balancing @ b/spoke

This morning as my alarm clock went off at 4:50 am I was actually excited to get out of bed. My roommate, sister and partner in early AM workouts, had convinced me to try the 6 am spin class at B/Spoke, a new cycling studio downtown. I’m always up for trying a new studio and the location is right between our offices in the Financial District, which makes it a great spot for catching a class before or after work (or maybe during lunch if you have quicker showering skills than me).

The B/Spoke website had recommended setting up an appointment for a bike fitting, but Aki and I hadn’t been able to coordinate this, so we just planned to get there a little early for any help we might need. I still consider myself a novice spinner so I like to check in with the instructor to make sure that my bike is set up properly, especially because every bike is a little different. I want to make sure that I am able to get the most out of my work out, and prevent injuries.

Luckily the T was on our side this morning, and we arrived with time to spare. Our class was the first of the day, and owner Ryan was at the front desk to greet us. I had brought sneakers, but you can only use spin shoes on the B/Spoke bikes. Not to worry though because they have complimentary spin shoes to use behind the front desk. I was pretty excited because I have always wondered what it felt like to “clip-in” but have never been a frequent enough spinner to warrant the special shoe purchase. They also have complimentary water bottles in case you forget yours and plenty of towels for your workout.

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Say hi to owner Ryan when you visit!

The lockers are programmable, so you don’t have to worry about packing a padlock. My only problem was that the locker was a little small for my enormous gym bag! I had to take out a few things and stack them on top in order to get the door closed. I’ll have to try to remember for my next visit to pack lightly.

We found our assigned bikes, which you can select when you register. Aki had originally signed up for bike 1, which is RIGHT next to the instructor! Our instructor for the morning, Katie let her switch to a bike next to me since the class wasn’t crowded. I loved my spot on bike 16. I like to be near the front, but just in the peripheral vision of the instructor.

Once we had found our spots, Katie came right over to help us set up our bikes, and show us how to get clipped in. She explained what to do in case you “unclipped” while spinning, which sounds a little nerve wracking, but luckily didn’t happen to me during the class. After that we were off and spinning for 45 minutes.

My favorite workout song, Heads Will Roll by the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s came on and I knew I was going to enjoy Katie’s class. She had a great playlist that kept the class in sync with each other. It was pretty cool to see everyone bobbing along in the mirror at the same pace. Katie incorporated a lot of upper body work into the class, which meant we were dropping for push-ups, and tricep dips over the handle bars. We even did a section of side crunches to work the obliques. Because most of the work involved matching the beat of the music I didn’t find myself obsessing about the RPM monitor like I tend to during spin.

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Posing with instructor Katie after her great class! Check us out rocking spin shoes!

45 minutes later we had done climbs, sprints, intervals, and a good amount of arm work. We finished off the class with a good stretch on and off the bike.

I was a sweaty mess, so luckily B/Spoke has a great locker room! There are four showers which meant I only had to wait about 2 minutes to snag one, and they have all of the big white fluffy towels and hair/body products that you could need to get ready for a work day. Their locker rooms are outfitted with Aesop Body Care products. I love when studios feature a specific body product, it makes the whole locker room experience so much more spa-like!

The overall experience was fabulous at B/Spoke and I hope to get back there again soon. Cardio is usually a missing piece in my fitness schedule, and I think that spin is a really enjoyable way to fit it in. They have a great first month unlimited special of $99, which would be a great way to try all of the instructors.

Second visit update!

So I joined ClassPass (which is a topic that will deserve it’s own post in the near future!) I was excited to see that B/Spoke has same day sign up on the CP website, which means I was able to sneak in a class after work today!

The B/Spoke lobby was packed with people waiting to get into the studio for Stephanie’s 6:30 class. It certainly was a different vibe from the morning class which was only about 1/3 full! I could tell it was going to be a sold out class, and some people were waiting for the earlier class to get out to claim their size in the spin shoes, and spots in lockers.

This time when I checked in I was assigned my bike number, because you can’t select your spot through CP. Because of this I actually ended up on bike 4, in the front row right next to the instructor! This was a spot I would never have chosen on my own, but it proves that stepping outside your comfort zone is worth it because I found out that I was super motivated to keep up, even when my legs were dying!

Stephanie’s class was great, and had a different style of working in upper body toning. Instead of a lot of upper body work during the sprints and hills we did two separate songs with the weights while spinning with almost no tension. Both classes left me feeling a good old arm burn!



The Deets:

Studio: B/Spoke

Location: 101 Federal Street, Boston (Downtown Crossing / Financial District)

Times: Weekday classes start early, from a 5:30 am start to 6:30 am at the latest. The last weekday class starts at 6:30 pm. There is only one morning class per day on the weekend, but it sounds like more are in the works! Check out the full schedule here.

Intensity (1-10): 7. Spin is one of those classes that is all about what you make it! So if you want to crush it, turn up that dial! If your legs are burnt out from yesterday’s Bootcamp be a little bit more conservative.

Cost: The first class is free! Single drop in classes – $27. See their website for package rates of 5, 10, 25, & 50 classes. There is also a great student price of $19 a class! See all of your rate options here.


Or visit up to 3 times a month if you are on ClassPass!




3 thoughts on “balancing @ b/spoke

  1. Pingback: the gym alternative – classpass | Balancing Blonde

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