Posts tagged bestselling

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

bestselling bike trainers 2017

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 decent results…

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

ohuhu magnet trainer reviewThis 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!

kurt kinetic rock n roll smartThe 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.


Crazy bike trainer deals for Cyber Monday that will save you some serious $$$!

OK, we’re done and dusted with Black Friday and all the chaos that comes with it (have you seen some of those videos of crazy, bargain-hunting shoppers??). But there’s no letting up in the shopping bonanza – now it’s time for Cyber Monday and even more crazy discounts!

We’re not big fans of those scary bargain-hunters out there, so Cyber Monday is a superb alternative where we still get to save some serious dollars while shopping in the safety of our home. And yes, we’ve managed to find some seriously budget-friendly deals to take advantage of – especially if you’re shopping online for a bike trainer stand or accessories on Cyber Monday!

The deals below are beyond our control in regards to price, but we have done our best to find you the BIGGEST reductions out there…and if you can’t wait to get your eyes on some of the best online Cyber Monday deals out there, click on the image below to start shopping!

cyber monday deals

$80 OFF!!! The classic Kurt Kinetic Road Machine

Kurt Kinetic Road Trainer ReviewThis bike trainer from Kurt Kinetic has been one of our long-serving bestsellers for some years, with upgrades every couple of years or so making this a must-buy trainer to have on your shopping list! We’ve spotted it’s still on sale with an $80 discount (it was also on sale on Black Friday), so now it’s well under the $300 barrier, we can’t recommend this one highly enough! Check out our review to learn more – or just take the word of hundreds of happy buyers on sites like Amazon who rate this an average of 4.8 stars…!

Current rating on Amazon: 4.8

buy-now

Save $20!!! One of the best in the business – the CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer

cycleops fluid 2 trainerIt’s not a huuuuge discount from the boys at CycleOps, but when we see ANY kind of a discount for a CycleOps Fluid 2, we highly recommend you snap it up! This is a great trainer, and one we’ve had in our arsenal of trainers for a long time, a trainer we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of without barely a squeak. Simply put, this is one of the best in the business, and a bike trainer suited to almost any level of riding experience and skills. To find out just why we love this trainer read more here.

Current rating on Amazon: 4.4

Your savings: 7%

buy-now

Save $80!!! The excellent value Ascent Fluid trainer

Ascent Fluid TrainerThis is another top quality trainer which we reviewed some time ago but which has been one of those trainers that people have been snapping up consistently. It also made our Black Friday list, largely because of its superb ranking on sites like Amazon (now at an average of 4.4!) and because its fast become known as one of those trainers that provides excellent value for money – especially now it’s priced at under $150! If you’re after a very decent fluid trainer at a very decent price, you won’t go far wrong with this beast of a bike trainer!

Current rating on Amazon: 4.4

Your savings: 40%

buy-now

Save over $90!!! The Schwinn Fluid Resistance trainer

schwinn fluid trainer reviewThis little beast from bike legends Schwinn could well be worth taking a punt, considering you’re saving over $90! We reviewed this trainer some months ago and were quietly impressed. With these extra savings for Cyber Monday, we’re even more impressed!

Current rating on Amazon: 4.0

Your savings: 37%

buy-now

Save $100!!! The Nashbar Parabolic Rollers

nashbar parabolic rollersIf you’re looking for a roller trainer that will wipe the floor of other roller trainers (and hopefully not leave you sprawled on the floor like the guys in this video), then this huge saving of $100 may just be enough to convince you that these awesome Nashbar rollers are for you. We’ve listed another Nashbar roller in our list of Top 5 roller trainers, but this newer model from Nashbar is getting some rave reviews and is already rated at 4.9 on Amazon…

Current rating on Amazon: 4.9

Your savings: 37%

buy-now

The 5 BEST stationary bike trainers to buy in 2016

best trainers of 2016

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

Cycleops Fluid 2 TrainerEver 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

PowerBeam Pro 2015Seriously, 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

Kurt Kinetic Road Trainer ReviewIf 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

Magnet Steel TrainerOne 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!).

Read our review here. And if you’re not convinced but still on a budget, don’t miss our guide to the best trainers for under $80.

Perhaps the ultimate road-like ride: the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roller

Kinetic Rock and Roll TrainerIf 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.

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Don’t miss our ever-growing Buying Guide for a quick summary of many of the leading bike trainer stands on the market today!

Alternatively, if you’re after a new on the scene direct drive trainer, check out our reviews of the mightily impressive Lemond Revolution 1.1 or the CycleOps Silencer, both excellent options!

The ULTIMATE guide to bike trainers and accessories this winter

indoor cycling this winter!

It’s that time of year again, when those cold nights draw in and the motivation to get on your bike really takes a bit of a beating. But it doesn’t have to be that way, honest! With a little guidance from us in regards to the best trainers and cycling accessories, you’ll be pedaling away like a pro in no time!

Our website sees a big upturn in traffic over the winter months, and has turned into something of an authority in the indoor trainer market over the last couple of years. We know which trainers work, which trainers generally suck, and also know how to get the best out of your training sessions, whether you’re struggling to stay motivated or are desperate to shed those excess holiday pounds as you pound away at those pedals in your very own man cave.

For your winter training pleasure, we’ve collected some of the best trainers and accessories out there in a little list below – get ready to enjoy your winter sessions!

  • The BEST trainer money can buy
  • The BEST all-round trainer suitable for beginners and pros
  • The BEST VALUE trainer (for less than $80)
  • THREE must-have accessories
  • Cycling shoes to ramp up your cycling skills

The BEST trainer money can buy

PowerBeam Pro 2015We recently compiled a breakdown of the three best trainers money can buy (for those of you less worried about a budget and more intent on getting the ultimate training experience), and the trainer we feel we have to recommend here is the rather tasty CycleOps PowerBeam Pro, which comes with support for ANT+ devices (rather than the version which supports Bluetooth devices).

You could go for the great value Elite Real Axiom trainer, or the nifty BKool Pro trainer too, as both also support virtual training, but the CycleOps PowerBeam Pro has to be your weapon of choice if you’re looking for something top-notch.

It also comes with a top notch price of around $1000, but for those of you investing in your cycling, this could be the best few $$$ you ever spent. The trainer comes with an integrated PowerTap power meter, plus a Mini ANT+ USB stick lets you control the resistance from your computer as you follow the virtual course on your laptop/TV/tablet. Definitely ramps up your training to the next level!

Read our full review HERE of the CycleOps PowerBeam Pro.

The BEST all-round trainer suitable for beginners and pros

Cycleops Fluid 2 TrainerIf you’re not looking to drop a thousand bucks on something top-notch, then how about the awesome CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer? We purchased the revamped model last year and have been delighted with the results we get in our training.

It’s perfect for beginners as it’s simple to setup and get started with, but also great for pros with its new, larger flywheel for an improved road-like performance, and an infinite resistance curve that increases the power output as you increase speed.

Typically priced at around $300, this one is highly recommended by us; if you’re looking for alternatives, the awesome Kurt Kinetic Road Machine is also worth a mention, as is the CycleOps SuperMagneto Pro (a magnetic based trainer, but with technology to match the very best of the fluid-based trainers (more about the differences between fluid and magnetic trainers here)).

More HERE about the Fluid 2 trainer from CycleOps.

The BEST VALUE trainer (for less than $80)

Magnet Steel TrainerWe know that many of you are also looking for a great value beginner trainer, before you start spending the bigger bucks on a more fancy model. We’ve been there too, and fully understand…which is why we can safely recommend the Magnet Steel trainer.

We’re still not sure quite how they do it, but this trainer is regularly priced at under $60 and there are a ton of happy customers out there – and it’s also an Amazon bestseller!

It’s a great trainer to get started with, has a great price tag and also five resistance settings that are more than enough for a beginner-like level of training. It’s also pretty solid, and surprisingly quiet. The only thing we will say is that you get what you pay for… so don’t expect a virtual trainer package complete with computer controlled resistance!

If you’re still not impressed and looking for an alternative, don’t miss our guide to the best trainers under $80.

THREE must-have accessories

There are a whole ton of cycling accessories out there today (you might want to check out our Top 10 accessories for Christmas), but we’ve decided to whittle down the list to three musts.

First up, we can’t recommend a training mat highly enough. As well as the fact that they can protect your floor from scratches and even your salty body sweat, they also help to reduce noise greatly and provide a stable base for your training. The best one we’ve come across is the Kurt Kinetic floor mat, which is priced around $60. Others come in cheaper, but for pure looks and quality, the mat from Kurt Kinetic won us over completely (it’s also a perfect match for their awesome trainers). Check here for some alternative options.

kinetic trainer mat

Next up, we’re going to recommend the rather awesome Travel Stick, a massage stick that goes to work on those tired muscles you’ve been tormenting during your training sessions. It’s an innovative little stick that comes in a variety of sizes, and starts at under $20. However, the winning element for us was it’s physiological effects; the Travel Stick is fitted with round plastic rings that do an excellent job of alleviating crippling muscle aches which can lead to long-term injuries. Easily usable and easy to take with you, this is a great option for winding down from an intense session. More about the Travel Stick HERE.

travel stick the stick

Lastly, you’ll need the CatEye Strada Wireless cycling computer, which is great for knowing what you’re doing in your current session (if you’re not using a virtual trainer with all that data displayed on your laptop/tablet/TV automatically). And in this generation of touch-screen technology, we want quick access to all the relevant info – the CatEye Strada fits the bill perfectly! Together with its touch screen interface, it also has a great sensor that measures cadence, current speed, max speed, average speed, 2 trip distances, and elapsed time! It also fits on any handlebar or stem. Costs around $80-90. Read more here.

cat eye strada 2016

Cycling shoes to ramp up your cycling skills

Pearl iZumi Mens ShoesLet’s be honest here, many of us will probably think that a pair of sneakers will be more than adequate when training indoors. No-one’s looking, there are no roads or muddy tracks to worry about, so hey, why the heck not?

Well, indoor cycling shoes might seem a little extravagant, but a pair of the right shoes will take your training session to the next level…you might not be aware of it, but the correct footwear is going to have a big role to play because cycling stresses your lower body in a very different way from running and you need footwear specifically designed to counteract that stress.

So yes, the correct shoes are an essential investment for any cyclist who takes their training and performance seriously. We’ve covered some of the very best options out there in this little guide,but if you’re going to go with something like the Pearl iZUMi Men’s All-Road II shoe, or the Shimano Venzo Mountain Bike Bicycle SPD shoe, you’re very definitely on the right track. And your feet will thank you much later!

The bestselling and very budget-friendly Magnet Indoor Trainer

Magnet Steel TrainerFor those of you looking for a very decent priced trainer, perhaps one that will kick-start your indoor training adventure, the Magnet Indoor Trainer is a great buy.

With many of the decent stationary bike trainers on the market costing upwards of a hundred dollars, with many like the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine and CycleOps Fluid 2 trainers setting you back around $300, the Magnet trainer hits that sweet spot for those of you with a budget of less than $100 (it does, of course, make our list of best trainers for under $80).

You can expect to pay only $65 to $80 for it online, depending on how generous the manufacturer’s are feeling on a particular day. At that price you’d be forgiven for expecting a rickety machine that falls over the moment you start pedaling, but this magnetic bike trainer is actually a very well-made machine. This trainer has constantly made the bestseller list for the last couple of years and you’re about to find out why…

Click here for the very best price on Amazon for this Magnet indoor trainer

What impressed us about the Magnet trainer?

The success of any stationary bike trainer turns on the riding experience it offers and this Magnet Exercise Trainer delivers a premium riding experience at a budget price.

Stability is very important when it comes to indoor trainers and this one doesn’t disappoint. Even when you’re pedaling ferociously and hitting top speed, the machine feels sturdy. In addition, this stationary bike trainer offers excellent resistance throughout its range. It might not offer quite as much resistance as fluid based trainers, but those cost easily twice as much and you always have the option of gearing up for extra resistance.

The magnetic resistance mechanism is nice and smooth – you won’t get the jerky resistance changes you sometimes encounter with cheap trainers – and the resistance intensifies as your speed increases, giving you a vigorous and challenging workout.

In terms of comfort, the Magnet Indoor Trainer definitely exceeds expectations. It’s not the quietest machine around since you’ll definitely be able to hear the flywheel spinning, but it’s not so noisy as to be intrusive. If you’re watching television or listening to music while training, the noise won’t interfere with your entertainment. We must, however, add one proviso – if you use heavy mountain bike tires with deep treads, the machine will be rather loud, but that applies to all stationary bike trainers and not just this budget one.

We also found that this bike trainer does a decent job of keeping the flywheel cool. We still wouldn’t recommend touching the wheel immediately after an intense training session, but we can’t imagine a scenario where you’d want to go and do that…

Take into consideration…

It should be noted that if you’re intending to buy the Magnet indoor bike trainer, you ought to give some serious thought to purchasing two accessories.

The first is a wheel block to lift up the front wheel. You’ll find it much easier to stay seated with the front wheel elevated.

The second is an adapter for road bikes. This trainer is primarily designed for hybrid or mountain bikes, but it can be easily used for road bikes as well if you buy an adapter designed to fit the quick-release skewer featured on most road bicycles. Without this adapter, your bicycle might not be firmly held in place, which could be a little unsafe.

Hybrid and mountain bike owners can be rest assured that this trainer will fit their bikes just fine – it’s designed to fit 26”, 27” and 700 cc bike tires so you’re unlikely to encounter problems if you have one of those wheel sizes.

So, bang for your buck?

If budget is your primary concern, this Magnet Indoor Exercise Trainer simply epitomizes value for money, and gets a rip-roaring 10 out of 10 from us on the value front. It manages to equal or even outperform stationary trainers that cost well over a hundred dollars, and for those of you starting out, it really is one of the best options out there.

Of course, if you’re expecting a whole bunch of bells and whistles, you’re likely to be disappointed. Head on over to our current bestseller list if you’re keen on something just a little better.

It’s no wonder that there are over 900 happy reviewers on sites like Amazon, making this trainer the No. 1 bestseller!

Our guide to the best bike trainers and cycling accessories you’ll need for Winter 2014-15

wintercycling

UPDATE: We have now published an updated version for this winter!

With winter fast kicking in, and those dark evenings getting colder and even longer, we thought it was about time we came up with a guide to the best indoor trainers and cycling accessories for the upcoming winter months.

We know there are a fair few of you out there who take your cycling seriously, and winter is the time when our website really sees some action; those of you looking to stay in shape over the winter months know that a stationary bike trainer is an awesome solution to beating those winter training blues (and also knock off some of those excess winter pounds)! Not sure about you, but just looking at the photo above gives us the shivers – take it inside ladies and gents, please!

Check out what we rank as the best indoor trainers below (you should also check out our Buying Guide, which compares nearly all the known models out there), followed by a quick summary of some terrific accessories that will only enhance your indoor training sessions this winter…

The Best Indoor Bike Trainers

We’re constantly checking trends, new models, and new variations of existing trainers, and have to say that the old faithful models are still doing the business.

Kurt Kinetic Road Trainer ReviewLet’s be honest, Kurt Kinetic will find it hard to top their top of the range Road Machine or Rock and Roller, however much they tweak and refine their existing line of models (this year, for the first time since 2007, they actually refined their designs a little bit, with a slight reduction in weight, rubber mountings instead of plastic, and more support for 29 inchers).

We’ve always loved their Road Machine (see our review here) and again, we recommend it highly if you’re looking for a quality trainer. If you’re looking for something just that little bit extra (and by extra we mean the ability to rock back and forth as if you’re hill climbing), then splash the cash on a Rock and Roller for a very realistic ride (see our review here). Both models aren’t cheap, but both are top, top quality.

Another couple of classy indoor trainers you should take into consideration are the CycleOps Fluid 2 and Cascade Fluid Pro. The CycleOps trainer comes with brand quality and has proven itself one of the best ever sellers over recent years; we can’t knock it and have enjoyed a number of sessions ourselves on this baby (see our review here). As for the Cascade Fluid Pro, we only came across this trainer this year but were very impressed; it automatically jumped into the “Highly Recommended” category (read more about why it impressed us so much here).

OK, OK, we hear you – not all of you have the cash to fork out on an expensive indoor trainer right now! And that’s why you’ll love this article we wrote on the best trainers for under $80. It’s proven way more popular than we expected, but in these times of economic uncertainty, that’s perhaps perfectly understandable. The one trainer from that article that seems to have been grabbed most of your attention is the Magnet Trainer – grab one while you can!

Must-Have Cycling Accessories for this Winter

When we started out training indoors many moons ago, we just slipped on some shorts and old sneakers and away we pedaled. Things have changed since then though, oh boy!

Bike Smartphone CaseThe pure number of accessories you can fork out on these days is incredible. From literally hundreds of specialized cycling shoes (for both men and women), to mats to place your trainer on, to countless numbers of gadgets that are all designed to enhance your training sessions, the choices are mind-boggling!

To help you out a bit, we wrote up an article on the Top 10 cycling accessories last Christmas, and we know that has helped many of you out. Check it out, there are some great shoes, smartphone cases and shorts on that list!

Personally, I’d have to whittle the list down to these must-haves:

  • Awesome personalized name stickers for your bike / helmet / whatever…
  • A great floor mat, preferably something like the Kurt Kinetic mat on the Top 10 list. This baby helps keep your floor clean, your bike even more stable, and yes, it even helps reduce the noise impact your bike will make during your training.
  • A decent pair of gloves; you just don’t realize how much stress your hands take on during a training session…
  • A sturdy, efficient and compact tire pump, such as the Serfas TPCG, which we reviewed here.
  • A lovely, sensuous masseuse to work those post-training aching muscles back into the land of the living. And if you can’t find anyone to fill the job, the next best thing has to be these awesome Travel sticks. They’ll get your muscles rejuvenated!

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We hope this article has helped you out for the upcoming winter – if not, feel free to hit us with any questions by contacting us here.

The THREE bestselling stationary bike stands for 2014

There are some really great bike stationary bike stands out there, and since we know it can get a bit tricky determining what model suits your training schedule AND your pocket, we regularly come up with lists of the bestselling bike stands, just so you know what others like you are searching for and spending their hard-earned cash on…

We’ve previously reviewed the EIGHT trainers we feel you should be looking at in 2014 (see the updated list for 2017), but this little list is a collection of the THREE bestsellers currently online at stores such as Amazon. From our own experience, any one of these three should more than do the job.

Feel free to shoot me with any questions if you have them; and if you’re still not sure what kind of trainer you need, check out our list of the different types of bike trainer stands available today.

In no particular order…

The CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer

Cycleops Fluid 2 TrainerThis trainer has consistently been in the top bestseller lists for some months/years, and clearly remains a firm favorite online.

And what’s not to like? It might not be the cheapest trainer around (coming in just under $300), but it really has become renowned for its superior quality. It’s very quiet, and also provides a great, realistic ride thanks to its large flywheel. It also uses a self-cooling mechanism to ensure you get even more life out of it!

If you need video instructions, check out our video of how to set it up, and if you want to read more, don’t miss our full review here.

The Superb Value Indoor Trainer Exercise Stand

stationary bicycle standIf you’re looking for excellent value, then this one has to be at the top of your list.

Good to go for 26 inch, 27 inch, and 700c bikes, this trainer stand from Conquer doesn’t have the big name branding behind it (like the other two stands in this article) but has proven very popular on sites like Amazon with hundreds of happy reviewers.

Its popularity probably comes with its amazingly cheap price tag (typically around $60), but it also has some very excellent features, including a sturdy (AND fold-able) metal frame,and its own riser block (for the front wheel, and which would usually cost around $15-20 online). It might be a bit noisier than the other two stands on this list, but hey, for that price…check out the latest deals on Amazon for this stand.

The Kurt Kinetic Road Machine

Kurt Kinetic Road Trainer ReviewThis trainer stand is one of our faves, and has been for some time. The fact that it is also almost always at the top of the bestseller charts simply reinforces our faith in it…

It’s good for 22 to 29-inch wheels, and might just be the perfect trainer for you and your training schedule. It’s a fluid-based trainer with a non-leaking magnetic drive system pretty much guarantees a leak-free session, however intensively you train. It’s also one of the quieter stationary bike trainers we’ve ever come across.

Again, not the cheapest option out there, but even at $300 it has proven a huge hit online. Read our full review here.

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NEW: If you’re on the hunt for a real budget buster (and especially relevant for the beginners of you out there), in other words a stand that will keep your bank manager very happy, don’t miss this: the THREE best stationary bike stands for under $80

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