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Question on spinning classes....(13 posts)

Question on spinning classes....Kirk
Jan 9, 2002 11:54 AM
I am going to join a spinning class this year for the month of March for the first time. Are special shoes required? Are the bikes using clipped pedals, straps? Dont want to go in looking like the spinning newby I really am.

depends ...tarwheel
Jan 9, 2002 12:03 PM
Regular cycling shoes work fine for spin classes, just make sure they fit well. If loose, you're feet will slide all over the place from all the standing climbs. Most of the bikes in my class have toe clips w/ straps but few have clipless pedals (SPDs); the serious cyclists fight over those bikes. Don't worry about looking like a newbie because most of the spinners (at least in the classes I go to) seldom if ever ride road bikes. Most of them wear tennis shoes and t-shirts, although most seem to have invested in cycling shorts. Regular cycling attire -- particularly shoes and shorts -- will definitely make spin classes a more pleasant experience. I even wear a jersey and cycling gloves, although I skip the helmet.
Always where a helmet!UncleMoe
Jan 9, 2002 2:04 PM
You never know when the overweight person spinning next to you might fall over on top of you.
Always where a helmet!tempete
Jan 9, 2002 2:15 PM
Of course. Now, where were we, ah, yes, don't forget to wear your Depends, leaky brains UncleMoe!
re: Question on spinning classes....Troyboy
Jan 9, 2002 1:07 PM
In my very extensive experience with Spinning r/tm, you'll typically find gym associations that have arrangements with particular companies like Reebok and Spin r/tm (which uses Schwinn bikes up to this point) as the most popular. Gym associations will generally buy all the peripherals like pedals and such through the same distributor they buy the bikes from. These distributors will likely have purchase arrangements with pedal manufacturers. Some but not many of these pedals are dual type with one platform on one side and a cage or a second platform on the other side. In my area and many others, I've found virtually no SPD use. In the several gyms I've taken class from, been trained in, handle maintenance for and teach in, the Look pedal format is completely, entirely, 100% dominant, with cages available for 2/3 of the total bikes. I've only seen an SPD compatible pedal on 1 out of about 400 bikes I've seen, been on, worked on, etc.

You can very easily use any athletic shoe with the cage.
re: Question on spinning classes....jtolleson
Jan 9, 2002 2:10 PM
There will definitely be a toe-strap setup available on all or most of the bikes. My gym has converted to two-sided pedals (one SPD side, one toe clip side). If you have bike shoes (even without cleats) they are nice because there's a fair amount of standing in spinning class and all the same benefits of stiff soles that you have on a bike will help in spinning. But even a sneaker will work.

No shame in being a newbie! In fact, don't try to hide it. Tell you instructor (arrive a little early) so he/she can get the bike set up for you (there are bar height, seat height, and seat fore/aft adjustments).

Also, they are fixed gear setups with a 40 lb flywheel, so a little practice spinning is good. You can't just stop pedaling like on a road bike, and the first couple of times standing will feel funny. That will all resolve within the first few minutes or first class period.

Good luck and have fun.
Spinning Pedals...Brooks
Jan 9, 2002 4:02 PM
Hmmmmm... So far everyone has different experiences with pedal setups. Our small gym has 12 bikes, most with spd only or spd/toe clip dualies. A couple of bikes are platform with toe clip on the opposite side of the pedal. Users are all pretty cognizant of getting everyone on what they need. We usually have 1/3 of users in sneakers, 2/3 with spd shoes. Interesting about the Look setup mentioned earlier, but our community is a big mtb area and most locals have spds.

A couple of important tips that your instructor should mention: 1. Do not put weight on your hands, balance over your pedals, and 2. You are spinning a 42# flywheel, you can't just stop pedaling or you may get tossed over the handlebars. Get used to it, it doesn't take much time to get the feeling, but it is not like a road bike.

Have fun.
Spinning Pedals...brains
Jan 9, 2002 7:23 PM
once you get into it I have a nifty little secret to help you get through the really tough climbs. Are you ready... O.K. here it is: on the really tough climbs when you have added all of the resistance you can handle and you start to feel as if you cant go anymore, lean forward a little so that the sweat dripping from you face lands squarely on the fly wheel. This will ease the friction between the breaking pad and the fly wheel and allow you to finish the remainder of the climb without reaching down to release the resistance. Good luck.
Spinning Pedals...theBreeze
Jan 9, 2002 8:13 PM
If you can't make it through the tough climbs, SIT DOWN! As an instructor it's my job to see you get a good workout, but it's not a competition to see who can leave the biggest pool of sweat on the floor. And speaking as the person who has to maintain all our bikes, I hope you are wiping your sweat off the flywheel after class. FYI -anything wet that gets dripped on the pads,(sweat, H2O) messes them up and makes them start squeaking. More work for the wrench...
Hey Breeze...brains
Jan 11, 2002 10:42 AM
Jeepers, Lighten up a little. Of course you are an instructor of spinning classes and also happend to wrench on the bikes you use for your class. Bully for you. You must then realize that sweat is a necessary evil of a spinning class. I don't think that anyone is going to intentionally sweat onto the fly-wheel to adjust the resistance on their bikes becuase I mentioned it in this thread. I dont intentionlly do it either but have, on occasion, observed the slight reduction in resistance. Just adding a little levity to a not so serrious topic to begin with. Finally, I do wipe down my spin bike after every class including but not limited to the Freakin Fly-Wheel.
Hey everyone, Thanks a TON.......Kirk
Jan 10, 2002 9:39 AM
I think I'll stop by the Y to check out class prices and what pedals they are using. Really can't wait for the base period to be over and start some intensity. Spring is only 10-12 weeks away (optimist here)

Why the gloves?noexcuses
Jan 10, 2002 9:46 AM
Best suggestion is to arrive early for your first class, but why are you waiting til March? Usually the instructors make it a point to arrive early to help set-ups and check the room.
Been spinning for about 3 winters now and I always wondered why a couple of riders use gloves on the stationery bike. No road vibration. I usually use the standard issue towel on the bars and to catch the drips.
On the comparison side, our spinning room is a converted racketball court. I've seen that in a few of the gyms that I've been to. Any other configurations out there?
Towel behind seat...Brooks
Jan 10, 2002 11:09 AM
Ever seen a towel slip off the bars and into the flywheel? A sudden stop is not a good thing. I sometimes wear gloves just for grip and to keep my sweaty hands from sliding all over the bars.