Torq is a beautifulspin studio in Leslieville. Keeping on trend with clean, all-white, aesthetics, the 1900-square foot studio offers a 50-minute high energy, low impact ride.
A Torq class gets you right into it with a 10-minute warm up, building your strength and resistance on the bike. The hardest and sweatiest part for me was the five minute peak ride accelerating to a pace of 110 RPMs (how fast you're pedaling), and maintaining that for the remainder of the song.
There's a seating area at the front of the studio looking out onto Queen East. Lockers, bathrooms, and showers occupy one side of the hallway, with hooks and seating area on the other side, and the studio at the very end of the hallway.
With 36 bikes, Torq doesn't feel crowded. There's breathing room between neighbours, but still close enough that you can feed off the other person's energy, and cheers with your water bottle at the end of the class.
Riders gush about the bikes. They're brand new and totally smooth. When you're out of the seat, it offers a little bounce to the push-and-pull action of your feet. The bikes are equipped with sensors that measure your speed and pace. Riders seem really excited by the report that's emailed to you with a full summary of how well you did.
The studio is equipped with high-quality humidity control and sound panels so the music stays contained within the room. It's not about being loud, says owner Julie Mitchell, it's about the music involving you while you're spinning.
The difference with Torq is the energy within the room. The ride feels less competitive. It doesn't feel like there's a clear distinction between the advanced riders and novices.
I really liked my instructor, Bruce. His song selection for our ride was excellent, a mix of old and new tunes. He was inspiring, and not intrusive or pushy with his instructions, exemplified in the high energy at a 9 a.m. class.
The class was very interactive with students yelling along to a song, counting down till the end of a ride and overall cheering Bruce on. The workout is challenging but fun.
There's very little time for breaks during the ride, and I broke out into a full sweat. This is very much a social type of ride with spinners - drenched in sweat and hyped up on adrenaline - staying afterwards in the lobby to discuss their ride.
There are 18 instructors (and growing), each as diverse as the clientele. "We don't have a type," says Mitchell. "Our instructors are as diverse as the community."
So, you'll have seniors riding and instructing, alongside students, and Mitchell intends to keep it that way. "We will reflect what's right for the community." Says Mitchell. The music is up to the instructor, providing a surprise and delight each time.
Full time students or seniors (over 65) can purchase single classes for $15 per ride. A regular ride costs $22, 5 rides are $89 and an unlimited monthly package is $169.
Photos by Jesse Milns