Welcome to the world of indoor bike stands & trainers!

elite real axiom reviewIf you’re on the hunt for an indoor bike trainer (often known as a stationary bike stand or even turbo trainer), my tips and reviews of many of the industry’s leading brands and models should make things a whole lot clearer for you.

I’m a semi-serious cyclist myself, and have purchased and tested a number of bikes AND indoor bike stands over the years (don’t ask my wife how much I’ve spent over the last couple of years!). The indoor trainers really boost my training schedule during those cold, winter months when it’s almost impossible to get out on the road (and hey, even in the summer months when it’s just too hot!).

After purchasing a top of the range model a while back, the CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer (a model I highly recommend), and getting asked by cyclist friends for my recommendations, I decided to set up this website to help them and YOU out. I’ve done all of the research and testing, you just have to decide what suits your training regime and your budget.

I’d highly recommend having a look at this to get started – these are the FIVE best stationary bike trainers you should consider for Christmas 2017, ranging from the very cheapest, super-value bike stands to the ultimate riding experience for the more serious cyclists of you. If money is less of an issue and you’re looking for something top-notch, take a look at the 3 best trainers money can buy – or perhaps it’s even time to buy yourself one of the latest smart trainers? In addition, our much researched Comparison table will give you an amazingly quick overview of all the models out there, including ratings, weight and price. It’s pretty much the perfect buying guide, and is constantly being updated, so check it out!

And I also have the perfect companion to a new bike trainer – my guide to the TEN must-have cycling accessories that any keen cyclist will want to have to get the absolute maximum out of their training session, especially if you are setting up your own man cave! It was originally written for Christmas, but all of the accessories are perfect for any time of the year and will help enhance your training session – from the best cycling shoes, to iPhone holders, to massage sticks, I cover some of the best out there!

For beginners, or any of you just confused by the range of options and possibilities, I’d recommend you see our FAQ, a comprehensive set of questions (and their answers) that should hopefully answer any question you might have, including:

  • I’m a beginner, what trainer do you recommend?
  • Are there any decent trainers under $100?
  • I’m a serious/pro cyclist – what trainers should I consider?
  • Are there any trainers for 29 inch wheels?
  • Can I use my mountain bike on an indoor trainer?
  • How can I stay motivated for boring indoor riding sessions?

Wrapping it up, here are some additional must-reads for those of you getting into indoor trainers this season:

3 major reasons why you need to buy a stationary bike stand

OK, so you’re still not convinced that an indoor bike / turbo trainer will suit your style, your budget, or even your flat/house – but perhaps these 3 killer benefits will persuade you…

1: Having a stationary bike trainer at home means you’re never going to have an excuse for not training during those cold, wet winter months! OK, it can be hard to get motivated, but trust us, there are ways to stay motivated, and yes, stay in great shape throughout the winter. If you’re a serious cyclist, a trainer can seriously make a difference for when the cycling season kicks in once again; and if you’re a beginner or a casual cyclist, stay in shape and improve your overall technique in a fun, sporty way (while you watch TV, use your iPad, or simply read a book!)!

2: They are compact AND portable AND cheap. So forget about not having enough space in your small, cozy apartment, or having enough money. Most of the bike trainers on the market today are compact enough to fit the smallest of houses and apartments (heck, some are even foldable!), and quiet enough to ensure that if you do have a small apartment, your neighbors and loved ones will never know you just put in a sweaty, 60-minute session that stretched beyond midnight. And yes, there are some great value indoor bike trainers for less than $80 – compare that to your annual gym fees!

stationary bike stand3: You dictate the training session – and buy that we mean the pace, the effort, the time invested. The thing about an indoor trainer is that you choose exactly when and how to start training, and you no longer have to worry about the weather and how it might, quite literally, put a dampener on your training efforts. If you’re somewhat of a serious cyclist, concentrate on enhancing your skills on your own finely-tuned bike to improve your cycling form; likewise if you’re a beginner/casual cyclist, decide what works for you – you’re the one in the saddle!

Good Luck – and if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch!

TEN cycling accessories any cycling fan will want in their Christmas stocking!

With Christmas on the way, it’s time to list some of those cycling accessories you or your loved one has been dreaming about recently!

We’ve come up with TEN awesome accessories that will squeeze into any Christmas stocking (well, almost!), but more importantly, will have any cycling fan beaming on Christmas morning. Ranging from must have accessories to complement any riding session, to the more luxurious, we’re sure you’ll find something to keep that cycling fan happy and that man cave expertly equipped!

christmas gifts cyclists

You may well have taken a peek at our list of five recommended stationary bike stands for Christmas – if not, it’s well worth a read! If budget isn’t an issue, check out these THREE trainers – the best money can buy. And if you’re limited budget-wise, check out our guide to the best indoor trainers for under $80.

In no particular order…

Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch

polar heart monitor

For the cycling fan that wants to keep abreast of what’s going on inside their body, this heart rate monitor watch from Polar is wonderful! A graphic display lets you know if you’re burning fat or improving aerobic fitness, all during your real-time session. And of course, there’s a calorie counter too. All on your wrist! Expect to pay around $70-80, it’s not surprising this one has been very popular on Amazon.
Read more here

Post-training relief with the Travel Stick

travel stick the stick

If you’re tired of giving your partner massages after an intense training session – or just want to spoil them, since, you know, it is Christmas after all – then this amazing device is for them! This massage stick is designed specifically for committed athletes/cyclists – and their tired partners! And don’t let the relatively nondescript name fool you – this is one of the most innovative products to ever hit the sports market, and at around $25 is perfectly priced too!
Read more here

CatEye Strada Wireless Cycling Computer

cat eye strada 2016

Most, if not all of us, want to know how far we’ve cycled and just how much we’ve got out of the current session, but as well as all that, we also want access quickly and easily, especially in this generation of touch-screen technology. This wireless computer from CatEye fits the bill perfectly, with a touch screen interface and an amazing sensor that measures cadence, current speed, max speed, average speed, 2 trip distances, and elapsed time! It also fits on any handlebar or stem – and perhaps more importantly, is one of the best cycling computers out there for home trainers. Typically priced around $90.
Read more here

Kurt Kinetic Floor Mat

kinetic trainer mat

In our opinion, a good floor mat is crucial for any indoor biking session. It might not be the sexiest Christmas present around, but they really do make a difference to the noise your stationary bike stand will make when you’re working up a steam AND they protect your floor from any scratches and wear and tear you’re likely to create. This one from Kurt Kinetic is a great looker, plus it’s very durable and rolls up nice and snug (to fit in that Christmas stocking!). Typically comes in at around the $60 mark and a perfect match for the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine and the Rock n Roller!
Read more here

Pearl iZumi Men’s All-Road II Cycling Shoe

Pearl iZumi Mens Shoes

Cycling shoes are another way to truly enhance your indoor (and outdoor) biking session. These shoes from Pearl iZumi are superb and incredibly light (they weigh just 370g). They are renowned for reducing pressure on your instep and  will give your foot much better overall support. Kind of vintage with its black leather look, this is a shoe very well made and one that you’ll love. Expect to pay around $90.
Read more here

Weather Resistant Smartphone Case

smartphone case

For those of you with a smartphone, notably the iPhone 5 (as well as other models of similar size), this superb little phone case sits perfectly on your bike. Our site is of course all about indoor biking, but the best thing about this case is that it’s totally weather proof coming with two Velcro straps, so you can also take it out and about! The clear window is made of clear polyurethane and enables you easy access to touch pad controls, letting you keep in touch with the office while you pedal away. Typically priced at under $20.
Read more here

Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves

Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves

Some of you might look at these and think yeh right, but compression leg sleeves are excellent for helping your legs and their blood circulation, and provide superb muscle support during training and recovery. Usually used by runners, these compression sleeves can really help you if you’re on long biking sessions, so we’d recommend them for the serious biker only, or those of you who suffer from sore calves easily (another great option for sore muscles is The Stick!). Priced around $40.
Read more here

Pearl iZumi Men’s Gloves

pearl izumi mens glove 2016

If you’re a serious cyclist, you’ll realize there’s nothing quite like a good pair of gloves to ease the pain of a long session on your hands. These machine washable gloves from Pearl Izumi are just the job. The gel padding helps take the sting out of your bike’s vibrations, so even on those long indoor sessions you’ll find them very useful. Recommended to go for a large size as they can feel small on largish hands. Usually priced at around $30.
Read more here

Pearl iZumi Mens Cycling Shorts

pearl izumi mens cycling shorts

We were always dead set against those slinky cycling shorts when we first started, but after getting convinced by friends, can definitely recommend a GREAT pair of cycling shorts to really enhance your bike workout: the Pearl iZumi Men’s Cycling shorts. It might sound technical but check this feature list out: six-panel anatomic design, silicone leg grippers, reflective elements for low-light visibility, and soft Select Transfer fabric with UPF 50+ sun protection PLUS superior moisture-soaking properties to keep you cool and dry. Expect to pay around $40-50.
Read more here

Camelbak Rogue Hydration Pack

camelbak hydration pack

For those of us cycling for any length of time or with any intensity, a hydration pack is always a superb option to have in your training arsenal. This awesome Rogue model has a 2L reservoir which can be refilled on the fly via the quick-release flap on the front of the pack. It comes in a variety of colors, and the straps are easily adjusted, so could be perfect for the he/she/child cyclist. There are also two external pockets where you can add small items like your keys or wallet. Typically will set you back around $60-70.
Read more here 

We hope this little list will brighten up Christmas for you and your cycle-mad loved ones!

Happy Christmas!

The FIVE best stationary bike stands your money can buy this Christmas

christmas cycling presentsWith Christmas fast approaching (and doesn’t it seem to get here quicker every year!), it’s absolutely the right time of year to think of the perfect indoor bike trainer for your – or a loved one’s – new training regime!

We’ve pretty much tested them all out there (and spent years reviewing them on this website), so to save you a whole lot of time and stress we’ve come up with a list of the very best indoor trainers to buy for Christmas 2017, the ones that really will bring a smile to anyone and everyone on Christmas morning!

And yes, no matter your budget or skill level, there’s a bit of everything for everybody on this little list; we’ve got budget trainers perfect for beginners that come in under $70, and top of the range smart trainers that will set you back over $500 – but that pack an extremely professional punch for those in need of it…

With one of these trainers in your new training regime, start expecting some very decent results…

Our top tip for Christmas: the awesome CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer!

Cycleops Fluid 2 TrainerOUR TOP CHOICE

This classic bike stand from the boys at CycleOps has been an old stalwart in our training regime, ever since we purchased the refurbished model in 2016. It’s simply superb at what it does best, which is keep you in shape over the winter months. It’s not the fanciest bike trainer out there, but definitely isn’t one of the cheap and budget-friendly options either, being priced at around $300. And heck, it’s also recognized as the bestselling indoor trainer in the US, so there’s a few more of you out there that have been impressed already…

Make no mistake, this trainer is a classic and perfect for the beginner AND semi-pro cyclist. Trust us on this, you’ll enjoy those indoor training sessions on this one – it really is one of the best indoor trainers to buy for Christmas!

Read our full review here.

See the latest deals and discounts for the Fluid 2 on Amazon HERE.

The perfect indoor trainer for the beginner: the budget-friendly Ohuhu Magnet Steel trainer!

best bike trainers 2017OK, so if you’re a beginner – or buying a Christmas present for someone who you’re not sure really needs all the bells and whistles of the latest and greatest bike stands – this stationary bike trainer has to be on Santa’s shortlist. Simply put, you can’t get much better value than this, as it typically comes in at under $70.

Even at that budget price, you still get a heavy-duty frame that’s easy to fold up and thus store away, adjustable internal resistance settings that you control via your handlebar, skid-resistance feet to ensure absolute stability, and yes, it’s even surprisingly quiet! A definite one to consider for that Christmas stocking!

Read our full review here.

See the latest deals and discounts for the Ohuhu on Amazon HERE.

There are plenty of other great budget options out there, just in case you’re not fully convinced by this Ohuhu trainer; check out the best THREE bike trainers for under $80!

A classic revisited: the smart-tech Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller!

best bike trainers 2017If a top brand in the indoor trainer game is what you’re after this Christmas, look no further than the classic Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller. And it’s recently got even better, what with the introduction of a smart technology compatible version, which lets you track all kinds of data and performance metrics thanks to its inbuilt Inride Sensor (which works awesomely with the inRide app, which provides workout options and suggestions based on the data collected). This data can be critical for serious cyclists looking to tweak their training routine to the optimum.

With the riding experience truly one-of-a-kind – what other trainer lets you rock to and fro – and the ability to support almost any wheel size, don’t be put off by its $500+ price tag. Let’s face it, some of the top level smart trainers now come in at double the price!

Read our full review here.

See the latest deals and discounts for the Rock n Roller on Amazon HERE.

You need the ultimate performer: the CycleOps Silencer is what you need!

CycleOps Silencer ReviewTHE PRO’S CHOICE

If you’re looking to spoil yourself or a loved one this Christmas, the CycleOps Silencer is the one to buy. This beast is going to have a big impact on your training schedule – and provide real results!

It’s a sleek beast too, with a revolutionary off-wheel design in matte black alloy, as well as some very tasty clean lines in a very modern-looking chassis. But what really sticks out a mile is this trainer’s ability to give you a life-like riding experience – and oh yes, we almost forgot, the pure silence! Expect to have some intense riding sessions on this one (and we didn’t even mention the savings you’ll make on training tires!)!

Read our full review here.

See the latest deals and discounts for the Silencer on Amazon HERE.

Probably the best value smart trainer around: the Tacx Vortex Smart Ergo Trainer!

Tacx Vortex Smart ReviewOK, so if you haven’t already figured it out, smart trainers are definitely the next big thing in the world of indoor training. However, most are typically pushing the $1000 barrier, which makes this awesome value trainer (priced at under $500) from Tacx well worth a look!

Most importantly – and something that has proven a bit of a problem for some – you’ll be able to get quickly connected to the smart app that comes with the trainer, meaning you can also access the now legendary Zwift, and other similar programs. Expect to crank up some serious intensity with this trainer too, up to an amazing 950 watts! There are some great things to enjoy about this one, including the amazing electro-brake system, and some awesomely accurate workout calculations.

Get smart this Christmas – get a Tacx Vortex!

Read our full review here.

See the latest deals and discounts for the Tacx Vortex on Amazon HERE.

Quick glance comparison

If you need a chart to help you compare the above models, try the table below, which summarizes the best indoor trainers to buy this Christmas, so you can see at-a-glance what ticks all your boxes before reading more about each trainer…

NOTE: The ratings are review ratings currently listed on Amazon

Image
Model
Pros
Rating
Price Range
Kinetic Rock and Roll TrainerKurt Kinetic Rock and Roll TrainerThe ultimate realistic indoor riding experience, expensive but quality

Read our REVIEW
4.4$$$$$

ohuhu magnet trainer reviewOhuhu Magnet Steel TrainerAdjustable internal resistance levels, quiet, skid-resistant feet, wide frame, excellent value.

Read our REVIEW
4.3$

CycleOps Silencer ReviewCycleOps SilencerPerfect for pros with sleek wheel-off design, amazingly quiet, lifetime warranty from CycleOps!

Read our REVIEW
4.6$$$$$

Cycleops Fluid 2 TrainerCycleops Fluid 2Infinite resistance, self-cooling, one of the best!

Read our REVIEW
4.5$$$$$

Tacx Vortex Smart ReviewTacx Vortex Smart ErgoTrainerSmart technology, intuitive, electro-brake technology, best value smart trainer!

Read our REVIEW
4.2$$$$$

5 BEST bike trainers 2017: the ultimate buyer’s guide

best bike trainers 2017

If you’re looking for the very best bike trainers of 2017, we’ve done pretty much all of the homework for you with this great little list for would-be buyers…

We know it’s not always easy sifting through all that info online, and hey, even through all those reviews on our own website, what with all the models we’ve tried and tested over the years. But we’ve done our absolute best to create the ultimate Top 5 list of bike trainers out there, a list that will surely take your indoor training efforts to the next level.

And yes, there is something for everyone on this list, so whatever your budget and cycling level there’s something for you to enjoy. The range of indoor trainers we’ve included in this list ranges from a very budget friendly $70 trainer to a pricey but extremely classy trainer that will set you back over a grand (and comes highly recommended for the serious/pro cyclists of you out there).

Yep, these really are the best bike trainer options out there in 2017, in our very humble opinion. And yes, with one of these trainers in your training arsenal, you can seriously start expecting some very decent results…

Budget-friendly and AMAZING value for any beginner: the Ohuhu Magnet Steel trainer!

best bike trainers 2017This bike trainer only recently came onto our radar, but we have to say, this HAS to be on your radar if you’re looking for a trainer with tremendous value (we’re talking a typical online price of around $80).

Seriously, if your budget is on the conservative side, or you’re just getting started with indoor trainers, this is an excellent choice. Some might say it’s a direct copy of this bestseller from Magnet, but we feel there’s just that wee bit more in this one to warrant its selection as one of the very best budget trainers of 2017!

There’s a LOT to love with this trainer, including a heavy-duty frame that also folds up (and ensures it can be easily stored away), adjustable internal resistance settings that are controlled via the handlebar (thanks to some awesome inbuilt magnets), skid-resistance feet, and perhaps most importantly, it’s a very quiet trainer, even when the wolves are at your feet!

Read our full review here.

If you’re looking for additional budget options, check out the best THREE bike trainers for less than $80!

A revamped classic for the smart tech generation: the Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller!

best bike trainers 2017The Kurt Kinetic’s Rock n Roller has long been on our featured list of trainers. With a revamped version recently released to take on the ever developing world of smart technology compatible trainers, this could be your ultimate ride through the off-season.

The major factor in choosing this smart version of the Rock n Roller is its Inride Sensor. If you love your details and performance data, this sensor will give you pretty much all the data tracking and workout details you’ll ever need. And we can’t emphasize how important some of that data (speed and heart rate to cadence) can be for the serious cyclist; while your competitors are piling on the pounds/losing fitness over the off-season, you’ll be primed and ready for the spring!

Accompanying the Inride Sensor is the inRide app, which does an amazing job of collecting and transforming that data into workout suggestions, modifying its built-in workout programs according to the data the sensor provides.

Together with the fact that this smart trainer from Kinetic handles like a dream (that rocking motion is a big big plus) and can cater to almost any wheel size, its price tag of around $550 is excellent value for money, especially when some of today’s smart trainers are breaching a grand.

Read our full review here.

One of the BEST trainers your money can buy: the CycleOps PowerBeam Pro!

PowerBeam Pro 2017This trainer is seriously going to make some improvements to your fitness levels over the winter. And if you’re after something ANT+ friendly, with real-time analysis of your riding sessions, this is the beast for you.

I’ll be honest, this trainer is going to put a hefty dent in your wallet, as you’ll be lucky to find it under $1000. However, the big bonus with this trainer is that it uses ANT+, ensuring you get crucial performance data on ANT+ cycling computers that provide you with real-time analysis as you ride. So yes, if you’re looking to tweak and improve your riding, this is an amazing tool to have on your side.

Enjoy an integrated PowerTap power meter for some awesome metrics, including power in watts, power zones, peak power, caloric expenditure in kilojoules, cadence, heart rate, and much more. The Mini ANT+ USB stick (included with the trainer) also lets you control the resistance from your computer (this means you can also use CycleOps’ Virtual Training app for auto-syncing sessions with virtual training routes)!

Other crucial selling points: it’s extremely quiet (CycleOps states it generates a reasonable 69-70 decibels when riding at 20mph), and you can attach most road and mountain bike frames, with support for 650b, 700c, 26 inch, 27 inch, and 29 inch wheel sizes, with tires up to 2.25 inches wide.

Note this trainer also comes in a Bluetooth Smart version, but apparently connectivity issues persist with it, so we’d recommend sticking with this ANT+ version.

Read our full review here.

Another smart-tech option: the awesome value Tacx Vortex Smart Ergo Trainer!

Tacx Vortex Smart ReviewSmart trainers have recently become the trend to watch out for in the bike trainer wold in 2017, but with many of the recently released models topping a grand, smart trainers are out of reach for many. And then came along the Tacx Vortex Smart Ergo trainer.

What can we say, except “buy it if you’re after a great smart trainer”!

Seriously, this Tacx trainer packs a seriously smart punch – for less than $500. With a quick and stable connection ensuring your trainer is responsive to the smart app that comes with the trainer, you’ll soon be enjoying the likes of Zwift and other similar software (including the included Tacx software).

With excellent resistance (thanks to 16 inbuilt magnets) that you can crank up to a whopping max of 950 watts, excellently accurate workout calculations, and awesome electro-brake technology coming into its own and registering delicate changes in speed, this is one indoor riding experience you won’t need any motivational pep-talks for!

Read our full review here.

One of our personal faves: the awesome CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer!

Cycleops Fluid 2 Trainer(EDITOR’S CHOICE) This bike trainer from CycleOps has long been in our personal arsenal of off-season training tools. It has been around for some time, but after recently being revamped and redesigned, it still remains an excellent option for 2017.

Simply one of the best value trainers on this list (coming in at around $300), we’ve probably had more training sessions on this beast than any other trainer out there. Still quiet, still classy, and yes, still an indoor riding experience to savor.

With excellent resistance, a new larger flywheel delivering twice the inertia (read about the resistance technology from CycleOps here), Powerband technology ensuring a wide resistance range to work with, a self-cooling mechanism that keeps the unit performing better and for longer, plus a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, this is an excellent choice for the beginner, keen cyclist, and even the hardened pro.

Read our full review here.

Quick glance comparison

Below is a table summarizing the best bike trainers in this bestsellers of 2017 list, so you can see at-a-glance what ticks all your boxes before reading more about each trainer…if you’re still not sure what type of trainer you really need, check out our quick guide for assistance.

NOTE: The ratings are review ratings currently listed on Amazon

Image
Model
Pros
Rating
Price Range
Kinetic Rock and Roll TrainerKurt Kinetic Rock and Roll TrainerThe ultimate realistic indoor riding experience, expensive but quality

Read our REVIEW
4.4$$$$$

ohuhu magnet trainer reviewOhuhu Magnet Steel TrainerAdjustable internal resistance levels, quiet, skid-resistant feet, wide frame, excellent value.

Read our REVIEW
4.3$

PowerBeam Pro 2017CycleOps PowerBeam ProPerfect for pros with ANT+ compatibility for real-time analysis, quiet, lifetime warranty from CycleOps!

Read our REVIEW
5.0$$$$$

Cycleops Fluid 2 TrainerCycleops Fluid 2Infinite resistance, self-cooling, one of the best!

Read our REVIEW
4.5$$$$$

Tacx Vortex Smart ReviewTacx Vortex Smart ErgoTrainerSmart technology, intuitive, electro-brake technology, best value smart trainer!

Read our REVIEW
4.2$$$$$


What types of bike trainer are out there in 2017 – and what type should I buy?

So yes, we know it can get a little confusing when trying to work out which type of indoor trainer best suits your needs, but we’ve wrapped up the main types you need to take into consideration for 2017 below…

Smart trainers

Tacx Vortex Smart ReviewWithout a doubt, smart trainers are the future of indoor training. With their ability to connect to a variety of applications and sensors, smart trainers are for the keen to pro rider who needs that extra data available – or for those who just want to ride with their buddies on multi-rider platforms like Zwift. We’ve already uncovered a couple of great smart trainers, but the Tacx Vortex we mentioned above is one of the best value smart trainers we’ve come across. But watch this space because we’re sure there are some interesting developments ahead, and not just in 2017…

Fluid trainers

Fluid trainers are about as real as you’re going to get to an authentic on-road sensation. They typically generate resistance through a magnetic flywheel which combines with a fluid chamber inside the flywheel. So as you hit those pedals harder, the fluid in the chamber gets hotter, which means that the trainer’s resistance becomes more challenging as you continue.

Expect to pay a few more $$$ than most of the other types listed here, since these types of trainers (our own favorite is the CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer listed above) certainly provide quality, with most of the models out there today also proving they are leak-proof (a well-known problem in earlier fluid type trainers). If you want to go for a pivoting, and truly awesome fluid trainer, take a look at the Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller (see above), now updated with a smart-friendly version!

Magnetic trainers

Magnetic trainers generate resistance via a magnetic flywheel, the adjustable magnetic resistance creating drag against your bike’s wheel. They are typically on the cheaper side, and generally easy to setup and move about. However, the resistance is limited and for the serious cyclist this can soon cause an issue as you’ll reach your max resistance fairly swiftly. They also tend to be noisier than fluid trainers, a point those of you living in apartments may want to consider.

A good budget-friendly example of a magnetic stationary stand is the Ohuhu Steel trainer, which we included above.

Rollers

NashbarRollersRollers are a whole different ball game; instead of attaching your bike to the trainer, as in the above models, you attempt to ride the bike on the rollers themselves, trying not to fall flat on your face! Certainly takes some practice, but rollers are a great way to work on your balance and positioning.

They typically are seen as a good value option, often coming in at much cheaper than the prime fluid or direct drive models. Some people swear by them, others can’t stand them – it’s entirely up to you! Don’t miss this review of the Top 5 bike rollers for a guide to the very best rollers out there.

Direct Drive trainers

lemond revolution 1.1Direct drive trainers are fairly new to the scene of indoor training, but are a great option for the serious cyclist. You can also save some serious $$$ on tires, since these trainers work on the concept of removing your bike’s rear wheel completely, and slotting it into a direct drive on the trainer. Quick and easy to setup, especially with today’s modern bikes that now all come with a quick-release skewer.

Two direct drive options we’ve been very impressed with: the CycleOps Silencer and the Lemond Revolution 1.1.

Virtual Reality trainers

If your budget is limitless and you really want the ultimate indoor ride, try a virtual trainer, which basically transforms your ride into a living PlayStation/XBox experience! Expect to pay some serious $$$ – for example, watch this video of the Tacx iGenius Virtual Trainer, it might just knock your socks off! You can buy it on Amazon, just be aware that it will cost you upwards of $1000.

We should probably point out that the concept of “virtual” trainers will probably disappear, what with the ever-growing range of smart trainers and direct drive trainers (see above), and their ability to connect with a range of appliances and software.

Wind trainers

In all honesty, don’t even bother with wind trainers. They’re generally noisy, and in our opinion, are outdone by fluid and decent magnetic trainers.


The Cycleops Fluid 2 Indoor Bike Trainer: one of the best in the business!

Cycleops Fluid 2 Trainer

As highlighted throughout this site, I have tried and tested a few different bike trainers, but the Cycleops Fluid 2 Indoor Bicycle Trainer is definitely one of the best stationary bike trainers I have ever tried (well, that is until I recently discovered the amazing CycleOps Silencer!).

For starters, this Cycleops bike trainer is one of the quietest bicycle trainers I’ve ever worked on! If you’ve ever used a lower-end bike trainer, you’ll be familiar with the annoying and sometimes deafening whirr they produce. You might save a bit on the cost, but your eardrums of your closest friends and family will suffer, trust me!

You don’t get such noise with the Cycleops Fluid 2 bike trainer. That’s important to me because I frequently train at night after work and don’t want to disturb the sleep of my wife and kids. Even when I’m pedaling my hardest, this bike trainer runs quietly. And yes, the low noise level allows me to place the stationary trainer in my living room and train while my family watches television – good eh?!

It is such an unobtrusive presence that my kids are more likely to be disturbed by my panting and gasping (yes, I do try and burn some calories!) as I train than by any noise emitted by the trainer.

In addition, while no indoor bike trainer can ever fully capture the joy of outdoor riding, the Cycleops Fluid Indoor Trainer comes closer than most with an extremely realistic cycling experience. When I first used the trainer, it became immediately apparent to me that the Cycleops designers had put a massive amount of thought and effort into simulating outdoor cycling because the resistance provided by the trainer was extremely similar to that provided by tarmac roads. This allows me to practice my outdoor riding skills in the safety of my home while rain, snow or hail pours down outside.

Summary of the Fluid 2’s Main Features

Here’s a quick summary of the main features that might wow you:

  • The Fluid 2 Trainer is one of the best ways to stay in great condition during the off season
  • A new larger flywheel delivers a true road-like experience, with twice the inertia (read all about the resistance technology from CycleOps here)
  • Power band technology means you have a wide resistance range to work with
  • An infinite resistance curve ensures increased wattage as you increase speed
  • The Fluid 2’s self-cooling mechanisms keep the unit performing better and for longer
  • Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
  • Dimensions: 23 x 22 x 7 inches, and it weighs 11.5 pounds

Pros and Cons of the Cycleops Fluid 2 Trainer

The only thing I didn’t like about this Cycleops bike trainer was the vague set-up instructions. I’ve never been a very hands-on person, so assembling the trainer gave me a real headache. This gave me an opportunity to experience Cycleops’ renowned customer service for myself. I called customer support for assistance on setting up the trainer and they were very forthcoming with advice. The patient and helpful customer support officer talked me through the product assembly step by step and with their guidance, the whole process took me only five minutes to complete. In short, the exemplary customer service more than made up for the slightly ambiguous set-up instructions.

After purchasing the Cycleops Fluid Indoor Bike Trainer a few months back, it has now become my training method of choice for rainy days. It allows me to keep my fitness level up in the off-season so that I’m raring to go once cycling season starts again.

Worth the high price tag?

Highly recommended, because despite that relatively high price tag (around $300), it really is one of the best in the business. It also makes our list of the Top 5 bike trainers for 2017, but it is serious competition for one of the top end choices included on that list, the Kinetic Kurt Rock n Roll Trainer. Alternatively, check out the awesome technology of the SuperMagneto Pro from CycleOps – it comes in at around $400, but is a great ride!

Click below to save yourself 10% on the regular price over on Amazon!

Best THREE stationary bike stands for under $80!

There are some truly great stationary bike trainers out there – we personally love the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine model – but for beginners and the more price-conscious shopper, we know there are a few of you out there looking for a great value bike stand.

Related: The FIVE best indoor trainers to buy this Christmas!

Let’s face it, as the economy bites many of us in the ***, saving some money is always a good thing. So, after getting a few questions from readers asking us about some cheaper options, we decided to put this article together.

There are a whole load of stationary bike stands dropping in under the $80 mark, and you can find many online at stores like Amazon, as well as other high-street bricks and mortar outlets (though it has to be said, we’ve struggled to find the variety you can find on the Internet).

Below are the best THREE stationary bike stands we know of and have seen, and that are also ranked well on Amazon by satisfied customers. Don’t forget to check out our comparison table for an ever-expanding list of bike stands and our unique summary of each and every one’s features.

NOTE: The bike stands below are suitable for 26″, 27″ or 700C wheels.

The Magnet Bicycle Indoor Exercise Trainer

Magnet Steel TrainerThis has to be the very best value stationary bike stand we’ve seen out there. Quite how these guys built this bike stand and sell it for typically under $50 we don’t know, but there are hundreds of happy customers who’ve snapped up this Magnet Bike Stand.

What makes it such a winner? Well, first of all, it’s cheap, and therefore perfect for beginners and the very price-conscious. It also has FIVE internal resistance settings (changeable from your handlebar, and which provides progressive magnetic resistance, meaning the resistance increases as the speed increases), is seen to be heavy duty (it weighs in at a solid 20 pounds) and is considered to be quiet too.

The instructions that come with the stand are notoriously bad, but if you follow the images you should be up and running in minutes (see our full review here).

See the latest deals for the Magnet Indoor Trainer on Amazon

Conquer Indoor Trainer Stand

stationary bicycle standThis superb value exercise stand is not a big brand name (in fact, it recently seems to have been branded by a new company called Conquer, who have additional models for sale online). But the fact there are numerous happy reviews on Amazon sends a clear message that a big brand name isn’t always everything.

Why is this stationary bike stand a hit? Well, this stand is also considered heavy duty (also weighing in at 16 pounds with NO cheapo plastic bits, it’s entirely made from metal) and also stable, while also being fold-able – great for storing away! The stand comes with magnetic resistance done in a single adjustment (you do have to get off the bike to adjust it). Another good selling point – it also comes with its own Riser Block (you’d typically have to spend another $10-20 on one of these).

The only drawback we can see with this stand is that it seems slightly noisier than, let’s say, the Magnet Exercise Trainer we describe above, but overall, is excellent value.

See the latest deals for this Indoor Cycling Trainer on Amazon

Soozier Adjustable Magnetic Resistance Indoor Bike Trainer Stand

Soozier Adjustable Bike StandThe Soozier Indoor Bike Stand is another great value option we’ve come across recently. It also comes in at well under the $80, and you can even strike it lucky on some websites with deals pricing it at under $60.

The Soozier (as we like to call it) comes in at almost half the weight (11 pounds) of the above two bike stands, but is considered very stable and sturdy, and easy to assemble. This one also has five resistance levels, and as per the Magnet above the levels of resistance are adjustable via your handlebar. The noise levels are also considered very quiet, though we’d always recommend some good music to stick on your headphones or at least take your training session out on the patio/another room if others are nearby (mountain bike treads will always create a bit more noise). The stand is also easily fold-able, so can be stored away through those good weather months!

Definitely one to consider!

See the latest deal for the Soozier Indoor Bike Trainer Stand on Amazon

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All in all, the three stationary bike trainers above are ALL excellent value and each is an excellent option. You really can’t go wrong with any of them, and your training sessions are about to get started on the right foot (or pedal…)!

More trainers that just missed out on making this list because they’re a few dollars above the $80 limit is the great value Graber Mag trainer, well worth checking out, the superb Bike Lane Pro trainer, the Minoura B60D trainer, the Akonza Magnet Steel trainer, and the new kid on the block, the Ohuhu Magnet trainer, another excellent option that just hovers around the $80 zone…!

Why you need to buy a smart indoor trainer

kurt kinetic rock n roll smartWith the onslaught of winter getting ever closer, it’s time to take a look at the options around for enhancing our workout regime  – yes, it’s time for a look at the smart indoor trainer!

We created this site a couple of years ago to compile all the research we’d previously done on the old standard indoor trainers – and heck, it was a lot of research! From the old-timer classic from Kurt Kinetic, to the once popular Forza F2, we’d tested and reviewed a whole ton of rides. And with fellow cyclist friends wanting the lowdown on what indoor trainer to buy, the site helped more than a few people out!

But progress is progress, and the technological advancements we’ve seen over the last 3-4 years throughout a whole bunch of industries has also moved in on the world of indoor trainers. And yep, the latest and greatest stationary bike stands now come in an amazing smart version!

>>> READ: Some of the best smart home trainers make our 2017 “BEST OF” list

Smart indoor trainers are wonderful; they are now the most modern kind of workout equipment around for cyclists and, in my opinion, worth every dollar spent (they don’t come cheap, although the tremendous value you get with the Tacx Vortex Smart Trainer is definitely worth considering if you’re on a budget or just not sure of the benefits of splashing out on a top-of-the-range smart home trainer).

To be able to give you an idea of what smart indoor trainers are all about, let’s take a look at what smart trainers are all about and some killer reasons that will have you reaching for the BUY button in a flash!

What makes a smart trainer so, er, smart?

So, still wondering what a smart indoor trainer actually does??

Basically, a smart indoor trainer provides wireless connectivity that enables it to be paired with a variety of smart apps and devices (we’re talking iPads and the like).

Typically using technology like Bluetooth 4.0 (Smart or Low energy) or ANT+, these trainers can be remotely connected to a cycling computer, a tablet or any other device that can display your workout data in real time.

This means that in addition to recording the ride from your one hour session, where you are getting critical performance data like speed, distance, cadence, and power in some cases, you are also able to experience some truly structured training sessions, interactive videos and even the ability to take on riders online (with programs like Zwift)!

Smart trainers provide the opportunity to really hone in on your efficiency – they also open up a whole world of additional features, depending on the type of the trainer you use – and your budget.

Some truly wonderful long-term benefits of using a Smart Indoor Trainer

Smart home trainers are advanced but definitely not beyond a beginner indoor cyclist.

Below we’ve compiled a little list of the advantages of actually adding one to your cycling workouts.

Regulates control of ERG mode on smart trainers

The software or app you use to work with your trainer can help control the ERG mode for many trainers (see this great video for more details of what ERG modes are all about) in a highly effective manner. So, this basically means you have a great workout about to rock your training sessions, since the ERG setting you define on the trainer (for example, 300 watts) can be locked in, and your smart trainer software will do some adjustments and tweaking to make sure you keep on pedaling to the max. This can have a great impact on your training and your upward curve to fitness greatness!

Uses robust technology

Being a fairly new innovation in the world of indoor trainers, smart trainers have been created with some top-notch materials and components. They are also even more durable than the standard trainers out there. Running on ANT+FE-C capability, smart trainers are also able to provide a number of awesome techie features, including speed sensoring, and heart-rate monitoring to name a few. Smart trainers are here to stay baby, and don’t be worrying about having to replace them every couple of years…

Prevents tires from wearing out

Many smart trainers still come with the standard rear skewer attachment process, but be aware that some smart trainers also come with a “wheel-off” option. These types of trainers are known as direct drive trainers, and enable you to remove your bike’s back tire, which ensures that it won’t wear out no matter how much you use your equipment. This allows you to work-out as much as you want without wearing out too many tires (except for training slicks now and again, but of course, this depends on how often and how hard you train).

No more boring workout sessions

The typical smart trainer has the ability to give you a truly supreme ride experience! Once paired with the right software, you can battle it out with friends or with others from around the world on life-like tour courses (for example, when using Zwift). Of course, you can also do this with non-smart trainers, you just won’t get the realistic ride you get with a smart trainer, when climbing a hill for example.  

Plan your workout ahead of time

Download the correct apps or smart software and you’ll be able to program your workout for whenever you have free time. You can add in all the details of the workout you prefer and simply start the program and do your workout without having to consciously think about it while pedaling away. This gives you an opportunity to do other things while you are working out – like reading a book or watching some shows, as your workout program has already been programmed into your trainer!

Great value for money

In reality, more traditional (read: not smart) models are more affordable (some great options even come for under $80) but when you think about all the added benefits and features of smart home trainers, you can see they are in fact, priced quite reasonably. Of course, yes, having a smart indoor trainer in your home would definitely elevate your indoor workout experience, and perhaps even bring your motivation to a whole new level!

>>> READ: 3 of the best smart home trainers make our 2017 “BEST OF” list

The Akonza Magnet Steel Trainer: another super-value bike trainer to consider!

akonza magnet trainerIf you’re looking for a professional and affordable stationary bike stand, then the Akonza Magnet Steel trainer is one well worth considering.

So, I admit that it’s not the best trainer on the market, but it ranks highly when it comes to value for money, and if you’re new to all this, this is one trainer that is truly accommodating for beginners (and there are some very decent trainers out there for beginners). This is a much better alternative to many of the average stationary trainers out there, largely thanks to a more realistic ride provided by its seven dynamic resistance levels.

Click HERE for the latest reviews & discounts for the Akoza Magnet trainer!

What’s to like about the Akoza Steel trainer?

Firstly, it is an effortless setup.

Although the instructions that come with it aren’t the best, it is still straightforward when assembling due to the Quick Release mounting system. It might be beneficial if they updated the guide or even made a tutorial video, as I’m aware a few people online struggled with understanding the guide. This being said, it’s actually really simple to put together.

Accustom your bike to your needs with the enclosed skewer and you can be up on your bike within a matter of minutes. It also comes with a handy front wheel riser block for a smooth setup process which made it convenient for me as I usually struggle with these things, yet had no issues with this.

The Akonza’s extra wide frame means it has been extremely reliable and stable whilst in use and you don’t need to worry too much about moving or veering whilst training. This comes in handy when riding next to your TV, which I am guilty of!

The trainer is priced at under $70 (we’ve also seen it dip below $60!) which is way cheaper than most other “brand” training units on the market at the moment. It’s certainly a wise investment for beginners, as it will up your biking confidence and motivation to get as many uses out of it as possible. It’s easy to hop on at any time for a quick stress release; alternately, its powerful enough to train on for a more serious session.

One tip: place a yoga mat under the trainer to help with stability and to cut down the noise. Although it’s a relatively quiet trainer, you can further improve noise levels yourself by doing this. Having said this, when I first used it I thought the trainer was loud but after making a few adjustments to get everything in the correct place I am now able to hear my surroundings with ease and it’s not going to wake someone sleeping in another room.

The technical stuff

Here are some more extensive features to wow you…

  • It’s compatible with 26” to 28” and 700C tires, making indoor use appropriate for most mountain and road bikes in the comfort of your own home.
  • The small folding dimensions are 18.75″ (L) x 21.5″ (W) x 5″ (H), meaning that when you have had enough, just fold it away into any small space; you can easily put it behind some furniture or under your bed and you would never know it was there!
  • The resistance controller is mounted on your handlebars, enabling you to make straightforward and consistent adjustments.
  • The trainer is designed for bikes with quick release rear axle wheels.
  • The seven levels of resistance enable it to accurately mimic on-road riding so you have no excuses not to get on your bike if the weather isn’t so great outside!
  • It comes in TWO colors: black or blue.

Why should you buy the Akonza Magnet trainer?

If you are planning to get more serious with cycling and keeping fit over the off-season (winter!) then this is a great trainer to start with!

It’s priced around the $60 range, so compared with other indoor trainers on the market (it definitely gives the bestselling Magnet and Ohuhu trainers a run for their money!) this is extremely good value for money considering all the positive aspects we experienced with it. In the long term, it will definitely make you a more confident and stronger cyclist, so we can definitely recommend this as an all-round, budget-friendly, must-have trainer!