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.
- Features: Powerful, solid, and quiet, Suito is an interactive home trainer designed to offer you an easy, realistic, and accurate indoor bike training experience
- Plug and Play: Among Elite's interactive home trainers range, Suito is innovative as it features a practical Plug&Play configuration, designed to let you experience right away a quick and easy indoor...
- Precise and Powerful: Suito simulates slopes up to 15% with ±2,5% accuracy. These numbers put it squarely among our most performing interactive home trainers. With more than 1900 watts resistance at...
- International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions.
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.
- 7" HD Touchscreen (WiFi connection required)
- 100 levels of magnetic resistance
- Adjustable race-style seat and handlebars along with dual link pedals with toe cages
- Bluetooth heart rate armband, powerful Bluetooth speakers, dual water bottle holders and 1.5 kg dumbbells with easy access cradles included
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
- Max resistance: 2000W
- Max incline: 16%
- Power accuracy: <2.5%
- Flywheel: 7.6kg
- The most important thing is you have more time to stay with your families, it is also a family work out tools, increase lots of fun
- Made from powder coated steel, iron, plastic, magnet and keep a regular riding schedule on bad weather
- Feel freely indoor exercise with TV, music, book and so on and a safe option when you want to ride at night
- Features with 6 level resistance training and speed adjustment gear
- Easy Bike Release: When the kids saw it, they all said: What a simple way to install! Just hit the press-down lever clamp to easily release and remove your ride. Front wheel riser block and rear quick...
- 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 Turbo Trainer on the market. In...
- 6 Resistance Settings: Train to your standards with bar-mounted remote and wide range resistance curve to simulate all cycling conditions. Not only can you choose the resistance level that suits 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....
- 🚵♂️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.
- 🚵♂️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...
- 🚵♂️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...
- ✔FIRMLY FIXED & HIGH SECURITY: The rear wheel skewer can firmly keep the bicycle in place. In addition, the front wheel non-slip pad can reduce wobbling and increase safety. The bike trainer is...
- ✔EASY TO CARRY & STORE: When the bike training stand is not in use, you can fold the stand and store it in your room or the trunk of your car. The foldable design together with light weight also...
- ✔LOW-NOISE BICYCLE TRAINER: Different from magnetic flywheel, fluid flywheel makes less noise during use. So even if you do bicycle training at home, you won't disturb your family and neighbors.
- ✔STURDY & STABLE CONSTRUCTION: Our bike trainer adopts a triangular structure that ensures good stability. What's more, the bicycle fitness rack can support up to 100kg. You don't need to worry...
- QUICK RELEASE AND LOCK: The handle at the stationary bike trainer not only can release the bike off the trainer quickly by lifting up, but also can lock the bike with the trainer quickly by pressing...
- 6 LEVEL RESISTANCE SETTINGS: With a remote controller of 6-level adjustment, you can change resistance to comply with the cycling conditions you want and enjoy different riding experiences. After...
- 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....
- SMOOTH IN SPIN: When riding a bike at home, a smooth and silent bike exercise trainer is definitely necessary. Bike trainer with noise reduction resistance wheel makes your cycling virtually silent....
- 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
- 8 Resistance Settings & Magnetic Flywheel: This bike trainer has 8 levels of resistance settings that can be easily adjusted to suit different levels of exercise intensity. And the magnetic flywheel...
- Flexible Double Lock System: Featuring a quick release lever, you can easily pull the wheel out and save energy. In addition, the dual locking system with a flexible button on the side can firmly hold...
- Considerate Folding Design: The training stand can be easily folded without any tools, while the bike training rack has a small footprint and can be used in any corner of the house when not in use....
- Smooth & Silent Operation: Fits into the curve of the wheel, making training much smoother. And compared to traditional magnetic trainers, our magnetic trainer operates without much noise to avoid...
- Eight Resistance Levels: This bicycle trainer stand with changes via control which fits on your handlebars, allowing you to be in charge of your workout. Makes it suitable for both beginners and...
- Suitable for Most Bikes: Our bike stand for indoor riding suitable for both road and mountain bikes, with wheels sized 26"-28" or 650C, 700C: Great for virtually any type of bike rider.
- Steel Structure: Our turbo trainer is a durable piece suitable for continued use, formed into a triangular shape to keep the balance. Features adjustable and shock absorption anti-slip feet.
- Dimensions: 49H x 68L x 62.5Wcm. Folded: 49H x 68L x 26Wcm. Not suitable for mountain tires, it is recommended to replace training tires to achieve better mute effect.
- Safe Resistance: The turbo trainer has ergonomic construction with a fashionable streamlined design, it allows you to progressively increase your speed safely.
- Foldable Metal Frame: The bike trainer is built with a strong, sturdy and reliable allowing for safe and secure cycling for long term use at home. Can be fold in to slim size for easy to store in...
- Adjustable Fit Knob: This indoor bike trainer can hooks many bike types including road bikes, suitable for tyres 26"-28"/700C, it keeps the back tyre securely in place. The bicycle trainer is not...
- Rubber Feet: Keeps unit stable and in place on the floor whilst working out for safety. And it is recommended to train with training tyres for quieter training.