How to Choose an Indoor Bike Trainer

The Extras

Keep in mind that purchasing the trainer might not be the end of your spending. Many cyclists end up buying a block for their front tire to level the bike off (trainers can lift the bike tire up an inch or so).

Also, due to the high amount of sweating done on a trainer, many end up buying a trainer mat to go under their bike.

And if you really want to invest, companies like Kinetic and CycleOps are starting to offer computer, power meter and video add-ons that can expand the amount of data available and make for a more entertaining experience.

What to Look For

So what should a cyclist try to get to the bottom of when shopping for a trainer?

  • Functionality. Is it easy to get your bike on and off the trainer?
  • Smoothness and Sturdiness. Some trainers are a little smoother than others. And of course, a cyclist's pedal stroke can go a long way toward cutting down on the choppiness and instability aboard a trainer.
  • Noise. Wind trainers aren't super quiet like magnet and fluid trainers, but will that bother you?
  • Portability. Is it small enough to store in a place that won't make your spouse mad?
  • Price. How much are you willing to invest?

In the end, an indoor trainer is a great tool to keep your cycling sharp even when the days get short and the weather freezes the roads. Making sure you pick the best trainer for your needs will go a long way in making your winter as active as ever.

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