I’ve always heard that Soulcycle is one of those things you have to experience for yourself. This past Friday, I took advantage of an introductory promotion to join the “Soulcycle Friday night out” event. So, instead of the usual ~$34+shoes, I paid $20 with a free shoe rental. Add in the fact that Devin was named one of the best instructors of Soulcycle nationwide, and it seemed like the perfect time to try!

I’ve gone to a few other spinning studios in Chicago, but Soulcycle was always hyped up in my brain as something super different or unique. I had even been to Dynamo three times in Paris this past spring, which I now realize basically a more chic “knockoff version” of Soulcycle!

The class process was similar to any other on Classpass or Mind and Body – you check in online, sign in when you get there, and then prepare for the class. I flagged down a staff member and was able to get set up.

The first big difference I noticed was that the bikes at Soulcycle are CLOSE! I’ve been going to Studio Three in River North, which has stadium seating (and some breathing room) between the bikes. If the girl in front of me leaned back while I leaned forward (which unfortunately happened a lot), we were basically hitting each other!

Another big difference was the arm section. A lot of times, the arm section can feel very “tacked on” to a spinning workout, ex. “now, we’re doing arms for 5.5 minutes”. At Soulcycle, we were encouraged to move our shoulders and do more “dance-type” moves throughout the entire class. It felt a teensy bit more organic to me.

I will say that I liked the fact that there are no metrics or “metric boards” at Soulcycle. I was able to focus on my own pace of exercise. As there are no metrics on the bike itself, you have to control what resistance feels good and feels challenging.

The instructor was great and had really good music, although the music at the Soulcycle Loop location was LOUD. The girl next to me even brought earplugs! One of the most surprising things to me was the length of the class. It felt like we were in and out so quickly compared to other spinning classes! More than half the class seemed to be gone before the stretch even began.

As part of the Friday night out event, I got a goody bag full of treats. My favorite was the Alex and Ani Charity by Design Bike Bangle with charm. We also got a Tarte reusable water bottle, protein bars, Soulcycle sunglasses, a small mirror and a Soulcycle cellphone card case. (Plus, I love the shiny metallic silver Soulcycle bag it came in! My groceries never felt so exclusive!) There also were opportunities for hair braiding and makeup application.

Overall, I prefer Studio Three’s spinning as there is more breathing room between bikes, and the Peloton bikes are a teeny bit more comfortable. I would highly recommend checking out Soulcycle for one of its special events though – the Friday night out was well worth it for $20! Good luck in your spinning endeavors!