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The old stationary bike experience can’t come to the phone right now.
They say once you learn to ride a bicycle, you never forget—but when you’re in an underground, neon-lit spin class trying to pedal to club beats at 7 a.m., it’s actually very easy to forget. Modern spin classes incorporate choreography almost as much as they incorporate cycling, and I do not have the rhythm. Moving my arms and legs independently (and on beat) is simply impossible for me. So I think it’s fair to say that if I survived a class at Vancouver’s newest fitness studio, Dibfit Cycle, anyone can.
Dibfit Cycle was founded in September 2022 by Daniela Dib, a former Soulcycle Vancouver instructor (so yes, she is intense—more on that later). It’s located below ground at 806 Homer Street. The interior has all the classic 2022 fitness studio things (pink and white palette, change rooms, lockers with combinations you set yourself) with a few exceptions. For one, there’s only one shower, so if you’re planning on washing off in-house you’ve got to act fast. They’ve also got one of those marquee-style signs with interchangeable letters: during my visit, it read OUR BIKES: MORE RELIABLE THAN YOUR MAN.
The actual fitness room has mirrors on all sides, with stationary bikes facing a small stage-like platform for the instructor. Daniela, who is sporting a hot pink workout ‘fit and has an absurd amount of energy for 7 a.m., helps me clip into the bike (something I’m getting better at the more I review spin classes for this strange, strange job I have). I see that the bikes on either side of me have little cards, congratulating the participants on their fifth class. It’s a very cute personal touch, but it also makes me scared that this might be the type of class where the instructor calls you out by name.
Daniela starts the class by yelling something like “Good morning my gorgeous, remarkable angels!” and I have to stifle a laugh when it’s met with an echoing “WOOO!” from my fellow class participants, who whip their sweat towels in circles above their heads. We’re off to a passionate start.
Daniela notes that there are first-time riders in the class (me) and assures everyone that although she uses a lot of choreography, the choreography is what? “OPTIONAL” yells back the crowd. What follows is an hour of some of the most spirited cycling I have ever participated in.
Besides the pedaling (again, not as easy as it seems), arm choreo varied from push-up-like motions on the bike to clapping to small free weights. It was difficult, but not impossible, largely because I chose to ignore Daniela every time she encouraged us to up the resistance on the bike (I’ve learned that having a lower resistance and doing the exercises on beat with the rest of the crowd is better for me, it makes me less self-conscious). Even so, there were definitely times where I felt very silly. It helps that it is extremely dark in there… and also, everyone else is too busy sweating their butt off to care what you’re doing.
Throughout the class, Daneila shouts things like “DON’T TAKE SWIMMING LESSONS FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO DROWN YOU” and that coupled with the marquee sign gives me big Taylor Swift vibes—specifically the Reputation Era. Besides making money and helping people be active (and, let’s be honest, creating a city full of amazing butts) the goals of Dibfit were clear: to encourage, to empower, possibly to convince you to dump your terrible boyfriend and quit your terrible job and forgive yourself for every mistake you’ve ever made.
I can be a bit of a skeptic when it comes to new fitness studios: the this-will-change-your-life vibe is hard not to eye-roll at. But pedaling along with a bunch of WOOOers, I thought, what’s the harm in believing that? I could choose to be a grumpy cynic and not WOOO along with the rest, but why? Yes, it’s cult-y. Every fitness studio is. But this is one pretty positive cult.
Dibfit Cycle classes are $30 per individual class (but their introductory and bulk pass options are cheaper). More at dibfit.com.