This week, SoulCycle rolled out its next generation of bikes across all five DC locations, the first major switch-up of its kind for the indoor cycling class. Believe it or not, the old bikes were actually made by a furniture company, says Natalia Millan, a senior instructor at SoulCycle West End. This time around, they were developed by an actual cycling company, and while there’s no special name for them other than “the new SoulCycle bikes,” they bring a lot of updates.
Trainers will still circulate to help you get set up, but here’s a primer on what to know before your next class:
- Rather than arriving 15 minutes early, as is the standard, you should arrive around 30 minutes early to ensure enough time because…
- There are now four settings to tweak, not three: saddle height and depth, and handlebar height and depth, which are adjusted using spring-loaded levers from FitLoc that lock your settings into place, preventing wiggling, especially for taller riders. No more turning and tightening in the middle of a ride.
- The handlebars, which are positioned to be level with the seat, have little divots where your thumbs can rest more comfortably. They are also now angled so your elbows stay tucked in, helping you maintain better form during push-ups.
- Expect the ride to feel tougher. A carbon belt has replaced the old chain one, resulting in a “much smoother” ride, according to Millan. She adds that while the old chain created some momentum to help the rider, the new belts make it harder.
- The frame is aluminum. “It won’t rust now matter how much you sweat,” she says. “Hashtag gross.”
- You can still save your saddle and handlebar settings as usual by writing them down on a card and having them added to your online profile, which can be accessed from any SoulCycle studio, meaning quicker set-up the next time you’re running late.
If you’re new to SoulCycle overall, don’t let these changes be intimidating: Having new bikes right now means “it’s new for everybody,” says Millan, who suggests easing in with their new Fundamentals class, a beginner-friendly ride that also incorporates this new set-up process.