Indoor cycling vs spinning: What are the differences?

A Peloton bike in a well-lit room with an Indoor Training Week badge overlaid
(Image credit: Peloton)

It is rare that the two worlds of indoor cycling collide: indoor cycling and Spinning. Spinning is actually a registered trademark, referring to the “unique fitness products and programs offered by Mad Dogg Athletics, Inc.” John Baudhuin and Jonny "Johnny G" Goldberg first introduced the world to group indoor cycling, or spin classes, in 1991. Spinning can also be described as group indoor cycling workouts, usually done in a large studio. For the purposes of this article, we will refer to this type of spinning, spin classes, and indoor group cycling as exactly that.

Indoor cycling, on the other hand, is a more general term that refers to riding a stationary bike on an indoor trainer. We’ll dive into the differences between indoor cycling and Spinning later in this article, but first, let’s look at what each of them is.

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Zach is a freelance writer, the head of ZNehr Coaching, and an elite-level rider in road, track, and e-racing. He writes about everything cycling-related, from buyer's guides to product reviews and feature articles to power analyses. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science at Marian University-Indianapolis, Zach discovered a passion for writing that soon turned into a full-fledged career. In between articles, Zach spends his time working with endurance athletes of all abilities and ages at ZNehr Coaching. After entering the sport at age 17, Zach went on to have a wonderful road racing career that included winning the 2017 Collegiate National Time Trial Championships and a 9th place finish at the 2019 US Pro National Time Trial Championships. Nowadays, Zach spends most of his ride time indoors with NeXT eSport.