Bike Trainers

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 30, 2012 2:00 AM GMT
    I bought my first bike in 20+ years a few weeks ago. I love it and want to keep riding during the winter. I was wondering if it would be a good investment to get a bike trainer .... where I could use my bike during the winter indoors or would it be more beneficial to get some appropriate winter clothing? Do the trainers offer a realistic feel and are they easy to use?
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Nov 30, 2012 3:00 AM GMT
    If there are places where you can ride safely in the winter, and depending on how cold-hardy you are, you can ride all year. Good gear is the key--there was another thread on cold weather cycling clothing a couple of weeks ago, so you might want to search that. Good gloves and shoe covers are essential.

    I personally hate riding a bike trainer. It's boring, and it wears out your tires. Some people get off on it, though. If you like it, sometimes you can find groups of cyclists who get together in a big space and ride their trainers, sort of like a spin class with their own bikes.
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    Nov 30, 2012 3:02 AM GMT
    I have a set of rollers that I use once in a while. "Realistic?" Dunno, more like ice skating on your bike. I just detest riding in the cold and dark. I used to have them set up in front of an old TV in the basement. But they make so much noise that you probably need headphones to hear the TV audio or else really blast the speakers. Throw some old towels down because without the wind of a real ride you sweat like a pig. Sprint on all the commercials. Anyway, I gave that TV away, so I haven't used them lately.

    Oh, also if the dog happens to sneak up behind you and watch for a while, then let out a huge WOOF! And it startles you... suddenly you're off the rollers and heading across the room toward the TV at 30 mph icon_eek.gif Helps to have a soft couch to crash into if needed.
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Nov 30, 2012 3:55 AM GMT
    A trainer is a great alternative if you don't like riding in the cold. It can get boring but you can be creative - watch TV, movies, listen to music, or buy special computer simulation programs that work with trainers.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Nov 30, 2012 4:06 AM GMT
    As others have said, riding stationarily is boring. I've tried it and can tolerate it for perhaps 15 minutes.

    You are from North Carolina. Probably you could ride on most days even during January. It's just a matter of dressing for the cold. Be sure to dress in layers with zippers so you can make changes as you ride else you will be either too cold or too hot.
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    Nov 30, 2012 6:31 AM GMT
    Using the indoor trainer is dreadful. I would definitely wish that punishment for the last guy I tried to date though. :-)

    Personally I have a wind trainer and a cheaper mag trainer. Neither are great in my opinion. The resistance is proportional to wheel speed, so it can be difficult or awkward to simulate hills and such. ie you cannot really spin at high rpm with low wheel speed yet high power output. I would not recommend either of these for prolonged use due to this and the boredom factor. They also seemed quite poor at simulating on road experience.

    I don't have any experience in rollers but a buddy would train almost exclusively on them.... and he is the state champ cat 2 in road and hill climb. It comes down to tolerance for boredom (which I lack) or determination (also lacking!!)

    I would consider getting a computrainer. It is much more sophisticated and can be programmed with many "real world" courses. Couple years back the team did an indoor time trial contest using this and I enjoyed it a lot. Decent road feel. They certainly are not cheap though!

    Failing that, rollers with a resistance feature or maybe a fluid trainer. Mag trainers don't offer that much resistance and wind trainers are unbelievably loud. (makes for impressive prerace warmup though.. sounds like a jet engine.. very impressive till they see who is on it!!)
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    Nov 30, 2012 6:44 AM GMT
    I have a Kinetic Rock & Roll trainer that I use after the time change when it's too dark to go out after work.

    It sways side to side so it's a little more realistic than most stationary trainers where the bike is locked in place. Also, the Kinetic trainer is a fluid trainer which is better than the wind or mag trainers in that you're pedaling against a constant fluid resistance plus a choice of two flywheels at 6 or 18 lbs.

    I also have a stack of training videos to follow along with so I can mix up the training and have something to watch and compare my performance to. I agree with others who find that just hopping on a trainer and listening to music or watching TV is boring.

    Here's the trainer I have:
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    Nov 30, 2012 7:16 AM GMT
    you're in NC.. your winter is very short.
    I would cross over to another endurance sport , like running , or even swimming.
    And once a week or so use a stationary bike at a gym .. tha'ts what i do right now. make myself little spinning sessions ( who needs a silly coach who can't ride for real half the time.. seriously, i know 3 of them ! , but i think i just didn't get lucky ) .
    Most racers i [still] know cross over to lifting at the gym, some run, all xcountry ski ( skating and classic) .

    Then comes Spring, you love riding even more icon_smile.gif
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    Nov 30, 2012 11:55 AM GMT
    First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on both making the commitment to fitness and your terrific progress thus far! You're doing a fantastic job.

    To your question, I like the idea of splitting the difference somewhat and buying a trainer and some cold weather clothing. The trainer can be boring, but it's a lot easier to grind it out if you have the iPod handy or can watch television during your workout.

    NC has nice weather compared to some areas, but there will still be plenty of days with rain and cold, and occasionally snow depending on where you are. So to me, having the trainer and some clothing for winter gives you as many options as possible to ride whenever you like.
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    Dec 01, 2012 12:01 AM GMT
    Trainers are boring. Get yourself some rollers. icon_twisted.gif



    Kidding of course. icon_wink.gif I use trainers and stationary spin bikes to work on cardio, intervals, and cadence technique. When you're in a pinch, it's better than not riding at all. I'd say it's a worthwhile investment if you want to keep pedaling. But when riding, nothing beats the real thing.
  • gwuinsf

    Posts: 525

    Dec 01, 2012 12:35 AM GMT
    I agree with the boring part. I'd rather go to a spin class. Unless you get one of those fancy trainer's that you hook up to a computer where it varies your resistance based on a hill profile, they also don't really simulate wind resistance or hill climbing.

    I bought a trainer, used it once and never did again.
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    Dec 01, 2012 12:46 AM GMT
    Well, my rollers are similar to the ones above, except they have a magnetic resistance gadget on one. It's not really that hard to do, except it does help to have something to "hand off" to the first couple of times. Mine came with a fixed strut that can replace the front wheel (for the timid), but I only used it a couple of times then threw it away.

    I've noticed that a lot of the team riders take mag trainers to events to warm up on. I'm not sure why they do that, rather than taking a few laps, unless it's just to remain in the starting/pit area.

    There are a couple of guys who ride up and over the hill past my place every single day. Rain, or ice, or snow, it doesn't matter. I wish they'd at least make a show of breathing hard. icon_neutral.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2012 12:54 AM GMT
    Didn't someone on here used to video chat while riding his rollers?
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    Dec 01, 2012 1:02 AM GMT
    I've never tried rollers. I did have a top of the line trainer though... really i couldn't stand it. i wasn't going anywhere....lol. Most winters i can cycle outside right through the winter. As long as it's above -5C (25F), there's no snow or ice on the roads, I'm good to go. it all depends on the right equipment. I've got a nice pair of bib type tights; a thermal type cycling jacket; neoprene half shoe covers (for the toes); thermal gloves; neoprene face mask and a real thin toque that i got from the running store. I've done 72k and still worked up a good sweat on a cold day. Basically, it's like wearing ski wear. You dress for the weather. Hope that helps....
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    Dec 01, 2012 3:20 AM GMT
    I'll get a bike trainer when they're as technologically advanced as a full motion flight simulator. I wanna feel the bumps, skid the turns, and feel the momentary weightlessness during a jump...complete with a hard jolt on landing (clipless pedals highly recommended for this ride).
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    Dec 01, 2012 3:25 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidI'll get a bike trainer when they're as technologically advanced as a full motion flight simulator. I wanna feel the bumps, skid the turns, and feel the momentary weightlessness during a jump...complete with a hard jolt on landing (clipless pedals highly recommended for this ride).


    I'm sure with a few modifications, you can make that happen. Time to get the tools out.

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    Dec 01, 2012 4:07 AM GMT
    SoloXCRacer said
    paulflexes saidI'll get a bike trainer when they're as technologically advanced as a full motion flight simulator. I wanna feel the bumps, skid the turns, and feel the momentary weightlessness during a jump...complete with a hard jolt on landing (clipless pedals highly recommended for this ride).


    I'm sure with a few modifications, you can make that happen. Time to get the tools out.

    I seriously need to learn how to weld. That would be fairly easy to make into a rock hoppin awesome machine. icon_cool.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2012 7:36 AM GMT
    just ask someone to shake the rollers while you're riding 'em .
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    Dec 01, 2012 2:18 PM GMT
    xassantex saidjust ask someone to shake the rollers while you're riding 'em .
    I'd rather someone shake something else. icon_wink.gif
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    Dec 01, 2012 11:29 PM GMT
    nothing like a good hand shake right ? ..........
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    Dec 05, 2012 4:52 AM GMT
    xassantex saidnothing like a good hand shake right ? ..........
    The middle hand with one finger, yes. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 10, 2012 7:37 AM GMT
    it could be hard !