2018 UPDATE: Don’t miss our updated list
of the very BEST trainers to buy in 2018!
We’ve reviewed many of the very best stationary bike trainers out there, many of which you can find in our Reviews and Buying Guide sections, but we thought we should compile a list of the EIGHT best stationary trainers you’ll want to consider buying in 2014.
Price, brand, and even weight are NOT the deciding factors in our list; what matters most is the quality and value for money we believe you can get from each and every one of the trainer stands on our list. So yes, a range of top priced bike stands, together with a couple of the best value budget stands we’ve come across, plus a couple of new stands we’ve recently had the pleasure of checking out. And a few more you’ll really want to consider…
Also – don’t miss our guide to the best bike stands and cycling accessories for the upcoming winter!
The legendary eight, in no particular order…
Top quality and our fave: the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine
One of the very best indoor bike stands we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing, the Kurt Kinetic Road Trainer is a fluid-based bicycle trainer that has helped us and many cyclists keep their winter training sessions on track. The non-leaking magnetic drive system ensures that your training can continue unabated without any messy leaks! It’s also remarkably quiet and will take wheels up to 29 inches – unlike many other stands out there. Not the cheapest, but we highly recommend this one – read our full review here.
Another top quality contender: the Cascade Fluid Pro Trainer
We only recently discovered this bike trainer, but are glad we did! With a thermally sealed fluid drive, this Cascade Fluid Pro trainer is guaranteed to give you what should be years of training. It’s a smooth and stable ride with this one, and the front riser that comes with it (and therefore saves you around $20) also means you have three different height options. Again, not cheap, but if you’re looking for something top of the range, this is certainly one to consider. We’re even beginning to think it could oust the Kurt Kinetic from its rank as our own personal favorite…Read our full review here.
The Best Cheap Bike Trainer Stand of 2014
With the economy burning a hole in many of our pockets, we’re always getting asked for our recommendations regarding good value trainer stands. The Magnet Indoor Exercise Trainer has to be one of the best value options out there, if you’re really concerned about keeping costs down to a minimum. Typically sold for around $50, this is one we’d definitely call cheap and cheerful! Certainly a superb option for beginners and with hundreds of reviews and happy buyers on Amazon, it bags our Best Cheap Bike Trainer Stand for 2014 award! Read more about it and the other best value bike stands we recommend right here.
The Best Value Bike Trainer Stand of 2014
OK, so as we mentioned above, finding a decent value indoor training stand in 2014 is a mission for many of us with limited budgets, so here’s probably the best value stand we’ve come across over the last couple of years – the Forza F2 Trainer. This great value trainer is typically priced around $100, but you can often grab yourself a nice little discount on Amazon. Perfectly suited for the riders who train 2 or 3 times a week and need a decent workout. It’s easy to setup and the noise generated is surprisingly low. Not the quality you’d associate with a Kurt Kinetic or Cascade Fluid Pro, but definitely the trainer that wins our Best Value Bike Trainer Stand for 2014 award. Read our full review here.
Top quality and superb value for 2014: the Blackburn Mag 6 Trainer
If you’re looking for an alternative to the superb Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, but want to save yourself some 30%, we can highly recommend the Blackburn Tech Mag 6 Trainer. It usually comes in at around $200, but is a great and quality option for the more serious of you cyclists (and even the non-serious of you). There are six resistance levels to enjoy, which can be adjusted directly, and easily, from your handlebar. A bike stand made to enjoy, it’s also very sturdy and stable as it’s made of tubular steel, which ensures a safe ride and a long-lasting trainer. Read our full review here.
The classy quality of the CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer
Another top quality indoor trainer to consider is the superb CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer. This little beauty is not cheap, coming in at around $300, but is definitely one of the trainers to consider if you’re after top quality. A very quiet trainer, the Fluid 2 also has a realistic resistance experience thanks to a larger than normal flywheel. The self-cooling mechanism also works wonders, making the lifetime manufacturer’s guarantee almost unnecessary…And don’t worry about the legendary poor setup instructions – we’ve got a cool little video that shows you how to quickly set it up! Read our full review here.
The bike stand with an amazingly realistic ride: the Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller
A question we often get asked is just how realistic a ride can an indoor trainer give you…well, the Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller has to be the ULTIMATE ride! You do have to pay a certain premium for the experience, with this trainer regularly coming in at $500 or so (the new smart version costs a little more but is well worth it). But there’s nothing out there on the market that has the Rock n Roller’s rocking mechanism that simulates the riding motion, particularly when climbing hills. It also has one of the biggest flywheels around, adding to the realism when trying to build and maintain cycling speed. Read our full review, including a great video, here.
An excellent choice for Pro-Bikers – the 1Up USA
The last indoor bike trainer to make our list for 2014 is the 1Up USA, a stand that is regularly getting some top-notch feedback from pro cyclists on forums like MountainBikeReview.com. It really is a great option to consider, with its terrific Centrifugal Pressure Resistance, which many suggest add to the reality of your training session (but if you’re really after the ultimate riding experience, try the Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller, see above). The only drawback is that you can only order it from the official website. They don’t distribute the stand elsewhere, ruling out the possibility of grabbing a discount, which is a shame in our opinion (as we are always looking to save a few $$$).