Found: An Indoor Cycling Class That's Great If You're Super Competitive

Any new exercise class can be a little intimidating, but if you throw in a leaderboard on a large screen at the front of the class, it becomes even more so. Paceline is a new cycling class at one-10 in Marylebone, and it’s all about competition. Exactly how hard you’re working (or not working) is displayed at the front of the class for all to see. I have never been competitive in any sport (not tennis, not netball, not even beer pong), so I really didn’t think this approach would work for me—but much to my surprise I found the screen isn’t something to be scared of.

You follow a pattern of intense intervals, but this isn’t a spin class. There’s no whooping, no motivational sound bites and no One Direction songs. It’s for cyclists or those looking for a more results-driven approach to cardio training, as all the instructors have completed Iron Man competitions or are serious cyclists. I’m training for a 50-mile bike ride (yep, I actually signed up for that), so I needed something that would really push me.

At Paceline, your every pedal is tracked so you can analyse your power, speed and how many calories you have burnt in the 45-minute session. It’s a class that’s built around your results, and I found that the stats really do pull you through. This is the first exercise class where I haven’t incessantly glared at my watch trying to work out how much longer I’ve got left—at Paceline, I have other numbers to focus on.

If you’re competitive, the leaderboard is an obvious extra drive. But I found the best thing about Paceline is that you can accurately track your own progress—you create an online profile and can see how much faster and stronger you’re after each session. There’s even a graph to show your improvement.

Although seeing those around me cycling faster didn’t particularly spur me on, I found trying to top my own scores really motivating. And whether you’re competitive or not, a beginner or an Iron Man, seeing evidence of your progress is always going to feel good (and from my experience, pretty addictive).

What to Wear to a Paceline Class

Not into spinning? Why not see what our deputy editor had to say about this meditation class.