TIEM Cycle Shoes

Is it worth the investment? YES! Ok end of post … Just kidding, but this will be a short one.

Over the past year I have taken quite a few cycling classes and started to do the math. Typically if you sign up for a cycle class, the studio will let you borrow a pair of cycle shoes for free the first time and then charge you $3 every time after to rent them, and for those of you who have never taken cycle class, the answer is YES you do have to wear special shoes for class. Anyways, for a decent pair of cycle shoes, it’s going to cost you around $130-180. Mine were $150, however, a lot of studios will run specials on their merchandise throughout the year or even give you a % off if you leave a review, which is what I did at DEFINE Bellaire so my shoes ended up being like $120. Now let’s do some math. I had a month membership to DEFINE of unlimited cycling AND won a 10 class pack to soul cycle PLUS I had a few class pass credits which I wanted to use to try out a few cycle studios. Point being, I only had to 40 classes my entire life for this to be a good investment, and guess what?!?! I have way exceeded that by now. Not only do I no longer have to pay to rent shoes, I also don’t have to wear someone else’s stanky sweat soaked shoes. BUT before you run out and buy some shoes, there are a few things you should know.

Cycle shoes have these clips that lock your foot to your pedal so when you are sprinting or out of the saddle, your feet don’t go flying off the pedal. So let’s take a look at the two main types of clips for indoor cycle shoes. There are the ones that feel like you are walking around with a massive rock under your foot and you can hear someone walking up from a mile away, those are called three-hole (commonly called “Delta”) system. Then there are the clips that are much more subtle and flat on the bottom called two-hole (commonly called “SPD”) system. SPD shoes are much more attractive, mine are gorgeous, but are typically harder to clip in for new riders. It took me forever to figure out how to clip in after I bought my pair because I was so use to the Delta clips, but not i’m so use to it that it’s hard for me to use the Delta clips on the rare occasion I forget my pair at home.

Anyways, I don’t think I have ever come across a studio that didn’t accommodate both types of clips. The pedals on these bikes are two sided, one side uses the Delta clip and if you flip the pedal over, the other side uses the SPD. I am in love with my SPD cycle shoes by TIEM pictured below. Not only are they comfortable, but they also just look like normal tennis shoes vs the clunky ugly Delta clip shoes. One day I was signing in at Soul Cycle with my cycle shoes in hand, clearly visible and the guy behind the counter was like, do you need cycle shoes, and I just looked down at my shoes and was like… you mean these?? He like had a fit over how nice they looked and had a million questions about them because he thought they were so cool. Anyways, to wrap this nonsense of a post up is basically just to say that if you are going to take 40 or more cycle classes in your life, it is totally worth it to buy your own shoes ANDDDDDD I highly recommend the TIEM ones I have. They are so pretty 🙂

 

(Left) Delta Clips – notice the bumps on the bottom (Right) TIEM SPD Clips – notice the flat bottom like a tennis shoe

Ride Indoor Cycle

Okay….so it’s been awhile since I’ve written…but I am back! I’ve tried about 4-5 new places recently, but I was struggling getting myself to write because I started to feel like they were all just the same thing over and over and I didn’t know how to write something new about them. I just needed a quick break!

Anyways, let’s chat about Ride in the Heights (that’s Ride with an I, not y). They are pretty damn different too. So I got together 3 of my gals and we signed up for a Friday noon class with Taryn. We all showed up and were given the tour, not that there is much of a tour because it is just their little retail space, the lockers across from the cycle room and then 2 restrooms, which is pretty similar to most indoor cycle studios. I got set up on my bike and then it was time to SWEAT and holy cow did we sweat. The cycle class itself wasn’t anything super different than most cycle classes. It was actually a bit underwhelming compared to the Soul Cycle classes I have been taking at River Oaks. The reason we were all literally DRENCHED in sweat though was because it was HOTTTTTT. I had the spot in the wings/side bar/whatever you want to call it that is right next to the mirror and I couldn’t even see myself in the mirror it was so fogged up. My friend even said she had trouble breathing it was so hot in there.

The atmosphere was also similar to other cycle studios. About 50 bikes in a room filled with blacklights and loud music. Great atmosphere, great music and clean facility, plus so really cute apparel that all happened to be 30% off the day I was there. Taryn, the instructor was nice too, but not as ‘welcoming’ as some of the other studios. If you have read any of my other blog posts, you know that I like it when instructors make it a point to introduce themselves to the newbies.

Anyways, I felt like I was wearing a wetsuit when I walked out because of how soaked my pants were… it was so GROSS, and I’m even one of those people who actually LIKES to sweat. When you take your first intro class (which is free) they offer you 20% off any package you sign up for it you sign up that day. One of my friends signed up for a pack of classes so she must have really enjoyed it. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, I’m just saying I prefer Ryde or Soul Cycle in River Oaks better. Give it a try yourself though! Remember, first class is FREEEEEE, but wear as little clothing as possible because it is hot hot hot.

For more information on Ride visit https://www.ride-indoorcycling.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RIDE.heights/ and Instagram at @rideindoorcycling

Ryde – River Oaks

I can’t say enough wonderful things about this place…but I will start with the few minor cons and then unleash my love for this place. Let’s just jump right in, shall we?

Con #1: I passed it up…I had it plugged into my GPS and I still passed it up! Ryde River Oaks is in the River Oaks Shopping Center off W. Gray St. Con #2: Parking sucks over there. Everywhere I tried to park was a 30 min parking spot, so I had to park in a lot across the street and walk over, which wasn’t a big deal, but looking for parking in Houston is not really my cup of tea. Con #3: Although the facility was really nice and clean with great equipment, there was little to no seating/waiting area. So before and after class was somewhat of a clusterf***. I think that is all the cons.

Now on to all that I loved about Ryde. Front desk people were super friendly and got me signed in and hooked up with a pair of shoes (first pair is on them, every class after that is 3 bucks – I think – to rent them). When the doors finally opened for class to get started, I had a hard time finding my bike because it was sooo dark, but I finally found it and within like 2 seconds a staffer was there to help me set up my bike and answer any questions. After I was set up and waiting for class to start, the instructor came up and introduced himself, which we all know I love! I think it is so incredibly important to make sure first timers at any gym, restaurant, store, wherever feel welcomed. Drew was my instructor and he was GREAT! Within the first 2 songs my quads were already burning. I would say Ryde is most similar to Revolution Studio as far as style of class goes. It was very dancing and you really had to have rhythm… which I struggle with… a lot! Regardless, I had fun, which ultimately trumps everything else.

Class was 45 minutes long. We did sprints, and hills and push ups and tap backs and side to side things and arm weights. I am writing this the day after class and I am super sore… although I kind of live in a constant state of soreness. Anyways, the music was loud, the class was energetic, it was a good time and great workout. They also keep track of your stats throughout class and then email you a summary which was cool! Here is mind below:

Ryde Stats

So thus far here is my ranking for cycling studios, and again, these are based on the location I went to and most importantly the instructor, so this is just my opinion on the few trial classes I have taken.

  1. Revolution Studio
  2. Ryde
  3. I feel like CycleBar would be here, but I need to try a real class
  4. Soul Cycle
  5. DEFINE West University

 

For more information on Ryde visit http://www.letsryde.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rydehouston/ and Instagram at @rydehouston

CYCLEBAR Sawyer Heights Intro Class

This isn’t so much a workout review as just a what to expect post. Here’s what I mean…

Let me start by giving a little shout out to my favorite brewery, Holler Brewing Co. – @hollerbeer. My husband and I both agree that Holler has the best tasting beer in Houston that we have tried so far… and we have tried a lot! The reason I am ‘hollerin’ at Holler’ is because we were leaving the brewery one day and right next door noticed they were building out a new cycle place called CYCLEBAR, so I added it to my list and once they opened I signed up for a 30-minute intro class with a few friends.

I was somewhat disappointed and yet somewhat pleased with the intro class. I was really looking forward to a good ride, but that’s not at all what this was. There were about 6 of us total that signed up for the class, and they told us they only allow about 20 to sign up for these intro classes. We were all assigned a bike and given a branded water bottle with our name on it as a little present. We were also given some shoes to use during our ride. We spent the first 10 minutes or so outside of the bike room with the instructor, @loganhtx21, going over CYCLEBAR in general, so I little history about it, a bit about the instructors, how it works and what they offer, etc… then we went into the room with the bikes. The next 10 minutes or so were spent teaching us how to adjust our bikes to fit each of us and how to clip in and out and what all the numbers and screens mean. This is the part that pleased me! I have been to quite a few cycling classes and usually the people just kind of set up the bike for you and then you ride, but I like how they take the time to teach you how to set it up so if you come back for a real ride, you are good to go.

Once everyone had their bike set up and were clipped in, we rode… but only for 2 songs which made me sad because my expectation was that the 30-minute intro session would be a 30-minute ride… and it wasn’t. Anyways, Logan was a great instructor and seemed like his class would be really fun. All of the staff was actually really friendly and helpful and the facility was really nice. The bike room was pretty dark with all different light settings for all types of moods (most similar to Revolution Studio), oh but the room was COLD… just so you know… Logan mentioned that they have tons of theme rides and even had a request for a Disney Theme ride that they were working on… sooo count me in for that one!

One thing they did differently than any cycling place I have to yet, is that they had screens on each bike to track your RPM and your resistance, which most places don’t have. Most studios you just have to “feel” your resistance which means I never know if I am where I should be. Since it is all digital, they keep track of your rides and email you your results after every class. They also have a screen up front where they display everyone’s stats during class so you can “compete” with everyone around you (you can opt out being shown on the big board though if you don’t like people seeing your stats and you will still receive your summary email).

So my review is just on the intro class for now, but I am really looking forward to trying a full class sometime soon. Their prices are pretty high sooooo knowing my cheap ass, I will wait for a community ride or until they run some sort of special.

 

For more information on CYCLEBAR Sawyer Heights visit https://sawyerheights.cyclebar.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CycleBarSawyerHeights/

SoulCycle

A huge thank to @atcheeylaurenn (instagram) for inviting us to try out SoulCycle. @atcheeylaurenn had some free passes to try out SoulCycle and she did a damn good job recruiting some first time riders for a Sunday morning sweat sesh … and boy did we sweat! So I have tried a few cycle places now (Revolution Studio and DEFINE Body & Mind) and I really REALLY loved Revolution and really really didn’t like DEFINE so I had a good scale to compare SoulCycle to and I would say if Revolution is a 10 and Define is a … 4 then SoulCycle is an 8 overall.

The overall atmosphere and facility of SoulCycle is very similar to Revolution. The staff is super friendly and helpful. The staff got us set up and clipped in beforehand. The instructor came up and introduced himself before class and used our names throughout the class to keep us motivated. The actual facility was bright and clean and had fun designs on the wall and a signature yellow spin bike outside … overall it was very inviting and easy to find. They also have a wall of merchandise/apparel you can purchase which I took a look at and LOVED what they carried but need to resist my urge to buy even more workout clothes right now.

First thing we did when we walked in was sign the little waiver and get our bike assignment, which they actually email you the day before with extra instructions and what to expect … it was actually a really cute and welcoming email … I’ll post a screenshot of it below. They we got our shoes and were shown around to the lockers and restrooms/dressing rooms. We locked up our crap and put on our shoes and were ready to get clipped in and start riding.

SoulCycle Email

Like I said before, the staff came in and helped all the newbies get their bikes adjusted and get clipped in. Our class had A LOT of first time riders! (Side note: The studio can hold 60 people per class. I would say we had about 30 or so at the Sunday 10:45AM class) Pinij (@pnalampoon) was our instructor and he came around and introduced himself, then it was time to ride. The workout itself was pretty killer. I was literally drenched in sweat at about the halfway point and then the sweat just kept pouring out my body … it was amazingly gross. So far I have said all good things about SoulCycle, so why am I rating it below Revolution you ask?? It all has to do with the actual workout.

So at SoulCycle we rode … and rode and rode and rode … then did a few push ups, a few tap backs and only 3 arm moves with the weights. Although I feel like I got a fantastic workout, It was just kind of the same thing over and over. At Revolution, we rode but we did tap backs and push-ups and tricep dips and jumps and sprints and hills and we danced!!! Then when we picked up the arm weights, oh man, I thought my arms were going to fall off they hurt so bad. At Revolution we were constantly switching it up and doing something new. At SoulCycle, there just wasn’t as much variation. Also, at Revolution there was like lighting variation so like black lights and a very club-ish vibe, whereas SoulCycle was still club-ish and they played with the lights a bit but just not as sweet of a vibe as Revolution … although MUCH better than the vibe at DEFINE.

SoulCycle Memorial_Group Photo.JPG
@atcheeylaurenn and friends! Thanks again 🙂

Anyways, overall I really enjoyed my session at SoulCycle. I’m not going to post the prices, because you can also find them all online at https://www.soul-cycle.com/ but if you’re a first time rider you can do a 3-class pack for $60, which isn’t that bad if it includes shoe rental … but I didn’t ask about that and I doubt it does. The other good thing about SoulCycle is if you buy a class package, let’s just say you buy the first time 3-class pack, you can use them whenever and at any location. They have 2 locations in Houston – Memorial (the one I went to) and River Oaks.

 

For more info on SoulCycle visit https://www.soul-cycle.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SoulCycle-1637617196554397/ (Memorial) or https://www.facebook.com/SoulCycleROTX/ (River Oaks)

DEFINE vs. Revolution Studio – Cycling

This is the first time I have been to two different fitness studios and taken the same type of workout, so now is the time to compare. Here is my verdict on cycling at DEFINE body & mind versus Revolution Studio; Revolution Studio wins hands down and here is why.

Let’s start with staff. This is the most similar between the two. Both staffs were super friendly, energetic and supportive, so really I have nothing bad to say about either of them. I took Alison’s rev class at DEFINE body & mind on Saturday morning with a friend and she was a great instructor, but the overall class wasn’t as energetic and intense as Revolution Studio.

The atmospheres were completely different between the two. Revolution Studio makes it feel like you are in the club with blacklights and everybody is woohoo-ing and you are constantly doing something other than just pedaling. At DEFINE the room had little lanterns of just yellow light that dimmed and got brighter with the intensity, but overall I just felt like I was in my living room with a dimmer switch instead of the intense atmosphere of Revolution.

I also felt like overall workout was better at Revolution. They both followed the same jist of things, but like I mentioned early, at Revolution you are constantly doing something along with riding, like tricep dips or push-ups or touch backs or something whereas at DEFINE I felt like I was just pedaling more. There were tricep dips and push-ups and what not, but it just wasn’t the same. Both did incorporate arm weights and both arm workouts were equally as intense!

Now, I will say this. My friend Montana came with me and said this was exactly what she was looking for. She has been looking for a high intensity, energetic cycling class and she was thoroughly pleased with rev at DEFINE. She has not tried Revolution though so I’m going to get her to try it out and see what she thinks. I am not saying I didn’t get a good workout. I mean I was drenched from head to toe and my legs and arms were burning. I am just giving my opinion between the two and my opinion is Revolution wins this round. 

So overall, I would pick Revolution Studio over DEFINE body & mind for cycling, any day. BUT keep in mind that Revolution only offers cycling and yoga whereas DEFINE offers cycling, yoga, bounce, body and one more that I can’t remember and am too lazy to look up. So that is definitely something to take into consideration.

Last 3 quick things to mention. 1) I was still never approached to join DEFINE or even shown what the pricing and packages are…I find that strange. 2) I feel like even though the instructors are really nice and attentive at DEFINE, the overall comradery is nothing compared to what I feel like during a Revolution cycling or yoga class. 3) Both studios are REALLY GOOD about interacting with you on Social Media if that is your thing. I have been posting pics from my workouts on Instagram and both Revolution and DEFINE always like, comment or share which is really nice!

 

DEFINE body & mind

To find the location closest to you, visit: http://definebody.com/fitness-studios/

I went to the location at West University here: http://westuniversity.definebody.com/

West University Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Define-Body-Mind-West-U-295810803833845/

West University Instagram: @define_houston

 

Revolution Studio

To find the location closest to you, visit: https://www.revolution-studio.com/

River Oaks Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/revolutionstudioriveroaks/

Instagram: @revolutionstudio

Revolution Studio 2-week Summary

So, it has been a while since I have posted, but I promise I have been hustling! I just finished my 2-week trial at Revolution Studio in River Oaks and here is what I have learned:

  1. I have NO rhythm … and that is completely OKAY
  2. My body can do more than I think it is capable of.
  3. I have a new appreciation and complete LOVE for yoga.
  4. Cycling is NOTHING like I expected it to be.
  5. People are NICE 🙂
  6. I am sad now …

1 –  I always thought I had pretty good rhythm, but put me on a bike and ask me to pedal to a beat and it’s like the beat in my head and the beat everyone else is listening to is COMPLETELY different. What I loved about the classes though were how the instructors and other participants didn’t care! No one made fun of me. No one judged me. It was such a friendly, high-fiving, encouraging environment. Throughout the class the instructor continually says something along the lines of “one pack that rides together” and I love that comradery.

I took classes with Zach, John, Stephanie, Ally, Kris and Kristina. Kristina and Stephanie were my favorite!

2 – There were so many times in yoga where I looked at the instructor and was like, “Yeah … Noooo. I can’t do that.” And then I did it! It may not have looked as clean or poised, but it didn’t even matter because my body did something my mind didn’t think it could do!

3 – Yoga will now be in my weekly, if not daily practice. I loved the feeling I had of freedom after yoga, complete freedom and release from the stress of the day.

4 – I mentioned this in my previous ‘Revolution Ride’ post, but cycling is nothing like I expected. It is sooo much fun and although it completely drains me, it also completely energizes me.

5 – Everyone I met at Revolution, from the people at the front desk to the instructors to the members, everyone was just so nice and approachable. I truly felt like each instructor was working specifically with just me and really wanted the best for me. Revolution treats you like family.

6 – Now I am sad. Why? Because my 2 week trial is up and although I want to continue going, and will most likely be back for some more classes in the future, I really do need to move on and try some new places to blog about.

All in all I went to 7 cycling classes and 7 yoga classes in 2 weeks. Wish I could have made even more classes but it’s time to move on to new adventures. I will, however, be participating in Revolution’s Grow Your Flow Workshop on July 30th at 1:30PM. Contact info@revolution-studio.com or visit www.revolution-studio.com for more info. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Revolution Studio – Ride

Are you looking for an insanely fun dance party on a bike?! That is exactly what you will get with Kristina at Revolution Studio with her 45 min. ‘Ride.’ I have never cycled before, and honestly didn’t really think I would like it. I have never been a great outdoor biker (it kind of scares me) and I just thought biking on a stationary bike for 45 min. would be boring, and boy, was I misled. This class was high intensity and energetic from start to finish. What I was most surprised about though, was how much of an arm workout I got, but I will get to that in a minute.

So at Revolution Studio you have to make reservations for both the cycling and yoga classes. (Side note: If you make a reservation and cancel within 6 hours of the class you get charged $10. If you don’t show up you get charged $15. All of this is disclosed on their website. Also, just FYI, they have bike shoe rentals for $2 a class and yoga mat rentals from $5.) So I made my reservation about an hour before class, which was fine, but it was pretty full already. Something like 45/51 bikes were filled for the class. I picked my bike and showed up about 15 minutes early to get my shoes and find my bike.

Ride

I was greeted by an energetic and bubbly instructor who helped me set up my bike and get clipped in. The atmosphere was dark with what I am assuming was black lights, or something similar, just like a club would be. I am not lying about it being like a dance party on a bike. We started slow and Kristina explained the basics to us newbies, then we kicked it the f*** up. I didn’t realize how many moves you could do on a bike. We went from standing to sitting to paced riding to sprinting from side to side and front and back in various combinations and sequences, it was a whirlwind, and it was fantastic. We even incorporated arm weights into the mix which was surprising to me. I stuck with the 1 lb. weights because I wasn’t sure what we were going to be doing with them, but I am not sure I could have used higher weights to be honest … I mean I have noodle arms … there is very little strength in them … and the 1 lb. weights were hard!

So I already mentioned the atmosphere a bit, but it really was just fun. The music was like 90s/00s hip hop and pretty loud (and they do offer ear plugs). Kristina was motivating and energetic. The lights changed colors and people were hooting and hollering as we kicked up the intensity, it was just fun. There is no other word to really use to describe it.

I say it was very intense though because I really like to push myself, so I did my best to hike up the intensity and resistance and keep up with the more seasoned riders, but you could easily keep the resistance down and stay seated if it gets to be too much for you.

Today was day 1 of the 2 weeks of unlimited classes so I also did the Yoga (Power Flow) class with Angie immediately after cycling. Today the music was working in the Yoga room and really helped to focus and drown out any other noise from the studio or outside traffic. Angie was great! Again, I felt like I had just left the spa after I finished class.

We did our Flow sequence and I was completely drenched, but then we ended in our corpse pose where Angie came around and placed that refreshingly cool towel on our foreheads. It is basically like the best part of yoga class :/ It is a nice little touch that I look forward to with every session.

Like I said today was day 1 of 14 so I will keep track of the next 14 days and create a summary of my experience when I finish up my trial period. I did already book another Ride and Power Flow class for tomorrow and I can’t wait to get back in there.

For more information, pricing and locations, check out https://revolution-studio.com/ or check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/revolutionstudioriveroaks/ (I go to the River Oaks location. There is also a location in Memorial City and Sugar Land.)