spinning lingo

  • Know Before You Go: Learning The Zephyr Lingo

    Lots of different workouts and fitness studios use their own type of vocabulary. Indoor cycling is no different.

    This blog post gives a complete guide to indoor cycling lingo for beginners in order to rock your first spin class in Bozeman, Montana

    Even if you have never taken a spin class before, you may have heard terms such as “flywheel” or “turn it up” come up in conversation. And, if you have tried it out, some of these phrases can still leave your head spinning – pun intended.

    If you are new to Zephyr, first of all, welcome. We are so excited to help kickstart your wellness journey, both physically and mentally, from a place of gratitude and sweat. We know you’ll love our workout and the community that comes with it.

    We also know that learning the Zephyr lingo can be a bit daunting. To help make your ride a smooth one, we’ve rounded up some basic words and phrases to give you some guidance before you hop into the saddle – and yes, that means seat.

    Here are some key cycling terms you’ll want to know before your next class.


    The seat. In almost every Zephyr class, there will be times where you are out of the saddle (standing up out of the seat) as well as in the saddle (sitting down). You want your hips to be all the way back on or over the saddle for a smooth ride. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but don’t worry, you’ll get used to the feeling after your second or third ride. If not, we always have seat pads to add a little extra cushion. Just ask our front desk staff before class!


    This is the actual wheel on the spin bike that provides momentum during your ride. As you pedal, the flywheel spins and and helps you build momentum. And when you add resistance (see below), you get a smooth ride that feels a lot like biking outdoors on solid ground.


    This refers to how hard you have to push and pull on your pedal stroke. This is adjusted using the red resistance knob just below your handlebars. You remove resistance by turning the knob to the left, which will make it easier to pedal. You add resistance by turning it to the right, which will make it more difficult to pedal by creating an uphill climbing sensation. The good news? Resistance is completely up to you! This is your time and your ride.


    This term refers to where your hands are placed on the handlebars as well as your corresponding body position. At Zephyr we have three positions. Your hands rest at the base of the handle bars in first position, parallel to your hips, seat in the saddle. Your hands stay in the same place for second position, but your body is out of your saddle, standing straight up with your shoulders over your hips (often referred to as a standing run). Your hands reach out to the end of the handlebars in third position and your body is out of the saddle with your hips over your seat. This position is often where we climb heavy hills. (It’s much easier when our instructors show you at the start of class, we promise!)


    Travels are a move you perform on the bike while in hand position three. Listening to the instructor’s cue, you shift your hips forward towards your handlebars then backward over your saddle for a set number of beats, using your core to initiate the movement.


    Transitions occur when your instructor cues you to move between hand positions one, two and three for a specific number of beats. Use your legs and core to initiate each transition.

    Tap it to the right

    This cue refers to adding resistance to your flywheel by using the red knob located just under your handlebars. A quarter turn to the right equals about one gear on your bike’s console. A full turn is roughly four gears.

    Zephyr it up!

    This means push yourself. It can be physical; adding resistance, pedaling stronger, or riding faster. It can be mental; focusing inward, showing up in the present moment, or telling yourself you are capable of more than you think. Whatever it may be, Zephyr is about making each class your own.

    For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more!