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  1. #1
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    Mountain bike trainers

    This thread could probably be in the injury section as well, but you guys are the training gurus so here it is.

    Last week I had a serious injury to my thumb, surgery later last week, and now will be in casts and braces for the next one to two months prior to starting rehab.

    I am a 2-3 time per week cross country rider and ride year round here in SoCal. My bike is a titanium hardtail 1x6 setup. After only 5 days in a cast I can feel my fitness and spirits fading fast. I am dying to get back on the bike.

    So the obvious solution is to get a trainer so I can spin risk free in my cast. I have never tried a trainer and am not sure if they effectively simulate the workout of a real mountain bike ride.

    The 1up trainers are really well reviewed and that is the one I am thinking of right now. Any opinions on which trainer to get and what tire you need for it to work properly would be appreciated. (Is a worn out small block 8 in rear ok?).

    Thanks very much.

  2. #2
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    I have a separate wheel I keep a street slick on and change it out when I use my trainer. If you have any tread on it it will vibrate your whole house and sound like a chainsaw.

  3. #3
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    A trainer will keep you plenty fit for mountain biking. Indeed, you might actually get fitter using a trainer than by mountain biking. A trainer is kind of like a road bike!

    Get a treadless tire for the trainer though. Too noisy and rough otherwise.

  4. #4
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    This will sound sacriligous

    in a mountain bike forum, but if you can't ride outside, consider a spin class. The social aspect and added scenery makes it more fun than a musty basement and you can definitely get all the intensity you might want...

    When I was traveling 100% of the time and training for Leadville years ago, spin classes were a major part of my training - until I got a bike and lights I could stash where I was traveling...

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys

    Stoked,

    I am going to order up a trainer and slick today.

    You don't realize how addicting endorphins are until you have to quit cold turkey. Amazingly, this is my first serious injury (I have been mountain biking for 20 years, and surfing for 25 years) and my entire body is out of whack. Can't sleep, need naps,a rediculous new interest in lame TV shows, just in a fog.

    Thanks for your input. I know that this thread is a little off topic in this forum. I pretty much knew I was going to try it, but it is good to hear positive things from the endurance crowd.

    Spin class is a good idea to consider. My family obligations etc make a trainer more realistic for consistent use.

    I was actually just going to enter my first endurance race ever next month prior to the accident. That is still where I am headed with my mountain biking. I am mainly looking for the personal challenge to finish big rides so "racing" may not be the right word for me.

    This reply is getting long. I obviously have way to much time on my hands.

    Happy trails....and trainers.

  6. #6
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    Sorry to hear about your injury, but a trainer will really help you get through it without losing too much fitness. I have used the Cycleops Fluid trainers for many years. Just need the trainer, a riser block for front wheel, and some towels and/or a fan. Can do climbing simulations, intervals, long easy miles, etc. Good luck with rehab.

  7. #7
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    I was in the same boat this winter: injury but addicted to exercise. Got a trainer myself and spend a lot of time on it. However, I could only bear it with either watching TV (winter olympics were great for that) or DVDs.

    For this winter I will get a proper indoor cycle to keep the noise level down. So you can better watch TV or spend some time chatting on the phone.

  8. #8
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    I hate absolutely hate exercising inside too. But it goes by faster, and is more rewarding, when I give it 100%. Intensity has its own rewards!

  9. #9
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    Ordered

    Thanks for the well wishes with my injury. On the scale of things that can go wrong with the body, this one is pretty minor and definitely recoverable. A minor setback in the hands of a big baby basically.

    I am lucky enough to own and ride my dream bike, and I really like the idea of sitting on my saddle, on my frame, with my exact setup to get a workout. It seems to be so much closer to where I really want to be than a gym or a stationary bike. Good to keep the saddle sore at bay upon my return as well.

    I like to ride with my IPOD a lot, so I am envisioning setting up outside by the pool, put on my normal mountain biking tunes, and work up a sweat. If its hot, then it would be hot if I was on the trail. If it is cold, then I would layer up as needed. Being out in the elements has always been an appealing part of mountain biking to me. Hell, maybe I will plant some poison oak next to the trainer just for authenticity

    I ordered the 1-up trainer and their slick tire and tube setup. Seems like a nice one that will hopefully last.

    One more question:
    Is shifting gears a big part of effectively using a trainer, or is it more about changing the resistance for various workouts? I have a dedicated single speed that I absoutely love but do not ride as often and was considering setting the tire up on that for a while. Good Idea? or stick with my normal 1 x 6.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MD Sleep
    If its hot, then it would be hot if I was on the trail. If it is cold, then I would layer up as needed. Being out in the elements has always been an appealing part of mountain biking to me.
    One more question:
    Is shifting gears a big part of effectively using a trainer, or is it more about changing the resistance for various workouts? I have a dedicated single speed that I absoutely love but do not ride as often and was considering setting the tire up on that for a while. Good Idea? or stick with my normal 1 x 6.
    When you're not moving, it'll seem much warmer!

    Usually you adjust resistance by shifting gears - but some trainers have a resistance adjustment built in...

  11. #11
    You down with entropy?
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    in general shifting gears is what will vary the resistance with a trainer, well it really works by being more difficult to move a higher speeds. So the faster you wheel is going the more resistance is felt (this is for fluid and the clutchplate style that the 1up is, some mag trainers have varying resistance and some really expensing trainers have varying resistance). So pedaling faster on the single speed will get you higher resistance, but most likely you will not be able to re-create the standing and grinding slowly up a hill on that trainer with the single speed.

    I find that watching movies is a great time killer, also keep in mind to stand up once in a while , as just sitting on the trainer is not quite the same as riding trail where you are in and out of the saddle a lot.

    For being able to handle the trainer some people can and others absolutely cannot and go crazy in 10 minutes. Distraction is good for this.

    hope the recovery goes well

  12. #12
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    Not familiar with the 1Up trainer but if it doesn't have adjustable resistance then you will want your 1X6 to be able to use your largest gear, otherwise you will just do high cadence spinning, which isn't a bad thing but that's probably not all you want to be doing. You'll still be spinning pretty high revs on your 1X6.

    On my road bike on the trainer I use 53x11, 53X12, 53X13 for interval work, and generally recover in 39X15, tempo in 53X15 and 53X14. What's your gearing?

    I've actually never used my mtn bike on the trainer so I don't know what I'm talking about... maybe someone else has better feedback for you. Enjoy!

  13. #13
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    Gearing.

    The gearing on my 1x6 is 32 up front, 34-17 in rear. (We have a ton of climbing around here).

    I am hoping I can adjust the resistance high enough with that gearing to get a good workout and simulate if nothing else a long, sustained, seated, aerobic climb. That is where I need the most work anyway.

    I figured that a trainer could not really replicate a good single speed "stand and mash" type of climb.

    If my gearing only lets me "spin" for an hour without some climbing style resistance then I will be bummed for sure. I do not have a road bike or a three ring setup up front.

    Am I screwed?

  14. #14
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    power curve for 1 up

    http://www.kurtkinetic.com/documents..._Curves419.pdf

    If you are thinking about training for racing, you are probably going to need to access AT LEAST the 200 watt level for maintenance of fitness. From the 1 up power curve, that means you will need to hit AT LEAST 18 mph (as measured by a bike computer on the rear wheel).

    Hope this helps

  15. #15
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    Can you just swap on a bigger front ring? To do any kind of intensity, you'll probalby need more wheel speed.

  16. #16
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    i have a 1up and a TacX trainer. they are both good but i prefer the TacX. the 1up is preferable if you will be taking places as it is more portable.

  17. #17
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    Bigger ring

    I guess I could run a bigger ring up front and I had thought of that, but that would probably mandate a new chain as well. I have my chain shortened to the max on my current 1x6 setup. My single speed could use a new chain anyway so that would not be that big of a deal.

    Damn, this is turning into a bigger deal than I thought. Looking at that road bike gearing that you use for workouts, I do not see my mountain bikes working out all that great for the trainer thing.

    I believe I have 30 days to return it if I need to.

    Sh$T!

    Ok, I vented am am back under control

  18. #18
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    I'm holding out for the Lemond Revolution ... http://www.lemondfitness.com/product...n-bike-trainer

    Remove the read wheel and connect the drivetrain directly to air resistance .. means you can use your MTB without worrying about the tire/roller interface.

  19. #19
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    I would suggest some slicks and a set of rollers, but that would probably bust up your thumb even more (crashing on your living room floor while you figure out how to balance on the rollers)

  20. #20
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    Since you already ordered I suppose this is too late, but: tacx, virtual reality biking is more fun.

  21. #21
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    Waiting for trainer...update

    I am still waiting for the trainer, so I have no report on how it turned out so far.

    I had tried to mash some steep road hills on my single speed (in my cast) just to get the cobwebs out. It was nearly impossible to hold onto the bars, and my arm was swelling in my cast. I had to let that idea go.

    It's funny that the extreme anxiety over loosing my fitness level has suddenly gone away. I am now complacently out of biking shape. Essentially I went through my fitness "withdrawl", and I am now realizing that I am just going to have to put in the hard work to get back in shape once my hand becomes functional.

    I am not expecting as much out of the trainer idea at this point. My love for mountain biking goes so much further than fitness. It is about being outside in beautiful places, the focus that a looming climb demands, the calm required on a risky decent. It is the solitude. Hearing all of you write about the struggles of motivating on a trainer makes me realize that fitness is merely a by product of passion for the mountain biking experience. Not the other way around.

    I am getting my hard cast off in 10 days and moving into a hard brace for a few weeks. I am hoping for something waterproof so that I can focus all of my attention on my other sport surfing.

    Hopefully that will keep the stoke alive.

    Thanks for all of your replies.

  22. #22
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    Feeling Your Pain

    Had a similar experience last year.

    See:
    Thumb Surgery

    During recovery I spent a lot of time spinning at the gym. Tried a few short rides with the kids while still in the cast, but even mild bumps in the road were very uncomfortable.

    It all worked out well, but patience was key. The hardest part of the entire ordeal was the waiting before I could exercise regularly again. Best thing is to rest it and not add additional insult or injury during your recovery time. Enjoy the time on the trainer and work on your base. You'll feel better knowing you're healing correctly.

    Good luck - don't let it slow you down for too long!
    DIPLOMACY: It's the art of letting others have my way...

  23. #23
    Which way? Uphill.
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    I'm interested to hear your review of the 1up trainer. I like the Kurt Kinetic trainers myself. The 1up does have a lot of good reviews here, but I'm very suspicious of them, there are a lot of repeating spelling/grammar mistakes throughout the reviews, I think someone has been stuffing the ballot.

    If you want shorter intense workouts I recommend the Sufferfest Videos from here:
    http://www.thesufferfest.com especially if you like watching pro road racing as well.
    Blog

    Just keep spinning. Just keep running. Just keep paddling.
    Just keep moving forward.

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