This Soul Cycle Review walks you through what to expect for your first class in addition to the class format, cost, intensity level, what to bring, FAQ, and lastly my opinion on the studio!
Show up 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork and get a studio and bike walkthrough. Prices vary by city, but in NYC your first class costs $25 compared to $40 fee for regular purchase (almost half off). You also have the option to book 2 weeks of unlimited rides for $99. Your first pair of cycle shoes are also comped for your first ride.
For your first class, I would recommend sitting a row or two back so you can follow along the sequences with the front row to see their moves since it can take a while to get the hang of it! I highly recommend trying at least 3-5 classes before determining if you like Soul Cycle or not, since it can be hard to fully follow along in the beginning but gets easier over time.
(My one complaint with the first timer rate is that many other studios will at least offer your first ride visit free, so it feels a bit stingy for such a massive brand).
There are 2 class format options: Soul Cycle (45 minute ride) and Soul Survivor (60 minute ride). There are also many music themed classes you can find on the schedule ie a Jonas Brothers vs One Direction class I just signed up for this week!
The rides are typically a mix of sprints, resistance, pushups on the bike, isolation, and an arm weight circuit close to the end. You really get out of it what you put in, and can adjust the resistance accordingly. There are a lot of sequences incorporated into classes where you tap back with the beat, or alternate your hand positions in sequences to the beat. It feels like a dance class on a bike once you get they rhythm down.
What to Wear:
Girls: You can’t go wrong with a pair of leggings or biker shorts with a sports bra (one of my faves linked). If not comfy in a bra, there are plenty of cute tanks you can wear as well such as this Alo Yoga tank I love. You’re going to get HOT with anything more so I would recommend avoiding anything long sleeve. Make sure you have socks and you can either use your own clip in shoes, or rent a pair for $4 (first class rental shoes are free). There is also a Soul shop in studio with additional Soul Cycle branded clothes.
Guys: Most men I see rock a pair of shorts and either a T or tank.
Shop some of my favorite workout fits:
*Note these prices will vary by region* The pricing below reflects NYC rates. For the full up to date pricing, refer to their site here.
- First Class: $25 (in NYC – varies by region)
- Drop in Rate: $40 per Class
- Options to purchase 3, 5, 10, 20, and 30 classes at different rates ($114, $185, $360, $680, $990). Barely discounted more the more you book ie the 3 pack has a cost per class of $38 and the 30 pack cost per class is $33 ($5 less per class).
- SuperSoul (60 minute class) 25/50 class pack: $1,750/$3,500
- Student Rate: options for 1/5/10 classes at $28/$135/$260
This feature automatically fills your classes monthly at a cost per class rate lower than a drop in price.
- 4 classes: $134 ($34/class)
- 8 classes: $259 ($32/class)
- 12 classes: $374 ($31/class)
You can also use ClassPass credits to book a class. I like that this studio tends to have availability via ClassPass since it can be hit or miss depending on a studio. Just note that you cannot reserve a bike when booking through ClassPass, but you can usually get some decent location options when checking in. In NYC, classes range from 13-17 credits depending on time of day.
You get out of Soul Cycle what you put into it! The instructor will guide you on what resistance level to aim for/# of turns. I can find that a bit confusing at times on how much resistance I should be at so I just feel it out and try to push myself as much as possible during the 45-60 min. In a typical 45 min class I burn around 400-500 calories on my Apple Watch.
What to Bring:
- Water bottle: Make sure to bring a water bottle as it is hard to leave for water breaks once clipped in and class starts. Trust me, you will want water during. You can also buy boxed water at the desk for $5.50.
- Cycling Shoes: You HAVE to have clip in shoes for class. You can rent at the front desk for $4 or bring your own. On their site, they recommend any cycling shoe with “Look Delta” cleats or Shimano Delta Cleats which are compatible with their bikes. (Please note, I have not tried to get my own cycling cleats, so just going off of what is said on their site)!
- Fitness Tracker: If you like tracking your workouts, you can also wear an Apple Watch or other tracking device during class.
- Towels: provided for free at each bike
Soul Cycle Lockers
Lockers are free and easy to use. Just find an open one and put in a custom 4 number code to lock. I also like that they have USB ports inside to charge up during class. Just make sure to memorize your locker number since I have forgotten in the past and such pain trying to find! If you forget your lock code, they can also get you access back in.
Soul Cycle Locker Room Review
This I’m sure varies by studio, but most have showers, towels, and complimentary blow dryers/tampons. For the price point, they don’t have as nice of products you could get from another studio like Barry’s which has way nicer blowdryers (ie Dysons) and Oribe shampoo/conditioner in the showers to use.
Can I use my Soul Cycle membership across locations?
No, unfortunately you can only use your class series for the region purchased in.
What if I’m running late?
Just do not run late for your first class. Definitely plan to give yourself at least 15 minutes before start time to get situated and comfortable on the bike. If you are running late in the future, call them to let them know. You can join in a class up to 10 minutes after starting. However, I really have not enjoyed if coming into class after starting since it gets dark and can be stressful trying to set your bike up when everything has already started. Plus it’s only 45-60 minutes so you are losing out on valuable spin time!
My Soul Cycle Review
Likes: So my general Soul Cycle Review Consensus is that I love the class and dance like element you get during. I find the music themed classes to be so fun and the instructors seriously know how to bring the energy. I have yet to find another spin studio that can compete with the fun dance like sequences that are built fully into the classes.
Dislikes: The cost of classes is pretty steep and I wish you could track your stats like you can at Peloton/Flywheel (sadly out of business post Covid). I have generally found that spin classes with my stats on the bike motivate me even more to realize how hard I could be pushing myself layered with a competitive element.
Ultimately, I love mixing in Soul Cycle, but I find the cost hard to justify for what you get, especially when compared to other studios. However, I LOVE it for one off classes to mix into my workout routine when I feel like I need a fun cardio day. I also feel like you couldn’t just rely on a Soul fitness membership since the type of workout doesn’t vary or hit every muscle group like you can get at other studios.
Anyhoo, I hope you enjoyed this Soul Cycle Review, and let me know if you have any other questions! Be sure to also check out my other studio reviews:
I am excited to keep trying out more studios in NYC and will keep sharing more studio reviews now that I have Class Pass!