CycleBar Review - The Prep, The Workout, The Community - Darby Nicole (2023)

CycleBar Review - The Prep, The Workout, The Community - Darby Nicole (1)
CycleBar Review - The Prep, The Workout, The Community - Darby Nicole (2)

I’d love to give a special thank you to the owner + staff at CycleBar Greengate for allowing me to use their space for this post + for always providing a community I am proud to be a member of! This post contains affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

This is a blog post I’ve been wanting to share with you all for a while now!! As many of you know, I genuinely love to workout (I know call me crazy). I’ve always been an active individual especially with my history as a ballet dancer. After I stopped dancing in high school (except for a few competitions in college), I continued to workout in what most would consider the “traditional” workouts – going to the gym, going to group classes, + even trying some online classes that I could do on my own in my home. After a lot of trial + error, I have found that low impact workouts are the best for me.

I first discovered CycleBar in December of 2019 + took a few classes prior to the COVID-19 shutdowns. I resumed spin classes with CycleBar in March of 2021 + decided this workout (+ community, which I will touch on later) was too good not to be a member of. So here I am 5 months + 58 classes later. I’m excited to share everything I know about CycleBar with you in this CycleBar review!

Signing Up For a Class

There are a few different ways to sign up for your a CycleBar class. Most locations offer a first ride for $10 by signing up on their location’s website. If you are local to Richmond, you can find this offer for the Greengate location by clicking here. There are also apps, such as ClassPass to access various types of workouts. The benefit of this app is that you can try different types of workouts from local businesses that have partnered with the app. This is a great resource for anyone moving to a new area to try a few studios before committing! If you become a member of CycleBar, you can access the class schedule through a computer or the mobile app. The app is very convenient for scheduling on the go + the schedules + you can book 7 days in advance.

Prep for Class

I ALWAYS have my favorite pre-workout on my drive to the CycleBar studio because these classes will kick your booty! Other than a light snack + pre-workout (for me), prepping for class is quite simple. When you arrive at CycleBar, you will have to check in on the Ipad at front of the studio. You’ll also need cycling shoes, a towel, + a water bottle if you don’t use it prior to class. The best part is that the cycling shoes + towel are provided, free of charge! You can also bring your own pair of cycling shoes with SPD clips, if you prefer. My personal favorites are from Time, as shown in the picture above. You can find the exact pair, here.

There are personal lockers available for any items that do not belong in the workout (purse or keys for example). There is a water station to fill your water bottle, + other beverages available for purchase. The restrooms are stocked up on hair ties, dry shampoo, + other products for use before//after your workout if needed!

After putting on my cycling shoes + grabbing a towel, I enter the studio. The studio is filled with numbered bikes + an instructor bike at the front of the studio. Be sure to check the number on the bike matches the number you signed up for. CycleBar stats are sent to your email after each class that show various measures such as power, reps per minute, total calories burned, + more! The stats are linked to the bike you are on, so it’s important to be on the correct bike. Also, you don’t accidentally want to steal someone’s bike!

CycleBar Review - The Prep, The Workout, The Community - Darby Nicole (4)

Bike Adjustments

If you have never been to a class before, the instructor (also known as a CycleStar) will help you adjust the bike to fit your specific needs. There are 4 places to adjust the bike which focus on the seat placement and upper body placement for a comfortable ride. The instructor will guide you for the best fit. But if you continue with classes, you will understand + adjust to what feels best for your body. There are numbers to indicate each of the 4 adjustments. When you find the set numbers that feel the best for an entire class, remember them for the next ride!

CycleBar Review - The Prep, The Workout, The Community - Darby Nicole (5)
CycleBar Review - The Prep, The Workout, The Community - Darby Nicole (6)

The Workout

There are 6 different types of CycleBar workouts – connect, performance, classic, empower, xpress, + cyclegives. For the purposes of this post, I’ll be explaining a typical workout in a classic class, since they are typically the most abundant on the schedule. For more information on the other types of classes, you can click here.

The studio is dimly lit to set the tone of focus for class. Prior to class, I try to warm up my legs by spinning for at least a minute or 2. I am also typically freezing when I first walk in, so you can always find me in a jacket or sweater for the first few songs. The entire class is built around what CycleBar calls CycleBeats. The tempo of each song determines whether that small section of class will focus on speed or power. The songs with a faster tempo typically focus on speed, while those with a slower tempo typically focus on power. The instructors really encourage each rider to get into the music + dance it out a little with some of the movements! The dancer in me really loves jamming out in class!

There is a red knob located in the center of the bike that determines the amount of resistance or the amount of pull from the bike. This will fluctuate depending on the tempo of the song. A higher resistance is used for the songs with slower tempos + a lower resistance for the songs with faster ones. The resistance not only changes between songs however. The instructor will also encourage you to change the resistance at certain points during the songs themselves to amplify the intensity or give an active recovery moment. It keeps the class entertaining since it is always changing.

There is a monitor at the top of the bike that shows certain measures such as RPMs, power, resistance level, + time. For first timers, this monitor is very useful to make sure you are at any appropriate resistance level or to gauge your power output. You can focus on pushing yourself to reach a new power PR or bring it back a little to focus on maintaining the fast tempo. While the instructor is there to guide you through class, you get to choose where you feel comfortable.

In the middle of class, the legs get a little break + the focus is on the arms with the use of a body bar. There are 2 bar options + the instructor goes through a variety of arm exercises to work the upper body. This arm sequence is one song but it really fatigues the muscles since there are no breaks.

Occasionally, there are competitions throughout the class. These competitions can be in the form of a group goal to hit a certain power or even an individual goal to race for the first place spot on the board at the front of the studio. This really encourages riders to stay in the thick of it during class + who doesn’t love a healthy competition?!

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The Community

I am an extrovert (surprise, surprise). + that doesn’t change when it comes to working out. I prefer a group class type of workout because I love the sense of community + creating friendships. Now, I understand this is not for everyone. But this is actually something I thrive off of + is absolutely necessary for my workouts. When I walk in to each class, I know I’ll see a few smiling faces at the front desk before checking in. + after attending a few classes, I became familiar with a few of the faces in my classes as well as some instructors. + let me tell you, they are so dang welcoming too! It’s encouraging when a fellow rider or the instructor calls your name in class to push you just a little further.

Something that I think sets CycleBar apart from others is their messaging. The instructors are constantly talking through class, keeping the mood as upbeat as possible, + offering some words of encouragement during class to carry with you throughout the rest of the day. I personally prefer to workout in the mornings before work, so it truly does impact how the rest of my day follows.

On the good or bad days, I always know I can show up to class surrounded by like-minded individuals who value a great workout. Those in your classes become a support system + the community they so lovingly participate in becomes like family. I’m blessed to be part of a community that values their clients just as much as the workout itself.

CycleBar Review - The Prep, The Workout, The Community - Darby Nicole (8)


Membership options + prices vary depending on the specific location of the CycleBar studio. Most locations run monthly membership options as well as packages of a fixed number of rides. The monthly packages include 4 or 8 rides or unlimited package + the membership price renews monthly. The fixed packages come with 10 or 20 rides + the package expires within a set number of months. There is also a single class drop in rate if you want to pay per ride.

As you can probably tell by now, I truly cherish my membership with CycleBar here in Greengate. I am so grateful to belong to this community + to have made the friendships I have. From the moment I step in the studio doors, to the moment I leave, I know I can always walk out feeling stronger than the day before. Another special thank you the CycleBar Greengate for creating such an amazing community + allowing me to use the space!

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