SoulCycle devotees are religious about their workouts

When SoulCycle opened its first Texas location on Kirby in April, fans of the nation's popular indoor-cycling studio came out en masse.

Amy Krasner was one of them. She signed up for the first class on opening day.

"I'd been waiting patiently, but mostly impatiently, for it to open here," said the 47-year-old who tried SoulCycle for the first time in New York five years ago. "I love it. It's fast paced, challenging, and I can get my sweat on."

With its happy-yellow bikes and décor, SoulCycle has carved out a niche in the boutique fitness world where clients pay about $30 (plus shoe rental) for a 45-minute group class that sells out quickly. It's a mix of dance, cardio and therapy, as instructors empower and uplift participants with "feel-good" affirmations.

The classes are popular with celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga and Houston native Hilary Duff. The first lady even tweeted about it last year: "I love it when my girls join me for a little SoulCycle. We all are in the dark, moving to the beat on the bikes. We love it."

"If SoulCycle hadn't opened here," she said, "I be drinking rosé at Brasserie 19."

FitGirl: Put a spin on your indoor-cycling workouts

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Fitness lovers aren't taking their feet off the pedal when it comes to indoor cycling. In fact, there seems to be more places, spaces and ways to get your spin on in Htown. Check out these:

THE SUFFERFEST

Location: Ascent Fitness, 1911 W. Alabama St,  Houston, TX 77098, 832-925-7473

The 411: It's called Sufferfest for good reason. It's not for the faint-hearted. It was created by serious cyclists as away to bring their outdoor experience indoors, with challenging workouts done to adventure videos and great music. 

The class:  The workout (or "suffering") is a challenging cycling class done to officially licensed footage from professional races like the Tour de France, the Tour of Flanders, the Road World Championships, Challenge Roth, Diamond League Track & Field, the Milan Marathon and more. There's music also to each interval workout.

Gear: Must bring your own athletic shoe or an STD clip-in shoe.

Class times: 7 p.m. Tuesdays and 10:45 a.m. Sundays.

Costs: $22 a class or $15 for first-time rider. Also: 4 classes, $84; 8 classes, $156; 20 classes $156; and 20 classes, $355.

PELOTON SHOWROOM (Opens Sat., June 11) 

Location: The showroom is located in The Galleria, near the by Adidas and Coach

The 411: This is a state-of-the-art, at-home fitness experience with the Peloton bikes and on-demand fitness group classes. This showroom is Houston's only retail outpost for the Peloton bikes, accessories and retail clothing. You can a take a class from the Peloton bikes in the store if you are interested in trying the bike. Each bike comes with a 22-inch high-definition, sweat-proof touchscreen. There are more than 36,000 Peloton bikes in homes worldwide. 

The showroom: Think Tesla and Apple where you can check out the product and either buy it there or test it out and go home and buy the bike online.

Costs: Bikes cost about $1,995.

Details: Visit https://www.pelotoncycle.com/

 

CYCLEBAR (Opens mid-July)

Location: 118 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite CB, 77070

The 411: CycleBar is a fast-growing franchise chain with 100 studios expected to open nationally in 2016. This is Houston's first location.

The studio/class: The class takes place in a new state-of-the-art CycleTheatre and are led by CycleStar instructors who take participants through a 50-minute high energy ride. The studio features tiers for 50 bikes plus LED lighting, wide-screen graphics and state-of-the-art audio with a DJ booth. Riders can also track performance data via CycleStats and can download music used in the class session.

Gear: Free towels, showers, lockers and shoes are provided.

Class times: TBA

Costs: The studio offers a pay-per-class model, with no membership required. Drop-in rate is $22 per class. 5 pack, $105; 10 pack, $200; 20 pack, $370.

Details: To register, visit http://vintagepark.cyclebar.com

If you know of a cool new fitness class or studio in Houston,  let me know!