Posts tagged $50-$100
If you’re looking for the very best bike trainer for 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!
This 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!
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!
The 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.
One of the BEST trainers your money can buy: the CycleOps PowerBeam Pro!
This 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.
Another smart-tech option: the awesome value Tacx Vortex Smart Ergo Trainer!
Smart 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!
One of our personal faves: the awesome 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.
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
|Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll Trainer||The ultimate realistic indoor riding experience, expensive but quality|
Read our REVIEW
|Ohuhu Magnet Steel Trainer||Adjustable internal resistance levels, quiet, skid-resistant feet, wide frame, excellent value.|
Read our REVIEW
|CycleOps PowerBeam Pro||Perfect for pros with ANT+ compatibility for real-time analysis, quiet, lifetime warranty from CycleOps!|
Read our REVIEW
|Cycleops Fluid 2||Infinite resistance, self-cooling, one of the best!|
Read our REVIEW
|Tacx Vortex Smart ErgoTrainer||Smart technology, intuitive, electro-brake technology, best value smart trainer!|
Read our REVIEW
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…
Without 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 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 $$$ than most of the other types listed here, since these types of trainers (our own favorite is the CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer listed above) certainly provide quality, with most of the models out there today also proving they are leak-proof (a well-known problem in earlier fluid type trainers). If you want to go for a pivoting, and truly awesome fluid trainer, take a look at the Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller (see above), now updated with a smart-friendly version!
Magnetic trainers generate resistance via a magnetic flywheel, the adjustable magnetic resistance creating drag against your bike’s wheel. They are typically on the cheaper side, and generally easy to setup and move about. However, the resistance is limited and for the serious cyclist this can soon cause an issue as you’ll reach your max resistance fairly swiftly. They also tend to be noisier than fluid trainers, a point those of you living in apartments may want to consider.
A good budget-friendly example of a magnetic stationary stand is the Ohuhu Steel trainer, which we included above.
Rollers are a whole different ball game; instead of attaching your bike to the trainer, as in the above models, you attempt to ride the bike on the rollers themselves, trying not to fall flat on your face! Certainly takes some practice, but rollers are a great way to work on your balance and positioning.
They typically are seen as a good value option, often coming in at much cheaper than the prime fluid or direct drive models. Some people swear by them, others can’t stand them – it’s entirely up to you! Don’t miss this review of the Top 5 bike rollers for a guide to the very best rollers out there.
Direct Drive trainers
Direct drive trainers are fairly new to the scene of indoor training, but are a great option for the serious cyclist. You can also save some serious $$$ 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
This 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).
Conquer Indoor Trainer Stand
This 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
The 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
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, and the new kid on the block, the Ohuhu Magnet trainer, another excellent option that just hovers around the $80 zone…!
For bargain-hunters searching for a decent indoor bike trainer, sifting your way through some of the options available out there can be a bit daunting. We have done our bit to help you out and collected 3 of the best & cheapest trainers in this article, but here’s another one to consider: the Minoura B60D Tiredrive trainer!
This Minoura bike trainer focuses on delivering the bare essentials – a quick and fuss-free setup and a quiet, comfortable and challenging training session. As far as I’m concerned, all the other bells and whistles you’ll find on bike trainers costing hundreds of dollars more, are entirely optional.
What impressed us with the Minoura B60D
Whenever a company manufactures a lower-end indoor cycling trainer, the first feature to suffer from the reduced price is usually build quality. The Minoura B60D bucks that trend with a heavy-duty frame that is capable of supporting over 260 pounds in weight.
Part of this is down to clever design. The U-Shape frame, which promises excellent stability and even weight distribution, has been subtly modified to multiply contact points between the trainer and the floor for better balance.
In terms of building materials, however, you’re certainly getting maximum bang for your buck. The steel tubing used for the bike frame is nearly 4 cm thick, so you get a very premium look and feel at a decidedly bargain price (we’re talking under $100).
An yes, even the paint is of high quality. Minoura has invested in rust-proof ED paint which will keep your trainer looking sleek for years on end. How this company has managed to turn out a bike trainer that looks and feels this luxurious at such a low price is beyond me – but all the better for us consumers!
Setting up the B60 was also a real pleasure. If, like me, you hate fiddling around with dozens of moving parts, you’ll love this Minoura Tiredrive trainer. It took less than half an hour to set up and was clearly designed with minimal assembly in mind. Moreover, it takes even less time to put away. Despite the thick steel frame and wide base, this portable bike trainer folds away really easily into a lightweight package that will fit into most storage spaces with minimal hassle.
I also appreciated the hub-clamping handle design. I’ve used some indoor bike trainers that take ages to fasten to the bike. It’s hard enough to find motivation to work out in the winter months, and bike trainers that are difficult to set up provide further disincentive. Fortunately, although the Minoura B60 trainer does not include a quick-release level, the hub-clamping mechanism is intuitive to use and extremely secure. Setting it up from a folded position takes less than five minutes, even if you have big 700cc bike tires like I do.
But how well does it ride?
When it came to the actual training, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Minoura B60 Tiredrive includes adjustable resistance options. This may be par-for-the-course on expensive bike trainers, but on this entry-level product it was a real gem. The three resistance settings really added some variety to my workout options, especially since the highest setting was challenging enough for a really exhausting uphill simulation. Resistance changes were smooth as well, thanks to the magnetic resistance unit and the manual adjustment lever.
Riding on the Minoura B60 was also extremely realistic. I use bike training videos for my workout sessions – the scenery and winding roads help me forget that I’m really in my living room, pedaling on a shag carpet while the winter rain pelts down outside – and whether I was coasting or sprinting, the B60 delivered sufficiently accurate simulation that I could lose myself in the illusion of cycling outdoors. The twin-disc flywheel is clearly of superb quality and just hummed along no matter how much I threw at it, making for a very enjoyable ride.
With a whole host of useful features at such an affordable price, you’d expect durability to be a factor – but the B60 again exceeds expectations in this regard. My riding buddies have been using this trainer for a year, but it hasn’t given them any cause for complaint on the longevity front. The flywheel is usually the first to break down, but they haven’t noticed any jerking or creaking despite using the trainer four to five times a week.
In any case, by offering a generous 5-year warranty on the frame and a 1-year warranty for the flywheel, Minoura has issued a clear statement of confidence in the lifespan of its product, and delivered a guarantee that you can (literally) take to the bank.
In summary: why you should buy the Minoura B60D trainer
The Minoura B60D trainer provides ample proof that when it comes to indoor bike trainers, you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy a satisfying indoor workout. Rather than gouge its customers with exorbitant prices, Minoura has reaffirmed their commitment to affordable prices and a no-frills but highly effective indoor cycling experience with the B60 trainer!
Highly recommended and a trainer everyone on a budget should totally consider!
If you’ve ever been tempted to purchase a stationary bike trainer but been put off by the price, the Ohuhu Magnet Steel Bike Trainer is the indoor trainer for you! There are a few great value trainers out there of course (here are three of the best), but this one from Ohuhu is ready to out-muscle some of those existing budget trainers this coming winter!
Some would say it’s also a direct copy of this bestselling trainer from Magnet, but there’s just enough of a difference in my opinion to give them the benefit of the doubt and actually class this one as a definite alternative.
This bike trainer really does deliver all of the bells and whistles found on trainers costing thrice as much, and with superb build quality besides!
Why you’re going to like this great value trainer from Ohuhu
If you’re a keen cyclist, chances are you’ve experienced the misery of losing fitness during the off-season. It’s too much of a hassle to put on your winter gear for outdoor cycling, and even if you did, the snow and ice make cycling dangerous.
Even if you could drag yourself to the gym, those cycling machines just don’t cut it. Which makes indoor bike trainers an essential investment for serious cyclists, since they’re just about the only way to maintain fitness and technique during frigid winters. And yes, this Ohuhu Magnet Steel trainer was clearly built with your fitness goals in mind.
Unusually for a bike trainer at this price point (we’re talking around $80 but check online for the latest discounts), Ohuhu has included adjustable internal resistance settings, controlled via a bar-mounted remote. This gives you a multitude of indoor training options, ranging from punishing interval sessions to uphill sprint practice.
The resistance itself is produced by inbuilt magnets, so you know resistance changes are going to be smooth, quick and quiet. What’s more, at the top levels I found myself struggling to maintain a sprinting speed for more than 20 seconds, so even the fittest cyclist will find plenty to challenge himself with this excellent Ohuhu trainer.
Another important feature for vigorous workouts is the extra-wide frame. If you’re going for distance, stability is rarely an issue, but if you’re practicing your out-of-the-saddle posture or sprinting technique, cheap bike trainers will frequently sway side to side and may even topple over on you. The Ohuhu trainer, on the other hand, stays firmly planted. Its extra-wide, skid-resistance feet give it excellent balance while the heavy-duty frame makes for a reassuring steadiness.
I’m a heavy guy, but I feel completely safe on this machine. This also means the machine is extremely quiet, with none of the annoying creaking or thudding sounds that can often plague users riding on lower-end bike trainers. Coupled with the nearly silent magnetic resistance wheel, you’ll definitely have no complaints from housemates or neighbors.
If, like me, your apartment is a little short on space, you’ll probably want to pack your indoor trainer away between uses. This makes portability a vital factor. The Ohuhu cycle trainer boasts a foldable frame, and while it certainly is weighty enough to provide great stability, it’s not so heavy that you might slip a disc just trying to heave it into a cupboard. It’s really rare to find a heavy frame with this degree of portability.
I also have to mention the amazing compatibility Ohuhu has brought to the table with this versatile magnet cycle trainer. They’ve included an adjustable knob at the back of the magnetic flywheel which allows the machine to accommodate a wide variety of bicycle tires. I have three bicycles in the house (I know, I’m a total addict) and even my massive mountain bike tires with its 27.5” wheels fit comfortably into the trainer (if you have a 29er, you might want to read this). This is crucial since trainers that are a tight fit for your bike can really rip up your wheels, and as we all know bike tires are getting more expensive every year. With micro-adjustability, Ohuhu ensures that you can achieve a comfortable fit for almost any bike.
One last thing – this trainer also comes with its own riser block, a great bonus that would typically set you back another $15-20). Which, at this price, makes it even more awesome value.
Something to take into consideration…
If pressed to name a downside, I’d probably say that this trainer isn’t the easiest to assemble. The instruction manual was a little sparse on detail, so it took a fair bit of trial and error to get the trainer set up. I had plenty of help, however, from Ohuhu customer support, which provided a prompt and concise response to my queries (I was a little confused about the function of certain bolts and screws as well as the assembly of the dynamo), which considerably sped up the process.
Moreover, assembly is a one-off problem, so I wouldn’t be too worried about it. Set up in an hour or so and maybe enlist a friend’s help if you’re not that great with tools, and you’ll have your Ohuhu Magnetic Bike Trainer set up in no time at all.
In summary: great value, great trainer!
I think the Ohuhu Magnet Bike Trainer is that rarest of products – a high-end bike trainer priced like a low-end product. It offers great value to the discerning cyclist, and is an excellent purchase for shoppers on a budget. There aren’t many trainers that we’ve had the pleasure of saying that about, so yes, highly recommended! And yes, it also makes our Top 5 trainer list for 2017!
With 2016 well and truly here, we thought we’d take a quick look at the very best stationary bike stands you should be splashing your hard-earned cash on in 2016!
UPDATE: We’ve created a new list of the BEST bike trainers for 2017 right HERE!
We know there are plenty of you indoor trainer wannabes out there, hunting the perfect trainer stand to get your training and fitness in shape for the spring. And we also know you probably have a budget limiting your options – so we have collected a bit of everything in this little list, from the best of the cheap, budget trainers (we’re talking around $50-60), to the best your $$$ can buy (be prepared to invest…). These really are the best trainer options out there, in our very humble opinion.
Seriously, with one of these in your training program, you can start expecting some decent results…
A bestselling fave: the CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer
Ever since we first purchased the revamped model in 2014, we’ve been very impressed. The CycleOps Fluid 2 is definitely one to consider if you’re looking for something in between the ultra-budget trainers and the cream of the crop (see the Magnet trainer and CycleOps PowerBeam Pro below for details).
Of course, there’s the brand name of CycleOps behind it, which is typically recognized throughout the industry as one of the quality names that serious cyclists should be aware of. Which means, not surprisingly, that this baby is almost always on the list of bestselling bike trainers at stores like Amazon.
Throughout 2015 we put in quite a few sessions on this trainer (see our review here), so can heartily recommend it. It comes in at around $300, but is actually cheaper than most of the other options on this list! This trainer offers superb value, and is, in our opinion, a must-buy if you’re looking for a very decent trainer – regardless of your skill level. Yes, even the pros of you out there will love this one.
The BEST your money can buy: the CycleOps PowerBeam Pro
Seriously, if you have the cash to spend, this one will take your training to the very highest levels! The CycleOps PowerBeam Pro isn’t cheap – it’s priced around $1000 – but this beast will keep you in superb shape throughout 2016, and many more years to come!
It might be a bit pricey, but it comes pre-assembled, so you can get training within minutes of receiving it! Just unfold the legs, adjust the legs to make sure it’s stable, and slot the included steel quick release skewer through your bike’s rear axle.
The major advantage with the PowerBeam Pro is its use of ANT+, which displays your workout performance data on ANT+ cycling computers so you can see just exactly where you’re going wrong (or right!) in real-time. In our opinion, this makes it a perfect trainer for beginners wishing to really ramp up their training AND pros wishing to tweak their performance to the absolute limits.
This trainer is class – and you can read all about it in our Top 3 trainer list, which gives the lowdown on the best of the best.
Still one of the best for 2016: the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine
If anybody can give the boys from CycleOps a run for their money, it’s the guys over at Kurt Kinetic!
The Kurt Kinetic Road Machine is still one of the best stationary bike stands you can buy, and after a bit of a redesign in 2014, it looks set to stand the test of time still further (we still probably prefer the CycleOps Fluid 2 though!).
The Road Machine is renowned for its non-leak fluid chamber, as well as a huge flywheel which ensures one of the most stable training sessions you’ll ever experience. An added bonus is its ability to take on 29 inch wheels, still not a common thing among many trainers. This is definitely one of the best trainers on the market – read our full review here.
If you’re feeling particularly extravagant and in need of even more bang for your buck, try their brand new smart version of the Road Machine, the Smart inRide sensor. It will put a few $$ on the price tag, but enable wireless power-based workouts and fitness tests using the Kinetic inRide app!
Budget friendly champion for 2016: the cheap and cheerful Magnet Trainer
One of the most popular trainers we’ve seen on sites like Amazon has to be this one – the Magnet trainer!
We’re still not sure how they only charge $50-60 for this baby, but literally thousands of buyers have bought this AND left happy reviews, so it definitely seems to be the indoor trainer to consider if you’re on a bit of a budget.
In our opinion, this has to be “perfect” for beginners, especially for those of unsure what trainers are all about. It can definitely be your stepping stone to a pricier, more feature-packed trainer…or it might be enough to keep you happy over the coming months, that’s entirely up to you of course. One thing we should probably mention and is something we certainly believe in – you often get what you pay for, and with this trainer, you won’t be getting a luxury trainer model that will stand some intense workouts. The Magnet trainer is solid, excellent value, and a good starter model, but remember you’re paying bottom dollar for this one, so don’t expect too much (especially good instructions – the instructions for setting it up are notoriously bad, but if you read this you should be well prepared!).
Perhaps the ultimate road-like ride: the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roller
If you’re a bit of a keen cyclist and want to feel the ultimate road-like experience, this one is for you – the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roller.
This model from the guys at Kurt Kinetic is another one that has been around for awhile, and also refurbished in 2014 to give it that modern look and feel. It, like the Road Machine mentioned above, also has a smart version that uses the new Kinetic inRide app for perhaps the ultimate ride!
It’s not cheap – coming in at around $500 (and an extra $50-60 if you go for the smart version) – but is certainly one to enjoy if you’re looking for the ultimate training experience. The clincher for many purchasing this trainer is, of course, the unique side to side rocking action which makes it feel like you really are pedaling away out on the road, especially for the climbers of you. And when you mix in the legendary huge Kurt Kinetic flywheel and fluid unit, the stability and resistance you need for an intense session is there to enhance your ride beyond anything else you’ve probably experienced.
Read our full review of the Rock and Roller here.
Don’t miss our ever-growing Buying Guide for a quick summary of many of the leading bike trainer stands on the market today!
Most of us have had our cycling plans wrecked by inclement weather at some point or another, hence the world of the indoor bike trainer (and this website)! And when you start looking at some of the fancier trainers on the market to help you get past those wet winters, it can get a bit hair-raising, to say the least.
When you come across a great value trainer like the Bike Lane Pro, priced at typically just under $100, then those hairs can surely stop raising! This trainer has to be one of the best mid-range indoor trainers around, combining top-notch build quality and attractive modern features into one affordable package. It might not make our list of budget trainers under $80, but it’s definitely on the short-list.>>> Check out these reviews and the latest discounts for the Bike Lane Pro
What’s to like about the Bike Lane Pro?
Well, first up, it’s rare to find bike trainers that are both portable and sturdy. Foldable stationary bike stands tend to be a little rickety and fragile while sturdy ones are far too heavy to take on your travels. The Bike Lane Pro Trainer strikes that rare balance between portability and stability. It weighs in at just 22 pounds and folds up easily to fit inside your luggage.
At the same time, the separated extra-wide legs provide a stable platform for your vigorous workouts and the fantastic build quality makes for a very sturdy frame indeed. They say you can’t have your cake and eat it, but this bicycle trainer is clear evidence to the contrary.
It’s also clear that this indoor bike trainer was designed with the customer’s welfare in mind. It comes with adjustable foot pads so you can enjoy a stable ride even on uneven surfaces. The set-up process was very quick, intuitive and easy.
Finally, the manufacturers have thoughtfully included both a release skewer and riser (which again, is a rarity), making this a very comprehensive indoor bike trainer package at a great price.
A quick summary of what you’re getting from the Bike Lane Pro:
- State of the art internal magnet ensures that when you start pedaling, the resistance slowly increases.
- Increase resistance by shifting the gears on your bike.
- Portable: Weighing only 22 pounds, it can be folded away for travel and storage.
- Super stable, with extra wide legs and a sturdy frame.
- Easy to setup – and includes its own riser block (for the front wheel).
But how does the Bike Lane Pro ride?
All the advantages we listed above would be for naught if the riding experience was substandard, but we’re happy to report that the Bike Lane Pro Trainer delivers one of the smoothest and most enjoyable indoor bike training experiences we’ve seen from a mid-range bike stand.
The resistance changer is easy to use and changing up or down feels smooth and natural, ensuring your cycling training session is seamless from beginning to end. Moreover, with five resistance settings, you won’t be forced to settle for a resistance setting that’s too easy or overstretch yourself on one that’s too difficult. This bike trainer has something to offer veteran cyclists and biking novices alike (though if you’re after something very pro-level, you really should try one of these). We also found that this stationary trainer did a respectable job of simulating the sensation and challenges of outdoor road cycling.
In addition, while magnetic resistance trainers tend to be noisier than their fluid-based counterparts, the noise produced by this bike trainer was by no means intrusive. If you use smoother road bike tires (as we always recommend – the knobbly mountain bike treads will churn out some noise on any trainer), you’ll find that you barely notice the whirring of the flywheel at all.
So, does the Bike Lane Pro give good bang for your buck?
The Bike Lane Pro Trainer is, simply put, one of the finest indoor trainers in its price range. It’s a solid all-round performer and its portability makes it a versatile choice.
OK, so the search for indoor bicycle trainers under $100 that deliver a dynamic and fulfilling cycling experience can often be a futile and disheartening one for many of you out there.
We generated this great little list of the best THREE trainers for under $80, which has proven very popular, but this is one of the trainers that just missed out on the list (it cost just a few $$ more than our $80 limit), the Graber Mag Indoor Bicycle Trainer.
You can find great deals for this trainer in online stores like Amazon, where the price is typically just under $100, but even at the full retail price of $150 we can unhesitatingly recommend this Graber bike trainer for its superb riding experience, portability and all-round versatility.
What we liked about the Graber Mag Trainer
Any experienced cyclist knows that two things matter when it comes to indoor cycling – stability and resistance. The Graber Mag Trainer delivers on both fronts. The manufacturers have incorporated leveling feet into the trainer design, which create a greater and more evenly distributed traction between the bike trainer and the floor. This ensures that no matter how hard you’re pedaling, you’ll hardly feel a wobble.
In terms of resistance, this Graber stationary bike trainer is one of the best value examples of magnetic resistance trainers out there. It provides five levels of magnetic resistance ensuring it has something to offer to both the cycling novice and the seasoned pro. The adjustable resistance settings make this trainer ideal if you’re looking to make real progress in your indoor cycling sessions, since you can ramp the resistance up as your fitness increases.
Granted, the cycling experience isn’t quite as smooth or realistic with this Graber trainer as it is with top-end fluid resistance trainers like the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. However, those machines cost nearly thrice as much and magnetic resistance trainers hardly, if ever, outperform fluid resistance trainers, which is reflected in their lower prices. However, compared with other magnetic trainers, this Graber indoor bike trainer is simply excellent value.
If you’ve done some research already, you’re probably aware that the main problem with cheaper indoor bike trainers is the level of noise produced, but this Graber trainer defies expectations with its surprisingly quiet performance. As with any stationary bike trainer, the deeper and bulkier the treads on your tires, the more noise the trainer produces, but if you use road bike tires, or a training slick, this indoor trainer simply hums along. Even if your apartment has thin walls, you can pedal at top speed without incurring the wrath of your neighbors. If your apartment has hard wooden floors, one handy tip is to use the trainer on a carpeted section of your apartment. That prevents the noise created by the vibration of the trainer from becoming too loud and disruptive.
What’s more, this Graber stationary bike trainer was clearly designed with user-friendliness in mind. Many cyclists want to bring an indoor trainer with them when they go on holiday or travel for bike shows and races, but find that most foldable trainers are either too flimsy to withstand the rigors of travelling or too heavy to carry around. If you’re looking for a portable indoor bike trainer, the Graber Mag might just be the answer. The folding mechanism is quick, intuitive and smooth and the size of the trainer, when folded up, is just right for traveling.
And despite its relatively light weight of 17 pounds, the build quality is superb. Use common sense when packing it and it’ll arrive at your destination fully intact. We also found the assembly process really fuss-free. Even if you failed shop class in school, you’ll be able to set this trainer up in a matter of minutes by following the clear and concise instruction manual.
What we didn’t like…
In saying all this, the Graber indoor bike trainer isn’t perfect. If your bike uses a standard axle, you won’t be able to use the bike trainer right out of the box. You’ll have to add an extra nut to the left side of your axle to make it fit the trainer which is primarily built for quick-release axles.
In addition, we’d have preferred a metal friction roller rather than a PVC one, though the PVC roller is remarkably durable and shows no signs of wear and tear even after some pretty intense cycling workouts. However, if Graber were to implement these improvements, the price would inevitably go up and probably out it beyond the “excellent value” bracket…
So, bang for your buck?
At just under $100, the Graber Mag trainer is a dream come true for budget-oriented cycling fanatics and is definitely one of the best-value magnetic resistance trainers on the market. In our opinion, this is a definite alternative to the cheap bestseller, the Magnet Indoor trainer.