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A new indie spinning studio is making combo classes work


The big spin studios blew off the idea, but Pedal NYC is revving up its roster with combo classes that pair spin with strength training in an hour.

Pedal NYC

Pedal NYC is the first indie spin-focused studio to open in New York City in a long time. Given the mega-influence of SoulCycle and Flywheel on the city’s indoor cycling scene (with their combined seven NYC locations), it’s not surprising.

But Pedal’s founders, an Upper West Side personal trainer-and-business woman couple, felt confident they had something to add to the city’s fitness roster: Namely, kick-butt hour-long combo classes that pair spinning with strength training—a concept that, for reasons unknown, never caught on in New York.

(SoulCycle dabbled with the idea in the beginning, before nixing it, and Flywheel launched Flybarre as a totally separate offering.)

Pedal NYC
Pedal NYC's SpinDen

Since Pedal NYC opened in January, with its signature 60-minute spin class and more, the 30/30 combo class (30 minutes of spinning, 30 minutes of strength training using TRX equipment), has drawn just as much excitement.

It’s routinely sold out (there are five per week), and enthusiasm in the class, and boot camp-style camaraderie, are palpable.

“It keeps people captivated and interested, and it’s short-and-sweet,” says Pedal NYC’s co-owner and the class creator, Ray Wallace (who goes by “Mr. Ray”). “You also see better results, and there’s a higher complete caloric burn.”

It makes sense: TRX training and push-ups build more muscle than lifting two-pound weights or a bar while cycling. (Plus, many trainers, Wallace included, question the safety of on-bike strength training.)

That said, there’s an expertise needed for 30/30 that’s harder to replicate than spin alone—it requires someone who can give expert TRX and strength-training cues, plus energize a spin class, and make big transitions seamless. And the method does require some real estate.

Pedal NYC
Pedal's outdoor courtyard is not used for summer lounging.

Wallace pulls all this off well, pushing spinners to go faster by checking their bike numbers, then effortlessly leading them to the TRX room or to an outdoor courtyard for the second half of class. (Yes, Pedal has permanent outdoor workout space.)

In the next few months, Wallace will introduce an even tougher combo: 30/30/30, that will section off spin, TRX, and outdoor conditioning for a workout he calls “Full Throttle.”

He hasn’t decided how frequently the new class will be offered, but if the call for these keeps growing, this indie studio might not be the only one dialing up the RPMs on combo classes. —Lisa Elaine Held

Pedal NYC, 33 West End Ave. (between 61st and 62nd Sts.), $30, www.pedalnyc.com