Most riders do not prefer to ride indoors. After all, the reason for buying a bicycle is to settle scores on the track, not in your room. However, riding outside is not always an option, especially in times like winter. With indoor trainers, you can still prepare for tournaments and keep in shape when the outdoors is not so pleasant.
Over the years, there have been multiple types of indoor riding equipment. There are even smart types that talk to the rider, or let you ride in a virtual world.
The options are quite numerous, and this is here to help you make the right choice.
Before you go about making your choice from the wide selection for sale at Bike Chaser, you need to know the different options the market has to offer.
The way they work is that while pedalling, you power a fan that provides resistance. The resistance increases as the rear wheel spins faster. This could either be because you are pedalling faster or the gear is a bigger one.
They are quite cheap compared to other types. They are also easily accessible to the everyday shopper. However, they make a lot of noise, and do not perfectly simulate the road experience.
Here, you’ll find those that use a magnetic flywheel in place of a fan. In the course of your search you are likely to come across some types marketed as electronic. Most of those are actually variations of magnetic types. They have an electromagnetic unit that can either be remote controlled or is automatically controlled with an app.
They give users a lot of options compared to wind models. You can adjust the rate of resistance. They are also quieter compared to the wind powered ones. However, the resistance range of this type is limited, and they aren’t as durable as a good old wind type .
These ones are a variant of the magnetic model because they also use a magnetic flywheel. What makes them different is the addition of a viscous liquid chamber to fine tune the resistance options. If you are looking for a stationary model, you are likely to come across these on multiple occasions.
They are best at simulating the road experience. They also have a broad range of resistance option. You can even electronically adjust the resistance on newer models. They are also very quiet and have a lot of other features like connectivity and power. However, they are prone to overheating and cooking the fluids.
These are the oldest styles. Rollers have the bike sitting freely on three precision drums within a frame. The precision drums turn as you pedal and the rollers offer resistance. It can also offer resistance through fluids, wind or magnetic flywheels.
This type is quite ideal for workouts and would definitely improve your form. On the other hand, they don’t have much when it comes to resistance range. You also need some time to get used to it, so you don’t slide off.
You are likely to see these kinds in high-end spin class studios. They can either use wind or magnetic controlled resistance. A lot of them have electronic interfaces that users can connect to apps and training programs.
They are the quietest type of and are quite stable. You are also less likely to experience wear and tear when you use them. However, they are quite expensive and are large. So, you should think about getting a dedicated space for them. They also wouldn’t fit small or large riders well enough, and you need a second set of pedals to operate them.
There are a lot of extra features that you should keep an eye out for as you search. They can greatly improve your training experience and would ultimately prove to be very valuable.
A lot of these devices now have the option of power tracking. The power meters could either be incorporated with the trainer or part of a smart one. If your present model doesn’t have a power meter, you should get an external one instead of getting one that comes with it. That way, you can also use it on the road.
This is the defining feature of smart models. You can connect them to other devices like a phone, and use apps to control them. Models with this option are quite expensive, but are worth it if you enjoy variety.
Articulating attachments help you simulate the road experience by allowing you bend while riding indoors, the same way you would turn while riding on the road. Some even let you stand up and sprint.
With these broad categories, choosing the right one for you might still be tricky. For instance, magnetic and fluid models go from simple models with handlebar remotes to ANT+ enabled versions that allow you connect to your computer, power, track, and download workouts. Here’s a simple guide to make your choice easier:
If you want a basic model for warming up before a race, then you should get a wind trainer or a simple magnetic model.
If you want to improve the quality of your pedal strokes, then you should use rollers, as they help improve the quality of your cadence.
If you plan on doing structured workouts, get a fluid option that tracks your power output. You can also get a smart trainer that connects to a computer head unit.
If you get bored quite easily, like most people who ride indoors, you should get a smart one. With these, you can easily connect with other training programs like Zwift or TrainerRoad.
Training indoors is quite cool if you have no other option. For now, no indoor trainer perfectly simulates the road experience. If the road is clear, and there are no obstacles, nothing beats riding it out on the road.