Best Indoor Bike Trainers
Best Indoor Bike Trainers Review
We’re not taking about Joe Wicks here, this is about resistance trainers attached to the back of your bike for indoor cycling. Bike Trainers are ideal for cycling when the weather is lousy, you prefer cycling away from busy city centre roads or you just want a quick spin.
This year has seen a boom in indoor cycling as lockdown prevented us from being outdoors and was a great way to keep cycling without mixing with others. There are a number of indoor trainers to choose from, including uber expensive smart bikes, almost-as-expensive smart turbo trainers, bike rollers and what we’re going to concentrate on here, basic friction trainers, of which there are a number of different types.
- Direct-Drive Trainers: These connect to the rear drop-outs on the frame, replacing your rear wheel and providing resistance through the trainer mechanism. You will need to purchase an additional cassette to use with this type of trainer. These tend to be the most expensive option but they are also the most accurate and closest to real cycling on the road.
- Friction Trainers: A small roller is placed against the rear wheel and a motor provides the resistance. These trainers are much smaller and lighter than direct-drive trainers, making them portable and easy to put-away after use. Whilst they are much cheaper, they’re not as accurate and can be noisier but are definitely a good choice for the money.
- Rollers: The most basic style here and an option that requires the cyclist to learn how to use as riding on rollers isn’t quite the same as the other options. Resistance can range from very low to high, depending on the specific unit. Rollers are useful but will require a learning period.
Best Indoor Bike Trainers – Top 5 Indoor Bike Trainers
Wahoo Kickr Indoor Bike Trainer
Tuned for the most demanding cyclists, the Wahoo Kickr delivers the ultimate indoor training experience. It is equipped with side-to-side movement so it feels natural when indoor training. It also features Kickr Axis that responds to the rider’s body position and tempo changes, whether doing high-intensity interval workouts or on a virtual training ride.
Garmin Tacx Flux Indoor Bike Trainer
If you want to enjoy the sensation of outdoor cycling while in the comfort of your own home, then the Garmin Tacx Flux is one of the best indoor bike trainers for you. It responds to slope and speed changes immediately and uses vibration and inertia to simulate outdoor road feedback and riding. The Garmin Tacx is probably the closest rival for the Wahoo trainer. Garmin truly stepped up its game in creating this Tacx smart bike trainer. Once assembled indoors, just plug it in and it will automatically change the resistance in different ways, driven by different methods or applications. Most boils down to ERG Mode (sets a specific power level) or Simulation Mode (simulates a specific outdoor grade).
- Max resistance: 1500W
- Max incline: 10%
- Power accuracy: <3%
- Flywheel: 7.6kg
Kinetic Indoor Bike Trainers
Kinetic indoor bike trainers are ones that everyone wants to ride with a whole range of movements. They also give you the most freedom to move, operating very quietly, moving from side to side, and have smooth resistance changes. Controlled by rubber elastomers in the drive mechanisms and between the legs, the side-to-side movement can even be easily adjusted by loosening or tightening the two bolts that hold the elastomers in place.
Elite Suito Indoor Bike Trainer
Perfected by professionals, the Elite Suito smart trainer favours the natural road feel and has one of the best external form factors among smart trainers on the market. Some of its product highlights are its excellent handle, very realistic ride feel, and super-narrow when folded. When delivered to you, it’s ready to be used right out of the box. Moreover, you’ll love that it offers the freedom to ride untethered and faster resistance transitions.
- Elite Suito T direct drive FE-C mag trainer
Bowflex C7 IC Bike Indoor Trainer
The versatile and sleek design of the Bowflex C7 IC Bike makes it a great addition to a home gym setup. Its 100 micro-adjustable resistance levels and heavy-duty flywheel provide plenty of challenging intensity. It also features multi-grip handlebars and dual-link pedals. And if you prefer to enjoy long indoor rides with no guidance from an instructor, just pedal solo without paying subscription fees! Customer reviews of the Bowflex C7 are very positive, scoring 4 out of 5 on Amazon for example. Perhaps because it is designed to be a well-built yet affordable home exercise bike option and many customers believe that it meets such objectives.
- The JRNY experience provides a personalized fitness experience that analyzes your fitness level, guides you through daily adaptive workouts, and lets you choose from trainer-led videos, scenic...
- 100 resistance levels
- Use with popular third-party cycling apps like Peloton and Zwift on your smartphone, tablet or smart TV (Cycling app subscriptions not included. Bowflex is not affiliated with Peloton or Zwift, and...
- Watch Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Hulu on the 7" touchscreen (Streaming service provider subscriptions not included. JRNY Membership required to access streaming service provider apps on...
Benefits of Training Indoors During Winter for Cyclists
When ice and snow strike, cycling in the winter can be a challenge. That’s because the roads outside can really be lumpy, bumpy, and rough. Thick fog and cloudy weather don’t make it any better either as it means low visibility. Moreover, when your hands and toes are so cold that it’s painful, the ride becomes less enjoyable. Don’t worry! The cold weather doesn’t have to put your workout routine on hold.
From slimming down your figure to the invigorating experience of training indoors, the list of benefits you’ll gain is extensive. With that in mind, I bring you some of the benefits of training indoors during winter to help you stay motivated, regardless of the time or weather of the year. Let’s get started!
10 Reasons Why You Should Train Indoors During Winter
You’ve probably seen the training montages of Rocky as he trains in the cold to prepare for his next fight. But is it really beneficial to train outside in cold temperatures? Not really. Although there are minimal benefits, the cold weather still leaves you open to injury in joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. On the other hand, when you train in a climate-controlled environment during winter, you don’t have to worry about those injuries at all. And because of that, you can focus more on your training. You can also control the intensity of your training by adjusting the resistance and speed.
There are also smart trainers nowadays equipped with built-in power meters so riders like you can target certain training goals with greater precision. An FTP (functional threshold power) can further help you determine your training zones if you want to improve your sprinting, climbing performance, or endurance.
2. Harder Workouts
The physiological and metabolic impact of working out during winter can be intense. Your body needs to work harder to generate adequate heat to keep warm and function in a harsher climate. So, although not directly, exercising indoors during winter ultimately leads to more calorie expenditure. For instance, a 155-pound person who cycles for half an hour on a stationary bike can burn about 280 calories at a vigorous pace and 250 calories at a moderate pace, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Keep in mind, though, that these numbers are only estimates. Your actual calorie burn will still depend on your age, biological sex, body composition, weight, and resting metabolic rate, among other factors.
Expert Tip: Pair your indoor training with a heart rate monitor to estimate the calories you burn.
3. Combat Winter Blues
The combination of darker days and shorter daylight hours can cause or worsen depression. But doing any form of physical activity, such as indoor cycling, has been linked to reduced anxiety and stress. You don’t even have to work out very long to feel the mood-boosting benefits of indoor cycling. Just 15 minutes of riding an elliptical and bike combo can help decrease cortisol levels.
4. Fights Winter Weight Gain
People tend to gain weight during the winter months, especially around Christmas. The combination of good conversation, delicious food, free stuff, and sleep deprivation just makes people extra blubbery. Training indoors during winter not only boosts your calorie maintenance, but it also makes you more mentally prepared in making healthy choices. As a result, you can resist over-indulging for long periods of time.
5. Builds Endurance
Just like other forms of cardio workouts, indoor cycling strengthens your muscular endurance and benefits your heart health. The time you spend in the saddle at various resistance levels plus your cadence keeps your heart rate up and trains your lower body muscles to be efficient. And as you get stronger over time, you would want to increase the time and resistance you spend on the bike machine to challenge your muscles.
Indoor Bike Trainers for Winter Cycling
6. Community Spirit
Cycling is an extremely social sport, even if it’s indoor. As long as you have a cycling app and an indoor bike, there are live group classes you can join into. They often allow you to enjoy the benefits of indoor cycling in a team atmosphere. You can even ride at your own individual pace even if you’re riding with a friend who’s already at a different fitness level than you. Another bonus is you can always join a race if you’re looking for bragging rights over your mates or you simply want to challenge yourself.
7. Break Fitness Plateaus
A fitness plateau occurs when the progress you’ve been making, like getting stronger, toning up, or losing weight, has halted or stalled even though you continue to live a clean or healthy lifestyle. One common reason why a fitness plateau happens is because of one’s subconscious tendency to stick to a comfortable zone. By training indoors during winter, you can implement techniques called muscle confusion to stimulate new ways to tackle old issues and help activate new muscle growth.
Indoor training during winter allows you to focus more on technique, such as your pedal stroke and cadence. For instance, if every pedal stroke you do requires 0.5% less energy and you have to make a thousand pedal strokes in a ride, that will surely add up. At best, use an indoor trainer so you can work on your dead spot. Doing drills when training indoors will also help you improve, especially if you are new to cycling.
9. Time Efficient
One of the biggest benefits of training indoors during winter is how little it takes compared to going outdoors for an actual ride. If you are short on time, riding indoors will help you squeeze in a training session that you otherwise wouldn’t when outside. There is no time-wasting and it’s convenient. You get on a bike, warm up and you are already into session. Then, cool down, finish your training, get in the shower, and you’ve already done it!
Compare that when you’re outside when you have to find a route. Or if you live in the city, you have to get out of the city first and by the time you’ve warmed up outdoors, you could have already completed your whole training session indoors.
10. Remain Consistent
In any type or form of training, consistency matters! Indoor cycling or training benefits from being focused and very structured. This makes it easier for you to remain consistent with your workout and be on track, regardless of the elements outside. Keep in mind that every session is significant in a cycling training plan. From easy zone to high-intensity interval sessions, you can consistently complete your workout as there is little external influence on them.
Things to Consider for Cycling on Indoor Bike Trainers
You’ll need a few accessories to go with your new trainer, a mat to ensure you don’t mark the floor, a moulded cup for your front wheel and a towel to catch the drops of sweating (trust me on this).
Quick release is important for removing the bike without hassle but make sure this isn’t at the risk of losing stability, it’s better to feel safe when cycling and take an extra few minutes to put everything away.
Most bike trainers are suitable for use with road bikes and mountain bikes but it’s worth just checking the width options on the unit before making the final choice. It’s also worth checking the noise-levels too, both for your own sanity and that of your flat mates and family.
The trainers in this review have variable speed resistance options, enabling you to dial up or down depending on what’s on your training schedule. The resistance wheel will cause friction (its what it does) on your rear wheel so it’s advisable to consider an additional rear wheel and tyre combo for use with your trainer. Alternatively, if you are lucky enough to have an old bike, use that and save your other bike for the roads.
Best Indoor Bike Trainers & Turbo Trainers on Amazon
- Magnetic Turbo trainer with 6 Resistance settings is made from high quality powered coated steel and comes with a heavy duty magnetic alloy roller, sturdy and durable with a 120kg weight limit.
- Velo Pro Bike Trainers come with a handlebar mounted resistance selector and turns your bike into an indoor exercise bike. Suitable for a mountain bike, road bike, hybrid bike or gravel bike. Please...
- For use with bike with the standard quick release axel skewer. Comes with all required bicycle accessories to turn your road bike into a stationary bike, includes Quick release turbo trainer skewer,...
- Smooth magnetic roller for comfortable indoor cycling. Foldable design means the bike trainer can be stored quickly and easily, the perfect indoor bike trainer for small spaces.
- Transform your bicycle into an indoor exercise bike and burn calories whilst watching TV – an ideal gift for bike lovers to train all year round. Quick release skewer lever allows you to switch from...
- Silent magnetic roller for a smooth spinning experience. Amount of noise produced depends on depth of tyre treading. Quietest for road & hybrid bikes.
- Wired handle-bar mounted 6 gear resistance regulation for a varied workout from the comfort of your home.
- The foldable design makes this magnetic bike trainer easy to store when not in use, suitable for the smallest spaces. Frame constructed from high quality carbon steel that can support 150kg.
- Spin In Silence: Smooth, seamless design and noise reduction resistance wheel mean you there’s no need to amp up the volume when you build up the burn (Note: The noise is mainly related to the...
- Stability On Any Surface: Compared with the Turbo Trainer on the market, the Sportneer Turbo Trainer uses high-quality alloy steel material, making it heavier than the indoor bike trainer on the...
- 6 Resistance Settings: Train to your standards with bar-mounted remote and wide range resistance curve to simulate all cycling conditions. Bike trainer stand for indoor cycling, not only can you...
- Great Compability:The Indoor Bike Trainer Stand fits any bikes with a 26-28" or 700c wheel and with rear wheel axel between 4.92'-6.57". If you already own a bicycle, you don't need to buy a new one....
- 🚴STURDY & STABLE STRUCTURE🚴 This bike trainer stand for indoor cycling is composed of durable, heavy duty stainless steel and high weight capacity up to 300 LBS. The bike trainer is designed...
- 🚴6 LEVELS OF VARIABLE RESISTANCE🚴 Convenient handle bar mounted cable controller easily lets you adjust resistance. You can choose your incline from flat to steep. 1-2 levels just like riding on...
- 🚴NOISE REDUCTION🚴 Equipped with a noise-reduction design, the wheels are quite and smooth when running. Built-in super noise reduction wheel eliminates whir. Better still, the reduced friction...
- 🚴EASY OPERATION🚴 The turbo trainer is pre-assembled and comes with a user manual. Connect in seconds and release via quick skewer, no extra tools required. It is so easy to assemble and...
- Included speed sensor allows you to track speed and distance and train with your favorite apps — such as the Tacx Training app, Zwift and TrainerRoad
- Powerful magnetic brake means you get the most out of your indoor rides
- Manually control resistance with a lever placed on the handlebar of the bike; 10 resistance levels, up to 1,050 watts
- With just two simple clicks, easily set up your bike into the robust and stable trainer
- 【Dimension】Unfolded overall dimension: 54.5 x 60.5 x 37.5 cm / 21.5 x 23.8 x 14.8’’ (WxDxH); Folded overall dimension: 54.5 x 18 x 44 cm / 21.5 x 7 x 17.3’’ (W x Thickness x H)
- 【Max. Load Capacity】265 lb / 120 kg; Suitable for 26'' to 28'' and 700C wheel.
- 【Solid Construction】Constructed of quality magnet, corrosion-resistant alloy roller, and powder-coated high carbon steel with the ability to support up to 120kg/264.6lb, our bike indoor trainer...
- 【Smooth Operation】This low-noise magnetic turbo creates a quiet exercise environment for you. Please note that the noise/friction sound comes from the friction between the wheels and the trainer....
- PedalPro Indoor Bike Resistance Trainer - Use your regular bike as an exercise bike in the comfort of your own home
- Great way to get fit - Bicycle fits and releases from trainer quickly and easily - Suitable for 26" - 28" And 700C wheel sizes
- Easy to assemble - Trainer complete out of the box - Includes quick release skewer for rear bicycle hub to ensure precise& safe fitment in trainer
- Heavy duty steel & aluminium construction - Nut lock on magnetic set to prevent tyre slipping - Speed knob quick release adjusters - Please note front wheel mount shown is for illustrative purposes...
- DOUBLE LOCK SYSTEM: The two knobs on the left and right of the stationary bike trainer construct the dual locking system, making it easily to lock your bike in place. For each part, one bigger knob...
- STEADY, STABLE AND FIRM: The indoor exercise bike trainer is designed with dual-support structure. The wide frame and front wheel riser block keep it away from wobbling and reach unshakable balance....
- SPIN SMOOTHLY: Bike trainer with noise reduction resistance wheel makes your cycling virtually silent, then you can keep the normal volume of music when riding. Note: The noise has a lot to do with...
- FOLDABLE AND PORTABLE: After quick installation, you can begin to ride indoor. After exercise, you can take the bike off the trainer and fold the bike trainer easily. You may put it at any corner in...
- 【Unfolded Overall Dimension】4.5 x 62 x 40.5 cm / 21.5 x 24.5 x 16’’ (WxDxH); Folded overall dimension: 54.5 x 19 x 49 cm / 21.5 x 7.5 x 19.3’’ (W x Thickness x H).
- 【Solid Construction】This indoor bicycle trainer is comprised of quality magnet, corrosion-resistant alloy roller, and powder coated high carbon steel stand which has the reputation for its...
- 【6 Speed Adjustments】With a simple twisting at the handlebar-mounted cable-attached adjuster, you can adjust the magnetic resistor and switch the six resistance levels in seconds to meet your...
- 【Great Compatibility】This magnetic bike trainer fits for 26'' to 29'' and 700C wheels, and comes with a quick release skewer, so it requires a bike with a rear quick release wheel. Universal quick...
- PedalPro Mk II Indoor Bicycle Turbo Trainer - New improved design - Gloss white
- Use your bicycle as an exercise bike in the comfort of your own home
- Variable speed with handlebar mounted control - New improved resistance wheel offers better grip between tyre & resistor - 6 Magnetic resistance levels
- Suitable for 26" - 28" & 700C wheel sizes - Includes quick release skewer for bicycle rear hub & front wheel mount - Bicycle fits & releases from trainer quickly & easily