Indoor bike trainers have come a long way since the simple wheel-with-pedals that are still occasionally seen at old-fashioned gyms. Like the rest of the world, many have gone hi-tech. At the top end of the market, the modern indoor cycle trainer can almost resemble a virtual-reality device simulating the bicycle experience.
The best indoor bike trainer will have an array of electronics attached to allow you to track your progress and create workouts specific to your needs. Resistance is varied along with target speeds. Some bike trainers are equipped with attached high-resolution video screens that play video simulations of real-world bike rides, complete with riding partners and competitors. As the video begins its ascent up a mountain, this best indoor bike trainer will increase pedaling resistance. As the summit appears and the video starts coasting down the other side, resistance drops to zero. This allows the recovery interval many exercise specialists recommend for optimal exercise benefits.
A Trainer for Every Budget
When shopping for a trainer for bike exercise, keep your budget in mind. Though asking prices for bike indoor trainers start at a very reasonable level, they climb fast.
The best indoor bike trainer is likely the Expresso Fitness S3U Novo. This exercise bike features full computer control of your workout, and includes video playback of realistic rides. The list price of the S3U is $5800. Quality doesn’t come cheap – even in the world of indoor bike trainers.
However, good choices in a bike indoor trainer start at a far lower price. The Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike starts at around $230. It has all the benefits of a far more expensive indoor cycle trainer, although it lacks the electronic tracking and entertainment features of more expensive units.
The Diamondback Fitness 510lc is an excellent choice in an indoor cycle trainer. It features electronic tracking of your workouts, with speed and calorie readouts. It also has electronically-adjustable resistance to help you vary your workout routine. At a little more than $750, it’s a great value and a strong investment in fitness.
Some more budget-minded users prefer an indoor bike trainer stand. These are stands with horizontal rollers that allow you to use your road bike as a stationary exercise bike. The rollers spin from the power of the rear bike wheel. The rear roller drives the front roller, while the bike makes no forward motion. It’s said that the use of an indoor bike trainer stand takes some practice at first, and that falls or trips can be common in the early stages of learning to ride it.
Another option is the trainer stand that holds the forks stationary after removal of the front wheel. The rear wheel spins a fan that provides both resistance and ventilation. This type of indoor bike trainer stand usually works better for the beginner, and the ventilation is a welcome comfort during a vigorous workout.
Reasons to Get a Bike Trainer
The indoor bike trainer provides great advantages to those looking to stay in shape. Just to recap:
- Low-impact with little chance of injury
- Smooth, quiet motion that allows use of electronics, reading, and TV-watching while working out.
- Compact footprint that allows use even in small spaces. Storage isn’t difficult.
- Can be used to enjoy the benefits of cycling year-round in all weather
- Won’t annoy the downstairs neighbors, especially if you place it on an insulating pad made of thick rubber
For these reasons and many more, a bicycle trainer represents one of the best options for year-round fitness. It’s the best combination of strenuous exercise, convenience, and practicality, and there’s a unit available for every budget. Start experiencing the benefits of the bike indoor trainer today.