If the designer spin class is your thing, then you clearly have an opinion on which of the two trendiest spin studios in town is better. If reading this makes you feel out of the loop on the spinning world, Flywheel and SoulCycle—which both opened shop in New York, charge about $30 for a 45-minute class, and now have studios nationwide—are the top spots to sweat off the calories for spinning enthusiasts.

The biggest critiques about spinning class in general are comparisons on the effort required at the studio, the dance moves in class (sometimes impossible to follow!), along with the ambience.  According to the editors of Well and Good, the indoor cycling workout, in general, “marries athleticism, house music, and inspiring platitudes borrowed from the yoga world.  The result is a cardio workout tailored to 30-somethings and up, who want sweaty intensity without the joint-pounding that accompanies running.” Here we break down the differences between Flywheel and SoulCycle so that you can decide which studio is right for you.

SoulCycle. A pioneer in the NYC spin class scene, this stylish studio prides itself on candlelit rooms, basic bikes, no screens and a non-competitive atmosphere. So go ahead, ride at your own pace. It attracts mostly women, though men show up in groups on weekends and after work. SoulCycle’s inspirational instructors set their classes apart from other spin studios by offering words of encouragement throughout your workout. Class activities include sprints, bike pushups, climbs, jogs and some semi-complicated choreographed movements. Hand weights are also used.

Overall it’s been described as the Scientology of Spin for its cult-like environment and it doesn’t include free shoes and water.

Read Related: Cardio Conundrum: 15 Ways to Know Which Heart Health Exercise Regimen is Best for You


FlyWheel. At this studio, competition, simpler choreography, a more stadium-like ambience, and killer workouts are what reigns. Its clients also tend to be more alpha male types and members enjoy bikes that have screens that show you your exact speed and torque. This way you can track it later on an app and see your progress over time. You can also opt in to the “TorqBoard” which will show how you are performing in relation to the others in the class. The bike here is a favorite, not only for its metrics, but because of its sturdiness. FlyWheel’s indoor cycling ride includes climbs and descents, while working arms with weighted bars. No pain, no gain! Their music playlists are choreographed to each class as well. Overall it’s been described by bloggers as having great music, dark rooms, no candles, less spirituality and a more “get your ass in gear” atmosphere. Plus, there’s free water, fruit and shoes unlike SoulCycle.