Crazy playlists, competitive leader boards and heart-pumping workouts that can burn 600 calories in just 45 minutes. For sweaty, endorphin-inducing training that burns fat and makes you feel great, it’s hard to beat indoor cycling. Here are our votes for the 10 best indoor cycling studios in the UAE.
Motion — Dubai
With dim lights, limited electronic equipment and a strict “no phone in the studio” policy, Motion has mastered the art of “me time.” The classes here are both meditative and intense.
Expect to cycle between music-led sessions of sweaty self-reflection and intense, cardio-blasting moments of dancing on the bike. You’ll move your feet quickly and let the sounds sooth your soul. During ride sessions, instructors have been known to hop off their bikes and roam the room, offering words of encouragement.
You’ll find the facilities to be a beautiful space. The main reception area has a boutique and airy feel, while the changing rooms come with toiletries.
Crank — Dubai
Crank has set up shop in Alserkal Avenue — making it the only gym in this artsy warehouse area and well worth a visit.
This spin studio is split over two floors. Downstairs there’s a juice bar and the backlit spin room. Upstairs there’s a space for strength and stretch classes. There are exposed brick walls, funky art from Drawdeck and industrial touches. During the ride, you’ll spin through a mix of sprints, hill work, speed work and rhythmic moves — with a hand weights portion too. The vibe inside here is seriously good and if you aren’t one for competition, you’ll see that only the top 10 names make it to the leaderboard. There are loads of extras for the (slightly) steep Dh120 drop-in fee: free click-in shoes, towels, straighteners and toiletries for the ladies and filtered water, too.
Crank was founded by Nuno Costa Fernandes, an ex-Flywheel pro who knows how to draw a crowd. He’s hand-picked a stellar lineup of instructors — including energizer bunny trainer Kayleigh Dawson and livehealthy.ae writer and influencer Danae Mercer. Expect great playlists and packed classes — so book early.
The Trip — Abu Dhabi and Dubai
This is a virtual entry: The Trip is Les Mills 40-minute augmented reality workout and you can find it at Inspire Sports (ladies-only) in Abu Dhabi as well as GFX in Business Bay Dubai. This workout is fun, fun, fun. Forget staring at an instructor — the entire class faces a massive video screen while the instructor calls out orders. You can even get a little woozy, whirling through shiny paths in whimsically altered locations from Santorini to New York, although it passes. All the benefits of a serious cycling workout, with a big side helping of silly fun. Check out our full review here.
Flywheel — Dubai
When people think “epic spin” in Dubai, they tend to think of Flywheel. With two studios (one in Gold and Diamond Park, another in Burj Views in downtown Dubai), and a whole suite of excellent instructors, Flywheel gets things right. You’ll ride, sprint and sweat beside dozens of others in a dimly lit room, while an instructor on a podium works you through intense beats. There’s a big-screen scoring system here. It’s opt in, but it’s popular, as regulars push themselves to top the charts during sprint “races.”
The main reception space is designed more for shuffling into your shoes and shooting onto the bikes, but there are also trendy clothes and protein snacks available. Flywheel also does special one-off events pretty well. Watch for themed and DJ rides.
NRG Fitness — Dubai
More of a mixed-gym space than a pure cycling studio, this Dubai Marina spot offers some fab Body Pump and Les Mills classes. Yet inside its Marina waterfront rooms you’ll also find very sweaty spin classes. Here you’ll work through an RPM Les Mills cycle ride. Classes are small and the workout standardized, so you can expect to cycle through a mix of intervals, hills, flats and sprints, all to intense beats.
When the workout’s done, you can grab a superfood smoothie from the muscle bar.
Platform — Dubai
For a while, Platform’s ride was all about the competition, with riders’ numbers being displayed on a large screen as they raced against one another.
But a recent shift has moved away from the technology-led approach and into something, well, more rhythmic. These days, Platform’s ride is more like Motion than Flywheel. You’ll stay mostly out of the saddle as you move your legs fast, dancing on the bike to hip hop beats with a trendy New York instructor. Rhythm and movement are the focus here — think more shimmy and sway, less sprint, all while getting super sweaty.
When the ride is done, you can nip into Platform’s airy cafe for an epic iced coffee and protein ball, then do a round of barre in the separate room. We recommend trying Mix it Up, a 30-minute ride combined with a 30-minute HIIT class.
Cyclebar — Dubai
Clean, posh, with floor-to-ceiling windows in the lobby and a cool Citywalk location, this Dubai spin studio does premium cycling well. In the lounge area you’ll find a chrome water dispenser — perfect for filling up your complimentary Cyclebar water bottle. A large bowl of complimentary fruit sits beside rows of lockers.
As for the cycle itself, the classes are competitive, with group challenges and individual cycling stats. The room is larger than some of the others, holding 55 bikes — yet it’s dimly lit so you don’t feel watched. The overall vibe here is somewhere between a night club and a spin studio. And when the workout’s done, you’ll get your stats, as well as a playlist, sent across by email.
Surge — Dubai
On the road, the instability of bikes inevitably works your core. Surge has cleverly replicated this element with bikes that, rather than being fixed at the base, sway from left to right as you move your weight. The result? You’ll work your abs the entire time.
The movement can be tricky to pick up, but the instructors are pretty good at talking newbies through the “weight shift while keeping your legs going” routine. The result is a solid workout that will definitely work those long muscles.
As for the space, Surge is housed on a high floor overlooking the many roads of Media City. Visit at night for epic views. There’s no real reception lounge, but the locker rooms are plush and well-stocked.
Sweat — Abu Dhabi
With a focus on rhythmic riding (so more dancing on the bike, fewer steep hill climbs) and specialized MyZone trackers, this Abu Dhabi studio will get your heart pumping. It’s owned by the same people who launched the Nolu’s restaurants, meaning you can expect a stylish edge. Even the themes of Sweat’s different workouts — strength, “sycle” and soul — project a trendy vibe.
When your spin is done, you can nip upstairs for rooftop calisthenics or next door to Nolu’s Raw for a smoothie bowl. As for booking, this studio is one of many available on the fitness app GuavaPass, or you can look them up directly.
The Room – Abu Dhabi
This gym, originally launched in Brussels, also offers a host of other classes but is built around the core of Spinning. There are lots of bikes on offer and a full roster of classes, most 60 minutes, so getting a space is a relative breeze. That’s except for co-owner and co-founder Peter Pastijn’s packed out Friday morning rides. In the cooler weather they even take the bikes outside for a spin. Expect a warm, friendly welcome, motivating workout and great service — staff come around mid-class to refill water bottles.
How’d we do? Did we miss an amazing studio? Let us know by leaving a comment or writing to [email protected]