Cyc Fitness or Flyght? Which One is for Me?

Here in Madison, we are lucky to have our fair share of work out studios and gyms available. Kickboxing, yoga, dance, cross fit — you pick! This month, another cycling studio opened below Dragonfly Hot Yoga on West Johnson. But what’s the difference between Flyght and Cyc Fitness, and how do you know which one is best for you? Well, my advice is to definitely try them both so you can feel it out, but if you’re looking for where to start, here’s my hot take.


The Studio

Cyc is conveniently located in the middle of campus, right above Fresh. So it makes it a great place to stop by right after class or even before because you can get a great workout and  grocery shop or grab a bite to eat after! Cyc studio is always clean and looking nice. The locker areas are great, and it’s nice to know that all the lockers lock so you can bring along a backpack if necessary and not worry about it (not that you’d have to worry about it there anyway.)

Flyght isn’t much further away, especially if you live towards the capitol side of campus. However, I will say that the space feels more cramped. The cubbies are in a really tight hallway and when everyone is trying to get to them at once it’s basically impossible to move around.


​The Ride

I don’t love the Cyc Fitness bikes, and I don’t love having to wear their cycling shoes. I have a problem (and maybe I’m the only one!) where my feet start to cramp up being hooked onto the peddles, and I can’t figure out how to stretch them. The bikes themselves sometimes feel a bit unstable.

As far as comfort and stability goes, I loved the Flyght bikes. While the seat still did make my butt a little sore — they all will, I think — I really enjoyed the way riding the bike felt. I also liked that Flyght doesn’t make you wear cycling shoes. My feet felt much more comfortable in the holsters. However, you can rent the shoes if you like using them!



Cyc Fitness is much more focused on the music and cycling along to the beat of the music — got to find that 1, 2, 1, 2! I find this helps me push, and I do enjoy bobbing along to the beat as I spin. However, I know there are complaints that with the loud music and lights and instructions screaming along to Beyonce, Cyc Fitness can be a bit over-stimulating for people who enjoy a calmer work out.


Flyght was much calmer! The music was still bumping but the ride is focused on your RPM’s (revolutions per minute) not so much on keeping beat with the music. I have knee issues, and so sometimes standing sprints on bikes can really hurt, especially when I’m trying to keep up in Cyc Fitness. I was appreciative that we didn’t do standing sprints in Flyght that made me feel out of control of my knees as I sometimes do in Cyc.



My final complaints with Flyght were simply some concerns with the user-friendliness of the first ride. On almost all spin bikes, there is a knob on the bike that will increase the resistance on your pedals. At Cyc Fitness, your “base level” is simply found by turning your knob all the way to the left. At Flyght, our “base level” was three-to-four turns up from the bottom. So when we kept being asked to return to base level, I either had to remember exactly how many turns I had added on in the last section or I had to turn all the way to the bottom and add my three turns back on — it just was less efficient. Second, as I mentioned above, Flyght focuses on RPM’s more than keeping the 1, 2, 1, 2, so there is a little computer screen on each bike that can tell you your stats for the ride. However, the screen doesn’t stay lit, so anytime you want to check how you’re doing you have to wake the screen back up which takes away from your ride. Also, almost no instruction was given about how to use the monitor or what to do with it, so all it’s handy features were somewhat wasted on me because I wanted to focus on getting a workout not figuring out this new piece of technology.


If it’s your first spin class, take it easy on yourself. There will probably be hardcore cyc-addicts around you — don’t compare yourself to them, just listen to your body! Nothing will ruin the class more for you than overtaxing your body before it can handle it. Be proud of yourself for already doing the hardest part, getting yourself there, and relax and enjoy feeling your muscles work hard (but not too hard) for the rest of the ride.


Flyght or Cyc, the most important thing is you should try new things! With so many boutique-style studios around Madison, and most of them offering new student deals, there are no excuses to not be getting out and testing them all! You can sign up for a Cyc Fitness class here and a Flyght class here. Happy spinning!