My indoor cycling journey in 2021 evolved in a fairly unexpected manner. Sometime early this year, a friend of mine posted on his Instagram Stories a certain sultry picture of himself by the pool at Sofitel Singapore City Centre. Known for his blog in which he writes about frequent flyer miles, credit cards and hotel chains, this friend had undergone dramatic weight loss since the start of the pandemic by attending spin classes regularly, sometimes twice a day. The visible difference in his appearance as well as teasing suggestion of Barry’s Bootcamp-boosted chestly muscularity – the frame had tastefully cut above the nippular area – had some effect on our mutual audiences, some of whom for whatever reason forwarded the story to me accompanied by messages such as “wah wah now he’s damn fit” and “this blogger is now very fit sia”.

Why? I mean….why?

I shared this amusing incident with the friend in question, and our conversation soon turned to indoor cycling and his experiences at Absolute Cycle, where he regularly attends spin classes. By then, I had actually started spinning regularly at a new fitness studio in Singapore and was already sold on the spin concept, to the point of extolling the virtues of indoor rhythmic cycling in writing, but his anecdotes about spin helping him keep fit, the phenomenon of superstar instructors as well as the often insane demand for class slots sparked a further curiosity in me about the indoor cycling scene in Singapore beyond my regular spin studio. I was thus inspired to experience and write about every notable spin studio in Singapore, understand the spin industry better and find out what sets different studios and instructors apart from each other.

Equipped with a new pair of padded shorts from Decathlon (or, as I like to call them, “well-cushioned butt bras”) and across the span of three months, I signed up for trials (and, for studios which I enjoyed more, packages) at most indoor cycling studios in Singapore. It was not an immediately comfortable journey because of the inherent barriers to entry when it comes to spin. Save for certain beginner classes that some studios offer as well as brief introductory routines incorporated by some studios at the start of class, you are basically left to figure out everything about spin cycling on your own, from what the optimal bike set-up is for each type of bike you may encounter (e.g. Schwinn, Stages, Life Fitness) and what the correct posture is for when you’re on the bike to the steep physical learning curve when it comes to double time as well as how to perform choreography which requires both hands to be off the handlebar (sometimes when you are off the saddle).

In addition, spin culture can be fairly intimidating, not just because indoor cycling enthusiasts who post spin-related content on social media seem to always (i) belong to some fitness fam with every relative religiously tagged and reposted on a daily basis or (ii) be dressed in midriff/sideboob-baring gear or Lululemon, but also in terms of the pressure you may feel during class to perform at the same level as fellow riders around you who may double time faster, add crosses more frequently or perform hands-off-handlebar choreography with more poise and swag than you do. People do not usually ask for help when they need it – I recently attended a ride which involved a first-timer whose right foot got unattached from the cleat during the very first song and yet continued riding with that unsecured foot throughout the entire class. Several bikes in front of him was a gentleman who sashayed into class late and, likely due to not knowing how to or not having time to set up his bike properly, proceeded to spend the whole class with his body tightly compressed between the saddle and the handlebar. Seemingly unable to do any form of upper body choreography properly, he could only bob and bounce to mimic the action of a pulse due to his chest always hovering above the handlebar and arms unable to bend as required. (I could not help but notice and be distracted throughout the entire session because of the bright colour of his Solero-esque top.)

Given how trial packages mean I only had two or three classes with each studio, I was fortunate to have received quite a bit of guidance from both existing and newly-made rider friends as to which instructors I should try to book a class with in order to have the most fruitful representation of what the studio had to offer. “You HAVE to go for Aloysius’ class at Revolution,” a newly-minted spin instructor gushed at some point. “At Ground Zero, Sevian’s choreography is LEGIT,” another spin instructor shared. “Matthew from CruCycle does like 150-160bpm double time and I truly felt like a hamster,” someone else confided (and, for context, this person is somebody whom I once described as a lithe speed wizard, an Energiser Bunny on steroids and a bouncy jack-in-the-box, in case you need a better idea as to just how intimidating Matthew sounded at this point). Every recommendation given turned out to be right on the money. 

The 2021 Ultimate Guide to Spin Studios in Singapore is my valentine to the spin industry in Singapore. It has been a fascinating and highly informative ride, because only when you have sampled many different spin studios can you really appreciate the distinctive qualities that each studio possesses, not just in terms of the physical spaces, quality of instruction and choice of equipment but also the profile of riders, range of choreography practised as well as the quality of the overall client experience.

Most casual riders would likely have memberships or packages with only one spin studio and would not naturally be in a position (or incentivised) to find out more about what other studios have to offer. Through this guide, the goal is to shed some light on the different strengths and weaknesses across all the studios and inspire you to make a well-informed decision as to which spin studio best meets your specific needs. I hope the guide provides a source of inspiration for your spin journey, and that you will enjoy your experiences as much as I did.

Editor’s note: For a variety of reasons, I was unable to experience some spin studios prior to the publication of this guide. This includes X Spin Club, Axiom, RS Cycle, Cycle Beats Studio by Active Fitness and Oompf! Fitness. The guide will be updated accordingly should I have the opportunity to feature these studios in the future.

ABSOLUTE CYCLE

In a nutshell: The Fitness First of spin studios.

Locations: Centrepoint, Downtown Gallery, Millenia Walk, Zouk (pop-up)

Why you should: With four different outlets to choose from, Absolute Cycle is the biggest spin studio in Singapore. With compulsory beginner classes and many classes available throughout the day across the different locations, the studio is a great entry point into indoor cycling. It is also the only brand to have a studio set in the premises of a night-club (Zouk pop-up at Clarke Quay) for a unique, high-ceiling warehouse party spin experience.

Why you shouldn’t: Given its mass market audience, the hardware – think communal areas and shower facilities – may not be the most luxurious, and the studios do not usually offer any themed rides (e.g. 90’s playlist, Hip Hop, songs from Blackpink etc) which often do wonders in adding spice to your spin routine. Also, while the average choreography is not exactly easy, the fact that Absolute Cycle uses a different type of bike (Schwinn) from most other boutique studios (Stages) means you may not have access to more innovative and challenging choreography that are frequently performed at these other studios.

My experiences: The Naruto-esque and Red Bull hyper-charged Brian kept energy levels high, while Lionel clearly hammered instruction after instruction such that time passed very quickly just obediently executing his orders. Elsewhere, Chantal exuded doses of glossy-lipped glamour while the fierce Hyekel was memorable for both his distinctive-coloured fringe (he could be a wisecracking sidekick or villain in a Mortal Kombat/Pixar movie) as well as signature ringtone-worthy exhortations of “ah ha”, “hoo” and “OWWWWWWWW”.

ABSOLUTE CYCLE

Downtown Gallery
6A Shenton Way #02-01
OUE Downtown Gallery 
Singapore 068815

Millenia Walk 
9 Raffles Boulevard #02-43
Millenia Walk
Singapore 039596

The Centrepoint
176 Orchard Road
The Centrepoint #04-101
Singapore 238843

Zouk Singapore
3C River Valley Road
Clarke Quay, #01-05
The Cannery
Singapore 179022

Absolute Cycle Downtown Gallery Brian
Brian (Absolute Cycle, Downtown Gallery).
Absolute Cycle Centrepoint Lionel
Lionel (Absolute Cycle, Centrepoint).
Absolute Cycle Zouk Chantal
Chantal (Absolute Cycle, Zouk).
Absolute Cycle Downtown Gallery Hyekel
Hyekel (Absolute Cycle, Downtown Gallery).

AURORA

In a nutshell: The newest kid in town.

Locations: South Beach Quarter

Why you should: Originally scheduled to launch on 8 May 2021 (i.e. the first day of the government-mandated gym closure period in Singapore), the buzzy new Aurora was one of the first spin studios to announce that they were taking their spin rides outdoors…and, as of the point of publication, one of the few studios who are still conducting outdoor classes. It will be interesting to try out their outdoor classes to test their new bikes, meet their founding team of instructors (many of whom are making their respective debuts as spin instructors) as well as preview Aurora’s product offerings and general vibe prior to the official launch of their indoor studio (which, judging from their promotional videos previewing the very futuristic and Cube-esque riding spaces, ought to be quite something).

Why you shouldn’t: Aurora’s website promises an experience which brings you closer to Mother Nature, but it should be added that during morning and afternoon classes, said Mother is a female warrant officer conducting an outfield exercise – you will be getting fresh air, lush greenery, tan lines and a volume of sweat that is more jerrycan than water bottle due to the heat and humidity. When my 9am class ended, this lean gentleman in front of me who wore tights and shorts was so drenched that when he got off the bike, he literally released a steady stream of water from his body splat onto the floor in manner of a post-rain umbrella before it has been swished and shook. Pro tip: Aurora’s night classes fared significantly better in terms of comfort level.

Also, their Life Fitness spin bikes are new in the local spin studio scene, and my first impressions of the bike in terms of resistance, stability, comfort and general set-up are not as favourable compared to when I first tried the more common Stages and Schwinn bikes.

My experiences: Modern day Vanessa-Mae Shalynn valiantly disregarded the outdoor setting and delivered a commendably close approximation of the indoor spin experience complete with high energy, singalongs, calls & responses, generous quantities of crosses as well as formidable hair whips. Possessing a certain People’s Association-esque congeniality mashed with generous doses of Korean entertainment cheesy, Darren was the instructor who led the first ever outdoor spin class in Singapore since the gym closure period commenced, and he took on the sweaty, disorienting and distraction-heavy task gamely with much gusto. Elsewhere, while not quite a thunderstorm (which is the name of his indoor class), the slightly intimidating Brazilian-Japanese Kazuo (whose facial fuzz and wavy locks lend a certain Game of Thrones edginess) rode Neptune’s waves with high wattage tempos, most notably his “right chicken wing up x 8/left chicken wing up x 8/right arm throw back x 8/left arm throw back x 8” combination that went on for so long that by the end, underneath my mask, I was panting harder than a shaggy-haired Shih-Tzu under the Bedok Jetty sun.

AURORA
36 Beach Road
South Beach Quarter #02-01/02-02
Singapore 189766

Aurora’s outdoor classes are conducted either at the fountain area beside Lady M (Exit F from Esplanade MRT) or at the side of JW Marriott Ballroom (beside Armoury). All images below were taken prior to the issuance of the latest governmental guidelines which require masks to be worn at all times during outdoor workout sessions. 

Aurora Outdoors Shalynn
Shalynn (Aurora, Outdoors).
Aurora Outdoors Darren
Darren (Aurora, Outdoors).
Aurora Outdoors Krystal
Krystal (Aurora, Outdoors).
Aurora Outdoors Kazuo
Kazuo (Aurora, Outdoors).
Aurora Outdoors JN
JN (Aurora, Outdoors).

CRUCYCLE

In a nutshell: Fierce attitude, cult following and huskies.

Location: Duxton Road

Why you should: One of the original boutique spin studios in Singapore and possibly the studio with the most demanding choreography in the country, CruCycle has a loyal cult following and plenty of attitude. Eschewing the clubby laser strobe lights of most modern spin studios, CruCycle takes a different tack with spotlights and a sporty stadium vibe, which brings home the point that this is a workout and not some casual social activity. In addition, the owners’ huskies (who are brand mascots) as well as the instructors’ own furpets (including an adorable black French Bulldog named Boba Elizabeth) often make guest appearances in the studios, which lends to a very warm and convivial environment.

Why you shouldn’t: CruCycle currently only has one studio, and when they drop their weekly schedule on Monday afternoons, slots are snapped up ridiculously quickly within split seconds for their most popular instructors – we are talking not merely waitlisted (i.e. where you have a chance of people dropping out) but flat-out full (i.e. you can’t even join the waitlist).  Also, unlike most of the studios on this list, CruCycle is not on ClassPass, meaning affordably priced casual drop-ins are not possible unless you commit to a full package.

My experiences: Like a level 72 Mewtwo in a Pokemon game, Matthew was legendary, playing like the optional boss of a role-playing game who is definitely not compulsory to complete the game (lest casual players rage-quit in protest) but yet offers a whole lot of self-accomplishment should you manage to conquer him. The immense challenge lies not just in the insane tempo (which is significantly higher than most rides you’d encounter) but also the complexity of the choreography which seems designed to test your psychomotor skills and push your bodily coordination to breaking point. I went in and felt like a level 15 Eevee with Quick Attack and Baby-Doll Eyes while Matthew wielded high level moves like Psystrike and Aura Sphere. 

Elsewhere, the slightly scary and British garage MC-esque Shiqeen demanded high-speed and intense upper body physicality while the very likable and ebullient Jolyn was responsible for possibly my favourite spin moment ever – when the first chorus of Little Mix’s military-tinged Salute came on and the three riders in the front row executed the “down/both hands up/down/up cross” choreography with regimental precision in front of their supreme leader, it was goosebumps-inducingly epic. 

CruTV: When the gym closures were announced, I decided to rent a CruCycle bike to spin in the air-conditioned comfort of my home. Bike rentals during this period come with complimentary CruTV access for virtual CruCycle, CruYoga, CruSculpt and CruHIIT classes, and I played the on-demand CruTV videos on my living room telly. It must be said that CruTV boasts the most impressive production values amongst all local video-on-demand spin products on the market right now. Amongst the classes I tried so far, sunshine kid Kenny‘s frequent Darlie-commercial beams positively hurts one’s eyes like ivory lasers, while elsewhere the Lucy Liu-esque CruBox extraordinaire Bebe lends her boxing expertise to probably my most tiring home spin weights track to date.

CRUCYCLE
68 Duxton Road #01-01
Singapore 089527

CruCycle Matthew
Matthew (CruCycle).
CruCycle Jolyn
Jolyn (CruCycle).
CruCycle Shiqeen
Shiqeen (CruCycle).
CruCycle Rave Ride BeBe and Jolyn
BeBe and Jolyn, Rave Ride (CruCycle).
CruCycle Matthew and Boba Elizabeth
Matthew and Boba Elizabeth (CruCycle).
CruCycle CruTV Kenny
Kenny (CruCycle, CruTV).
CruCycle CruTV BeBe
BeBe (CruCycle, CruTV).

GROUND ZERO

In a nutshell: Winning combination of challenging choreography and a sleek boutique experience.

Location: Cross Street Exchange

Why you should: Boutique studio Ground Zero does seem to have the full package. Aside from its appealing industrial aesthetic, spacious common areas, beautiful shower facilities and highly Instagrammable lit walkway for them post-workout squad photos, the studio is also popular for their themed rides, which manage to remain dignified affairs without crossing over into gimmick territory, as well as their challenging choreography which will undoubtedly redefine what you think is possible on a stationary bike. You can expect to ride with both seasoned and mature riders here (read: less kids).

Why you shouldn’t: Like CruCycle, Ground Zero releases a weekly schedule, and you are likely to experience challenges booking classes with your favourite instructors. Also, some of the more faith-testing, hands-off-handlebar choreography – a Ground Zero staple – may not sit well with novice riders or those who prefer to stay strictly in their comfort zones.

My experiences: Playing it all manic, euphoria-charged Scary Spice performing at a sell-out Wembley Stadium concert, Sevian always cranked the handlebar-free choreography dial to eleven, with hovering front and back claps leaving the biggest impression. Asmine’s class was equally memorable, primarily for her signature pontianak-style isolation choreography (hovering above the saddle with your hands outstretched and off the handlebar). Elsewhere, Amanda’s “Ride or Die” advanced ride was a master class in endurance, while Joshua’s Backstreet Boys-themed ride featured a brilliant moment when he went “I can’t hear you” and cut the music before the room obediently responded “I WANT IT THAT WAY”. Pure magic.

RideZero: To make full use of my rented Stages bike during the time of gym closures, I signed up for Ground Zero’s video on demand indoor cycling class package, RideZero. My favourite class thus far was with Joshua, who played it all carefree Taiwanese cycling schoolboy meets American postman with his routine and on-saddle posturing – one bit of choreography even involved a move I call “throwing the newspaper onto the porch with gusto” – and it was probably my first virtual spin video so far in which off-saddle and hands-off-handlebar choreography featured fairly prominently. I am so down for more.

GROUND ZERO
18 Cross Street
Level B1-120 
Cross Street Exchange
Singapore 048423

Ground Zero Reception
Reception (Ground Zero).
Ground Zero Walkway
Walkway (Ground Zero).
Ground Zero Sevian
Sevian (Ground Zero).
Ground Zero Asmine
Asmine (Ground Zero).
Ground Zero Amanda
Amanda (Ground Zero).
Ground Zero RideZero Joshua
Joshua (Ground Zero, RideZero).

REVEL CYCLE

In a nutshell: Excellent location near Great World and Zion Riverside Food Centre.

Location: Zion Road

Why you should: I actually quite liked Revel Cycle‘s cosy and decidedly chameleonic studio, which was capable of being transformed from vibey candlelit dorm room to naughty university underground rave with a push of a button. Also, the studio’s strategic location close to Great World and Zion Riverside Food Centre means you are able to weave a workout easily into your social and dining schedule. In addition, aside from the usual rhythmic classes with choreography, the boutique studio is one of the few local studios which offers RPM-style classes focused on hill climbs, sprints and flat riding.

Why you shouldn’t: The premises – from the locker area to the shower rooms – lack the boutique luxe factor of its contemporaries. Also, the very new studio probably requires some time to firm up and tweak its product offerings.

My experiences: The sophomore senior/OGL-esque Chyna played it all breezy local approachability while the no-nonsense and commanding Jude, a mixture of Sandra Bullock and seasoned army regular, dispensed with sweet radio voices and instead ran each choreography combos like drills which you performed until perfection and went “Hydrate. Everything good?” without fail after every single track.

REVEL CYCLE
46 Zion Road
Singapore 247777

Revel Cycle Reception
Reception (Revel Cycle).
Revel Cycle Chyna
Chyna (Revel Cycle).
Revel Cycle Jude
Jude (Revel Cycle).

REVOLUTION

In a nutshell: Youth-skewing vigour and an abundance of classes all day, every day.

Locations: Orchard Cineleisure, Cecil Street, Frasers Tower

Why you should: With three outlets to choose from, Revolution is the second biggest spin studio after Absolute Cycle, and you would not have as much difficulty securing your workout slots as you would with other boutique studios. The average riding difficulty at Revolution is higher than at Absolute Cycle, with some instructors being comparable to the more technically demanding instructors at Ground Zero and CruCycle. Revolution also frequently organises various themed rides – from “House Party 2.0”, “Seoul Special” and “Cardi B vs Nicki Minaj” to something ridiculous titled “YP E-Scooter Upsized” – which keeps things fresh and lively. (I once saw an Instagram post depicting Revolution riders vibing to the Don Don Donki theme song. I kid you not.)

In addition, Revolution bears the distinction of being the only studio which offers night classes on weekdays – their Tanjong Pagar outlet has its last class at 9pm and their Orchard outlet even offers 10.30pm classes on Friday nights –  as well as evening classes on weekends after most spin studios would have ended classes by mid-afternoon.

Why you shouldn’t: Given the size of the Revolution team, the choreography, tempo and general standard of instruction will vary significantly across different instructors, and you are likely to experience a large degree of inconsistency if you usually book classes based on timing and convenience and not stick to your preferred instructor. Also, as the studio offers various student packages, you may find yourself sharing bikes with significantly younger riders, and your mileage may vary in terms of what that means to you. When I attended a class at the Orchard outlet, realising the median age of the attendees around me did make feel like an old pervert in a sea of XMMs (小妹妹) and XXR (小鲜肉).

My experiences: Classes with the effervescent Jim Carrey-meets-Pikachu Aloysius always feel like a Taiko No Tatsujin/Dance Dance Revolution advanced stage, while Queenie – possessing so much swag that she names her own classes Queen-chella and Queenie Level-Up – was a force of nature, possessing the red-hot firespin of a Charizard and what appears to be a full-sized Ninetales on her head which frankly deserves its own class. Elsewhere, when Mandalyn required us to extend our arms and then bring our elbows back into our bodies all the while hovering above the saddle and spinning as part of the isolation segment during her “House Party 2.0” class, I basically spent the whole time slamming my hands down onto the handlebar as I struggled to keep my balance, like a pygmy hippopotamus standing on a see-saw.

Outdoor: After the announcement of gym closures but prior to the commencement of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) in May 2021, Revolution briefly conducted outdoor classes on the 4th level of Frasers Tower. Unfazed by the outdoor setting (and aided by the gloriously high ceilings and godsend ceiling fans), Aloysius retained his signature 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt energy with plenty of hands-off-handlebar action in a class that so closely replicates the difficulty levels and vigour of the standard Revolution indoor spin experience that it genuinely felt more like an outdoor special event than one necessitated by circumstance.

Revolution on YouTube: Since their outdoor classes ceased, Revolution has been slowly uploading full-length virtual spin videos on their YouTube channel. In her video, the ever-reliable Queenie displayed the same manic energy as she does in person, and when I was already struggling with my 2kg dumbbells during the weights sequence, she seemed to get more pumped and shoutier the more tired she got while carrying on like nobody’s business and casually saying things like “my shoulders are burning like heyyyyyyyyeeeeellllll” with an almost Southern brand of sass.

REVOLUTION

Orchard
8 Grange Road #03-08
Orchard Cineleisure
Singapore 239695

Cecil Street
137 Cecil Street 
Hengda Building, Level 2
Singapore 069537

Tanjong Pagar
182 Cecil Street
Frasers Tower, Level 2
Singapore 069547

Revolution’s outdoor classes were conducted on the 4th level of Frasers Tower. All images below were taken prior to the issuance of the latest governmental guidelines which require masks to be worn at all times during outdoor workout sessions. 

Revolution Cecil Street Queenie
Queenie (Revolution, Cecil Street).
Revolution Orchard Dusk to Dark Ride Aloysius
Aloysius, Dusk to Dark Ride (Revolution, Orchard).
Revolution Tanjong Pagar Mandalyn
Mandalyn (Revolution, Tanjong Pagar).
Revolution Cecil Street Elkan
Elkan (Revolution, Cecil Street).
Revolution Tanjong Pagar Outdoors Aloysius
Aloysius (Revolution, Tanjong Pagar, Outdoors).
Revolution Singapore's YouTube Channel Queenie
Queenie (Revolution Singapore’s YouTube Channel).

R1OT

In a nutshell: Beautiful people in a beautiful setting.

Location: Robinson Road

Why you should: The overall R10T spin experience feels fairly polished and intimate, with the instructors (usually with hair so voluminous, long and lustrous they deserve their own L’Oreal commercial) favouring a more beginner-friendly form of guidance and instruction via soothing radio DJ tones as opposed to a shoutier and more rah-rah approach. Also, in terms of lighting, the studio boasts some seriously nifty lighting effects, from overhead flying lasers and glittering stars to the flashing white lights programme which sets the stage for some particularly epic battle atop a cliff between a hero and someone with a long beard and trident in the midst of a hazardous storm. However, the most commendable light feature is the cage of lights around the podium accompanied by a certain dry ice-esque smokiness which makes the instructor seem like an ethereal being descending to share some powerful world-saving wisdom. 

Why you shouldn’t: Given that the relatively young R10T is still finding its footing and identifying its audience, the choreography may not be as advanced as that performed at some other boutique studios (although I sense that most of the instructors are more than capable of switching things up if they wanted to). Also, while the Kiehl’s shower amenities are much appreciated, the shower facilities are fairly modest due to spatial constraints.

My experiences: The Nicole Scherzinger-esque JM always went all coy and “oh my gosh” whenever the opening bars of a track which heralded particularly vigorous choreography kicked in, while Carolyn, known for her classical music flourishes in her playlists as well as her signature Middle Eastern-tinged resistance tracks, sends up some gruelling Grimer and Muk-style quicksand moments. Former Miss Singapore Chinatown Mandi is the queen of the seemingly endless “up the saddle for a few counts/back to saddle and turn the resistance up a touch…and repeat” sequence, always giving the dial quite the defiant smirk with each turn. Elsewhere, there are spin classes which give you a good workout and good workouts which come packaged as spin classes and Ely clearly sat on one end of that spectrum. 

R10T
140 Robinson Road
Level 3
Singapore 068907

R1OT Mandi
JM (R1OT).
R1OT Mandi
Carolyn (R1OT).
R1OT Mandi
Mandi (R1OT).
R1OT Themed Ride Mandi and Ely
Mandi and Ely, ’90s Themed Ride (R1OT).

SYNC CYCLE

In a nutshell: Neighbourhood boutique shophouse spin concept in East Coast and Serangoon.

Location: East Coast Road, Yio Chu Kang Road

Why you should: Set within shophouse buildings located in the heart of two laid-back and desirable neighbourhoods, Sync Cycle offers a casual yet intimate ride experience conveniently close to East Coast and Serangoon Central’s respective arrays of dining and lifestyle amenities. Also, the unique layout of the Yio Chu Kang outlet – a long and narrow room with the podium on one end and rows of bikes gradually extending onto platform steps towards the other end – is pretty cool.

On an entirely unrelated note, the same studio is steps away from Song Kee Eating House, which serves undeniably the best fish dumplings (her geow) in Singapore, thus giving you more incentive to visit.

Why you shouldn’t: Like XYCO Studio, Sync Cycle generally keeps the tempo and choreography at a comfortable and accessible level in line with its residential setting, which may not appeal to those seeking a more advanced ride experience. On that note, like Absolute Cycle, the studios use Schwinn bikes, in contrast to other boutique studios such as Ground Zero and CruCycle whose classes typically involve more sophisticated choreography performed on Stages bikes.

My experiences: The small wins-motivational Jas punctuated her rhythm with encouraging belachan cat yelps as she ushered the class towards maximum effort. Elsewhere, playing it like an easy-going and song-humming adult version of Ralph Wiggum from The Simpsons but given an auntie killer upgrade (the Whampoa Drive wanton mee auntie who always used to upsize my noodles for free because I was a cute boy would no doubt also give him extra shredded chicken for his Ipoh Hor Fun), Jaryl surprised with his fast-switching and challenging combinations despite most of his riders being female casual leisure riders.

Outdoor: After the announcement of gym closures but prior to the commencement of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) in May 2021, Sync Cycle briefly conducted silent disco classes (i.e. with wireless headsets) at Capitol Outdoor Plaza. My first silent disco class was an “EDM & Future House” themed ride with Zac, who channelled energetically boyish Detective Conan anime vibes and threw in some high tempo single arm moves. My second silent disco class was a “Hip Hop Drops” themed ride with Vic, who ended things on a suitably breezy note with a Nicki Minaj track and deserved to win a “Most Caring ‘Cher” award for systematically monitoring all riders during the class to make sure they were doing good. On a separate note, the overhead and massive fans around the spin area were amazing and resulted in my sweat being more water bottle than jerrycan.

SYNC CYCLE

East Coast Road
282 East Coast Road
Singapore 428946

Yio Chu Kang
92 Yio Chu Kang Road
Singapore 545572

Sync Cycle’s outdoor classes were conducted at Capitol Outdoor Plaza. All images below were taken prior to the issuance of the latest governmental guidelines which require masks to be worn at all times during outdoor workout sessions. 

Sync Cycle East Coast Road Jas
Jas (Sync Cycle, East Coast Road).
Sync Cycle YCK Jaryl
Jaryl (Sync Cycle, YCK).
Sync Cycle Outdoors Zac
Zac (Sync Cycle, Outdoors).
Sync Cycle Outdoors Vic
Vic (Sync Cycle, Outdoors).

XYCO STUDIO

In a nutshell: Pet-friendly and zen sanctuary with comfortable tempos.

Location: Martin Road

Why you should: With its clean white palette, Dyson hairdryers and beautiful outdoor patio, XYCO Studio delivers a comfortable and luxe offering within the similarly laid-back Robertson Quay neighbourhood, and it is no surprise that expats form a significant bulk of the clientele here. In addition, this is one of the few pet-friendly studios around, and I have met no less than four dogs during my visits, including the adorable twin girl schnauzers Maxine and Mini who serve as unofficial mascots of the studio. Also, aside from the usual rhythmic classes with choreography, the boutique studio is one of the few local studios which offers RPM-style classes focused on hill climbs, sprints and flat riding.

Why you shouldn’t: In keeping with the chilled out vibes all round, the choreography is usually kept at a comfortable and non-threatening level, although you will by no means remain dry.

My experiences: Method instructor Dean – the proud father of Maxine and Mini – guides you on climbs and runs over an adult contemporary playlist (think Ricky Martin and Martine McCutcheon covering Donna Summers) with a firm, trustworthy and familiar accent that recalls Middle Earth tours and fishing expedition documentaries on National Geographic. Brandon channels his inner boys’ school student council president with his unassuming demeanour and gently encouraging style and will likely be someone that mothers at parent-teacher conferences will positively fawn over (and want for/on their own son), while elsewhere Dian has the patient grace of a Primary Five form teacher infused with a certain yoga-esque serenity and everytime she gets all encouraging and says “yasssssss” I just wanted to be her best friend and watch reality TV together. My 90’s themed ride led by Ruth was the first time I had to publicly perform the Macarena dance (or any music video dance move for that matter) and it was genuinely quite a lot of fun.

Outdoor: After the announcement of gym closures but prior to the commencement of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) in May 2021, XYCO Studio briefly conducted silent disco classes (i.e. with wireless headsets) at their outdoor patio area. During my visit, multiple outdoor fans kept the evening heat under bearable levels while the patient and instructional Tika tossed in RPM-ish elements and generous quantities of vigorous choreography for a suitably sweaty session.

XYCO Studio
22 Martin Road #02-02
Singapore 239058

XYCO Studio’s outdoor classes were conducted at the studio’s own outdoor patio. All images below were taken prior to the issuance of the latest governmental guidelines which require masks to be worn at all times during outdoor workout sessions. 

XYCO Studio
Reception (XYCO Studio).
XYCO Studio Walkway
Walkway (XYCO Studio).
XYCO Studio Bathroom
Bathroom (XYCO Studio).
XYCO Studio Dean
Dean (XYCO Studio).
XYCO Studio Brandon
Brandon (XYCO Studio).
XYCO Studio Ruth and Dian
Ruth and Dian (XYCO Studio).
XYCO Studio Schnauzers
Maxine and Mini (XYCO Studio).
XYCO Studio Rizo
Rizo (XYCO Studio).
XYCO Studio Outdoor Patio Ride Tika
Tika (XYCO Studio, Outdoor Patio Ride).
Author

Shawn is a full-time lawyer based in Singapore. Neither a professional critic, blogger nor photographer, Shawn is simply somebody who loves food and luxury hotels very much and (likes to think that he has) a quirky sense of humor. When Shawn is not premature ageing and turning his hair further grey due to stress and vicious deadlines, he is somewhere spending an exorbitant amount of money trying out new dining places and hotels.

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