A New Indoor Cycling Studio Just Opened in Rittenhouse

Cycology 202 Philadelphia is offering a new local option for spin.

Cycology 202 Philadelphia is the fourth fitness studio from owner Ellen Spell. | Photography courtesy of Cycology 202

Yep, that’s right. In news we never thought we’d report in 2020, a brand new spin studio is now open in Rittenhouse. The opening comes on the heels of city officials allowing indoor gyms to re-open as of July 20th, provided they meet the stated COVID-19 precautions: all staff and patrons of local gyms must wear a mask at all times, must keep six feet distance between themselves and others, and must work out in groups of ten or less people for exercise classes.

If you’re willing to abide by the rules, and into cardio cycling workouts, Cycology 202 might just be up your alley (you can also try them online if you’re not quite ready to head back indoors). Like other popular spin classes in the city and ‘burbs, this studio offers a high-intensity cardio workout, what majority owner Ellen Spell calls a “dance party on a bike.” Cue the dark room and the neon lights we’ve come to expect, with an added twist: a dance routine. 

At the classes, you’ll hear cues for a variety of different rhythmic “dance” moves aimed at working your upper body and core while you pedal. The result is a high intensity, low impact, full body workout that Spell has full faith in — so much that she was willing to continue investing in her Philly studio despite the pandemic’s closure of gyms nationwide.

The new indoor studio, which debuted in Philly at 1923 Chestnut Street on August 6th, is offering about 20 classes per week. Spell co-owns this newly opened Philadelphia location with Sara Rowley and Justin Rowley. They opened in a space formerly occupied by Body Cycle Studio, and currently share a building with fitness studios Focus Barre & Yoga and SmileyFitNation.

It certainly comes as a surprise to hear of a new fitness studio opening as COVID-19 looms large, especially as gyms have been facing some of the most stringent closures and restrictions. But Spell stressed that she feels smaller boutique fitness studios can keep close control over COVID-19 precautions. “Safety is definitely our number one concern,” she says. 

Though Cycology 202 Philadelphia’s capacity is 40 bikes per room, class sizes are currently limited to nine bikes, in keeping with city protocol. Customers are required to wear masks while in the studio. Spell recommends wearing a mask designed for exercise and running, though trainers also have surgical masks to provide at the studio. Customers can also bring their own equipment or rent the studio’s, which will be disinfected before it is rented out again.

In addition, class times are staggered at least 30 minutes apart to decrease foot traffic and to allow time for bikes to be wiped down between each use. The bikes are fogged (they use an electrostatic machine with PurTabs to disinfect) and wiped twice a day. The studio has ordered HoMedic Air Purifiers, already in place in their Glen Mills and Delaware locations, to be installed next week in the Philly studio. 


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Originally set to open in Philly on June 1st, Cycology 202 Philly is Spell’s fourth fitness studio, following one of the same name in Glen Mills as well as Sea Barre Fitness and Sea Cycle Indoor at the beach in Lewes, Delaware.

When the shutdowns happened this year, Spell said about 75 percent of clients switched to her on-demand video workouts and the rest put the membership on pause. When the Delaware studios reopened in early June, 60 percent of clients returned in-person, and for the past two months it’s been smooth cycling so far.

Due to the introduction of masks, Spell said that trainers are dialing back the intensity of the rides to start, but that she hopes that with consistent training, riders will grow more accustomed to cycling in masks. For those looking for a virtual experience of the classes, the studios will continue to offer courses online.  

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