I mostly practice my yoga at home now, but when I used to frequent studios, one of the greatest challenges was to keep my studio trips on a schedule. Regularly I found myself hustling before or after work to make it to yoga—rushing so I could be on time to relax.
The Vita Vinyasa—or, as we started calling it at BICYCLING, the yoga bike—removes the need for such harried behavior. Though it has 10 gears in its reliable Shimano Deore drivetrain, it has one speed: cruise. The aluminum stepthrough frame puts you in an upright riding position, and the narrow handlebar has a 10-degree backsweep, placing the grips even closer to your body. Try to stomp on the pedals, and the bike seems to give you a meditative smile while getting to speed at its own pace. What’s the rush?
Slow down and, as they say in yoga, drop into your experience. You’ll note that it’s an exceedingly chilled-out and pleasant one. The fat, treaded tires smooth the ride, and provide extra traction and reassurance over wet or icy streets. The narrow bar contributes to a comfortable fit and easy steering. The stable handling is fun and confidence-inspiring: Pedal no-handed even on slight downhills, and the bike pulls an unflappable balancing act.
Other features that make riding this bike a low-stress endeavor: The 1×10 drivetrain simplifies shifting, and the gearing is low enough to tootle up steep climbs. The hydraulic disc brakes provide solid stopping power and good control at this price, and reflective trim on the tires gives you extra peace of mind on nighttime commutes. A chainguard protects your favorite jeans or ombré yoga pants from grease. The aluminum fenders, kickstand, bell, rack, custom pannier and mat round out a package not just for getting to and from the studio, but also to work or around town. (The bag has two compartments and, sans mat, they’re big enough to hold the bounty from a trip to the grocery store.) “I wanted to make sure the bike was as ready for anything and as low-maintenance as possible,” says Stephanie Kaplan, women’s product line manager at Specialized. “There’s not a single thing you have to ask the shop to install. You can literally roll it out the door—even throw your purse into the bag.”