If you haven’t heard of Psycle then you are truly immune to the effects of snazzy marketing. The brand has become synonymous with the desires of many modern women (and men): that instant, Instagrammable post-workout selfie that will be the envy of their friends who are sitting at home, eating takeaway and browsing fitness posts.
Don’t get me wrong, I mean no disrespect to Psycle, nor criticise the brand and its ambitions. I personally think that their marketing strategies are spot on and that they are doing a sterling job at motivating “ordinary” people to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. Sure, it’s an expensive hobby and won’t be to everyone’s taste (cue the pricey onsite juice bar), but judging by how oversubscribed the classes are, lots of people are loving the Psycle package.
I signed up for the intro offer and tried two classes: Mortimer Street (Psycle HQ) and Selfridges Body Works (pop up).
Mortimer Street with Alana and Selfridges with Kaya
Things I liked: great music, enthusiastic instructors, good vibe and well equipped changing rooms
The class had a great vice. I got the feeling that everybody was excited to be there and was having a good time. The workout is an intense 45 minute session, incorporating vigorous cycling, arm presses and weight exercises. Staff are on hand to help with the clip in shoes and setting up the bikes. We started with a warm up before cycling our way through about 5 or 6 instructor led songs, each with their own routine. Some were faster paced and designed to make you up your RPM, others were slower but was just as hard since you were encouraged to pile on the resistance so that it felt like you were cycling through treacle. We finished with a warm down and a series of stretches.The changing rooms in both venues were fully equipped with everything you could possibly need. In the ladies, in addition to the complimentary towels, you have everything from Bumble & Bumble hair products to GHD hairdryers and straighteners to Cowshed toiletries to hair bobbles and grips. They even had a nifty plastic bag dispenser so that you could keep your sweaty gym gear separate from the rest of your bag. I thought that these were nice touches and definitely made the high price tag easier to stomach. Things I disliked: weights that slid off bikes, no watt output meter, could do with more space in changing rooms and the PRICE.
There were a few minor niggles. There wasn’t a specific weights hook under the saddles which meant they were placed in the spare bottle holder. If you pedal too enthusiastically (as I did!) they may slide off mid-session and embarrassingly roll across the studio. If you’re a numbers gal like me, then the lack of a screen showing your watt output and resistance levels is a tad annoying. The changing rooms are a bit cramped in HQ, particularly given the fact that Studio 1 has a max capacity of 50.
The main niggle, well it’s not really a niggle but more of a resigned acceptance, is the price. At £20 a class, Psycle is pricey. The thing that irks me is not the headline price per class per se, but that their bulk buy packs are so lacking in value. A pack of 5 will set you back £95 (£19/class), a pack of 10 is £180 (£18/class), a pack of 20 is £325 (£16.25/class) and a pack of 50 costs a whopping £775 and only works out to £15.50/class. They’ve scrapped their buddy credit package so even if you’re happy to drop that £775 at the Psycle till, you still can’t take your friend to an odd class here or there for free. I totally understand that you get a lot for your money but at the end of the day, it’s not cheap.
I really enjoyed both classes and I’d love to carry on but the lack of a cheaper regular class option lets Psycle down.