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.
Let’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!
The 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!
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.