Do I have to bring my own bike?

The CycleOps Indoor Cycle is its own cycling device and which allows you to exactly mimic your own bike set-up, but without the hassle of having to lug your bike to and fro and set it up each time.  Bike set-up to match your road position takes about 1-2 minutes.

Bike breakdown at the end of the workout takes no time – you simply get off the bike.

Do I need a certain ability level?  Classes can appear intimidating?

Riders at M2 range from Cat. 1 cyclists and Kona qualifiers to people who never ride a bike outside but who are seeking a more methodical approach to indoor cycling and improving fitness.

Where workouts are measured,  each rider effectively trains at their particular fitness level.  Instructors do not walk the floor or ride the bike exhorting you to “pedal harder, no pain = no gain” etc.  Instead, riders are instructed to train at a level which they can sustain, and to end a particular workout always able to have done another repeat or to have continued a bit more, but content to let it go.

Again, where the CycleOps Indoor Cycles indicate your work effort, a rider can reference objective metrics as to work effort and fitness gains.  The newer rider will be motivated by the company of many skilled riders, AND by the obvious improvement in his/her wattage and subsequent fitness.

What kind of pedals do you use?

SPD, the small diamond-shamped cleat. We have these available for sale at the Studio – $15, or $25 elsewhere.

Can I bring my own shoes/pedals?

Yes you may – we will loan you the pedal wrench to swap in and out. We do think it is more practical to simply buy another pair of bike shoes and thus avoid the swapping exercise. See Bikenut in San Francisco for great deals on cycling products.

Is it possible to use regular running shoes?

Yes, but we recommend the use of a proper cycling shoe.

What do I do for my first class?

Arrive 20min early in order that we can help you with bike set-up and orientation.

Can I sign up ahead of time for a class?

Yes – you can pay online.  It is not necessary to assign a specific class, although if it is your first class you might send a note indicating when you will first attend so we know to expect you..  With 30 bikes we can generally accommodate every rider. Rainy Saturdays are an exception and it is strongly recommended that you sign up ahead of time.

What other equipment do you have available?

Treadmills, Vasa Swim Ergometer and Swim Benches, core exercise balls, stretch cords, light weights, Bosu ball, Trx equipment.

Are there shower facilities?

Yes. Men and women facilities.

Are their beverages available?

Yes. We have available for purchase a variety of hydration and recovery drinks.

What do you recommend for Parking?

Street parking is very easy to find and before 9a.m and after 6pm there are no meters. Note that most meters are only 1hr duration. There is also an inexpensive parking garage a half block away on the corner of Bush and Polk Streets, right-hand side.

How do M2 Revolution’s CycleOps Indoor Cycles and classes compare to a standard spin fare?

This is really an apples and oranges comparison.  Spin bikes provide no measurement of work output, your primary fitness variable.  Most do not even have cadence counters.  Standard spin bikes seats tend to be oversized and squishy.

I have always been amazed that the “Spin World” in all these years has neglected the two most important workout factors in a spinning or cycling class: work output (watts) and cadence.

Only at M2 Revolution do riders have the technology that allows them to address the critical factors in properly organizing a workout – measured work output (watts) and cadence.  Voila!


Comfort is another critical area where the CycleOps bikes are a vast improvement over standard spin bikes.  The CycleOps can be micro-adjusted to match your body, or to exactly replicate your outdoor bike position.  Seat and stem allow you to adjust height and reach independently.

Classes at M2 Revolution are organized around an individual’s fitness, and which can be easily measured with the CycleOps Indoor Cycle.  There is no inane jumping up and down, doing pushups, or any of the other silliness that seems to populate the Spin world.  In short, classes are not a random exercise experience.

Riders will be able to see their fitness grow as they generate higher power all within the context of a varied 50-60min class.  My experience is that riders of every ability enjoy seeing tangible fitness gains.

In order to instruct at M2 Revolution, instructors will have been trained/certified by M2 – standard spin certifications do not sufficiently qualify an instructor to teach at M2 Revolution.

How are classes at M2 Revolution different than a computrainer class?

CycleOps versus Computrainer is a more appropriate comparison than to a spin bike, and it boils down to new technology versus old technology.

M2 was a pioneer in using indoor cycling devices, including computrainer, for performance training.  A two-time professional Ironman Champion, and one of the stronger cyclists in the sport at the professional level, indoor cycling sessions (60-80min twice per week) using either a windtrainer or computrainer were critical aspects of M2’s own training.

As a coach, M2 has long been unique in insisting that his athletes use either this device or other such devices that gave approximate measurements of work output.

However, with the advent of the CycleOps Indoor Cycle, a rider now has access to superior technology and a better workout experience.  M2 Revolution chose the CycleOps for its riders because of its advantages in these areas:


With the micro-adjustability of the CycleOps allowing a rider to exactly replicate any position, there is no need to go through the hassle of any of these bike logistics.

In essence, with M2 Revolution’s CycleOps Indoor Cycles, you can effectively ride your own bike or the precise position of your choosing.

Accuracy in Measurement

For science and data enthusiasts, the CycleOps is the most accurate measurement device available.

The CycleOps Powertap hub features 8 strain gauges that precisely measure the torque and resulting power being generated by the rider, accurate to +/- 1.5%.

Computrainers in our experience are fairly consistent (assuming proper calibration) in the wattage for a particular device, though can at times experience 10-15w variation from one device to another.

With the CycleOps Indoor Cycles, you can be assured that the wattage value you are seeing and using or your workouts are both a consistent and accurate representation of your work effort.

Uniformity and Accuracy from one Indoor Cycle to another

Where the CycleOps technology directly measures the work output, a rider can ride on any CycleOps Indoor Cycle and be assured that the primary fitness variable (work output = watts) is accurate and consistent from one device to another.

On the other hand, a single Computrainer unit will generally be consistent from one workout to the next, but will often vary considerably from one unit to another.

In a home environment where one rides the same device each time, this variability of rider data is perhaps not an issue – data might not be accurate but it is at least consistent.

However, in a group class environment where one often rides different devices, one is left wondering if increases or decreases in wattage are accurate, and whether one is truly gaining (or losing) fitness.

Taking Power to the Roads – Consistency and Accuracy in Measurement

For the rider that wants to take training to the next level and train with power on the roads, CycleOps uses the exact same technology and device, the Powertap hub.

Once again, with the CycleOps you have accuracy and consistency in measurement.  Thus, the wattage that you see in your indoor cycling class will be the precise wattage that is measured on the roads, and vice versa.

Ability to incorporate Standing

The CycleOps Indoor Cycle has an important advantage over the computrainer where it is very easy to incorporate standing efforts into a workout.

Anyone who has ridden a computrainer device will know that the ability to incorporate cycling specific standing efforts is marginal at best.

With the CycleOps Indoor Cycle, standing efforts of any kind, long and rhythmic, or short and intense, are just as if you were out on the roads.

How long do classes last?

Classes generally last 60-70 minutes.

On occasion we will do longer 80-90minute sessions, for example on a rainy weekend.  From many years of experience M2 Longer 1.5hr sessions are reserved for riders with a very high degree of fitness and who are seeking an epic indoor workout.  Riding 1.5hrs should not be done on a frequent basis as it becomes tedious and improvement is stifled.

Many years of measured training experience demonstrate that the vast majority of riders (Ironman candidates, Century riders, fitness enthusiasts, etc.) can better improve their fitness by sharpening their effort to fit within the 60-70min workout periods we practice at M2, than by endlessly toiling indoor for hours at a time for little relative gain.

What about using HR for training?

Use of Heart Rate monitoring can be an interesting reference on training effort, but it is important to note that it is an indirect measurement, and thus of secondary relevance.

In the absence of the technology that now exists on the CycleOps Indoor Cycle to measure work output, HR-based training was the next best way to try and understand work effort.

While an interesting reference, there are important limitations to making HR-based training an effective training tool.  Examples of these limitations are the following:

** HR can be affected by things other than your work effort – heat, hydration, stress, quality of sleep, and duration of work effort.

** HR measurement does not immediately reflect one’s effort – thus HR monitoring provides limited or no usefulness for shorter intervals where there is considerable delay in HR response to a particular effort.

** The relevance of HR in increasingly diminished as the duration of exercise increases.  Athletes will observe that HR will simply drift up over time, even though RPE will not necessarily have changed.

** HR can be a better indicator of effort for some athletes, less so for others.  Having worked with hundreds of athletes, it is interesting to see how for some athletes HR is consistently tied to watts/RPE, and for others much less so.

** Steady HR > Diminishing Work Output

Athletes of all abilities can appreciate that an optimal work effort is one that is sustainable.  However, trying to practice an even and sustainable effort by riding at a steady HR will see the contrary – you might maintain

an even HR, but your work output will gradually diminish for this same HR.

Of course, a rider can begin at a lower HR in anticipation this # rising and thus attempt to better effect a sustainable pace/effort.  Yet, it is plain to see that it would be far more effective to directly measure the task at hand – work output in watts – thus eliminating guess-work and extraneous variables.

** Establishing Useful (credible) HR training zones

Finally, if HR training is to have relevance to the task at hand, zones must be defined on the basis of the individual, the sport, and a workout or test that indicates maximum sustainable HR.

HR training that involves arbitrary numbers (220, 180 minus age, etc.) might be methods, but they have little to do with determining an optimal training course.  It is bewildering to see a group of folks out on the roads practicing “HR restricted” rides, where they all must observe the same artificial HR ceiling.

Oh well, at least one can say that it is a method.  For more on this subject, readers can refer to the M2 article, Tall Tales on HR Training.


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