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The Real Cycling Deal: RealRyder Class

real-ryderWe recently sent one of our manliest-of-men writers, Mark Arana, to try a RealRyder cycling class in L.A. Below are his thoughts on how tough the workout was and if it’s a good fit for all of the Fit Bottomed Dudes in the house! —Jenn

There’s only one way to sum up a RealRyder cycling class: It’s the real deal! What’s REAL about this class is that the bike moves side to side. Like a real bike!

Now, although I teach a cycling class at my gym, I am by no means a cyclist. To be honest, I was a little intimidated before taking the class. I heard that real cyclists who ride on the road would be participating in the class. However, once I got there and saw that it was just a small and welcoming group, it made me feel more at ease. And ready to get my pedal on.

The RealRyder bikes are just like the ones you see at your local gym. When you get on it though, it’s a whole different story. Because the bike moves from side to side, you really have to engage your core to balance. Erin, our instructor, was great with me and FBG Tish, who joined me for the ride. She challenged us to push ourselves the entire time. Being a cycle instructor, I thought Real Ryding would come naturally. Boy, was I wrong. I was exhausted after the first 15 minutes of the class. I watched the women and an older gentlemen kick my butt as they pedaled and swayed way past the point of my body’s beginning Real Ryder threshold.

The bike moves just like it would on the road. The handlebars sway side to side as you get started. The challenge begins when you realize you have to keep the handlebars steady. Erin made it seem like the easiest request in the world, keeping those bars straight. But, iorder to keep the bike steady, you have to engage your core and really concentrate. It was pretty easy for others to see when I was having a difficult time. My bars would sway out of control.

The side-to-side movement was great though, as Erin would have us lean to the right for a few seconds then lean to the left. The standing climbs were difficult though. I definitely used my triceps, core, and legs to help me balance while standing. Tish’s experience in the class echoed my own, saying that the class worked every inch of her body—not something you would expect from a cycling class.

Mark and Bob Harper!

The class was about 50 minutes long—and could have qualified as torture in some countries! I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to get off that bike, but I stayed on. And, despite it feeling nearly impossible to complete the class, by the end I didn’t just like it, I LOVED it. I’ve never experienced anything in a stationary class like that, and I’ve never worked so hard on a bike. The next day I was sore in places that I haven’t been in a long, long time. Teaching my stationary bike class will be sad now, knowing there’s a beast out there capable of so much more.

You feel the need for speed…and some killer core work? I highly recommend this class! —Mark

Mark Arana currently holds a certification with the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American College of Sports Medicine. Mark lives in Los Angeles, working for a corporate fitness center and Sony Studios Athletic Club. Mark specializes in bootcamp training, sports-specific training, cardio-weight training and functional training. If you are interested in taking any of his classes or would like to work one-on-one with him, please contact CoachMarkA@gmail.com.

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


  1. Laura says:

    Just found out the gym near my office has one of these – I def want to give it a try! Thanks 🙂

  2. I read about this bike a long time ago and ever since then hubby and I have had it on our wish list for when we redo our garage into a home gym. We want two of them so we can cycle together. Now I’m even more excited about it after reading this review. Wish we were in LA to experience the class.

  3. MJB says:

    As a real cyclist, this is nothing like a real bike. As an indoor cycling instructor, I don’t recommend these bikes.

  4. Katherine says:

    The RealRyder bike takes indoor cycling to a new level! You sweat within 5 minutes of a class and feel the burn not only in your legs, but your arms and abs, too. I take a RealRyder cycling class 2-3 times a week at M6 Fitness in Thousand Oaks, which has a state-of-the-art cycling studio that is the only one of its kind in Ventura County. It has a 10 foot movie screen, so it feels as though you’re riding along the California Coast or through Wine Country vineyards without having to step foot outside. Many of the people I take classes with are avid cyclists and they tell me they still get an amazing workout doing indoor cycling. If you’re in Ventura County, you should come to M6 Fitness to try a RealRyder class (m6fitness.com)!

  5. I am a big RealRyder fan. I got introduced to them at Sweat Therapy Fitness here in Tallahassee, FL. I am not currently a member of that studio, so I’m not getting in my RR time but would heartily recommend it. My kids (11 and 14) have done it too – as long as a kid can reach the pedals (and the studio approves of course) it’s a kid-friendly thing!

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