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Indoor cycling studios are spinning exercise into gold

Dedicated fitness buffs powered through a spin class at Flywheel Sports, which is among the specialized studios thundering into Boston.
Dedicated fitness buffs powered through a spin class at Flywheel Sports, which is among the specialized studios thundering into Boston.Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

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The lights were dimmed to a shade best described as blue-black. Dance music shook the floor, and at the center of it all was a sleeveless dynamo with a winsome grin playing the role of DJ. This is as close to a high-end dance club as exercise can get — minus the craft cocktails.

It was Sunday afternoon at Flywheel Sports, an indoor cycling studio at the Shops at Prudential Center, and Richard Downing, shoulder-length hair pulled back from his chiseled cheek bones, led a room of 50 stationary cyclists arranged stadium-style around him.

In 2012, there was just one boutique spinning studio in the city. Last year, a few more opened. Now, more than four years after the spinning craze first took hold in New York and Los Angeles, the two biggest spinning chains in the country finally arrive here.

Flywheel, which operates 25 locations across the United States and one in Dubai, opened in October. Next up: SoulCycle, the ne plus ultra of spinning, with its ardent, some might say obsessive, following, finally rolls into Chestnut Hill in March.

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