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SoulCycle Union Square: A first-ride report


Soul Cycle Union Square opening day

Today the much-buzzed about—and pretty controversial—SoulCycle Union Square location opened in the backyard of its competitor Flywheel.

Well+Good clipped into a bike and sussed out the brand-new spin studio.

Did SoulCycle bring it or was it a bust? Read on!

The deets:

The (cramped) layout is more like SoulCycle’s uptown studios than the spacious Tribeca flagship. There’s one studio with 60 bikes; a slew of lockers that use a pin code (no lock needed); and change rooms with showers. Classes on the hour. Towels provided. Water and shoes extra. $32 per spin.

The good:

  • The location is truly in Union Square, a two-minute sprint from the Farmer’s Market and subway
  • There are five showers. FIVE!
  • The vibe: SoulCycle feels like a place you want to be and it’s filled with a surprisingly passionate group of 20-somethings
  • An awesome sound system, with lots of bass, which the guys in class were raving about after
Soul Cycle Union Square Tank
SoulCycle plants their flag in Union Square with these tanks and T-shirts

The bad:

  • The new studio is as packed as a flight on Southwest Airlines, a long-standing fault of the brand. SoulCycle, I will pay you to take five bikes out of that studio, so I can get to my bike without a lubricant, do the stretches correctly, and lift the weights without knocking my neighbor unconscious.
  • No star teachers like Kym Perfetto or Stacey Griffith on the schedule

The temporarily ugly:

Every show has its opening-night jitters, so I don’t fault SoulCycle Union Square for these kinks (unless they’re still there a month from now).

  • No waiting area—hopefully spacing the classes 15 mins apart will mean this is less of an issue when it’s not opening day. “I feel like I should be getting champagne when I get in,” said one spinner, whose patience was tested by the crowded stairwell where we all waited.
  • The narrow locker corridor downstairs was as tight as the studio, and packed with people from two classes.
  • The stairs: There needs to be a giant sign forbidding bike shoes on the glossy cement stairs down to the changing area to prevent wipeouts (which I witnessed).
  • Um, no grapefruit candles?

SoulCycle Union Square, 12 E. 18th St., btwn Broadway and Fifth Ave., 212-208-1300, www.soul-cycle.com