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Welcome to the world of indoor bike stands & trainers!

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

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

After purchasing a top of the range model a while back, the CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer (a model I highly recommend which has also been revamped superbly in the last year or so), and getting asked by cyclist friends for my recommendations, I decided to set up this website to help them and YOU out. I’ve done all of the research and testing, you just have to decide what suits your training regime and your budget. And as the market has developed technologically over the last few years, I’ve also expanded my reviews to include some of the latest smart trainers and apps out there!

I’d highly recommend having a look at this to get started – these are the FIVE best stationary bike trainers you should consider for 2018, ranging from the very cheapest, super-value bike stands to the ultimate riding experience for the more serious cyclists of you. If money is less of an issue and you’re looking for something top-notch, take a look at the 3 best trainers money can buy – or perhaps it’s even time to buy yourself one of the latest smart trainers? In addition, our much-researched Comparison table will give you an amazingly quick overview of all the models out there, including ratings, weight and price. It’s pretty much the perfect buying guide, and is constantly being updated, so check it out!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good Luck – and if you have any questions regarding ANY stationary bike stand or general indoor training issues, feel free to get in touch!

Another great value bike stand: the Sportneer Magnetic trainer!

sportneer magnetic trainerThere are a LOT of indoor bike trainers available on the market these days – and we’ve covered MANY of them on this site – and figuring out which one is best for your training program and pocket is always a tough task…however, with bike trainers like the Sportneer Magnetic Stand around, things get a whole lot easier!

There are a lot of things we can say about this trainer, but perhaps the best way to start is the fact that the Sportneer magnetic trainer will give you all the reasons to get up and get those muscles working again, whatever the weather’s throwing at you outside!

Coupled with the fact that it comes in at well under $100 (but not quite cheap enough to make our super-value under $80 trainer list), this is one trainer to definitely add to your shortlist.

Click here for the latest reviews & discounts on this Sportneer trainer!

Why we were impressed with the Sportneer magnetic trainer

It’s so comfortable to use! The resistance settings have multiple options (6 of them in fact!) so you can just choose which one you’re most comfortable with. Plus, this is one quiet bike trainer.

With a variety of resistance settings, you can choose to burn calories or get yourself ready for biking up hills and mountains, when the spring comes around again. The resistance curve really does cover pretty much all cycling conditions.

This trainer stand also features a wide base and low stance that just works exceedingly well. See, one of the biggest problems most people have with stationary bike trainers is that their base is either too narrow or their stance is at a ridiculous height. The Sportneer trainer has made sure it is comfortable enough for everybody. And because it has rubber feet, it can be as stable as it can get. No need to worry about accidentally damaging the floors or not being able to have a decent session because of a wobbly set of feet.

Among the best features of the Sportneer Steel Bicycle include its great compatibility with a lot of bikes. This gem can fit any typical road bike and an array of mountain bikes with 26 to 28 inch wheels.

And if you’re ready to actually hit the outdoors, releasing your bike from this bike trainer won’t be a hassle. It is literally as easy pressing down a lever clamp. Then you’re good to go!

Even more reasons to fall in love with this trainer…

This trainer from Sportneer, which is made from a combination of steel, ABS, and rubber, is also supremely helpful in training you for various cycling conditions with its six resistance settings. These settings will ensure you can be completely comfortable while giving you the option to push yourself out of your comfort zone and really see what you’re capable of.

Plus, shifting between the tension regulators is pretty easy as well. You don’t have to halt the momentum to adjust because even while riding, a tension regulator can be attached to the handles of your bike, which means you can change between resistance settings even while hitting the pedals.

The extended size of this product is at 22 x 22 x 15.5 inches. Even better, it’s foldable, with a folded size of 22 x 18 x 6 inches. This makes travelling with the Sportneer magnetic trainer effortless (or storing it away if you have limited space at home)!

If that’s not enough, this trainer is also available in red and black, just to spoil you even further!

Finally, if you’re looking for even more value, this trainer comes with the bike trainer stand itself, one front wheel block, one resistance remote, and a rear skewer for easier setup. Considering the fact that a front wheel block can cost at least $20, this is one sweet package!

What we didn’t like about this Sportneer trainer

Similar to any other trainer in this price range, there are things you need to consider with this one. First off, you may want to note that the instructions it comes with can be a bit vague, so YouTube is probably going to be your friend in this case.

Also, while we mentioned this product is a pretty silent bike trainer, that doesn’t mean it’s 100% noiseless. Noise reduction is totally different from complete quiet! Which is to say, if you’re planning to do some full-on training, you might wanna do it in daytime. As someone mentioned on Amazon: “I live on the 2nd floor and the neighbors below me can definitely hear it. It’s not much louder than a vacuum, but too loud for 6 am.”

Of course, this is applicable to almost every trainer out there, and why we always recommend buying a trainer tire AND a trainer mat.

In summary…

Overall, the Sportneer Magnetic trainer is a wise purchase if your goal is to be able to train even when at home and if you want to improve your cycling stamina and core-strength for the spring cycling season. Typically priced at around $90 and with a front wheel block included, this is definitely a value-packed trainer that should be in your man cave through the off-season!

sportneer magnetic trainer

The 5 BEST bike trainer mats to ramp up your training & help reduce noise

If you train indoors, there are more than a few good reasons why you should buy a bike trainer mat.

They might seem a bit redundant at first, but trust us, once you own one you won’t look back! Primarily, they give you stability and help reduce sweaty odors and stains on your floor; but the number one reason you’re going to want one is that they greatly reduce the noise all bike trainers inevitably make. If you live with or above other people, they will be the first to thank you for investing in a trainer mat. Seriously.

And yep, stop looking at yoga mats as an option, they’re just not tough enough for most trainers and decent training sessions.

We took a look at some of the leading bike trainer mats on the market for you…

cycleops training matCycleOps Training Mat

At 65” long by 36” wide, this is quite a small mat (it’s actually the smallest on this list), but should be big enough for most indoor training needs. It is made of tough rubber, which is only 4 mm thick but very dense. This makes it easy to roll up after use but provides plenty of sturdiness and weight when laid out.

The mat is waterproof, so you can clean the sweat and grime off when you’ve finished with it. The rubber base also anchors the mat to the floor, even hardwood, which keeps your trainer in place during your workout.

A very solid trainer mat, typically priced at around $60 – and the perfect accompaniment to the CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer. For more info and an up-to-date price check, click here.

Kinetic Training Mat

Kinetic Training MatThis mat comes in at a whopping 72” long by 36” wide and is a well made product from a trusted name (we might have mentioned it before, but we love Kinetic’s trainers, such as the newly released smart versions of the Road Machine and the Rock n Roll trainers).

Its rubber structure is smooth on the underside to keep it in place during training but textured on top to hold drops of sweat and items of bike grime. As this is also rubber, it does not absorb anything, but will need some cleaning after use.

The size of the mat means it absorbs noise over a larger floor area, as well as being able to cope with the very biggest trainers. Of course, you will need the requisite floor space.

Typically priced at just over $60, this is a quality option. For more info and an up-to-date price check, click here.

ascent resistance matAscent Resistance Training Mat

Even bigger than the Kinetic training mat mentioned above, this training mat from Ascent measures a huge 78” by 36”. It will easily hold your bike and any trainer and provide your floor with a lot of protection over a large area.

It is made of synthetic material, with the upper surface designed to hold on to sweat and grime. The large area of the mat also absorbs a lot of sound.

If you use cleats, the surface can seem a bit fragile, as if it might puncture or tear when you walk on it. Training frames and wheels should be fine, however.

This one comes in at around $40, so is very budget-friendly. For more info and an up-to-date price check, click here.

Tacx Rollable Trainer Mat

TacxTrainerMatThis trainer mat from Tacx is based around foam, and supported by other various materials. Its mixture is designed to cope with a lot of those nasty and less nasty fluids from your training session, but is till washable.

It is slightly narrower than other mats, at 33.5” wide, but covers 69” in length. It is slightly deeper than other mats, at 6 mm, but will still roll up fairly easily for storage.

To be clear, this trainer mat is mainly designed to deal with sweat and water spills, rather than reducing the noise of your training session. This is largely because of its foam-based mixture which is not as dense as rubber mats, hence letting more noise through. This mat is ideal if you only train occasionally, and not too heavily.

Coming in at around $80, this is probably only for Tacx fans. For more info and an up-to-date price check, click here.

Wahoo KICKR Multi-Purpose Floor Mat

wahookickrtrainermatThe Wahoo KICKR is another large training mat, measuring 78” long by 36” wide. It has a pretty tough surface, designed to hold lots of training related fluids and spills. In fact, the surface gives a little when you walk on it, making it feel more like a traditional mat than some others. It also has a beveled edge, which keeps the mat firmly attached to your floor covering, and hence ensuring very decent stability.

This extra depth makes the mat a bit bulky to store, although it is perfectly easy to clean after use. The mat is also at the expensive end of the scale, coming in at around just under $70.

But it is a quality option and favored by many pro cyclists for their indoor sessions. For more info and an up-to-date price check, click here.

In Summary…

All the above bike trainer mats are well designed and should help you train better – while keeping on friendly terms with housemates and neighbors! Our ultimate trainer mat of choice is probably the Kinetic trainer mat, though the CycleOps and Wahoo mats are also worth considering. Happy training!

5 BEST bike trainers 2018: the ultimate buyer’s guide

best bike trainer 2018

If you’re looking for the very best bike trainers of 2018, 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 (and value-packed to the rafters!) $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 2018, in our very humble opinion. And yes, with one of these trainers in your training arsenal, you can seriously start expecting some very decent results…

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

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

Seriously, if your budget is on the conservative side, or you’re just getting started with indoor trainers, this is an excellent choice. Some might say it’s a direct copy of this bestseller from Magnet, but we feel there’s just that wee bit more in this one to warrant its selection as one of the very best budget trainers of 2018! We’ve see a lot of low-quality Chinese-made cheapies flood the markets in the last year or 2, but the Ohuhu is definitely top of the pile for value!

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

Read our full review here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 2018, 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 2018.

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.

If you’re about to purchase one of these great trainers, we can highly recommend grabbing a trainer mat – they’ll keep your floor protected and clear of sweaty odors & also help reduce noise!

Quick glance comparison

Below is a table summarizing the best bike trainers in this bestsellers of 2018 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 2018 – 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 if you’re looking for the best bike trainer in 2018…

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 2018…

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.

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

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

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

christmas gifts cyclists

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

In no particular order…

Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch

polar heart monitor

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

Post-training relief with the Travel Stick

travel stick the stick

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

CatEye Strada Wireless Cycling Computer

cat eye strada 2016

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

Kurt Kinetic Floor Mat

kinetic trainer mat

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

SEE ALSO: 6 KILLER reasons you need to buy an indoor trainer tire!

Pearl iZumi Men’s All-Road II Cycling Shoe

Pearl iZumi Mens Shoes

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

Weather Resistant Smartphone Case

smartphone case

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

Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves

Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves

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

Pearl iZumi Men’s Gloves

pearl izumi mens glove 2016

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

Pearl iZumi Mens Cycling Shorts

pearl izumi mens cycling shorts

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

camelbak hydration pack

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

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

Happy Christmas!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cycleops Fluid 2 TrainerOUR TOP CHOICE

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

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

Read our full review here.

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

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

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

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

Read our full review here.

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

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

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

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

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

Read our full review here.

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

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

CycleOps Silencer ReviewTHE PRO’S CHOICE

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

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

Read our full review here.

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

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

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

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

Get smart this Christmas – get a Tacx Vortex!

Read our full review here.

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

Quick glance comparison

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

NOTE: The ratings are review ratings currently listed on Amazon

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

Read our REVIEW
4.4$$$$$

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

Read our REVIEW
4.3$

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

Read our REVIEW
4.6$$$$$

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

Read our REVIEW
4.5$$$$$

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

Read our REVIEW
4.2$$$$$

6 KILLER reasons you should buy that indoor trainer tire!

trainer tireIf you’re serious about training indoors, you really should consider buying a bike trainer tire.

Ever since I replaced my mountain bike tire – complete with knobbly tread – with a slick training tire, I’ve never looked back…Seriously, if you’re anything like me, you were probably thinking it would be easier and cheaper to use an old tire, or even your everyday tire. But no, there are some very good reasons why this is a bad idea. Just bad. Don’t do it…

Click HERE for a review of the very best trainer tire we’ve come across!

So to help convince you, I’ve come up with six must-read reasons for buying an indoor trainer tire>>>

1 Beating the heat

Intensive indoor training produces a lot of heat (and we’re not even talking about the copious amounts of sweat you produce!). This is simply not the case when riding your bike normally. Friction between your tire and the trainer roller easily produces enough heat to melt regular tires. This not only ruins the tire, but coats the roller in a layer of rubber, making it very inefficient. Trainer tires are designed to disperse heat throughout their structure.

2 Reducing noise

Indoor stationary bike stands produce a lot of noise with regular tires. The two surfaces rubbing together make this inevitable due to the tread on road tires, and this is especially relevant for knobbly mountain bike treads. Training tires have a special tread pattern and material compound which makes them virtually silent, no matter how hard you train.

3 Durability

Because intensive training creates a lot of heat with regular tires, they become damaged very quickly. They wear out much sooner than with outdoor riding, and you’re also likely to see them leave some of their tread embedded on your trainer roller. Indoor trainer tires not only create much less heat, their compound is blister resistant. From my research, and from my own personal experience, a good, standard indoor trainer tire should last 5,000 miles or so, maybe even more.

4 Adding extra resistance

Indoor trainer tires are specially designed to add resistance without generating heat. This makes your trainer much more efficient, and your performance measurements more meaningful. By withstanding punishment from friction, indoor training tires keep their integrity for longer, which maintains their resistance against your training roller.

5 Get sexy & colorful!

As your indoor trainer tire will only be seen by you or those close to you, you can get creative and have yours in any color you like. And you don’t have to worry that it will get caked in mud, or suffer discoloring – it should keep its color as long as you have it. As training can be a little boring and hard to motivate yourself for, having a bright trainer tire often subconsciously lifts the spirits.

6 Great value

Unlike regular tires, indoor trainer tires only have one mode to cope with. They are specially designed to work with a trainer, which makes their manufacture relatively cheap. Typically priced between $20 – $40, this works out A LOT cheaper than replacing regular bike tires. Especially when you take into consideration the length of time they last, their heat resistance, their sexiness and their assistance in reducing noise!

Two trainer tires we can seriously recommend: the Zittoria trainer tire (priced at around $30 and comes in a sexy red color) and the Continental Hometrainer tire (also priced at around $30). These two trainer tires have proven to be two of the best out there, so come highly recommended.
If you’re looking for another way to enhance your training, add a trainer mat! They help protect your floor, reduce odors & also help reduce noise!

Continuing the legend: the Kinetic Road Machine Smart trainer!

KineticRoadMachineSmartTrainerThe guys at Kurt Kinetic have long known what they’re doing, and the latest edition to hit the bike shops is this awesome smart version of their legendary Road Machine (which we previously reviewed here).

The Kinetic Road Machine smart trainer combines the latest technology with good old fashioned engineering. The solid base gives a feeling of stability, while the front end apps put you into a virtual world where you’ll feel like you’re really out there on the open road! For its price – which is still very decent for a top-level smart trainer at under $300 – the Road Machine Smart trainer will provide you the advantages of much more expensive monitoring devices, as well as a real road feel.

Click HERE for the latest reviews & discounts for the Kinetic Road Machine smart trainer!

 

So, what’s to like about the Kinetic Road Machine Smart?

Kurt Kinetic pride themselves on the quality of their frames, and as a result, it probably won’t surprise you to know that they regularly feature in our Top Trainers bestseller list. If anything, they say they are happy to have their trainers described as “over engineered”. Bless ’em!

The base of the Road Machine Smart trainer is certainly impressively put together. It has a very solid feel, as if it’s going to cope with more than you could ever give it. But all physical elements in this trainer have a chunky, solid feel about them. The design is based on a bright green, white and black color scheme which is unapologetic about being fit for purpose. The adjustment bolts have easy to grip, rubberized knobs which add to the feeling the trainer gives of putting you in control.

The frame itself is made from powder-coated steel, completed with super-strong welds at the joints of the down struts and rotor holder. The three supporting points are in solid black plastic so no worries about damaging any smooth floor surfaces. The angled design means the trainer will not slip or move during use.

Overall, the trainer’s frame oozes strength and the capability to cope with any training regime you put it through.

Those Moving Parts – engineering at its finest!

The Kinetic resistance rotor unit is also an impressive looking piece of kit. Again, secured by an ergonomically useful adjuster, the unit is a highly engineered mix of precision steel and aluminum. The flywheel is an impressive 6.25 pounds in weight.

But it’s inside the trainer unit where it gets really clever. This is where the liquid resistance dictates the sort of ride you get. As with other such trainers, this actual piece of machinery is largely unseen, which is probably just as well. At the end of the day, all we want from our trainers is that they work properly, right?

Located underneath the revolving metal moving parts is a black box which houses all the Bluetooth and Kinetic inRide technology. Basically, the Bluetooth picks up the signal from your smart device and tells the inRide system how much resistance to apply. As with the rest of this impressive looking machine, all this tech is safely housed inside something which looks impossible to break!

Smart Tech!

KurtKineticSmarttabletsThe Kinetic Road Machine Smart trainer comes with a training program as standard – a free month’s subscription to the makers’ Kinetic Fit power training app. This is worth having anyway, whether you are an experienced user of indoor trainers or not. If this is your first trainer, Kinetic Fit will give you a good idea of what you can expect, and a feel for how to actually use your trainer.

Certainly, the Kinetic Fit app which comes with this trainer works fine. It works with the trainer to replicate conditions you would experience actually riding a bike, including inertia when pulling away. The heavy flywheel is particularly good for this.

And yep, a major selling point for this trainer is its future proofing. It is compatible with proprietary apps including FulGaz, KinoMap Trainer, Rouvy, TrainerRoad and Zwift. As the trainer measures your cadence, distance traveled, power applied and speed, these apps have the potential for fine tuning in an awful lot of ways. Check out our upcoming guide to smart apps for your indoor training!

Kinetic Road Machine Smart – the Technical Specs

OK, so this trainer comes with some excellently engineered elements, and its ability to take your indoor training some years into the future is also a deal-clincher, at least in our opinion. In summary:

  • Zwift (and other apps) compatible
  • Measures cadence, distance, power and speed
  • Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity
  • 6.25 pound flywheel
  • High quality steel roller
  • Rubber over-molded ABS plastic control fittings
  • Compatible with 24″ to 700 cc to 29″ mountain bike wheels
  • Free 1-month subscription to the Kinetic Fit app
  • Lifetime frame warranty
  • 2 year warranty on inRide sensor

Something to consider…

Just one thing, really. This is the upgraded, smart version of what was already a great trainer. And with new technology does come teething problems. Some have experienced issues with the “smart” parts, namely the app and its connectivity, and if you’re an Android user you might have some issues. The makers say they’re working on these technical glitches, and you may have better results if you use Apple.

So, is the Kinetic Road Machine Smart trainer worth splashing the cash on?

This smart trainer is excellent value considering the smart elements that will help future-proof your training. It comes with the engineering expertise from Kurt Kinetic, meaning you’re getting a very sturdy, superbly engineered machine. The rotor and fluid resistance unit are excellent, and mirror real world cycling, something that many of us cyclists are always craving throughout the winter months. It really does have the strength to put up with your toughest workout. All in all, a very robust and responsive power trainer. Recommended!