Indoor Cycle Class: Basics For Your First Ride

Cyclists gather together during a group fitness class in the cycling studio at the MCC.

Tips from MCC cycle instructor Brian Krull

So, you are enjoying your Monon Community Center membership and are interested in trying an indoor cycle class, but are a bit apprehensive. My guess is that you are not alone, maybe this short ramble can help.

Indoor cycle class is a low-impact exercise that can be modified to be both fun and challenging. Classes are taken by people with a wide variety of experience and goals including first-timers, regular exercisers, and experienced cyclists.

What is group cycle?

Indoor cycle is a group exercise format where participants pedal a stationary bike following an instructor’s lead. Classes are typically set to music and might include short periods of more intense work, recovery, or longer sustained efforts.

Participants create their own ride experience by adjusting resistance, revolutions per minute (RPM), and positioning.

Cycling instructor Brian Krull sits on the leader bike in the cycling studio in the MCC.

I often lead my classes by creating scenarios and imagery to create an outdoor cycling experience.

Cycle is for Everybody!

Besides being low impact and fun, cycling class can be modified so it works for you. Although instructors may lead class at a challenging level each participant can modify a mix of factors to meet their individual challenge. By adjusting resistance, pedal speed, or adding recovery each rider can customize their ride!

I encourage class participants to challenge themselves, but I also encourage them to scale that challenge to suit their needs that day.


  1. Modifying when needed to find your challenge! Take more recovery if you need it, adjust your resistance as needed, and work at a safe cadence.

  2. Getting there early. Great chance to meet the instructor and get set up on the bike. Instructors are always happy to help get you set up on the bike and answer questions before class gets going.

  3. Purchasing a pair of cycling shorts. Shorts made for cycling have built-in padding and other features worth the investment but not required.


Group cycle is a fun low-impact exercise that can be adapted to fit almost any fitness level and there is no equipment needed to participate!

I have heard myself say many times to first-timers and regulars “just show up, start pedaling, enjoy the music, and the other stuff just kind’ve happens.”

What are you waiting for? Check out the schedule, get in there, and start pedaling.


Cadence/RPM: Revolutions per minute of pedals and Cadence are interchangeable terms in indoor cycle.

Resistance: The amount of load or drag on the flywheel controlled with a dial that doubles as a break if pressed down.

Power: The amount of work the user is producing at any given moment expressed in watts. Power is the combination of RPM and resistance.

Saddle: Bike seat


Cycling Group Fitness instructor Brian Krull sits atop a spin cycle bike in the cycling studio in the MCC.




Brian Krull

Brian is a group fitness instructor at the Monon Community Center and an avid cyclist. You can read more from Brian on his blog!

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