What is a bike trainer? What are the benefits linked to using a bike trainer, and more importantly, which elements should you take into consideration if you wish to purchase one for your personal use?
We’ll start by answering the first question in the row. A bike trainer enables a person to train indoors, using their own bike. Hence, we could say this is a gift sent from above to cyclist enthusiasts. All you have to do is attach your rear wheel to your trainer, which enables you to pedal against a particular resistance facilitated by the unit. In other words, you have the possibility to alter gear, and even brake, as if you were riding outside while relishing the comfort of your own home.
Don’t have time to read? Here are our top 5 recommendations:
- Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer
- Bike Lane Pro Indoor Bike Trainer
- Kinetic by Kurt 2013 Road Machine Indoor Bicycle Trainer
- FDW Steel Indoor Exercise Bike Trainer
- Bell Motivator Indoor Bike Trainer
Table of Contents
Why use an indoor bike trainer?
Bike trainers are recommended for individuals who wish to enhance their stamina or speed on their bike, as opposed to using a gym machine. Concurrently, a bike trainer is an investment as it provides you with the absolute freedom of training in all weather conditions. That is primordial for cyclists, as it enables them to train against rain, snow, wind, which, otherwise, may lead to injuries.
At the same time, bike trainers are often used for warming up before a competition or race, since engaging in strenuous physical activity without warming up in advance can also raise a couple of risks.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Bike Trainer
The criteria on which you should base your decision when it comes to selecting the best bike trainer for you are:
- Determine whether you wish to opt for a roller or stationary trainer.
- Noise level. Wind-based bike trainers tend to be quite noisy.
- The sum of money you intend to spend. Fluid trainers are the most expensive out of this range of products.
- Do you wish to vary the resistance level? In the case in which you aren’t interested in that, wind trainers are ok, but magnetic or fluid ones are recommended.
- Durability is a primary element you should consider.
- Stability. Although crashes scarcely occur, if the base of the product is broad, it means that it has improved stability, which comes in handy for uneven surfaces.
The 5 Best Indoor Bike Trainers of 2019
Hence, we have taken on the responsibility to test the Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer Portable Exercise Bicycle Magnetic Stand, and explain to you the aspects we did and did not enjoy about the product.
This particular item was very easy to set up, although the construction of the product is durable and the attention to craftsmanship is notable. The trainer is designed as to ensure your optimal stability while exercising. The materials used include only metal, no plastic whatsoever. Impressive, considering the low price of the product.
At the same time, the item was easy to fold up as well, meaning that you needn’t spend a lot of time if you need to move it. That is an excellent feature since it enables you to store the product when you’re biking outdoors.
The magnetic resistance requires a singular adjustment. Although the item doesn’t make a lot of noise usually, if the tires on your bike are quite large, you will imminently be disturbed by the excess of noise. Probably you’ll have to wear headphones to go with it. Or, alternatively, you could use a distinct pair of tires, with different tread, to diminish the noise reaction of the product.
The additional front wheel stand is an excellent feature since it maintains the bikes balance. You’ll no longer need to worry about losing your balance.
All in all, if you are a keen cyclist, and you wish to push your limits, this bike trainer won’t satisfy your needs, since the resistance is quite small. If, on the other hand, you’re a casual rider who only wishes to stay fit and engage in physical exercise when winter kicks in, this item will do the job just fine.
The package embodies a set of adjustable foot pads that are excellent for uneven floors. Not many bike trainers have felt so sturdy; exercising while using the trainer seems 100 percent safe.
If you wish to purchase a product that you can easily store during the summer when you prefer biking outdoors, then this is an excellent pick. The item can be easily folded up, and takes up the smallest amount of space. Hence, if your storage space is rather limited, this means good news for you.
In order to help you get the bicycle in and out of the stand as easiest as possible, the manufacturer has included a quick release skewer for the purpose.
The product is fitted for mountain bikes as well, being appropriate for the vast majority of standard tires. Although the product is manufactured for the use of bikes with a quick release rear axle, if you have the right bolts, the machine will work accordingly.
At the same time, when we set the gears of the bike and the resistance at the maximum, still, it didn’t simulate more than 20-degree incline. The conclusion is that the trainer is an excellent purchase for most purposes; however, it doesn’t provide you with the same resistance you might get from a gym bicycle. In a nutshell, this bike trainer is well-made, sturdy, and dependable – a decent choice if your budget is limited and you don’t wish to challenge your fitness levels.
The device may also make a lot of squeaking noises if you don’t adjust the wheel accordingly. And we really mean A LOT of squeaking. If you want it to stop, you have to inflate the tyre to the maximum recommended point, and it will eventually start purring. We noticed that the more we rode it, the more silent it becomes over time. We don’t know if it’s because it ‘settled in,’ but after a while, you barely hear any sounds when you ride it. Just a few shifting gears and that’s basically it.
Other than the fact that it’s a bit loud at first and doesn’t have any adjustments on the legs to level your unit (you have to go through a lot of setups before using it), we find this product fairly satisfying. This could maybe be fixed by adding a couple of levers instead of screws. It’s pretty convenient especially during the winter days when you cannot go out with your bike on the snowy roads.
One of the problems you’ll have to learn how to deal with is the noise it makes. The trainer does pretty much everything you expect from it, it keeps the bike stable (even as you try to ride standing up), it has a sturdy frame that doesn’t move around… but it is VERY loud. However, we learned that the noise thing could be turned down if you use bald tires instead of traditional mountain bike ones. The noise may not be a problem if you live in a house, but if you reside in an apartment, you will end up being the number one enemy of your neighbors.
Overall, we believe that this trainer will provide decent support for your bike, and we liked that it stays stable even at high speed. The only issue that might need some fixing is the noise that it makes.
Concurrently, the item was quite easy to set up, which is a convenient feature. Nonetheless, we did realize that linking the cable to the handlebars may be quite challenging.
Unfortunately, we also noticed that the stand isn’t particularly stable, due to its small size. In spite of that, considering the price-quality ratio, we weren’t disappointed with the overall performance of the product. Certainly, other bike trainers ensure improved performance and stability, but the prices reflect that.
With regards to noise, other customers found that when they changed from hybrid to road tires, the noise was significantly diminished, but, not completely. That is primarily why working out with your headphones may be a good idea if you don’t wish to be troubled by the excessive noise.
In addition to that, the height ratio from the front to the rear tire was notable, which required some customers to place something under the front wheel in order to level out. Additionally, when we wanted to do some speed work, the item was pretty unstable.
Considering all these features, we would recommend this bike trainer only to people on a budget who don't need a larger and more sturdy trainer, and those who don't mind the noise. I would say this trainer is best suited for use in the garage, as you'd likely drive anyone else in the house nuts.
Indoor Bike Trainer Benefits
It is implied that using a bike trainer is linked to a range of significant advantages for any fitness enthusiast. The most substantial one is that you don’t have to postpone training, and you no longer depend on the weather conditions.
Keen cyclists know what I’m saying. Cycling in unfavorable weather conditions is far from being enjoyable, not to mention that it poses a set of risks. Thereupon, a bike trainer facilitates you to train in a comfortable space, for as long as you want.
Secondly, bike trainers are relatively small. Therefore, they occupy the minimum amount of storage space.
From a fitness mindset, bike trainers are excellent at enabling you to modify your training method. Since we’re dealing with stationary exercise equipment, you can change the speed and resistance based on your needs, as opposed to changing them because of the weather or landscape.
Competitive cyclists will enjoy using a bike trainer because it enables them to maintain their optimal physical form. Nonetheless, if you simply wish to purchase a bike trainer to lose weight, you should know that this is a versatile product. Thus, you can set up your bike trainer wherever you want, in front of your TV, or anywhere else, and cycle your weight away.
Apart from the benefits outlined above, there are some disadvantages related to the use of bike trainers as well. Namely, using a bike trainer won’t enhance your balance in any way. Hence, since balance is a fundamental component in cycling, it is highly recommended to opt for a set of rollers, in order to mix up your training.
Another disadvantage is that such a product may cause damage to your road bike. For instance, as you clamp your wheels in place, this may lead to a breakage of your quick release system. Additionally, it may also chip your frame; meanwhile, your rear wheel may wear down rapidly from the surface contact. In this direction, I would recommend you to opt for a cheap set of tires, while using your bike trainer, as opposed to your expensive road tires.