Latest posts

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

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!


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.

How NOT to ride a bike roller!

Bike rollers aren’t for everybody, and you definitely need to practice hard if you’re going to get the best out of them… but this great little video shows you how NOT to ride a roller!

If you’re really looking to master the roller, check out these tips – you’ll be soon riding like a pro, and also won’t have to worry about making one of these video compilations…

Check out our review of the Kinetic Z Roller, one of the best out there!

Keeping that cycling body of yours in shape over the holiday season!

christmas dinnerIf you’re anything like me, then you’ll know that pigging out over the Christmas / New Year season is inevitable. It’s just too hard to resist those chocolates, that extra glass of wine, or another slice of your mother’s latest caking adventure…

But even so, there’s no reason to lose sight of the winter goal: keeping yourself in relatively good shape DESPITE all those sweets and treats. You might have woken up this New Years a little chubbier than you planned, but don’t worry, we’ve got it covered with FIVE crucial tips for staying in shape (especially if you bought one of these for Christmas)!

Don’t miss our guide to staying in shape using your trainer with SEVEN awesome tips!

SEE ALSO: How a daily indoor trainer session can help prevent the Big C

Don’t go nuts – eat nuts!

Nuts are everywhere over the holiday season, and could be a great answer to many of your festive slimming woes. Nuts have a lot of vitamins and minerals, but also provide a great source of protein and heart-healthy fats. Probably best of all, they actually do fill you up, unlike chewing on a carrot or lettuce leaves. Of course, you should steer clear of the more luxurious looking nuts, the ones covered in chocolate or honey-roasted, as they’ll be packed full of sugar, and hence a lot more calories.

Try and stay with the natural, raw nuts, like almonds. And once the New Year’s parties and celebrations are over, they are still a highly recommended munchie.

Watch what you eat

An obvious one this one…but seriously, watch out for those heavy, calorie-laden meals heading your way over the winter season.

Most holiday meals are based on something nutritional, like pumpkin, turkey, or sweet potatoes, but more often than not, all that nutrition goes to waste during preparation. Looking at a pumpkin pie for example, the pumpkin part is virtually fat free and good for you. It’s the sugary biscuity crust which will pile on the fat. And turkey roasts are in theory a great nutritional booster, but if they’re soaked and roasted in butter for an hour or two you can kiss that nutrition goodbye.

And once the New Year is over, keep up the good work with those weekend family visits and goodie-rich dinners!

Drink and be merry – but don’t forget to drink water!

Most of us enjoy a drink or three over the festive season, and it’s soooo easy to get half-drunk pretty much the entire holiday period. But that’s a lot of calories to work off. One of my fave tricks for keeping fairly in control is to drink as much water as possible. I always try and have a glass of water between alcoholic beverages, as the water fills me up a little and leaves less room for another beer or whatever is available. I also make sure I drink a glass of water before going to bed as this keeps me hydrated through the night, especially if I know I’ve had one or two too many.

Another little trick for you: hold a glass in your hand at all times. This should avoid friends or relatives pushing a freshly filled glass your way at all times possible…

Don’t stay at the dinner table for extra-long conversations!

When we’re eating around the table or at a buffet-like party, it’s inevitable that we’ll munch on things that are within arm’s reach. Disaster! Don’t be completely unsocial and run from the food and company, but try and steer the conversation away from the food if at all possible.

Forget those super sweet lattes from Starbucks!

There’s nothing like stopping by at your fave coffee shop or Starbucks for a seasonal coffee drink – but boy do those drinks pile on the calories! Just thinking about a pumpkin spice latte or peppermint mocha is enough to get us salivating, the only problem is we’ll be paying for it later! Just look at all those sweet drinks and the added chocolate, whipped cream, whole milk etc – that’s a ton of work on your indoor trainer to work off!

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 2018), 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.


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

How to ride a roller bike – FIVE awesome tips to help you train like a pro!

“Just how do I ride one of those roller bikes?”

Well, riding a roller bike stand isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and we know some of you (and us!) have struggled at the best of times to master these babies (here’s how NOT to ride a roller!), but a good friend of ours swears by his roller and gave us some excellent tips for success – check them out below (perfectly accompanied by even more tips in the video below).

Bear in mind that these tips are great, but rollers generally take much more getting used to – although many who ride them enthuse about the realism they offer and the extra balancing skills you gain over time.

If you’re looking for a great roller, don’t miss our review of the best FIVE rollers money can buy! Or just skip right to our review of one of the best roller trainers out there, the Kinetic Z Roller!

  • TIP 1: Find yourself a flat surface, preferably smooth, to ensure the roller doesn’t get too wobbly and unstable.
  • TIP 2: Lineup your front axle so that the front roller, when you prepare to ride the roller, goes just beyond it (or is just in front of it).
  • TIP 3: Probably the most important tip this one, make sure you have something to support/hold you on either side of the bike roller, especially when getting on the bike. A door frame is perfect, as it safely ensures you’re supported on either side and you can use it to lean into with your shoulders. Otherwise get a friend or partner to hold on to you, while perhaps standing next to a wall.
  • TIP 4: When you start your ride, ensure your gears are somewhere in the middle of the cog, so that you’re not in a too easy/too hard gear when starting off.
  • TIP 5: Once you’re safely on your bike, look straight ahead while riding, typically focusing about a meter ahead of the bike itself. Also keep your hands firmly on the handlebars, and most importantly – don’t stop pedaling! Stop pedaling and you’ll likely lose your balance very quickly and come crashing off…

There you go – success on a roller assured!

The clip below shows you how to do it like a pro…

The Top 5 Bike Rollers: five superb alternatives to stationary trainers

We’ve seen a lot of interest recently in bike rollers. You know, those frame-like devices you place on the floor and then ride your bike on.

Some people love ’em, some people loathe ’em.

But as we’ve developed this website out, and seen the interest grow in accessories and other areas, we thought it was about time we gave you the lowdown on the very best roller trainers out there. For sure, some of you see them as a real option for a realistic, alternative riding experience to bike trainers, while others of you are less convinced.

The one thing we will certainly testify to, is that while it’s important to train up those leg muscles and improve aerobic muscles, what often sets the best cyclists apart in cycling competitions is their technical handling. While indoor cycling using a stationary bike trainer is an excellent way to ramp up your fitness, you rarely get a chance to practice your cycling technique when you’re cycling in your living room (perhaps only the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roller comes close though). That’s why a bike roller could make the difference.

Cycling on top of a roller forces you to truly balance your bicycle – just like you’d have to out on the road or biking trail – for a more realistic and holistic training session. As we mentioned, some of you love them, others see them as plain hard work…if you need some tips on how to successfully ride a roller, don’t miss our FIVE awesome tips for riding rollers like a pro!

So here they are, our five picks for the best indoor bike rollers on the market!

Tacx Antares Roller

Tacx Antares Roller

These mid-range bicycle rollers strike a good balance between quality and affordability and have now been around for long enough to garner some very decent reviews online. They’re not the fanciest rollers out there, but they get the job done and will give you plenty of mileage to boot with their heavy-duty construction that’s built to take a beating. Despite the high-quality materials, this Tacx roller is surprisingly portable. It can be collapsed to 80 cm and is relatively light, making this an ideal choice if you need a roller to warm up before a race. Finally, with Skyliner front wheel support, this is one of the more stable and secure rollers out there. That should give you enough peace of mind to focus on your training.

Click here to get the latest and BEST deal on Amazon

CycleOps Training Roller

CycleOps Training Roller

This is a bicycle roller that oozes class. The solid steel frame as well as the innovative folding system reveal the superb design and build quality you’d expect from CycleOps, quite possibly the leading manufacturer of cycling training tools out there (and yes, we love their Fluid Trainer!). This roller delivers a simply perfect riding experience. The PVC rollers are precision-lathed and when combined with the precision steel drums, you get a slick, safe and quiet ride that’s second to none. What’s more, the sheer realism of training with this roller has to be experienced to be believed. We’ve no doubt that within weeks, you’ll find your reflexes and handling have improved by leaps and bounds. Certainly not the cheapest option, but when you throw in a limited lifetime warranty together with the quality on offer, you’ve got the most complete bike roller out there. Simply put, CycleOps has done it again!

Click here to get the latest and BEST deal on Amazon

Nashbar Reduced Radius Roller

Nashbar Reduced Radius Roller

The Nashbar Reduced Radius Roller is one quiet, efficient machine. Cycling on this stationary roller is incredibly smooth, thanks to the CNC machined aluminium drums and sealed cartridge bearings. This ensures you’ll never need to stop in the middle of a training session to tinker with the roller – you can just get on with it! The base of this Nashbar roller is also splendidly designed, featuring no less than three sets of feet to create a stable base for your indoor training. These are covered with special plastic fittings to protect your floor. Nashbar always turns out value-for-money products, but at just under $150 this Nashbar roller is (even for Nashbar) a truly surprising bargain!

Click here to get the latest and BEST deal on Amazon

Kreitler Kompact RollerKreitler Kompact Challenger Roller

This Kreitler roller may not come cheap, but it’s truly capable of taking your training to the next level. Kreitler has included various sizes of aluminum drums and by using drums of different diameters, you can adjust the amount of resistance you encounter. The smaller the diameter, the higher the resistance – this bike roller is thus just as useful for improving aerobic fitness as it is for honing your bike handling skills. Remember, though, that the blower and weighted flywheels should not be used with the 3” and 2.25” drums or your warranty might be voided – the resistance is high enough with these drums as it is. The drums feature polycarbonate end caps which have a longer lifespan, contributing to the product’s already impressive durability. If you’re going to be training hard and very often, we recommend you bite the bullet and invest in this high-end roller. It’s worth it in the long run.

Click here to get the latest and BEST deal on Amazon

Alloy Indoor Bike Roller

Alloy Indoor Roller

This budget roller can be found for less than $150, but don’t let its low price fool you. Its design is economical but very hardy. If you use it sensibly, you are unlikely to have any issues with durability. Our cycling experience with this Alloy roller was constantly challenging and it really pushed our steering skills to the limit, making it a worthy addition to any cyclist’s arsenal. This roller is ideal for hobbyists looking to train indoors once in a while. Do note that it’s not the quietest roller around and its performance will be somewhat impaired if you have a very heavy bike (or are a very heavy cyclist), but at this price it’s a fantastic bargain.

Click here to get the latest and BEST deal on Amazon

In Summary…

Getting some indoor cycling training is a necessary evil in foul weather, but with one of these five very capable rollers, you can make your indoor training as realistic and beneficial as possible. If you’re convinced by the models we’ve listed, buy one and start refining your handling skills with roller-based training right now!

The Cascade Fluid Pro Trainer: another top level stationary trainer that impresses big-time!

Cascade Fluid ProWe recently came across this bike trainer and love it – the Cascade Fluid Pro Trainer!

It might not have the name of a known brand like Kinetic or CycleOps behind it, but this superb trainer really does give one heck of a ride. The manufacturers proudly state that it will keep you training longer, and we have to agree to some extent; we found it incredibly easy to keep pedaling!

The major selling point with this bike trainer is its thermally sealed fluid drive, which should see years of service without leaks, much like many of the top level stationary trainers (like one of our faves, the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine).

It’s typically priced at just over $300, which admittedly puts it at the top of the price range for many stationary trainers. But this is one that offers a great riding experience and is therefore definitely one to consider if you’re looking for something top quality.

Click here for the latest price-saving deals on Amazon for the Cascade Fluid Pro!

Why we were impressed with the Cascade Fluid Pro Trainer…

A few things impressed us with this trainer:

  • It was very easy to setup with what the manufacturer calls a “quick connect”, and get going almost immediately (within approximately 10 minutes); even for those of you who have never set up a stationary trainer, we’d imagine this one would cause no problems whatsoever.
  • The trainer is stable and you can really ride quite hard without that feeling you get with the cheaper models that you might topple over. You really can put some grunt into your training sessions with this one – sprinting, accelerating, whatever you need!
  • The ride is very smooth; the resistance is very smooth as you ride through your gear range.
  • The front riser that comes with the trainer (and that would typically set you back $10-$20) gives you THREE separate height variations.
  • The back flywheel is very quiet, and you really can enjoy a training session without the headphones! Of course, a slick racing wheel will always be quieter than a knobbly mountain bike wheel, just so you know.
  • The trainer is fold-able and hence easily storable/movable! The orange legs you can see in the image above, just fold back into the main frame and then you can just slide it under the bed, or wherever it needs to go.
  • You can see this is one quality product, very well built and hence giving you a smooth, quality ride.

One thing we should point out is that the trainer comes with a quick release skewer that really should be used (the trainer seems to fit very snugly into the supplied skewer and there have been reviews online that suggested it was the ideal option rather than use your bike’s existing skewer). If you don’t have a quick release skewer on your bike, I doubt this will work as recommended, and as described above, but it may work OK for you – just something we had to point out!

So, does the Cascade Fluid Pro offer value for money?

Well, if you’re looking for a superb, lifelike training session, then yes. It is a little pricey, but we can safely class this alongside the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine and CycleOps Fluid 2 as one heck of a bike trainer. There’s no doubting its ranking in our list of best bike trainer stands for 2014. There are cheaper trainers out there, of course (see our guide to the best value options under $80 for example), but this is superb quality that the pros and serious cyclists of you out there will truly enjoy.

And here’s a superb little video that highlights some of the great features of the Cascade Fluid Pro Trainer: