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  1. #1
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    road bike/trainer vs spinning bike

    I only ride the trails and I do not own a road bike. I would like to keep riding but the wet weather and trail closures prevent me from being outside. Should I purchase a spinning bike, or a road bike with a trainer? This year is my first year of trail riding and have participated in a few races. I'm still overweight, 205 lbs at 5'9", I was at 240. I would like to continue my training and prepare for the 2010 season. I am already doing strength training but need to build up my endurance. Plus the fact that riding helps reduces my stress and weight.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireant
    I only ride the trails and I do not own a road bike. I would like to keep riding but the wet weather and trail closures prevent me from being outside. Should I purchase a spinning bike, or a road bike with a trainer? This year is my first year of trail riding and have participated in a few races. I'm still overweight, 205 lbs at 5'9", I was at 240. I would like to continue my training and prepare for the 2010 season. I am already doing strength training but need to build up my endurance. Plus the fact that riding helps reduces my stress and weight.
    "Endurance" is a term that is thrown around entirely too much.

    You more likely need to build up your Lactic Threshold (LT), which is your ability to process lactic acid and other byproducts as a result of aerobic/anaerobic respiration. If you can build yourself up to the point where you can do a solid set of 2x20min reps at LT, you have more than enough "endurance" to race a sport class XC race.

    To that end, I'd get a road bike and a trainer. It will open your eyes to a new way to train, and keep things from getting boring. You'll be able to ride outside on nice days when the trails are closed, and go on some fast group rides, which will do wonders for your fitness.
    Last edited by Le Duke; 10-14-2009 at 07:52 AM.

  3. #3
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    I actually like a spin bike a lot, they are very stable, extremely quiet, and you can add tons of resistance. The downside is that when you pedal faster it actually gets slightly easier, which is opposite from actual riding and the better quality trainers. You might ask some local gyms or something if they have old ones they would sell cheap.

    Maybe if you spend a few hundred bucks on a trainer you can get one that is quiet, stable, adjustable resistance. Whats wrong with using your mtb on a trainer? Just put a slick on the rear to reduce vibration.

  4. #4
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    I did put slick tires on my mtb and tried out the kurt kinetic rock and roll trainer. even tho the tire is slick i still had some slippage and i had the trainer tight on the wheel. maybe im doing something wrong.

  5. #5
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    Hmmm, a slick mtn. tire should work on your trainer. If you're going to spend money on a new bike you might want to check out some cyclocross bikes too.

    Also get your diet under control. If you eat better you'll lose weight and that will make everything easier for you. There's a Paleo diet discussion going on right now in this forum.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireant
    I did put slick tires on my mtb and tried out the kurt kinetic rock and roll trainer. even tho the tire is slick i still had some slippage and i had the trainer tight on the wheel. maybe im doing something wrong.
    I use a Schwalbe Kojak 2.0 slick (I mean it's totally slick) cheapo wire bead model on the trainer and the extra width made a huge difference for me in eliminating tire slip. Furthermore, because the casing is only being compressed a small fraction of the tire's total volume, the tire doesn't seem to suffer any wear and tear, vs. smaller slicks where I was destroying 2-3 tires per winter on the trainer.

  7. #7
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    Spin bikes will teach you bad habits since it's a 'fixed' bike with a spin wheel to carry momentum. Given the cost of spin bikes, I'd most likely buy a crossbike and a trainer. A crossbike opens up more possibilities of riding outside.

  8. #8
    Sissy Pants FTW Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guppie58
    Spin bikes will teach you bad habits since it's a 'fixed' bike with a spin wheel to carry momentum.
    +1. Other than perhaps developing some ability to maintain a very high cadence (only useful on a fixie/track bike really, and even then likely to have the rider bouncing all over the saddle coming over from stable platform of spin bike). I'd rather just use a trainer or rollers.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guppie58
    Spin bikes will teach you bad habits since it's a 'fixed' bike with a spin wheel to carry momentum.
    I'm not sure this is a bad habit. Having done spinning classes over last winter I was able to raise my average cadence by 10 RPM (85 vs 95) and this helps a lot on technical sections. In fact I've never been this confident to roll over stuff. Plus it helps you have a smooth and circular pedaling pattern. So as far as I'm concerned it's positive...
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  10. #10
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    I do spin class for anaerobic and high resistance training. I use my road bike on the rollers for long rides. The rollers smooth out my pedal stroke, while the spin bike makes it choppy as it is too easy to stomp on the pedals.

    Given the choice between the two options the OP asked about, I would go with the road bike and trainer. That way you can use the road bike in summer as well.

  11. #11
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    I was faced with this choice before. I went with a road bike and a trainer. I payed the same amount for the two that I was prepared to pay for a spin bike - got the road bike used, and a good discount on the trainer.

    I'd say a spin bike is better for spinning (duh) but having a road bike opens up so many more options. I'm not that serious about indoor training, so it was the right choice for me.

    PS, I ended up selling the road bike, and getting a cross bike. Even more versatility!
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  12. #12
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    road bike! i bought one earlier this year and it has helped out, plus allows for rides with others that makes training so much nicer. Plus i said i would never throw a leg over a road bike, and since it has rained so much here it is my only source for training in the last 2 weeks.
    S-Works all the bikes!
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  13. #13
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    Road bike with a roller style trainer, way better than a stationary trainer. You can use slick 26" tires for it so you can train on your "real" bike. But having a road bike is a great way to train your cadence and you can still ride it on the road.

  14. #14
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    easy choice, road bike and trainer or rollers. many, many more training possibilities.

  15. #15
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    +1 for roadie and rollers. You can do any workout on this set up you can do on a spin bike. I also remember hearing somewhere that the length of the cranks on a spin bike were funky and this could lead to larger issues down the road.

    I also do extensive cadence training on my rollers. If you are using your time wisely, you should be looking at some combination of cadence and heart rate.

  16. #16
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    If you can afford it get a Tacx Fortius trainer and put your MTN bike, with a slick tire mounted, on it. Tacx offers a Virtual Mtn Terrain, plus lots more. It offers power and heart rate monitoring. You have the versatility of mountain, cross country, road, and more. You can ride in real time with a yearly subscription against other people from anywhere in the world. Tacx even offers races where the best can compete. It may seem like a chunk of money initially but divide that by the years of use you'll actually enjoy getting out of this trainer and it works out to be a bargain. I started six years ago with the Green I-Magic and last year got the Fortius Multiplayer. It's just the coolest training machine I've seen and can't be beat by any other trainer out there.

  17. #17
    gunslinger
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    I train on a Spinner NXT and the comments on spinners making you unstable are bogus IMO. It's a different means of training and that's all there is to it. I like it cuz I can concentrate on candence, heart rate control and mechanics (pedal stroke) w/o worrying about riding thru cow scat, trees or horses - I can put my mind to training. Sure the trail ain't the same, but being able to focus on nothing but the above factors is nice. Don't get me wrong, I like riding thru cow & horse scat and I don't mind the smell/mess.

    I row and run and other crap too and none of those screw me up on the trail...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mofoki
    If you can afford it get a Tacx Fortius trainer and put your MTN bike, with a slick tire mounted, on it. Tacx offers a Virtual Mtn Terrain, plus lots more. It offers power and heart rate monitoring. You have the versatility of mountain, cross country, road, and more. You can ride in real time with a yearly subscription against other people from anywhere in the world. Tacx even offers races where the best can compete. It may seem like a chunk of money initially but divide that by the years of use you'll actually enjoy getting out of this trainer and it works out to be a bargain. I started six years ago with the Green I-Magic and last year got the Fortius Multiplayer. It's just the coolest training machine I've seen and can't be beat by any other trainer out there.
    $1,600 for a trainer is HUGE.

    With any trainer, I guess it's much better with a hard trail right?

  19. #19
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    Regarding the spinning bikes. I have been doing about 3-4 hours a week on a spinner for the past month. Since the days are shorter and I don't get home from work until later in the evening, the spinner makes sense (plus the local gym is 2 minutes from home).

    On the plus side, I love the spinning bikes because I can stand and hammer if I want to without worrying to much about falling over. Also the resistance control seems fairly linear so I can change the resistances to mimic hills etc.

    On the bad side, I find that they dont fit my body well. My hands and shoulders start to ache after about 1 hour. This doesnt happen on my mtb for about 3 hours.

    Perhaps more importantly though is the ache I have developed in my right knee (I am not trying to start FUD about spinning bikes, so anyone more knowledgeable feel free to chime in).I noticed this last night actually, when I stand to pedal, on the down stroke my kneecap kind of "pops/clicks". After a few minutes it started to hurt. I don't know much about anatomy but it certainly wasn't a muscle, more like a tendon or something. It was mentioned above how the bikes wheel maintains a good amount of momentum that might carry into the next crank revolution more than an actual bike on the road/trail. Well, I *suspect* that might be whats hurting my knee.

  20. #20
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    Also, Continental actually makes a trainer tire for mountain bikes. Might be something to consider.

  21. #21
    Formerly of Kent
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebarker9
    Also, Continental actually makes a trainer tire for mountain bikes. Might be something to consider.
    Yep. Same compound as the road version.

    And whatever you do, please, please, please, do not use it on anything other than the rollers or a trainer. You will not like the results.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by brobee
    On the plus side, I love the spinning bikes because I can stand and hammer if I want to without worrying to much about falling over. Also the resistance control seems fairly linear so I can change the resistances to mimic hills etc.
    Yeah I love that, when it really starts to hurt I can just put my head down, close my eyes, dig deep and say "F**K YOU PAIN! I'm not stopping!" On a road bike I'm scared to push myself that hard because that usually means 25+ mph on asphalt, and when you are breathing so heavy control and stability are harder. And everyone talks about the high cadence, but isnt that what the resistance is for???

    On the other hand, I would never actually buy a spin bike, unless I got a ridiculous deal on it. I own a road bike and a cheap trainer, road bike is definitely worth the money, cheap trainer isnt worth the money, more expensive trainer - I couldnt say for sure, but I'm not about to buy one.

  23. #23
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    I used to be Anti-road bike up until the fires here in SoCal....so 3 weeks ago I decided to get a road bike (also because all of the faster guys train on a road bike). Well I love it and it opens you up to more riding. It also allows you to ride in a different way...it's almost like you are improving your overall fitness. As long as you do rides on the trails...I think it's the best way to train. I heard that most pro's spend 75% of their training on the road.

  24. #24
    Formerly of Kent
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob_co2
    Yeah I love that, when it really starts to hurt I can just put my head down, close my eyes, dig deep and say "F**K YOU PAIN! I'm not stopping!" On a road bike I'm scared to push myself that hard because that usually means 25+ mph on asphalt, and when you are breathing so heavy control and stability are harder. And everyone talks about the high cadence, but isnt that what the resistance is for???.
    Huh?

    Speed = stability.

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