The boutique indoor cycling craze hasn’t quite hit London yet, but it sure seems like it’s about to. A new swanky studio has seriously captured the city’s attention since it opened in February, and its beat-driven rides are revving up the scene.
Psycle, on Mortimer Street in Marylebone, was created by former Fitness First CEO Colin Waggett, in collaboration with Tim Weeks, a former Olympic triathlete and trainer, who designed the workout. Waggett wanted to move away from big box fitness and go boutique, and he decided to focus on cycling because he saw it as the method that delivered the most enjoyment while still delivering results.
“You’ve got an exercise type that everyone can do, that everyone can get something out of, and you can make it feel like really good fun,” he says. “People come out of class and say ‘that was a blast, I want to do that again!'”
Psycle’s classes focus on music-driven intervals rather than numbers or competition and most of its instructors come from performance backgrounds. And while it sounds similar to SoulCycle, Waggett says there’s “more variation in resistance” and a “slightly longer learning curve” in terms of mastering the moves.
To say fit Londoners are enthusiastic about it would be an understatement. Mio Skincare CEO Sian Sutherland has already taken more than 10 classes and says when she goes in the early morning, the workout leaves her irrepressibly happy. Rhonda Alexander-Abt, a Londoner who regularly visits SoulCycle when she’s in New York, was also enthusiastic after two rides. “It was fantastic to finally have a place to spin where there was clearly so much attention to detail on every front. I love their holistic approach to nurturing your body and mind in a beautiful setting.”
New York yogi owner of I.AM.YOU Studio Lauren Imparato slipped on her bike shoes while she was in London, too. “I felt like I was in a European dance club with the lights and music,” she says. “Injury prevention was highlighted as well, which is a welcome relief as a yoga teacher who ends up seeing all the post spin injuries.”
The studio is filled with contemporary design features and amenities, like locker rooms stocked with products from luxe natural UK beauty brand Ila, and on-site snacks and juices from Purearth and Detox Kitchen. Plus, a boutique that sells high-end fitness fashion from Adidas by Stella McCartney, Lorna Jane, and HPE.
If all goes well, Waggett says expansions will certainly follow. “The UK is a good five years behind New York, but we’re starting to see the emergence of some boutique studios. There’s now a Barry’s Bootcamp, there’s Barrecore. It’s starting to happen but it’s quite a long way behind—but one of the reasons I’m doing this is I’m pretty certain it’s going to grow.” —Lisa Elaine Held
For more information, visit www.psyclelondon.com