Venue 1: Swerve
I bought two classes for the price of one, an offer they make for first-timers. $30 for two classes?! Yes please! It's now on ClassPass, but it wasn't when I signed up for Swerve.
Swerve is divided into three different teams: red, blue, and green. You pick a team when you sign up for a class. Teams compete during the class at certain points - the instructor will have a 30- or 45-second sprint, or a hill, and teams win points. The whole premise is "Together We Ride", even though you get individual stats, too, and the bike that's "winning" at each push is put on the screen, too (which I didn't realize until the second class).
By nature, I'm a competitive person. I'm probably most competitive with myself, but it is a REALLY good feeling to see my bike number up on this screen, which means I'm beating other people, too. I absolutely push harder in those moments because of the promise of helping my team beat the other teams and get more points! The board is not always up on the screen, but the instructor flashed it during the competitive bits and also shows you where your team is ranking periodically throughout the class.
At the end of the class, Swerve sends you your stats, letting you know how you did on your team and with the rest of the class. The first time I took class, I was last on my team, which was a little bit disappointing, but shows you how hard everyone is pushing! The second time, I did better (second out of five on my team, top half of the class!).
|You also get distance, personal score, and team score!|
Venue 2: Flywheel
Perhaps I'd been living under a rock, but I had never tried Flywheel until a few weeks ago when ClassPass added it...and I'm SO glad I did. The energy is amazing, I loved the stadium-style class, and, naturally, I LOVED the competitive atmosphere.
Unlike Swerve, there are no teams at Flywheel. You can also opt out (or in) to having your name on the board. Though it shows a username that you created, it still flashes your bike number and your points.
I really love that Flywheel doesn't ONLY rely on RPMs to let you know where you should be - they also let you know a goal torq, and higher torq seems to equal higher points in the end. I saw some riders veer completely away from the RPMs and torq guidelines given by instructors and keep their torq numbers HIGH - which means their score was also among the highest (yes, I'm THAT GIRL who looks at how fast the person next to me is going on the treadmill/spin bike/etc.).
Like Swerve, the board isn't up the whole time, and there are also power moments like hills or sprints where it's an individual competition.
The first time I took Flywheel, my name was up there, and I LOVED having my name up there. It was a really good motivator for me to push harder and NEVER COAST as Flywheel's tagline recommends. The second time I took Flywheel, my name was NOT up there (and I'm still not sure why...do you have to opt in every class? Was it because I was late?), but I could still see what my score was and place myself in comparison to the rest of those who opted in - still motivating me to push harder!
|Performance data on Flywheel's account site|
Swerve and Flywheel also have an upper body portion, but as someone who started really getting into spin at Revolve, where you completely stop your legs during weights sections, I wasn't a fan of keeping my legs going.
Verdict: UGH they're both good, but if I had to judge on just two classes of each (which is all that I've done!), I'd say I'm craving a Flywheel class a bit more than Swerve...I can't quite put my finger on WHY, but I think the range of class locations is helpful, as well as the progress tracking. Now if I could just figure out how to always see my name on the board...
With my newfound obsession with competitive spin classes, however, I have some news to share...
I'm moving to London! In less than a week. Cue the freakout/excitement/tears.
I'm super excited to run in all of London's parks, try out new fitness classes, and meet new people. If you're in London, be my friend!