out of your saddle more than 50 percent of each class. While the classic Quad Ride will take you through easy, medium and intense efforts over the course of a 45-minute session, those who want high-intensity interval training can try the Tabata Ride. 45- or 60-minute rides; first ride free; $22 for one class ($15 for students).
1866 Bayview Avenue, Suite 103, Toronto, leaside.cyclebar.com
For stats-loving spinners with a competitive streak, this Leaside studio offers extra motivation: a “performance board,” with screens at the front of the room tracking everyone’s effort throughout the class and tallying the standings at the end. You’ll also get the results by e-mail, so you can record your progress over time. If you’re normally an outdoor rider but want to stay in peak condition year-round, this could be your winter training ground. 45- or 50-minute rides; half-hour intro class free; $26 for one class.
435 King Street West, Toronto, 647.559.5040, and 55 Avenue Road, Toronto, 647.559.5080, soul-cycle.com
Much of spinning’s current cool factor can be attributed to the rise of SoulCycle, which reportedly counts stars like Katie Holmes and Lady Gaga among its fans. The sleek NYC-based chain is known for its positivity mantras (you’re encouraged to think of the spinning sesh as a body/mind/soul experience) and for the highly choreographed moves (like push-ups on the handlebars, or “tap-backs”). Bikes are set close together in a compact, candlelit room, adding to the feeling of collective, “this is your tribe” effort as the group rides in sync to the soundtrack (playlist themes include ’90s hip-hop and Beyoncé). 45- to 90-minute rides; $30 for one class (90-minute rides count as two).
477 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto, 416.588.7796, spynga.com
When your body’s calling out for a downward dog, but you’re also craving an adrenaline rush, this studio offers the best of both worlds. Each signature Spynga class starts with a half-hour of spinning and finishes with a half-hour of yoga, so you get the benefits of a cardio buzz and a chill-out session. Even during the spinning, the atmosphere is more relaxed than other cycling classes, but still expect to get your sweat on: since you have only 30 minutes on the bike, the instructors will push you a little more. Afterwards, the yoga (flow or yin, depending on which class you choose) will leave you feeling both energized and calmed. 60- or 75-minute spinning plus yoga classes; $22 for one class.
688 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto, 416.410.7746, rocketcycle.ca
Studio co-owners Dana Rocket and Rory Pederzolli combine their passion for fitness and music with a desire for everyone to feel at home in the studio. Along with an incredible sweat session, you’ll get added inspiration from Dana’s father, Howard. Despite suffering a massive stroke as a result of a head injury during a football game 20 years ago, Howard attends his daughter’s classes six days a week, riding on a special recumbent bike. No matter what life may be throwing your way, you’ll find yourself digging deep, because if he can go the distance, you can, too. 50- or 60-minute rides; $20 for one class (student packages available).
Ride Cycle Club
98 Ossington Avenue, Toronto, 416.531.3100, ridecycleclub.com
Spinning classes tend to attract more women than men, but at the polished yet slightly gritty Ride Cycle Studio, the guy-to-girl ratio is more evenly split. The company, which hails from Vancouver, aims to deliver a full-body workout, with intense cardio plus micro movements on the bike. The light so stay low for the class, you’re basically in the dark, adding to the club-like atmosphere—and keeping you stay focused on your own form versus the hot body in the row ahead. 45- or 50-minute rides; first ride free; $26 for one class.