Classes We Love: The Handle Bar

The newly-opened indoor cycling studio takes spinning to a new level.

The Handle Bar interior. Photo provided.

The Handle Bar interior. Photo provided.

What it is:

The Handle Bar is a boutique indoor cycling studio in Southie. Some people may balk at the idea of a “boutique” spin-only studio, especially when you can get indoor cycling classes free at your gym. But until you’ve tried a studio like this, you don’t know what you’re missing. First, you must wear spin shoes; you can’t just wear your regular sneakers. If you’ve never clipped into a bike before, the experience will change the way you look at spinning forever. When you’re locked in on the bike, it makes you feel more locked in mentally, too. The ride just feels smoother and safer, especially when you’re really going for it on the sprints.

Know before you go:

The class is a 45-minute combination of hills and sprints. The bikes don’t lean, so our instructor also added some single leg peddling, too. Towards the end of class (in our class it was just before the final hill) there is some arm work with a weighted bar to incorporate upper body work. At the end of class there is a cool down and stretch. The music is loud, the instructors are peppy (you can tell they really love spinning), and while there were a few “woohoo’ers” (you know who you are), there was no forced “must-yell and socialize” vibe that some other speciality studios have. Classes are offered in the morning and evening and some days during lunchtime as well. But if you are thinking about a lunchtime spin, there are no showers, so keep that in mind because you’ll be a sweaty mess (in a good way) when it’s time to leave.

The vibe:

It’s a boutique spin studio. If you’ve ever tried Flywheel or SoulCycle in New York, or Recycle Studio here (in the Back Bay or South End), then you will already know the vibe. The studio is across the street (maybe 15 steps, tops) from the Broadway T station which has a slew of buses and the red line. Metered parking is limited, but there is plenty of residential parking nearby if you have a South Boston sticker.

The cost:

A drop-in class is $20 and packages range from five classes for $95 to 40 classes for $640.

What to bring:

Water, your cycling shoes, and a towel. If you don’t own special spin shoes, no problem. You can rent shoes in your size for $2.

The bottom line:

If you love hardcore indoor cycling and live or work nearby, the Handle Bar is a fantastic option for an advanced workout that even beginners will enjoy.

141 Dorchester Ave., South Boston, 617-451-1270;

The Handle Bar reception. Photo provided.

The Handle Bar reception. Photo provided.