Love? Big talk right? We’re serious. Stop in and checkout Saddle Cycling and we’re sure you’re gonna love ’em. Read on and we give you eight, not one or two, but eight reasons why. Don’t just take our word. For a limited time only you can get your first ride free if you use the promo code “step out” when you sign up on their website (see Redeem Free Class at bottom). It’s free and it’s fun. Getting in shape is just gravy…in a healthy way.
1. The Bikes
The beautiful Carbon Blue Schwinn bikes at Saddle are reason alone to convince me to trade a Saturday morning ride at a gym for the boutique studio on Hertel. Sure they have enhanced ergonomics, are designed for comfort and have all the bells and whistles you could want in an indoor cycling bike – except maybe a robot that completes your workout for you (and subsequently burns your fat too). But ironically, the real draw here is less about the body, more about the brain.
Throughout your class, the bike computer communicates with the in-studio monitors so you get real time feedback on your ride. Mileage, RPM’S, energy burned all translate into reasons to make you push just a little bit harder than you might on your own. And the bikes are grouped in a way that allows for a little friendly competition should you choose. Want to see what team can burn the most calories and energy for 30 seconds? You can do anything for 30 seconds, right? Whether you’re a long time spinner or new to the game, you’ve probably figured out by now that this isn’t the norm in most cycling classes around WNY. Without this technology, it can be extremely hard to gauge how hard you’re working during a cycling class. And forget about being able to compare how hard you’re working to what the instructor is looking for. The ability to see your progress and resistance level during class changes that. In addition to keeping track of your own pace, each bike is linked to a network, connecting you to the leaderboard as well as the other bikes in the room. The technology lets you sprint against yourself, others and even compete in groups. It’s like having a personal trainer while riding a bike!
2. Saddle Incentives
Saddle Cycling has cool incentives to ride, like the “Burn and Earn” program they’re running now until St. Patrick’s Day. You are literally rewarded for the calories you burn with things like a lean body protein shake, a custom Saddle t-shirt, hoodies, free water for months and free rides. “Just show up and ride baby!” I don’t know about you, but if my calories burned added up to more than the distant promise of a tighter ass, like say a Saddle hoodie, I’d make it to a few more cycling classes. In turn those classes would yield more intense results than your average driving miss daisy, nobody’s watching ride. And when one incentive ends, Saddle is standing by to come up with more genius ideas to motivate you. For example, type in the promo code “step out” when reserving your bike to get a free ride. Stay up to date on the latest incentive by following along on their Facebook.
Indoor cycling has more than a few perks. Your workout is no longer dependent on the crazy weather that is Western New York (translation – no more excuses). Besides, no more worrying about distracted drivers and dodging potholes and little old ladies walking their dogs on a 20 foot retractable leash. You can ride with reckless abandon!
4. Class options
At most gyms, a cycling class on the schedule is at the whim of the instructor assigned to the class. Frankly, they are all over the board, and lets be real, the music and atmosphere is usually a bit less than inspiring. At Saddle, specific class options are designed so that you know what you’re in for, regardless of the instructor of the day. That’s not to say that you won’t find your fav instructor and learn the ins and outs of the overall schedule, but the way Saddle presents their schedule offers multiple styles to suit many needs.
For example, Saddle 101 is a great choice for new or intermediate riders because instructors are aware of your level and are prepared to help you get settled with bike set-up, terminology, and technique while still giving you a good work out. Now, if you’d rather leave us fools in the dust, Saddle offers Blue Ribbon rides, focused around burning Watts, power and calories. It’s geared towards advance riders but doesn’t exclude anyone willing to give it a shot and puts an emphasis on competition and leaderboard stats. Other types of classes include their signature Saddle ride, offering high intensity music and an upper body weight routine and Saddle Flow described as “a symphony of movement in the saddle” using stretching to help riders engage their core and upper body while on the bike. Finally, Pimp My Ride, a high intensity workout offers a playlist full of uncut rap where talking smack is encouraged. When I said options, I meant options.
5. Reserve your bike online
The fate of my Saturday morning (insert any popular workout time here) workout all too often depends on the motivation of my fellow gym rats (or once a weekers) – and not in a positive way. If you’ve ever shown up to a cycling class, determined to burn the kind of calorie count only cycling can provide, to find every bike occupied except the broken one in the back corner, you know this is a big deal. First of all, the bikes are brand spankin’ new so you won’t be finding and battered steeds among the corral. Second of all Saddle Cycling’s easy to navigate website allows riders to reserve a specific bike online in advance. Therefore, you’re sure you have a bike and you get to pick where it is in relation to the instructor, the door, and your spin friends of course.
6. Get in touch with how hard you’re working in the long term
Not only do the bikes and tech used throughout Saddle’s classes keep you on point during your cycling sesh, they let you know how you measured up afterward too. Class perks don’t end once you’ve walked out the door and risked your life driving on Hertel Ave. Mere seconds after class, the work you’ve just done is emailed to you, complete with your average RPM, High RPM, your average and high power, total distance, MPH and of course the all important calories burned and the length of your ride. If it’s your first time, that’s just plain old awesome info to have. If not, you’re able to click through to see how your ride compares to your past performances at Saddle Cycling. I don’t know about you but it’s considered a good day if the spin bike I use at the gym stays together for the entire class, let alone spits out all this killer info.
7. Theme rides
In the interest of being real, I’m just going to put this out there. There aren’t many days I’m overly joyed about working out. Sure, there are things that make it less terrible like a decent playlist or a gym buddy, but in general when you enter a gym, you’re not exactly joining a party. Enter theme rides at Saddle. Just like everyone’s favorite week nights at the bar in college, they host #TBT rides the first Thursday night of every month to the tune of 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s jams, Michael Jackson night, even your favorite holidays have a place Saddle. (Yes, St. Patrick’s Day is on the list.) Themed rides, like holidays are something a little out of the ordinary, ready to boost your mood in more ways than one. Remember how much energy you had in the 90s? Channel that. Slap bracelets are encouraged.
Last but not least, Saddle provides an overall experience. The instructors and owners are the kind of people that want to take the time to get to know you and your fitness needs. And unlike a lot of people in the biz, the owners actually take the classes! Kinda like airline execs eating the food the passengers get. They want to understand the experience from the customers point of view. “Shouldn’t preach if you don’t practice” is what the owner Rod told me. Also, they like feedback and work hard to optimize your workout from calories burned to beats jammed to. Let’s be real, if you don’t like your instructor, you’re probably not coming back. That’s why they go out of their way to employ the most knowledgeable, friendly (and wicked!) instructors in the industry.
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