1Rebel have been on my radar for a while, they offer a similar “one studio, two class” concept which we have developed at Cycle Rhythm and Bikram Yoga Essex. I followed their progress with interest as they raised capital for the venture by crowdfunding.
A few weeks ago, I finally got the chance to pop along and see if the studio dubbed “the future of fitness” lived up to it’s hype.
The sleek and spacious changing rooms are all part of the luxury experience at 1Rebel.
Lined with copper keyless lockers, exposed pipework and heated tiled benches, the interiors scream industrial luxe. Towels are chilling in the fridge ready for a post-class refresh.
Entering the cycle studio beneath an illuminated retro cinema sign, I found my pre-booked bike in the second row. The studio boasts 61 of the latest Matrix IC7 bikes, each equipped with a towel and set of handweights. A member of staff helped me to set up the bike as I waited for class to start.
The bikes resistance is controlled by a dial turned clockwise/anticlockwise. Without repeating myself too much, I’m never keen on this type of control as it is impossible to accurately define the level of resistance. The console displays RPM, time, calories and heart rate (if wearing a compatible strap). Our instructor told us to ignore the data on the console, but being a stats geek I couldn’t resist monitoring my numbers. The distance metric seemed totally off- claiming I’d cycled only 8km in 50 minutes?!
I must admit the studio lacked atmosphere, it was strangely quiet for a Tuesday evening with only 16 riders. Our instructor Rebecca was full of enthusiasm and energy, leading the class to a soundtrack featuring Kelis and Kanye West.
Handweights were incorporated into one track of the cycling session, again I’m personally not particularly a fan of upper body workouts in a cycling class. I find it difficult to keep my cadence going when I’m focusing on the upper body whilst continuing to pedal. This full-body class format is becoming increasingly popular, but my personal preference is a workout more closely based on road cycling.
Now I know I’ve got big legs, but something must have been wrong with the set-up of my bike. The metal runner of the horizontal saddle adjustment was chafing against my inner thighs for the entire class- it became very sore and uncomfortable. The standing portions of the class were a relief! I’ve never experienced that on an indoor bike before, so I’m not quite sure what went wrong with the set-up.
I’d like to go back and experience a Live Ride- the class is accompanied by a live jazz band. I know from our Sunday Sessions at Cycle Rhythm- live music can take a cycling class to a whole new level. I’m also keen to try the 1Rebel’s other class offering- a HIIT workout incorporating treadmills and bootcamp style exercises.
1Rebel have recently reviewed and reduced their prices, from an initial fee of £25 to a revised rate of £20 (per single class). First class is complimentary.