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 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 said friend, 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 seven 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. 

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 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 his 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).

ALGORHYTHM

In a nutshell: A spin studio in Bukit Timah Shopping Centre.

Location: Bukit Timah Shopping Centre

Why you should: Perched on the 17th level of Bukit Timah Shopping Centre and occupying a former office space, Algorhythm bears the distinction of being the only studio in Singapore to offer impressive sunset views. While the reception and communal spaces may feel more tuition centre than boutique fitness studio due to the unit’s origins, the cosy spin room itself manages to make the most of its basic lighting set-up, from single colour intensity and Paddle-Pop pulsations to the warm ambient orange light under the podium which illuminates the faces of everyone around the instructor who is situated in the middle like an oracle in a hushed campfire ritual. 

Despite being a lean team (business owner Simin currently takes most of the standard classes while her team members usually conduct the beginner classes), the studio makes an effort to offer a range of weekly themed rides to keep the proceedings fresh, from “David Guetta x Rihanna” and “Mandopop” to “90s Club Hits”. Their efforts to build the business and overcome the experiential shortcomings of the studio space is evident, and the earnestness of the proceedings does make me want to root for them and see them do well.

Why you shouldn’t: Given its very niche location and small stable of instructors, the studio’s use case does seem fairly limited to those living in the vicinity.

My experiences: A cross between a seasoned fitness instructor and a hip and caring aunt (by virtue of her frequent and endearing use of the word “baby” in an encouraging context), Simin provided a comfortable and conducive environment for a good workout.

ALGORHYTHM
170 Upper Bukit Timah Road
#17-01 Bukit Timah Shopping Centre
Singapore 588179

Algorhythm Singapore Reception
Reception (Algorhythm).
Algorhythm Singapore Simin
Simin (Algorhythm).
Algorhythm Singapore Simin
Simin (Algorhythm).
Algorhythm Singapore Mindy
Mindy (Algorhythm).

AURORA

In a nutshell: The flashiest new kid in town.

Location: South Beach Quarter

Why you should: Located right smack in town, the buzzy new Aurora is the only studio in Singapore to offer two different rooms within their premises. The bigger Infinity Room boasts the most extensive variety of lighting effects I’ve seen, ranging from dotted lines, rainbow colours and glittering stars to my favourite effect where all the boxes around you become TV static noise like you are literally in a reality TV nightmare. Mirrors on three sides of the room lend an epic visual expansiveness, while a smoky cage effect around the podium is employed at the start of classes for a sense of heightened drama. (In comparison, the cosier Experience Room is smaller in scale in terms of both lighting capabilities as well as capacity.)

Furthermore, Aurora offers three different types of classes to suit your fitness level and needs: Aurora Fundamentals, designed as an introduction to rhythm-based cycling; Ride the Aurora, the studio’s standard rhythm-based class; and Ride the Thunderstorm, the most advanced class with the most demanding and sophisticated choreography. Also, like Revolution, the studio offers an extensive class schedule throughout the day, with night classes available on both weekdays and weekends.

Why you shouldn’t: They are the only spin studio to use Life Fitness bikes, which I am not entirely convinced is suited for rhythmic cycling – the bike lacks stability and regular-sized water bottles wobble uncomfortably during times of intensive choreography, while the resistance lever – hard to adjust in a controlled manner whilst cycling off the saddle and also not easy to use with precision – threatens to stab you whenever you perform seated pushes and presses. 

My experiences: Offering high energy, singalongs, calls & responses as well as formidable hair whips, modern day Vanessa-Mae Shalynn played it all hip-hop swaggeress with a certain masterful illusionist quality to her class, keeping you distracted until you realise far too late that the entire class had been a massive double-time bonanza. The slightly intimidating but ultimately amiable Brazilian-Japanese Kazuo (whose facial fuzz and wavy locks lend a certain Game of Thrones edginess) sent up heavily choreographed sessions with signature lightning-fast pulses during his sprints while the (knowingly?) goofy YJ, who felt like a young Paul Rudd-esque Korean lead of a romantic comedy set in an engineering campus, was all about TikTok-trendy and cheesy dance moves.

Possessing much unbridled enthusiasm and a Hulk-ish upper back that chewed much scenery during the arms segment, Vehn went for heavy physicality when it comes to choreography, with his 45 degrees trench digging being quite the punisher. Lastly, blending the defiant attitude of P!nk with a softened brand of regimental instruction, Pussycat Dolls fan Jess unleashed wave after wave of breathtakingly relentless choreography, most of which crescendo to a single cross combination frenzy which left novices scrambling on their handlebars, and during her isolation track Jess showboated her hands-free isolation prowess/powerful abs strength with a certain good-natured haughtiness.

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

Aurora Singapore Shalynn
Shalynn (Aurora).
Aurora Singapore Kazuo
Kazuo (Aurora).
Aurora Singapore YJ
YJ (Aurora).
Aurora Singapore Vehn
Vehn (Aurora).
Aurora Singapore Jess
Jess (Aurora).

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. 

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).

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: Known for his consistent incorporation of unique choreography as well as iconic (and sometimes crescendo-ing) exclamations of “YEEEEEEAAAAHHHHHH” and “AAAAAAAA(RG)HHHHHH”, the platoon commander-esque Joshua weaved a fun movement involving a dumbbell and a single-handed tapback into the final sprint, and in another memorable Backstreet Boys-themed ride, he went “I can’t hear you” and cut the music before the room obediently responded “I WANT IT THAT WAY” and it was pure magic.

Channelling a 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. Amanda’s “Ride or Die” advanced ride was a master class in endurance, while 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, Ethel unleashed a torturously extended alternate press sequence set to a jaunty Maroon 5 track that may trigger me to break and stomp on all “Songs About Jane” physical CDs on sight.

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 Joshua
Joshua (Ground Zero).
Ground Zero Sevian
Sevian (Ground Zero).
Ground Zero Asmine
Asmine (Ground Zero).
Ground Zero Amanda
Amanda (Ground Zero).

POPSICLE

In a nutshell: Rebranded concept with two distinctly different outlets. 

Locations: Joo Chiat, UE Square

Why you should: Formerly known as Cycle Beats, rebranded concept Popsicle boasts two outlets which are distinctly different in aesthetic and vibes but both equally gorgeous – the uniquely open-concept Joo Chiat space (the ground floor encompasses the reception, locker area and spin room) filters the shophouse setting through industrial chic lenses, while the snazzy new UE Square outlet adopts a futuristic, high-fashion take on striking candy colours, with the spin room using pulsating ambient lighting and rotating stage spotlights for a fun disco vibe.

Why you shouldn’t: Because of their Joo Chiat and River Valley locations, the studios may serve as viable options only for those who live or work in those respective neighbourhoods.

My experience: Probably a track & field enthusiast in former times, Kamesh’s class comprised of multiple jumps, a whole lot of runs across so many songs as well as a seated mad sprint segment where I fleetingly felt like Icarus soaring in the sky towards the sun. The flicky-fringed and Ben from A1-esque Gerald threw in energetic hands-free moves fairly early in the game and kept the choreography coming throughout the session. The speed demon-meets-aerobics-instructor-meets-gazelle Gaia audaciously treated the class like it was a race against time bomb defusion Hollywood thriller, launching into rapid-fire moves such as single-time push/tap/press/tap from as early as the second song and tossing in arm crossing and alternating choreography with such frequency that at some point I’m sure that my wretched psychomotor skills would make the people across from me think I’m attempting to do an exotic Arabic dance. 

Elsewhere, Linda conveyed the chirpy brightness of a children’s morning TV presenter and the vivacious Kristel sent up a radio-friendly playlist of recognisable pop tunes.

POPSICLE

Joo Chiat
368 Joo Chiat Road
Singapore 427613

Central (UE Square)
UE Square #01-34
83 Clemenceau Avenue
Singapore 239920

Popsicle Joo Chiat Kamesh
Kamesh (Popsicle, Joo Chiat).
Popsicle Joo Chiat Gerald
Gerald (Popsicle, Joo Chiat).
Popsicle Joo Chiat Gaia
Gaia (Popsicle, Joo Chiat).
Popsicle UE Square Interiors
Interiors (Popsicle, UE Square).
Popsicle UE Square Interiors
Bathroom Amenities (Popsicle, UE Square).
Popsicle UE Square Lounge
Lounge (Popsicle, UE Square).
Popsicle UE Square Kristel
Kristel (Popsicle, UE Square).

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, and the studio appears to still be finding its footing in terms of the clientele they wish to attract and the kind of spin experience they wish to offer, given the recent series of updates to their instructor roster which seems to skew much younger (and decidedly less…well…River Valley/Robertson Quay) than their initial stable of Revel Leads.

Also, the studio appears to be fairly rigid and lacking empathy and warmth with their attendance policies – it has the distinction of being the only studio on this list to ever turn me away from class. I was neither allowed to join the class nor offered for my credit to be refunded/penalty to be waived when I arrived two minutes after the stipulated class timing due to rainy weather during a particularly torrential week (just to be clear, we are talking people trapped in cars, property damage and flooding levels of wet). I wasn’t even sure given it was only two minutes in that the class had already started or had progressed to a point which made my joining disruptive or unsafe, because the front of house did not offer to check before turning me away, and this approach towards late-coming is jarring compared to most other studios’ more measured and customer-friendly styles.

My experiences: Both displaying confident student leader qualities, Chyna and Xuan offered breezy approachability and friendly instruction, 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 Xuan
Xuan (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, on his very first class – not that you could tell – the Elvin Ng-adjacent Gabriel (you can easily see him as Rui En’s younger lover in a 9pm Channel 8 serial) paid tribute to Barry’s Singapore by giving three numbers of resistance knob turns for you to choose from (with the lowest number usually being 3 and above) and offered no recovery track, a generally rapid-fire tempo and so many tapbacks that my core continued to register the performance of phantom sit-ups hours later.

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 Cecil Street Queenie
Queenie (Revolution, Cecil Street).
Revolution Orchard Dusk to Dark Ride Aloysius
Aloysius, Dusk to Dark Ride (Revolution, Orchard).
Revolution Cecil Street Elkan
Elkan (Revolution, Cecil Street).
Revolution Tanjong Pagar Joella
Joella (Revolution, Tanjong Pagar).
Revolution Tanjong Pagar Gabriel
Gabriel (Revolution, Tanjong Pagar).

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. R10T was the first studio to feature 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. 

In addition, as opposed to the usual credits-based system used by most spin studios, those who sign up for R10T’s unlimited package can reserve as many spin classes as they like, which is tremendous value if you spin often or enjoy attending back-to-back sessions for maximum calorie burn.

Why you shouldn’t: The relatively lean team of instructors means you often spin with the same instructors, which could go either way in terms of how much you value variety over familiarity. Also, while the Kiehl’s shower amenities are much appreciated, the shower facilities are fairly modest due to spatial constraints.

My experiences: Since my first few months with R10T, the ladies have considerably upped the difficulty level of their classes to one that is comfortably and consistently gruelling. 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 is known for the unique classical music flourishes in her playlists as well as her signature Middle Eastern-tinged resistance tracks. 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. 

You can imagine the reserved and demure Sophia selling Girl Guide cookies for a fundraising drive or matchsticks in the snow but in class she went all “WOOOOOOOO” and “HELLO R10T HOW ARE WE FEELING” and towel swishing and hands aloft and high energy double-timeisms and it was a massive fake-out. Elsewhere, YH delivered a suitably punishing yet fun routine that was heavy on choreography and variation while always offering enough options such that both advanced and intermediate/beginner riders could find their own comfortable playgrounds.

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).
R10T YH
YH (R10T).
R10T Sophia
Sophia (R10T).

SYNC CYCLE

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

Locations: 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, while Tricia consciously controlled the flow at every turn and made sure options were always on the table to dial down if needed. Elsewhere, coming across 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.

SYNC CYCLE

East Coast Road
282 East Coast Road
Singapore 428946

Yio Chu Kang
92 Yio Chu Kang Road
Singapore 545572

Sync Cycle East Coast Road Jas
Jas (Sync Cycle, East Coast Road).
Sync Cycle East Coast Road Tricia
Tricia (Sync Cycle, East Coast Road).
Sync Cycle YCK Jaryl
Jaryl (Sync Cycle, YCK).

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: In terms of their more RPM-inclined programming, method instructor Dean – the proud father of Maxine and Mini – guided 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. Starting off with the sounds of babbling brooks and avian chirps which gave a surprisingly experiential take on nature road cycling, the Ali Wong-esque Alex delivered an almost audio tape-perfect brand of instruction through various jogs, sprints and jumps, including a gruelling six-minute segment on seven full turns which helped me create a lovely puddle. 

On the rhythmic side of things, Brandon channeled 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 had the patient grace of a Primary Five form teacher infused with a certain yoga-esque serenity and every time 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.

XYCO Studio
22 Martin Road #02-02
Singapore 239058

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).
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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