Ten years ago New York company SoulCycle took indoor cycling and gave it an injection of cool. The format quickly spread to London and today there are dozens of places to go to get your high-energy cycling fix. Indoor cycling can sometimes seem a bit intimidating but, trust us, once you’ve sweated through your first, 45 minute ‘party on a bike’ you’ll soon understand why fitness fans get hooked so quickly. Spinning is a seriously addictive way to get fit. Motivational instructors double up as DJs; danceable soundtracks create a party vibe, and high-energy routines guarantee a full body workout. We’ve taken a spin across the capital to bring you the very best places to go spinning in London – whether you’re a cycling newbie or a cleat-clicking pro.
Seriously good spinning classes in London
A visit to one of the two gorgeous Another Space studios will inspire you to new fitness heights. Bright and airy, they both have large fitness bars and spacious facilities with some of the largest spin studios out there (no claustrophobic bikes packed in here, oh no). With regular themed rides – think festival playlists played at full-throttle – AS ticks all the boxes you’d want from a spin. Great music, comfortable bikes, free cleat-hire and motivating instructors who guide you up, down and all over your bike. Be warned: this is a full-body workout, you'll work your arms and abs just as much as your legs and it can be tough. The changing rooms are immaculate and everything you need is on hand; the army of unimaginably-fit staff are always happy to help.
Covent Garden and Bank. £22 per class, packages available.
Boom were the first to open a boutique spinning studio in London. Still paving the way, they’ve become one of the capital’s most popular fitness communities (you’ll want to join their colourful-leggings-gang too). Expect classes to involve a lot of switching between standing and sitting, endless arm presses and mid-session high-fives. The brilliant Boom instructors like to keep you on your toes, literally – this is ‘partying on a bike’ at its best. As for their four colourful studios: one sits pretty in Monument; another keeps commuters happy in Holborn; one heads up Hammersmith; and their new south of the river offering is part of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment, complete with an innovative co-working area. You’ll be a boomer in no time.
Battersea, Hammersmith, Monument and Holborn. £18 per class, packages available.
These guys have one of the biggest programmes of any spin studio in London – there are classes galore at the Mortimer Street and Canary Wharf gyms, as well as their newer spots in Shoreditch and Clapham. The loud and energetic sessions have been specifically designed to strengthen core muscles and hand weights are also used to make sure your upper body gets toned too. Expect lots of young things in expensive trainers, bobbing up and down on top-notch bikes (the weekend rides sometimes feel like an extension of a night out). Psycle studios are kitted out with everything you might need and the instructors are definitely some of London’s best. If slick, friendly and high-energy is how you like to spin, this is the place for you.
Oxford Circus, Shoreditch, Clapham and Canary Wharf. £20 per class, packages available.
Named after the beach in Hawaii where the Ironman World Championships start, Digme is serious cycling and stats – perfect if you’ve got a competitive streak. The challenging 45-minute sessions track your performance on a virtual display board, meaning you can take on your friends (or that annoying guy on bike 22) while cycling through mountain landscapes and palm-fringed tropics. ‘Ride’ classes are fun, challenging and sweaty; ‘Beat' is all about the music (no data); and ‘Perform’ is more technical and geared for endurance training. All incorporate mini-challenges – how much power/speed/distance you can push in 10 seconds, say. Yes, it’s competitive, but the atmosphere is really friendly – stay for a post-ride drink and meet like-minded bike enthusiasts.
Blackfriars, Moorgate, Richmond, Fitzrovia. £20 per class, packages available.
1Rebel instructors are endlessly chirpy: expect lots of high-fives and to be addressed as ‘rebels’. Don’t be put off though, it’s all part of the vibe. 1Rebel feels more like a nightclub than a health club and the five studios across London all have a post-industrial décor with lots of exposed brick work, pipes and neon signs. ‘Ride’ classes are usually 45 minutes and are often themed by music – like old school garage, or 90s club classics. Look out for their live classes where MCs and musicians give your gym session a gig atmosphere. These guys have possibly the best-equipped and most spacious changing rooms in London, with so many showers you rarely need to queue. High five!
St Mary Axe, Broadgate, Southbank, Bayswater and Victoria. £22 per class, packages available.
Much more than just a place to sweat, this fitness studio and café combo keeps west Londoners in perfect shape in very swish surroundings. Located just off Kensington High Street, there’s four cardio sessions on the schedule, with their popular Cycle class dedicated to straight-up spinning. Bikes are matched up with colour monitors so you can see how hard you’re pushing those pedals. Head’s up: the instructors are very demanding (in a good way). Core Collective is at the pricey end of the spectrum, but staff always go the extra mile and you’re paying for a gorgeous place to keep fit. Afterwards, make the most of their huge café area by having a well-earned sit down. It’s so lovely, you’ll want to linger.
Kensington and Knightsbridge. £22 per class, packages available.
London’s ever-present fitness chain isn’t best known for spin classes, but boy, does Gymbox know a thing or two about a workout. Their signature ‘Bike and Beats’ is an intense ride through the colour monitor: full of sprints, hill climbs and high-energy party tunes. In other words, a guaranteed sweat-fest. They also offer two other spinning ventures: ‘Cyclone’, which offers 30 minute quick fire cycling sessions; and ‘Cycle Connect’, which is all about riding as a group to achieve collective goals. The three spinning classes are available at pretty much all Gymbox venues and are perfect if you’re looking for something unique to shake up your workout with.
Various London locations. Classes included within membership options.
The mother of all spin classes has finally arrived in London. SoulCycle kickstarted the whole spinning craze when it launched in New York City in 2006 with its boutique studios, intense cycling routines, pumping tunes and motivational instructors. Part workout, part rave, part life coaching session, plenty of places have tried to replicate the SoulCycle model but the original is still the best – and the toughest. Get ready for some serious sweating and plenty of high fives.