Author Topic: Tell me about indoor bike trainers  (Read 4695 times)

Thegoblinchief

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Tell me about indoor bike trainers
« on: October 24, 2014, 06:59:33 AM »
I literally know nothing about them, but I'm considering getting one so that my wife can use her bike over the winter. I'd probably use it too to get exercise in without sacrificing family time as much.

The magnetic CycleOps ones tend to show up on CL in my area.

Dyk

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Re: Tell me about indoor bike trainers
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2014, 07:11:14 AM »
I have a magnetic CycleOps (can't remember if there is a specific model, let me know if you need me to look), I have used it 2-3 winters.  It works great.  If you see them on CL, it sounds like good, inexpensive winter exercise, go for it!

chemgeek

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Re: Tell me about indoor bike trainers
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2014, 07:16:34 AM »
What I know is through my husband ( so may need to be verified...) but there are two kinds of trainers, magnetic and fluid. Magnetic ones are cheaper, but they're also louder. For example, the last apartment we were in was a first floor unit over a basement. He would use the trainer in the basement and I could hear it. So if you have napping children or don't want to disturb other people, make sure you have a somewhat isolated place to use it. Fluid ones are quiter but a bit more money. There's also some difference between how they generate resistance, fluid is progressive and magnetic you have to switch yourself, so fluid gives a more road like feel supposedly. If you're just looking to get exercise and not concerned about noise magnetic should work just fine.

nicoli20

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Re: Tell me about indoor bike trainers
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2014, 07:37:13 AM »
I would get a Kurt Kinetic.. They are the best quality and they will last for ever. REI has had some pretty good deals lately for these.

In my opinion there is a pretty big difference in the feel between the cheap $80 Dicks Sporting good trainer and one of these.

Here is a review that talks a little about the Kurt kinetic trainer.

http://endurancereviews.com/2010/12/14/cycleops-fluid-2-vs-kinetic-by-kurt-road-machine/

This particular deal is about as good as you can get for a Kurt Kinetic for $160

http://www.rei.com/product/880358/kinetic-cyclone-bike-trainer-2014-closeout

FreeWheel

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Re: Tell me about indoor bike trainers
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2014, 08:43:28 AM »
Have you or your wife ever tried spinning indoors? The reason I ask is because I bought a decent trainer some years ago thinking we would use it. I probably spent an hour total on it, and wife even less. For me it's just too darn boring. (and I even had a tv set up in front of the thing)

Instead I just suit up appropriately and go outside. I even have one bike I picked up for cheap set up with studded tires to use in the snow and ice. For me, pedaling without actually going anywhere just doesn't cut it.

YMMV.

daverobev

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Re: Tell me about indoor bike trainers
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2014, 08:57:35 AM »
I got one off Amazon a month or so ago. It's ok, not quite enough resistance. Yes, it's kinda boring, but as long as I'm doing enough (in the winter when there's 3' of snow outside) to work up a sweat I don't care.

Just need to make it a daily routine!

megaschnauzer

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Re: Tell me about indoor bike trainers
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2014, 09:03:11 AM »
you have to be super motivated to ride a trainer. i've tried them and rollers and i can't make myself do it more than a few times. spin class at the gym is much more fun and motivating but of course it cost more money. i need some one constantly flogging me so for me it's worth the money.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Tell me about indoor bike trainers
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2014, 09:04:07 AM »
We have the Trek Magneto Cycle Ops.  It's fine, definitely not one of the fancy ones, but the trainer is never really gonna be a fun time anyway.

Personally I have a hard time using it in front of TV shows because it feels so tedious, although I did once do a challenge where I did at least 4 miles on it every day for a month.  I don't know if I got much out of that really.  I highly recommend trying to get your hands on videos like Sufferfest or Coach Troy.  They provide a GREAT workout.  I'm always a sweaty mess after a Coach Troy video.  On the bike you always hold back on the intensity SOME because you know you need to stay upright and get back home -- neither is an issue on the trainer, so you can hit your limits.  Once my father did fall off one because he went too hard.  I've been close to that myself to be honest!  Those are a pretty good way to not be bored, because it's lots of varied short interval style efforts, with rest between, and gives you a serious endorphin kick which can help with winter blues.

Another option are rollers.  I hate the rollers and pretty much refuse to use them, but my husband pulls them out every now and then.  It basically feels like you are riding on ice -- I clearly never got the hang of it.  Those aren't boring because you are fearing for your life the entire time.  The benefit there is that it greatly improves your bike handling skills on the road.  You probably can't watch TV while doing them though, if you can manage that you are a champ.  ALSO don't use them next to glass coffee tables.  (Seriously, people have died). 

fallstoclimb

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Re: Tell me about indoor bike trainers
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2014, 09:06:50 AM »
you have to be super motivated to ride a trainer. i've tried them and rollers and i can't make myself do it more than a few times. spin class at the gym is much more fun and motivating but of course it cost more money. i need some one constantly flogging me so for me it's worth the money.

Coach Troy does a GREAT job of virtually flogging.  My husband and I often quote Coach Troy while out on road rides -- "STAY ON MY WHEEL!  Grind it out, grind it out!"  I'm sure in-person spin classes are more fun, but getting a couple videos is a cheap option.

DollarBill

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Re: Tell me about indoor bike trainers
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2014, 09:18:25 AM »
I like the feel of the fluid trainers. I've had a cycleops for about 9 yrs and still like it.

usmarine1975

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Re: Tell me about indoor bike trainers
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2014, 09:24:16 AM »
I did an indoor spin class for a couple months and for me it was just boring.  I am going to try to ride through the winter as long as the roads are decent.  Not sure I want to do the studded snow tire on a bike.  We shall see.

TrMama

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Re: Tell me about indoor bike trainers
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2014, 10:41:47 AM »
IME a good cycling video is way more crucial than the type of trainer. Spinning without  one is about as much fun as poking yourself in the eye. I like the Sufferfest videos.

I have a Tracx trainer and like that it's heavy. It feels more stable once you're perched on the bike.

johnintaiwan

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Re: Tell me about indoor bike trainers
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2014, 07:01:45 PM »
I have a Giant magnetic trainer (unsure about the model). It may be louder than a fluid trainer but is still not very loud. Trainers are great for riding in winter if you are very determined. But as some others have said, it can be very boring. One reason is you are not moving. Another is that you cant really get any useable stats unless you have an expensive power meter or something.

Other cons to the trainer:

Wears out the rear wheel much faster than regular riding
You get much hotter riding on one, the use of a fan is a must
You also need a fan just for the trainer itself as it gets hot
You should have a back splash so you dont fling oil and such around the house

That being said, I have a trainer and used it very regularly last winter. I was able to ride about 5x a week, but could not last for more than an hour before i got bored out of my mind.

FreeWheel

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Re: Tell me about indoor bike trainers
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2014, 07:30:45 PM »
Many good points there john. Had we actually used ours I might have learned that stuff. LOL

I mounted wife's pickup and magnet from her standard $20 cyclometer on the back wheel. Had to mount the cyclometer itself on the top tube, since the wire wasn't quite long enough to make it to the bars. Nothing fancy like an expensive power meter, but at least you get speed, mileage and average. Oh, and it still works on the road in back too.