If you are new to cycling, most probably you are wondering what is a bicycle trainer? How it can help you improve your cycling performance? What are type of trainers available? Then which one is the best?
All these questions will be answered in this little blog…all you need to do is just keep reading and scrolling to get your doubt answered.
The Basic : Bicycle Trainer
The term bicycle trainer or bike trainer is used interchangeably and sometimes are just referred as a “trainer”, is a piece of exercise equipment that will enable you to ride your bike from a stationary position. However, don’t confuse yourself with stationary bicycle trainer as you always find in a gym since that trainer does not resemble your real bike and riding on it is so much different than riding your real bike. Instead, it is a device that you can attach your regular bike to and start riding on it from a stationary position.
Four Main Reasons Why People Should Use Bicycle Trainer:
- Cycling performance: Cyclists who wish to improve their cycling performance always use bicycle trainer to easily log miles, track and monitor cycling data and also to improve lower body strength.
- Indoor use: Cyclists who wish to keep up with their cycling training plan regardless of their busy day to day work will always find bicycle trainer useful.
- Bad Weather: Whether it rainy or snowy outside, cyclists can always ride their bike from the comfort of their home and not let the passing storm get the best out of you.
- Safety: We need to admit that road is not always a safe place to ride. Due to this reason, some people find it useful just to ride inside their home while listening and watching their favorite television shows.
Types Of Bicycle Trainer
There are various types of bicycle trainer available and each of them offers different types of performance and also operates differently. However, there are four major types of bicycle trainer as follows:
#1 Bicycle Rollers
As you can see below, there is nothing to hold your bike vertically and all you need to do is ride your bike on top of it and maintain your own balance while on the rollers. As you might suspect, if you are not familiar riding on the rollers, it is always helpful to hold on something while learning to balance yourself.
Advantages of bicycle roller
- Least expensive bicycle trainer as compared to magnetic and fluid bicycle trainer
- In term of balancing, you will experience real bike riding as there is nothing to hold you vertically while riding on it
- Since you are able to adjust your body position while riding on it, you will feel like riding on actual road which make riding indoor much more fun
Disadvantages of bicycle roller
- Learning to balance while riding on rollers might take some time even for season cyclists
- As the rollers themselves do not provide resistance to your bike, you have to shift gear on your bike to get some resistance
- It cannot be used with knobby mountain bike tires as the balancing might be much more difficult for you to control. Instead, it is designed for road and flat bike tires.
#2 Wind Bicycle Trainer
This type of trainer is the least expensive of bicycle trainer stand. As the name suggest, this trainer creates resistance by having cyclist to power a circular fan that blows air onto the wheel. Since this trainer is quite primitive in its design and mechanisms, this type of bicycle trainer is less preferred.
Shown above: CycleOps Wind Indoor Bicycle Trainer
Advantages of wind bicycle trainer
- Least expensive as compared to other trainers stand
- Simple design which make diagnostic easier if there are issues with this trainer
Disadvantages of wind bicycle trainer
- Create an incredible amount of sound while operate
- Less resistance since the trainer only depend on resistance created by wind to the wheel.
#3 Magnetic Bicycle Trainer
This trainer functions by utilizing magnetic coupler attached to the flywheel of the trainer. The resistance caused by this magnetic coupling creates the resistance to your bicycle’s rear wheel. By adjusting this resistance, you can make the bicycle easier or harder to ride.
Advantages of magnetic bicycle trainer
- This trainer is very sturdy in design which prevent you fall off even if you ride it off the saddle.
- Preparing this trainer for your workout takes less than a minute which make it convenient to use.
- Resistance can be adjusted via adjustment lever and also you can further adjust the resistance by shifting gears on your bike
Disadvantages of magnetic bicycle trainer
- This trainer creates significant loud noise which makes it impractical if you are training in apartment or just want to watch TV
- The vibration created by this trainer makes riding on it a little bit uncomfortable
#4 Fluid Bicycle Trainer
Fluid bicycle trainer is the most expensive bicycle trainer compared to all the above. The resistance system of this trainer is the most complex since it combines magnetic and fluid technology inside the trainer resistance system.
Shown above: Kinetic by Kurt Road Machine Indoor Bicycle Trainer
Advantages of fluid bicycle trainer
- Quieter over other types of trainers
- The construction of this trainer is so stable and durable
- Easy to install and use
Disadvantages of fluid bicycle trainer
- Possibility of leakage from the fluid unit
- Complex design which makes diagnostic quite harder if there are some issues
The Conclusion: Which One To Choose?
I have written an extensive article on the tips to choose the best bicycle trainer for your own usage. You might want to check it if you need more information. I hope the information that I provide here is sufficient to help you get some basic info on bicycle trainer, feel free to browse through on the article section to get more additional information on bicycle trainer and cycling tips using bicycle trainer.