Bike trainer, stationary bike or "spin" type bike?
I'm a new father and don't have much time for the trails. I'm thinking about training some in my garage at night. I'm wondering what option would be best -- a bike trainer, stationary bike or spin type bike. A big benefit of a stationary bike is that wife would be able to use it.
I'm thinking about picking up a cheap bike trainer off of craigslist. I've never used one before -- what should I look for and do when I test it out? What are the different types of trainers?
Last edited by bank5; 08-26-2013 at 01:11 PM.
I would personally not buy a really cheap or used trainer. There is a big quality difference. The Kurt Kinetic Road Machine is the best trainer you can get for the money IMO. It is fairly quiet and smooth and not that expensive in the grand scheme of trainers. Cheap trainers tend to be loud and the resistance can be very variable. I had a 1UpUSA trainer for a long time and it was terrible. It felt like my tire would slip and/or squeak every time I road.
^ Thanks, that's good to know. I modified my original post to also include stationary bikes
I bought a used spin bike from a gym that was selling them since they were getting in new models. That is the best way to go, IMHO. The spin bike seat and handlebars can be adjusted so your wife can use it to. The Spin bike tends to give a smoother pedal stroke and better resistance modulation as well as a more true-to-form position that is better training for cyclists compared to an exercise bike that is usually significantly more laid back. I have never felt like the exercise bikes truly mimic a real bicycle, while the spin bike can.
I have always hated putting my bike on a trainer - it wears the rear tire and minimum and I've always worried about the stresses to the rear triangle when standing while it is clamped in there. It seems very different than stresses incurred while riding.
Not a fan of spin bikes. I convinced myself that was the way to go. Could never replicate my riding position, heavy as hell, take up a significant amount of space and I didn't enjoy riding a fixie with a 40-50pound flywheel. Thankfully there is a pretty good resale market.
If you're serious about a trainer, there are some really nice options now with regard to not only roadlike feel but variable power. Granted you can spend $1k+ on these but the return is great (IF you're forced to ride inside). Wahoo kickr, Tacx Bushido & good ole Computrainer to name a few. Great secondary market on these too.
Other potential options...
* lights - night riding is a hoot. Early morning riding is even better
* trailer - my kids would zonk out quickly in the back as long as the roads were smooth
Re: Bike trainer, stationary bike or "spin" type bike?
Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head
Also a relatively new dad, the twins are 3 now!
I bought a trainer about 5 years ago thinking it would be a great use of time. It is boring and I hate riding it, I've probably used it less than 20 times.
Last year I bought a decent light and it's the best purchase I've made for more riding time. As mentioned, night riding really is a blast and you can accomplish a lot. I'm fortunate to have access to trails riding from my house, but roads are an option, too. There is a lot of usable time after the kids go to bed once the dark isn't an obstacle any more.
I've got a trailer and it's fun too, but I vote for lights.
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I did a lot of trainer riding last winter. I just bought the cheapest fluid trainer from performance. Never had a problem with it. I think fluid is better than magnetic. Trainer sessions are a lot easier when you have numbers to look at. Use at least a heart rate monitor to jump on and bang out intervals. It doesn't work if you just get on to ride indiscriminately. Netflix helps.
I should add that if you do go the trainer route and are a data geek, you can get reliable power numbers using either TrainerRoad.com - or - Golden Cheetah v3 and a simple ANT+ cadence/speed sensor. If you're going to the spend time on a trainer, at least make it measurable. They're both constantly updating their trainer list so might want to check before you go too far.
I was looking to buy another KK Road Machine for my wife (and found a used one for $150 on craigslist). These things are bulletproof and IMO, the best bang for the buck - as far as fluid trainers go. Now have a used computrainer from a bankrupt cycling studio. These things are legendary for their longevity too. If you're savvy you can pick one up for a couple hundred, they mate up fantastically with Trainer Road and you won't need to worry about upgrading any software.
oh, and go grab a giant fan before Home Depot/Lowes gets rid of them. I had 4 freaking 12" fans and a ceiling fan this past winter and still ended up opening the window most of the time. Now I have this badass 20" w/ Remote control (and the other fans) so I should have the airflow thing covered.
+1 for Kurt Kinetics. They also make power computers calibrated to their trainers. Pretty cheap way to get started training with power measurements.
bank5 +1 for spin bikes as they help in saving a lot of time , moreover person who feels lazy to get ready & gear up for ride, should definitely try this bike and moreover, I also specifically purchased a spin bike for my wife ... Hehehe ;-)
My experience with it was worth trying, hope you could make something out of it. If you need any assistance regarding spin bikes, visit Spinning ® - Creators of Spinner ® Exercise Bikes and I am sure you'll be glad to have it
I use an older mag trainer and it's ok, having a heart rate monitor to look at is very helpful. I did some time on the trainer the past 2 winters without the HRM, and it's much better with the HRM.
I've been eyeballing LeMond trainers that show up on Craigslist, I imagine they're quieter than my mag trainer. I did an hour on the trainer tonight (2 x 20s) while my wife sat on the couch, we watched Netflix (we dropped cable a few years ago). A fan really helps, and put a towel or something on the floor because you're going to sweat, have a hand towel on your bars too.
I have an older steel road bike I use on the trainer, and I have a spare road wheel with a semi-worn out tire I can use to put my old mtb on the trainer for something different.
My desire to be fast just has to be greater than my desire to relax on the couch.
I have lights, trainer, and rollers.
1UP trainer - Beautiful piece of hardware, super quiet, and smooth. My only gripe with it is that it'll flop over alot when mounting and removing bike. Older 1UP trainers had some issues (overheating resistance unit) so be aware.
Krietler rollers - Only get rollers if you have a road bike and have a lot of patience. It has a really long learning curve. Definitely try before you buy. Riding standing and no handed takes a few years and is really the key to riding comfortably for long periods of time.
Niterider Lumina 650 - as others said, great investment. My only gripe with night riding is that it seems to leave my eyes tired the next day at work. I bike commuted to work this morning and the light is key for a safe ride in these dark mornings. Bike lights have never been this good, light (quarter pound?), and cheap.
Last edited by Poncharelli; 10-25-2013 at 02:05 PM.
I always wanted a good spin bike and last year I finally bought one (CycleOps 300 Pro). It basically made my indoor training through the Canadian winter very enjoyable. It is expensive, heavy and requires space, but I find it superior to anything else for the ultra-hard efforts required for interval training. The power meter gives me everything I need and the freewheel flywheel is great. And it is setup exactly like my road bikes, right down to handlebar, pedals and saddle.
It is probably the best investment I made in training equipment.
Lynskey Ti Pro29 SL singlespeed
GF Superfly 29er HT
S-Works Roubaix SL3 Dura Ace
Giant Bowry '72 singlespeed
I have this same light. Ive used it for offroad moutain bike races at night, along with road riding. When riding on the road, when overcast or in the evening (maybe an hour before the sun goes down), or any time im riding next to parked cars or where I want to be noticed, I use it in the "walking" setting, which is the lowest output constant on.... people stare at me like I have 3 heads.
Originally Posted by Poncharelli
I wish I had something much brighter for the rear, since thats where the threat usually comes from. Im currently using the Cateye Rapid 3 (Universal Cycles -- Cateye Rapid 3 Light) but feel like I could use something brighter.
Put a mountain biker in a room with 2 bowling balls and we'll break one and lose the other - GelatiCruiser
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