SoulCycle has finally made it to Dallas and I know everyone’s been excited and anxious to learn the deets about the “original” spin studio that started this high energy fitness trend. There’s definitely no lack of indoor cycling studios in Dallas, but the arrival of Soul Cycle is exciting! Everyone (including myself) is dying to know what the hype is all about.
I do want to preface this review by saying this is one of the toughest studios I’ve ever had to review. It took at least three classes for me to comfortably review it.
The Studio: If you don’t know what SoulCycle is, they are a national chain of indoor cycling studios that originated in the great city of New York. Class go-ers are invited to ride their hearts out to the beat of the music, while doing choreographed moves on the bike that challenge the entire body. They have an amazing culture of die-hard instructors that live and breathe Soul Cycle and share the addiction with all their riders. Dallas’ first studio opened on Preston and Northwest Hwy earlier this year and have a second studio slated to open in West Village this fall.
My Experience: I went to SoulCycle for the first time looking forward to checking out the new studio and curious about the hype. A friend of mine in Cali is a Soul instructor and she always looked like she had a blast! I was ready for my Soul-epiphany. Gimme!
Unfortunately, I left feeling a bit underwhelmed with my first experience and frankly sad that I didn’t love it as much as everyone else seem to. It had been a few weeks since opening and I can give some leeway for a new studio with kinks to work out and decided to come back to explore. I was really looking to see what made Soul Cycle different from the other studios in Dallas. I haven’t seen what makes it stand out against the rest.
My second ride a few weeks later was much more enjoyable. I had Hayes and I loved his playlist and energy. My last class with Abby was the most difficult and I was sweating SO much. She lead an intense class. Cumulatively, it was a good experience, just not a unique one.
The Space: You can’t miss the studio. It’s stark white, black, and sunny yellow is so recognizable. You feel like you’re walking into sunshine. The studio is bright and beautiful. It’s not very large compared to other Dallas cycling studios, but had everything you’d need. Retail section on the right, open locker area on the left, beautiful and fully stocked bathrooms, and one studio room.
The Instructor: It seems all the instructors were relocated to Dallas to lead the studio while potentially training new Dallas-based instructors. They all have great rapport with new riders and are high energy. I took Cat, Hayes, and Abby and found them all likable with infectious personalities.
The Class: It’s a very different experience that does take some time getting used to. The bikes are different and lower. My bike adjustments for me are definitely much lower than what I’m used to, but I actually liked it more and felt more comfortable during my ride. The classes are high energy with a great playlist each time.
There are also water bottle holders on the lower part of the bike. I would always bump into them with my knee, but felt they were a great way to keep my form in check and a reminder to keep my hips back over the seat. The music was great in all classes and the workout challenging. I did struggle with the cue-ing and being able to see my instructor and myself in the mirror. I did like that they didn’t go overboard on the choreography. I personally hate doing a ton of push ups on the bike. They kept it simple with your usual tap backs, jumps, crunches, and a whole lot of hills and sprints.
I took a total of 3 classes, 3 different instructors at 3 different times of the day. I also rode in the very front, toward the side in the back and in the middle just to see what it felt like. Overall, the class is good with lots of energy, but not so amazing that I felt hooked and needed to come back ASAP!
Favorite: The customer support and attention to form is great. After my first ride, I had posted I didn’t have a perfect experience and Soul Cycle immediately reached out to me to remedy the situation and offer me a chance to come back and check it out again. Whether it was because I’m a blogger or just a regular ole person, I thought it was great they addressed it (and a little ballsy) to call me out of the blue. I also loved that the instructors would actually hop off the bike to correct form. I rarely see that in any other Dallas studio. I also love the bathrooms. It’s fully stocked with lemon-scented toiletries, a vanity area, and more.
Feedback: Not a fan of the studio room set up. At all. I believe Dallas folks have high expectations of each new studio that opens and expect it to be completely decked out. With Soul Cycle’s reputation for being “the best” or “the original” especially with their premium prices, they did great with the aesthetics, the service, amenities, music and quality instructors, however, the layout of the room screams very cramped New York. And we are not a city lacking in space.[Tweet “What’s all the @Soulcycle #Dallas hype? Here’s @deepfriedfit1’s review!”]
Instead of a stadium style room, it’s a very cramped rectangular room with rows of bikes that are not staggered. It’s literally ass-to-face. I’m a small person (5’1) so if I’m elbow bumping into people, I’m not happy. It’s distracting from my experience. And if I’m sitting behind someone larger than myself, I’m frustrated that I can’t see the instructor. I also cannot see myself in the mirror to see if I’m on beat. I struggle with rhythm, but that’s all me. Ha! The awkwardness of the room really throws off my vibes. There are also bikes that block the mirrors and are positioned directly to the side of the instructor podium. Overall, an awkward feel.
I am told that to get the best experience at a Soul Cycle class, I need to sit in the front row, which I never have a problem with. I love the front row! But all that tells me is there shouldn’t even be a bad seat in the house. Sitting off to the side or even in the second row, I struggled to see the instructor. A friend of mine came with me for a class and sat directly behind a 6’2 man. She struggled to see past him and even though she enjoyed the class, that took away from her experience. The volume of the music didn’t disturb me, but two of my friends made comments on the loudness.
My feedback would be to boost the instructor podium. I doubt they can just change the set up, but perhaps lose a few bikes and give your riders some room.
Difficulty Level: It’s spin. It’s going to kick your butt. Compared to other studios, it’s on par regarding difficulty level. Abby totally had me dripping in sweat.
FYI/Costs/Parking: First class is $20 and includes shoes and water. After that, drop ins are a steep $30. I can’t justify the price of that for one class. Parking is fairly easy and it’s located right next to an Einstein Bagels, Jamba Juice, and Starbucks. Win! I wouldn’t bring an overly fat water bottle. They won’t fit in the holders. Since the bathrooms are fully stocked, you don’t need to bring any toiletries either. I love that they have face wash. It does take a few classes to get used to Soul Cycle, especially if you spin quite a bit in Dallas. Based on the mixed reactions I got on my Instagram post and what I’ve heard from other people, some love it, some aren’t sure what to think of it.
The Takeaway: It’s a good studio with it’s own style. Soul Cycle sticks to their core formats and do not dress it up with tons of choreo or flashy light shows either. It all comes down to preference. Would I go back? Yes, but I’m not in a hurry to. I would totally takes Hayes’ class again. He’s freaking adorable. I’d add it to my mix of studios I like visiting occasionally. However, with so many options for cycling studios in Dallas that are more affordable, I think it boils down to customer loyalty.
What do you think of Soul Cycle? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear it.
In order to review Soul Cycle Preston Hollow, I was not compensated to this review. I received only one complimentary class from SC. All opinion are my own.