We have no shortage of workout options here in L.A., from great yoga (even free yoga!) to only-in-L.A. fitness classes you won't find in any other city. But when you really want to work up a sweat and burn some serious calories, there's no better option than a spin class. So which of L.A.'s indoor cycling studios are legit workouts and which are just spinning your wheels? Two weeks, more than a dozen classes and countless commands to "back that ass up" later, here’s our list of the best spin studios in Los Angeles. (Oh and guys, chilled eucalyptus towels are a thing.)
Spin class options in L.A.
There’s a reason why this studio is a favorite for the competitive (and super driven) types: Accountability. Glow-in-the-dark metrics displaying resistance, RPM and power are right on the bike, and if you participate in the public TorqBoard you can see how you compare to your fellow riders (perfect for competitive types!). This means no vague directives to "turn it up!"; high-energy instructors—Stone’s Energizer-Bunny-meets-Sargeant Foley demeanor is especially motivating—give you speed and torque ranges so you know exactly how hard you need to work. Flywheel also has studios in West Hollywood, Woodland Hills and Playa Vista.
Top instructor: Lacey Stone
Pricing: $25 for a single class, $220/month for unlimited classes. First class is $15. Free shoe rental, water and fruit.
"Don’t be like that lover that didn’t know how to get you off!," trainer Justin Squire shouts, eliciting cheers from the sweaty riders cycling furiously around him. What sexual ineptitude has to do with spinning we have yet to figure out, but this R-rated, hip-hop themed class was certainly the most fun of the bunch. Featuring a playlist no self-respecting '90s undergrad could do without (think Montell Jordan and Naughty by Nature), the ride takes place in a studio heated to 84 degrees, which ups both the sweat and endorphin factor. Hip hop hooray, indeed.
Top instructor: Jason Squire
Pricing: $26 for a single class, $149/month for unlimited classes for the first month; $300/month thereafter. First class is $10. Shoe rental is $3 and bottled water is available for purchase.
Located on the rooftop of Burn Fitness on the Third Street Promenade, this is spinning with a view. And some of the best views are of the comely clientele who frequent this class, led by the charismatic Ostrom. His dance-club worthy playlist promises to bring out your "inner diva," according to his bio. But jazz hands aside, this is one serious workout, complete with heart-pumping intervals, quad-burning hills and, yes, fabulous choreography.
Top instructor: Michael Ostrom
Pricing: $20 for a single class, $99/month for unlimited classes. First class is free. Shoe rental is $2 and bottled water is available for purchase.
The original yoga-and-spinning studio (YAS, get it?) has been toning up Angelenos since 2001, and there’s a reason why it remains popular: It’s an accessible workout that newbies can get the hang of right away, yet can be tweaked so regulars won’t get bored—especially if they choose the YAS Class, 30 minutes of spinning immediately followed by 30 minutes of yoga. We opted for a thoroughly enjoyable Lady Gaga-themed ride led by veteran instructor Sherri Rosen, and watched riders of all shapes and sizes get their Bad Romance on. If you're not near the beach, try the Silver Lake, Downtown or Costa Mesa location–they've even expanded to Portland, Oregon!
Top instructor: Sherri Rosen
Pricing: $25 for a single class, $265/month for unlimited classes. First class is $15. Shoes not provided (but pedal cages are available so you can wear regular sneakers) and bottled water is available for purchase.
Beginners and spin haters alike will find a gentler introduction to indoor cycling at Aura, where riders get a healthy dose of positive energy (and mood-ring lighting) with their tap backs. The effervescent Keelin Woodell is a super-attentive instructor, checking in on riders who are losing steam or need a different set of weights, while offering mantras like "remember your breath." The studio also offers yoga and TRX classes for a total body workout. Whether you're new to cycling or an old pro, Aura's psychedelic LED light spectacle will light a whole new fire under your hardworking glutes.
Top instructor: Keelin Woodell
Pricing: $26 for a single class, $285/month for unlimited classes. First class is free. Shoe rental is $3 and bottled water is available for purchase.
SoulCyclers are so devoted, they famously schedule their work meetings around the Monday at noon booking window so they can sign up for their desired classes. What inspires the fervor? A dance-party-on-a-bike vibe, complete with pumping music (they have the best, most perfectly timed playlists in town), candlelit studios and sexy instructors shouting affirmations. Sample rallying cry from the Amazing Race alum Alli Forsythe: "You didn’t get out of bed this morning to phone it in!" And while the megachain gets flack from cycling purists for their spa-like touches, those grapefruit candles smell pretty damn good.
Top instructor: Alli Forsythe
Pricing: $30 for a single class. No unlimited class option, but a 5-session package is $145. First class is $20. Shoe rental is $3 and bottled water is available for purchase.
Lunch-hour spinners flock to the 30-minute express class at Bespoke, which packs a crazy amount of cardio into one high-energy class. There is no downtime in this session, but as perky instructor Jules Downs reminds you, it’s only half an hour. True to its name, the studio pays attention to the details, offering spa-like showers, L’Occitane products and multiple hair dryers so you look presentable when you get back to your desk. Bonus: It’s in FIGat7th, which means lots of places to pick up lunch post-sesh.
Top instructor: Jules Downs
Pricing: $28 for a single class ($21 for express class), $299/month for unlimited classes. First class is free. Shoe rental is free and bottled water is available for purchase.
This is the only studio besides Flywheel that offers performance metrics on the bike and on screens the whole room can see. (Accountability!) Races can be incorporated into the spin routine, adding that extra competitive edge. Also, upbeat instructor Trice Johnson deserves a shout-out for holding an actual microphone (instead of wearing a headset) while spinning with the class. We were so impressed she didn’t wipe out, the class was halfway over before we realized how challenging it was.
Top instructor: Trice Johnson
Pricing: $25 for a single class, $99/month for unlimited classes the first month; $189/month thereafter. First class is free. Shoe rental is free and bottled water is available for purchase.
The most neighborhood-y of the spin studios, this Eagle Rock establishment is no frills (read: no showers), friendly and laid back. So laid back, that instructor Courtenay Wilks declared one particular tune "our first weed smoking song of the morning." It was a hip-hop themed ride, and a good one, with Wilks (accessorized in a Run DMC hat and silver high tops) yelling encouragement while making sure everyone’s form was correct.
Top instructor: Courtenay Wilks
Pricing: $20 for a single class, $59/month for unlimited classes the first month; $149/month thereafter. First class is free. Shoes not provided (but pedal cages are available so you can wear regular sneakers) and bottled water is available for purchase.
Even if you weren’t a fan of the short-lived reality series about Cycle House, Hollywood Cycle (and based on the dismal ratings, you probably weren’t), there’s a lot to like about this sleek boutique studio: Complimentary apples, bananas and oranges; a cute coffee shop next door filled with scrumptious treats that will cancel out your effort. But most importantly, the star of Hollywood Cycle herself, Nichelle Hines, who asks "Do you want to sit in the same bullshit? Or do you want to make a change?" while leading a class so calorie-burning, there were not one, but two brides-to-be in the front row.
Top instructor: Nichelle Hines
Pricing: $29 for a single class. No unlimited class option, but a 5-session package is $140. First class is $18. Shoe rental is $2 and bottled water is available for purchase.