Review: San Diego Spinning (Pure Studio VS Rush Indoor Cycling VS SparkCycle)
Spinning, also known as “indoor cycling” has become a fan favorite for fitness warriors looking to burn calories efficiently. My wife has been taking spinning classes for several years and in the past month, had the opportunity to try a few different spinning classes in San Diego.
If you’re a frequent reader of my blog, you’d know that my wife and I live in New York City. Well, when it came to working out, I simply preferred taking the elevator in my building to access our complimentary gym while my wife, on the other hand, decided that she needed more motivation to workout so she signed up to spinning classes.
What does she think of spinning classes? She’s loved them.
Back in 2011 she gave birth to our second baby girl and she wasn’t afraid to constantly point out her “baby fat” and that she needs to get back in shape. She tried going to the gym with me, taking diet supplements, yoga classes – none of it really stuck with her. It either didn’t work, or she quickly lost motivation to keep ongoing. When she discovered “spinning” in early 2012, she gave it a go, and has stuck to it ever since. Now we’ve been able to keep our dog healthy by being subscribed to NomNomNow, which you can find in this review, but finding something for my wife was difficult until she tried spinning!
What is spinning and what should you expect?
Think of it this way, instead of riding your personal bicycle through your local park, you’ll be seated in a bike shaped and fitted to burn the most optimal amount of calories while experiencing the thrill and push of being within a team. When you enter a spinning studio, you’ll find a seat between 15-25 other members. You’ll adjust the bike (with the help of your instructor) to the point of perfect form. The room becomes dark, colorful lights begin to hit the walls, and the music begins to flow. From there, for the next 45 minutes to an hour, your instructor will be pushing, motivating and guiding you through your session for that time. Best of all, YOU control the difficulty. If you feel that you’re not in the best of shape, you may use a lower resistance and then build up from there. Most importantly, you can expect to burn as much as 800 calories in a 45 minute – 1-hour session when spinning.
I guess your next question might be, did it work for my wife?
Yes, very much so. Today, she weighs as much as she did before she gave birth to our first baby, so we’re talking about 25-30 pounds lighter.
Where does San Diego spinning classes come into the picture?
Three weeks ago we flew to San Diego for a friend’s marriage. During our time in SD, my wife suggested that she give a few local spinning classes a try. She was already bummed out on the fact that she was missing two classes in NYC, so she decided to try to make up for them while in SD. Fortunately, many spinning studios in SD offer single class options so there wouldn’t be much commitment.
Considering that most spin studios offer a lower price as a first-time customer, she also made the decision to try a different fitness center each time.
So…this is why today my wife and I will be reviewing the spin studios that she has personally tried in SD.
What are the three spinning studios that my wife tried?
Rush Cycle on Roselle St. Pure Indoor Cycling on W A St. Lastly, Spark Cycle on Fay Ave.
Pure Indoor Cycling
401 W A St #140
San Diego, CA 92101
Pure Indoor Cycling (Pure Studio) was my wife’s favorite spinning studio! From the moment that we walked in, we noticed how modern, clean and new the whole facility was. We spoke to the receptionist (Angelica) behind the counter for a bit and found out that they’ve only opened earlier this year so that explains our delight with the facility.
Angelica helped my wife check in with an easy to use iPad at the front desk. She also offered my wife a free water bottle container and spinning shoes. The fact that Pure Studio provides free spinning shoe rentals is impressive because nearly all studios charge to use a rental pair.
From here on, I’ll let my wife describe her experience since she was the one who took the class.
Wife’s Review: The spinning room was very clean, and the bikes felt brand new. When I first approached my bike, Jessica, the instructor approached me, introduced herself and helped me fit into the bike. They did a fantastic job with the lights in the room and played good music throughout the workout. Jessica ran the class well, kept the class motivated the whole time and most of all, made us work hard. Throughout different points in the class, we were given weights and continued cycling while working on our upper bodies.
Within 5 minutes, I was already sweating through my shirt. I did appreciate the great ventilation throughout the room since it made it easier to breathe throughout the workout. I had the chance to visit the restroom after the workout and it was spacious with plenty of amenities. I was able to take a warm shower, blow dry my hair, apply lotions etc.
When we were there, we noticed that there was construction in the area so it made finding parking a bit difficult, so you may want to leave home earlier.
Pure indoor cycling is undoubtedly one of the best spinning studios in San Diego. Your experience begins when you first enter the building, and you’re left amazed at the infrastructure and quality of all the equipment. My wife honestly said that if Pure Indoor Cycling existed in NYC, they’d have her business.
It’s hard to be on the fence with Pure Studio especially when they are the only spinning studio offering your “first ride” for free.
Rush Cycle Franchise
5628 La Jolla Blvd,
La Jolla, CA 92037
Our second recommendation for a spin studio in San Diego goes to Rush Cycle. Unlike Pure Studio, Rush Cycle actually has several locations throughout California and has been in business for some time.
We entered, walked by the receptionist desk, and began looking around, and even though there were two workers behind the counter, neither of them greeted us or asked if we needed any help. We actually had to wait a bit for them to realize that we’re waiting to speak to them.
Outside the initial lack of customer service, the place did look nice and clean. We inquired for a single class but were told that such an option isn’t available and that we must purchase the one-week unlimited plan for $25 for new riders. That’s an attractive price, so my wife took them up on the deal even though she would only make one class. When we asked about spinning shoes, we were informed that they are available for rent at $1 per class – once again, reasonable and we took the deal.
Wife’s Review: The room was clean, the choice of music was tasteful, but I wasn’t a big fan of the blacklight style or lighting. It kind of reminded me of college parties and it highlighted any fuzz or lint on my clothing. Most of all, I was disappointed with the bikes used for in their spinning studios. They felt quite cheap and I noticed that two of them weren’t in working orders. I typically prefer bikes that are weighted in the front because it helps with smoother pedaling, and many spin studios tend to have weighted front wheels.
Emily was the instructor that day and she did do a great job with the class. Kept us on our toes the whole time, and the workout was great. I will say that at times I did feel that we were being pushed a bit too far, but that’s just my own opinion.
What I was most disappointed with was the lack of showers. Their restrooms do not have showers so after you workout, you end up walking out of their facility sticky and wet.
7777 Fay Ave Suite G1,
La Jolla, CA 92037
Our experience with Spark Cycle was extremely mixed. There were things that we loved, and things that we hated.
When we were initially looking to book a class via their website, we settled on their “FIRST CLASS ONLY” option which came out to $10. Good price, no complaints. Well, being that we aren’t that familiar with San Diego, we hit a bit of traffic on the way there and underestimated how congested the streets are leading up to the facility. We ended up entering the facility three minutes after classes had begun so my wife quickly rushed to the counter to get situated. She was blown away when the receptionist informed her that it’s too late and that she will not be able to attend class today. It doesn’t end there, on top of that, the $10 we paid for that class is non-refundable.
In 95% of cases, after experiencing such an encounter, we would never bring our business back but we were impressed with how beautiful the building and facility was. Maybe they have strict guidelines? Possibly the receptionist was having a bad day? So we decided to try booking another class, and we did.
The next day we show up for my wife’s class, this time we left way earlier to make sure we arrive on time. I’ll let my wife take it from here:
Wife’s Review: The room was very spacious and there were plenty of bikes to go around, so the breathing space was quite nice. Our instructor did put in a lot of effort in keeping the class interesting and effective – so brownie points for that. What I didn’t quite understand is why the ceiling were quite low in the room. When we had to exercises with weights, and when I raised my arms above my head, my knuckles were nearly scrapping up against the ceiling. Other than that, the class was fun and the instructor did try to incorporate many dance moves into the workout – I enjoyed that.
At the end of the class, we were handed a scented moist towel which was is nice but definitely kind of weird after a spin class when your all sweaty I don’t really want a moist scented towel to put on top of the sweat.
One more thing to keep in mind, the ventilation was fairly poor at Spark Cycle – it was extremely hot in the room during the workout. It definitely led to more sweating, but I personally prefer to sweat more from a workout than from poor ventilation.
When it came to the locker room, it was gorgeous. They had showers and a few amenities. Definitely, a better locker room that Rush Cycle.
My wife and I had a fantastic time in San Diego altogether and we especially had fun visiting various spinning studios. We hope that our personal experiences and opinions can help guide you to the right decision. We tried putting together a pros/cons list after each studio so that we could properly rate them, and ultimately Pure Indoor Cycling was the winner. There was simply very little about them that we disliked, while there is much about them that we loved. Not to mention that they offer a first-class for free, which was the cherry on top.
Before we wrap this post up, we would love to share some tips to newcomers that are looking to get into spinning!
- When pedaling, make sure that the ball of your foot is over the center of the pedal.
- Make sure your clothing isn’t too loose, tight clothing will prevent the possibility of any fabric being caught in the chain.
- When sitting, your longer leg needs to be at a 5-20 degree bend. Never lock your knees!
- To maintain proper form, make sure to sit all the way back in your seat.
- If you have any back problems, raise your hand bars.
- When you’re pedaling & leaning forward, make sure that your back isn’t rounded, it has to be flat.
- Do not lock your elbows when riding.
- When riding hard, do not grab the handbags tightly, if you do so, you will tighten your back