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For those who couldn’t care less about indoor cycling, know one thing: we have big news. SoulCycle London has landed. Founded in the US in 2006 and operating in 15 states, it’s the mommy of the spin studio concept. Now, for its first UK posting, it’s chosen Soho as home. But will the all-American enthusiasm translate? How will Londoners handle the high fives?
London’s spin scene is anything but lacking. There are cycling juggernauts all over the city, each with carefully curated cult followings of their own. This US puppy had to make its mark – and it’s definitely bought its A-game. Staff as bubbly as cheerleaders greet you in the showroom. Part shop, part café, part check-in desk, the experience is nothing short of lovely. Likewise, the changing rooms – which are typically bustling and bright – pump out tunes to fit the mood. The space is immaculate, with fluffy towels, marble showers and everything you might need, from charging plugs in the lockers to Drunk Elephant face serum. There’s even a water purifier.
But SoulCycle’s mighty reputation really takes hold in the studio downstairs. 45 minutes of intense energy and release await, guided by ridiculously impressive instructors who make you forget you’re there to work out. It’s an experience. From start to finish, the whole room rides together, collectively bouncing to each track. The music is always on point, the routines tight and just the right amount of challenging (try Mantas’ class on a Saturday for a kickstart to the weekend), and everything is easily flexed for beginners to pros alike. SoulCycle may be at the more expensive end of the spectrum (£24 a class), but you do get a full-body workout that at times feels like a night out with your mates.
As for the whooping and high fives, expect a heavy dose of that. There are also grapefruit candles, a crystal to expel bad energy and repeated encouragements to chat to your neighbour. Judge all you like, but cynicism in a spin class is so last year. It seems that – in the current state of the world – London has been doing some soul-searching of its own: SoulCycle, we’re ready for you.