By Marianna Levine
Summer is almost here, which means going to the beach in a bathing suit; and if that thought doesn’t get you to the gym, this just might. New York City’s newest boutique indoor-cycling studio is opening up shop in Sag Harbor.
Flywheel Sports, a more athletic and tech savvy way to ride, has taken over a back section of The Sag Harbor Gym, and will be offering classes for $30 a pop ($25 if you buy a packet of 10 classes and even less for a 20 pack) starting the morning of May 29.
Taking over the back in this case means Flywheel has built an entirely new studio, a rounded stadium style theater actually, outfitted with 60 cycles and utilizing the latest technology in sound and computer monitoring to offer a highly stimulating exercise experience to their riders.
Thirty dollars a class may be a little more than many are used to paying for an indoor cycling class but Flywheel owners Ruth Zuckerman and Jay Galluzzo of the venture capital firm Tricera Partners explain their classes are more than just your local gym’s experiences.
“We really want everyone to remove themselves from their daily lives and to focus on their work out,” Zukerman, who is also an instructor, clarifies. With this goal in mind Flywheel Sports makes their studios “dark enough to feel alone yet lit enough to feel the energy all around you. It’s a very powerful experience,” she adds, also saying that their celebrity clients have already enjoyed the privacy this type of discreet lighting provides them within a large exercise class.
Flywheel’s classes, Galluzzo notes, will also include complimentary towels, cycling shoes, and water, perks that aren’t offered by other competitors in the area, in a comfortable reception area overlooking Sag Harbor’s historic marina. “We’ll also have things like hair bands, earplugs, and socks, so in case you show up without something we’ll have it,” Galluzzo details.
Zukerman, who was formerly an instructor at the popular Soulcycle Studios in New York and Bridgehampton, felt it was very important to improve on certain now familiar and often problematic aspects of an indoor cycling class. For one, she made sure her studios were very well ventilated. This is crucial considering how much people tend to perspire during a demanding class, and Flywheel’s classes are striving to be highly competitive. In fact Zukerman likes to encourage her students to “find your inner athlete.”
This athleticism is also encouraged by Flywheel’s specifically developed “TorqBoard” which allows each rider to track their torqs, rpms and general progress on a “crisp, clear, easy to read” personal computer screen, according to Galluzzo. He adds there is also a large flat screen behind the instructor which displays how everyone is doing (one can opt out of this at the beginning of class).
Zukerman describes that during classes they have occasional 30 second sprints to encourage competition “people have fun watching their names jockeying around for first place in a sprint, and it really makes you feel very athletic.”
Galluzzo jokes “we get to mind/body in a different way here.”
The other aspect of indoor cycling that Zukerman was determined to improve was each class’s soundtrack. She explains, “I have a policy that states basically no house music. People want music they can sing and relate to, that they have memories and experiences with, so I have to approve every instructor’s playlist before they use it.”
Galluzzo affirms they are looking for the best music to cycle to: “We look for guilty pleasure songs, or songs that can really inspire us. We even have a DJ that mashes up songs for us.”
Despite Flywheel’s desire to really give the best and most demanding ride to its customers, Zukerman would like to encourage those not familiar with indoor cycling to give it a try.
“I like to help people with their initial set up and to give them an idea of how it works. I let them know it takes about three classes to feel comfortable on the bike, and I like to especially encourage those people who feel they are out of shape and are intimidated by the class to feel comfortable.”
In order to ride in one of these classes you have to go on their website flywheelsports.com. There will be the ability to call the studio as well once everything is up and running. Zukerman notes that classes usually fill up so it is best to book a week in advance.