I took the chance to test how it is to be part of the trendy cyclomanics at One 10 in Marylebone. The experience was like none of my previous cycling experiences in several ways.
The booking process is smooth – insert your details at http://www.one-10.com, buy credit(s), book and there you go. The current two-time trial for new riders sets you back £20. After that you pay £16-£20 per class, depending on the package you choose. At least at the moment the company is running also a generous prefer-a-friend-scheme.
As this is not any cycling experience, you don’t book just any seat on the class, but a specific bike. You notice later why this comes handy – the bike is actually tracking your performance, and you can check the intensity of your workout later on through your profile. When booking a class, you have also the chance to pre-book a fresh-maid smoothie for your recovery. Nice touch.
The first class I tested, Nirvana, took place on a late Tuesday evening. I arrived about 20 minutes prior the class started, and was greeted cheerfully by the front desk. One 10 provides also glides. I was recommended correctly to choose one size bigger shoes than I’d normally use.
Locker rooms are stylish. Sheep skin, funny-motivational slogans on the walls, quality handbalms and hair straighteners included. On ladies side there wasn’t too much space by the lockers, but that was not a real problem. The lockers can be locked with a code.
When entering the class, I was immediately offered help to clip on my glides. Much appreciated. A fluffy towel is provided. 1kg dumbbells occupy the bottle holders. I push them to one side and put my water bottle to the other. After a couple of minutes waiting the 45-minute class starts, exactly on time.
The first impression is slight overwhelm – loud music, club-like atmosphere, speedy cycling. I feel like been dropped on a moving bike. Maybe I felt like that, because we started cycling almost immediately on the standing position.
The first 20 minutes I wonder where I have been ended up to. The high speed of cycling is not the only fast thing – suddenly we are shown how to do some type of push ups on the bike. I have done this before, but never on this speed. There is no clear instructions to the technique neither any chance to feel any contact to any muscle related to this. Some minutes later I find out that is probably not the aim either – we move soon to a choreography, where we are not rising our arms towards the ceiling, crossing them across the body and repeating, on an incredible speed. Later during the class shoulder and chest exercises with the 1kg dumbbells are a finishing touch.
After 20 minutes I feel slightly better, most likely thanks to the first song with some vocals. I abandon the idea of getting any connection to my muscles, whatever we are doing, and just cycle on.
We start to calm pace down somewhere around 34 minutes, and are done well in time for the 45 minutes. High fives on the door, out.
‘This was amazing!’ shouts a girl to her friend in a locker room. I am exhausted, but not in a way I remembered I would be after a cycling session. This time there are no pounds of sweat around my bike (maybe thanks to the A/C?), neither had I my bike’s resistance so high that I could barely have been biking it. I have been biking a lot, yes, but I felt either like in Nirvana neither that I did my best.
After the class I enjoy the exclusive-feeling showers. Far from my daily Gymbox.
I am fairly sure that Nirvana is not my thing, but decide to give a chance for Paceline.
Week after, I hit a 7.45 am class with about 20 other pre-work goers. I am delighted that my shoe size is this time already noted from the previous visit. CRM at its best.
Paceline’s format takes the full advantage of the bikes’ technology. Our first names are projected to the wall. We can monitor not only our own RPM (Revolutions per minute) and wats, but also everyone else’s on the same class. This will naturally to give a nice competitive (or encouraging) twist to the class. Seeing everyone’s numbers is an extremely handy tool for the instructor during the class, and most likely for the whole class concept team also after the class on the background.
This time instructor is more on top of what everyone is doing – most likely because of the numbers on the wall.
The instructor is participating the class by going around the space and noting any too fast or low speeds. That is an advantage but a challenge as well. I personally don’t find an instructor who is not instructing and leading by example motivating.
Also this time the variety of movements on the class is rather limited. We staying on the saddle or biking standing. We are not exhausting ourselves with low jumps or going as slow and hard as we would be climbing a mountain. Also hands are fixed to one position on the handles.
Music is better (more vocals), but is not fully fitting 100% of the suggested RPMs of the class.
After Paceline I feel like given more than after Nirvana. Monitoring RPM and wats made the class more versatile itself.
+ Friendly service on site – Quick check in, help adjusting the bike
+ Great use of technology – easy reservations, easy book your smoothie, saving customer’s shoe size, save class details to customer’s profile, using data as part of the class
+ Beautiful and functional facilities – both cycling spaces and locker rooms. Luxorius showers, beautiful spaces
+ Easy to attend with minimal gear with you, thanks to the glides, towels and necessary shower cosmetics provided
+ Good on boarding, immediate help with glides and bike adjustments.
Instruction. I’m fully aware that this is also down to personal preferences. But, I am not fan of the instructor constantly leading by the example and giving the ‘you can do it’ – spirit. I feel I could have done more, I feel that the 34-37 minutes of biking could have been made more versatile and intense. After discussing with locals, instructors not doing as much as the customers seems to be widely accepted, as well as the good atmosphere taking priority of the intensity of the work out. After all, I still have a feeling more technique could have been corrected and more instruction to be given.
If you appreciate up to 12 rides per day, the low gear required -attitude (in theory, shorts, t-shirts and 2nd set of socks and lingerie can be pressed to almost any handbag), like relatively luxurious atmosphere, know the basics, get motivated by numbers or high spirits, can finance it.
One 10, 16 Baker Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 3BL.