Sweat City: Five FlyWheel Classes + Review

I had never taken a spin class before this. Something about it always intimidated me. I’ve halfheartedly biked at the gym for a few minutes a handful of times and I’m an occasional summer bike rider, but that’s it. I’d heard good things from multiple people about Flywheel for a while now. I even signed up for a class three years ago, but ended up ditching last minute. I never got around to going again until a few weeks ago. This is not a sponsored post—opinions are my own.

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Photo by Flywheel.

CLASS 1

I got there 15 minutes early, took a quick tour, and locked my stuff in a locker. Major props to the bathrooms having complimentary tampons, bobby pins, and hair ties. There’s also a water station where you can fill your water bottle with cold or room temperature water.

Ryan, the instructor, graciously and patiently helped me set up my bike. As I was test-pedaling I asked if my crotch was supposed to hurt, to which he replied, “a little.” He brought me a seat cushion, which helped, but since I don’t bike often it was still slightly uncomfortable most of the ride. 

Once the class started, the lights are turned down in the stadium, so it pretty much erased my feelings of self-consciousness. I’m fairly active—I exercise at least four times a week—but this class was quite challenging. The combination of the music, Ryan’s energy, and monitoring the torque and RPM’s (each bike is equipped with a little monitor) helped the time pass quickly. Incorporated in the class are also some arm exercises for a difficult upper body workout.

After, I felt great. When I got home and checked my Flywheel account, I was able to see all the stats from the class: how many miles, calories, total power, and how I compared with the rest of the class. There’s also an app you can download on your phone.

226 total power. 678 calories burned.

CLASS 2

Getting a good position on the bike was one of the trickiest parts for me. I used the same measurements from the first class, except lowered the seat one notch. I was still slightly uncomfortable during the class, but it was getting better.

It was Bernard’s debut class, but he seemed like a seasoned pro. As a perk of going to his first class, it was free! Like Flywheel on Facebook for deals and other special offers.

235 total power. 708 calories burned.

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Photo by Flywheel.

CLASSES 3 & 4

I tweaked the position of my bike again and finally found the sweet spot. Once I knew the flow of the class and found a good position on the bike, it was an quick and seemingly effective workout. The time passes so quickly! You warm up, do some interval training, and then you’re halfway through. Next is some arm workouts, a few final sprints, and you’re done.

An average of: 248 total power. 744 calories burned. 

CLASS 5 

This was a 60-minute FlyBeats class. The class was more of an endurance ride, rather than intervals with sustained riding and challenging hills the whole class. Instead of really quick peaks and then a rest period, it’s challenging hills and then slightly less challenging riding. The time still passed quickly and before you know it, the instructor was telling us there are only three songs left. The 60-minute burn was worth it for 933 calories burned!

311 total power. 933 calories burned. 

The control panel for your bike. Photo by Jennifer Liu.

HERE’S WHY YOU NEED TO TRY FLYWHEEL: 

  • It’s an intense workout and it’s really fun
  • The 45-minute classes fly by and you’ll burn between 600 to 1000 calories
  • The room is dark so you don’t feel self-conscious
  • The music and instructors are upbeat, friendly, and super motivating

There are some cons:

—It’s pricey: each class costs $28 (you save more if you buy more) or you can get a membership (the cheapest one is $250/month with a 3-month commitment).

—Each instructor has their own playlist and style of teaching, so you’ll probably find some instructors you like more than others. They are all great, you’ll just jive better with some styles versus others. 

—The music is pretty loud (they provide free ear plugs). There’s also a lot of WOOOOOOOO-ing. Prepare yourself. 

On location: I tried the Bellevue downtown and South Lake Union locations. Bellevue has free street and garage parking. More classes are offered at the Seattle location and while parking is a bit harder to find on weeknights, it’s easy later in the evenings and on weekends.

Next up: Three SoulCycle Classes + Review