Spin city: Dubai's five best indoor cycling studios
Keep fit while keeping your cool with our pick of Dubai’s best indoor cycling hubs.
1. Define Revolution
In a nutshell: This spin class in Dubai Marina is one of three offered at boutique studio Define Dubai.
The class: The RPM classes involve high-intensity sprints and climbs along with resistance moves and light weights to make sure that you hit your core and upper body. It’s what we’d think of as an analogue class – there are no screens on the walls or the bikes, so no numbers to follow – instead, you bike to the rhythm of the music and the guidance of the instructor, and adjust your bike’s resistance accordingly. You’ll either love it or hate it.
The vibe: Energetic and uplifting: the blinds are drawn, the lights are dimmed and the candles are lit for a pumping workout to a carefully curated playlist. During our visit, artists ranged from Muse to MC Hammer, and when the blinds were opened to signal the class coming to a close, it was to the sound of U2’s Beautiful Day.
Need to know: It’s a new studio. It’s very light, bright and breezy, but it’s not that big so you might want to shower or change at home. Also, you can take a free trial class up until August 1.
Silverene Tower, Dubai Marina, Dubai, daily 9am to 9pm, Dhs110. Tel: (055) 8511583. Metro: Dubai Marina. dubai.definebody.com
2. Bespoke Ride
In a nutshell: Serious athletes will appreciate the bespoke attention to detail of this class– you can even bring in your own road bike.
The class: Bespoke Ride strikes us as the studio most aimed at dedicated cyclists and triathletes. When they say bespoke they aren’t joking – there’s a dedicated bike fitting service using the latest technology, and they’ll even help you customise the insoles of the shoes. You can also get your VO2 max fitness analysed, to help them design your training plan. The classes themselves vary – from high-intensity to hill workouts – with your data visible on the big screen.
The vibe: Fun but intense – this is definitely one for serious cyclists. It’s a great studio if you’re planning any cycling races, as they’re able to programme the courses of world-famous routes into their system so that you can follow along.
Need to know: Bespoke Ride offers tailored coaching programmes to help you achieve your fitness goals, whether you’re a beginner training for your first triathlon to a seasoned athlete aiming to shave seconds off your PB.
Al Marabea Road, Al Quoz, Dubai, Sun to Thur 6am to 10pm, Fri and Sat 8am to 8pm, Dhs100. Tel: (04) 3484288. Taxi: Next to Art Satwa Gallery. bespoke-ride.com
3. Surge Body Fitness
In a nutshell: A new cycle class in Media City with state-of-the-art bikes, gorgeous facilities and a cool, clubby vibe.
The class: One of the newest studios on the block, Surge uses tilting Real Ryder bikes, which require you to use your core and upper body strength, either to aim them from side to side, or to keep them steady for standing climbs. It’s an intense mix of hills and sprints, plus towards the end of the class you’ll experience a ‘self-Surge’, when you can basically freestyle to the music at whatever speed, position or resistance you want.
The vibe: The dark room and energetic beats make this class feel like you’re exercising in a nightclub. You’d be amazed at how quickly the 45-minute session flies by, and the encouragement from the instructors will keep you feeling motivated, no matter how gruelling the climb.
Need to know: These are probably our favourite facilities – we loved the artsy graffiti on the walls and the glam changing rooms. Plus, unusually for Dubai, the first two sessions are free.
Floor 11, Concorde Tower, Dubai Media City, Dubai, daily 7am to 9am, 6pm to 9pm, Dhs120. Tel: (052) 6999859. Metro: Nakheel. besurge.com
4. Souplesse Cycle
In a nutshell: This Motor City class with Real Ryder bikes will provide plenty of post-class data to analyse.
The class: There are two things that really stand out about the class. First are the Real Ryder bikes, which are designed to move – you’ll be asked to use your core strength (and not your body weight) to tilt them left to right. Secondly, there’s a variety of data to analyse after your ride, from your average speed to heart rate, if you wear a monitor – very useful if you’re training for an event.
The vibe: From referring to the instructors as rock stars to the ceiling decked out to resemble a starry sky, there’s a distinctly upbeat mood to this studio. The energy of the teacher and the other riders will get you through the heart-pounding workout.
Need to know: Unlike many studios, Souplesse doesn’t provide spinning shoes. You can either bring your own (they have a deal with the nearby Cycle Hub to give members a discount on spinning shoes) or just wear trainers – the pedals have ‘baskets’ for your feet to slip into.
Apex Atrium Building Rooftop, Dubai Motor City, Dubai, daily 8am to 10pm, Dhs115. Tel: (04) 5547346. Taxi: Apex Atrium Building, Motor City. souplessecycle.com
In a nutshell: With studios in Downtown and Gold And Diamond Park, this cult class in a dark room is for those who love stats (the bikes are digital and track your ride so you know exactly how well you’ve done).
The class: The USP of this cult class is the giant screen that displays each biker’s progress (calculated by their RPM and torque), which means you race against the rest of the room and get a final score at the end of the session. You’ll race, you’ll climb, you’ll sweat. It’s only 45 minutes but you’ll walk out well and truly spent (it took us about four hours to stop sweating post-class. That’s a good thing, right?).
The vibe: With lots of sprint races, a dark room and moves timed to the beat of the music, this class is energetic, intense yet oddly addictive.
Need to know: Each instructor has different taste in music, so it’s worth finding someone who plays the kind of tunes you love – if you dig Drake and Biggie Smalls you’ll like Elan’s Gold And Diamond Park classes (she’ll occasionally throw in some Kings Of Leon for good measure).
Burj Views, Gold And Diamond Park, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 6am to 10pm, Dhs120. Tel: (04) 4232544. dubai.flywheelsports.com