Never Miss A Ride With An Indoor Bike Trainer
If you're a competitive cyclist who hates when the weather dictates your training schedule, an indoor bike trainer might be the perfect way to supplement your training regimen. Even if you don't ride competitively, you may enjoy riding a bicycle as part of a healthy lifestyle. And worry about inclement weather and all the unsafe hazards of the road (traffic, potholes, poor weather, slick roads, etc.) may mean that an indoor bicycle trainer is perfect for you, too.
Isn't An Indoor Bike Trainer Just Your Run Of The Mill Stationary Bike?
A stationary bike, or exercise bike found in most health clubs and gyms, doesn't go anywhere since it is...well, stationary. An indoor bike trainer uses a similar concept. A distinct advantage, however, is that it lets a cyclist use their actual bicycle for the indoor workout. Many avid and competitive cyclists have spent a good amount of money for custom bikes and they are fitted to their body to give the rider the smoothest most comfortable ride possible. This is a huge win versus a stationary bike which has a body that is "one size fits all."
Most riders who use indoor bike trainers will select from one of three technologies available. All three are fairly well suited to simulate the resistance a rider feels during outdoor rides. Also, all three attach to the rear wheel of the bike and all three allow for resistance adjustments.
The first, fluid trainers, like the Cycleops Fluid 2 trainer, make use of hydraulic fluid which provides resistance to the impeller spinning through a fluid-filled chamber. The higher end trainers use a thermo-neutral silicone fluid which maintains it's viscosity even when it heats up. This serves to keep the resistance level consistent no matter how hot the unit gets (temperatures can reach up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit).
Wind trainers use impellers spinning through the air to create resistance and increase the challenge to the rider. These are generally louder than the other two types, and provide the least amount of resistance.
The third technology, magnetic trainers, like the Cycleops mag trainer, can simulate outdoor riding by spinning their flywheel through a magnetic force field...thereby creating the necessary workload.
Why Use An Indoor Bike Trainer?
Nothing can beat the physical satisfaction and enjoyment of a challenging ride in the great outdoors. But you may chance a serious injury or worse when riding in poor and/or unsafe road and weather conditions. An indoor bicycle trainer is a way to stay riding, no matter what the conditions are outside. An indoor bicycle trainer gives the rider the freedom to ride year round, protected from the traffic and elements. Not only can riders enjoy biking with an indoor bike trainer every day but they can ride at any time of day. Wanna ride at 3am? You can with full confidence in your safety. Some other super benefits of using an indoor bicycle trainer are:
• Being able to stay fit in the off-season and winter months. Indoor bike trainers are great in areas where snow can be on the ground for quite a few months.
• A rider uses their own bike. If you are an avid rider, it is likely you have a bike that is custom fit to you and very comfortable to ride. This is a huge plus versus having to ride a "one size fits all" stationary bike which can be very uncomfortable and even painful.
• You can workout on an indoor bike trainer any time you want (no hibernation during winter months and it's easy to schedule a workout into your day).
• The workout on an indoor bike trainer can be just as challenging as an outdoor ride since the resistance can be varied with an indoor trainer. Thus the rider can build endurance and good leg strength. Look at an indoor bike trainer as another tool in the cyclist's training arsenal.
• Indoor bicycle trainers won't break the bank. They are relatively low cost - many are less than a few hundred dollars. You'll also realize cost savings in that riding indoors protects your bike from possible accidents that can be caused by hazardous road or weather conditions. Think of the repair costs (and possible medical costs) incurred if you were to chance a ride in these conditions and injure yourself and/or damage an expensive bike.
Stay Fit, Ride Comfortably and Ride Safely With A Bike Trainer
Using an indoor trainer is a fantastic way to stay fit, especially when you can't achieve an outdoor ride. Set the resistance level to low or medium and simulate a long endurance ride and burn lots of calories. Set the resistance high and work on your cardiovascular fitness with an interval sprint type of workout. With an indoor bike trainer, you can train how you want, stay fit and never have to worry about less-than-optimal conditions outside.
About the author: Ron Fritzke is cycling enthusiast who reviews cyling gear for his website, Cycling-Review.com. His current focus has been on indoor bike trainers. Ron is also a former 2:17 marathoner who now directs his competitive efforts toward racing his bike... and looking for good cycling products.