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8 ways to get the BEST out of your indoor training session!

stationary bike standWhile indoor bike training is not everyone’s idea of fun – let’s face it, we’d ALL rather be out on the open road – it can have its advantages. The main and obvious benefit is it’s just plain convenient, even for die hard road and off-road cyclists. Whether you’re stuck inside for the winter, too busy to go outside, or just prefer training indoors, there are ways to get the absolute best out of those sessions.

Here are our top 8 suggestions for getting the MAX out of your indoor bike training.

Allocate time for your indoor training

As we’ve suggested, time is often a reason people choose to train indoors. Busy modern lives and the logistics of urban living eat in to every 24 hours. So once you’ve decided to buy that trainer and train indoors, do not use time as an excuse to avoid it.

You can help make time by preparing in advance, so that everything you need is ready when you want to start your daily session (and you have less of an excuse to “forget” about that session). We can highly recommend spending a few minutes preparing for your next day’s workout, either straight after you finish, or the night before.

SEE ALSO: The 3 greatest ways to stay motivated for your indoor training sessions

Set goals

As you’ll probably be training at home, it is important to not think of your training session as another household chore or routine. Even if you’re training in a gym, the best way to get the most out of indoor sessions is to look forward to them. This will prevent you thinking of training on your indoor trainer as some sort of necessary evil.

Setting goals is a great way of looking forward to training sessions. They give incentive and motivation, especially if your memory of yesterday’s session is positive. Goals can be short and long term, as long as you think you can achieve them.

Get competitive!

A good way of setting yourself goals is to compete with others. This can also help with the feeling of isolation which sometimes comes with indoor training. By competing with other cyclists who are at about the same level as you, you can challenge yourself and add an extra dimension to your training.

Probably the best way of doing that during the off-season is virtually – there are a number of great virtual ways of competing, using apps based on gaming technology. These are immersive and may help your actual performance as well as helping achieve goals. Of course, you’re going to need a smart trainer to really get the most out of a virtual ride, but they really are the new breed of trainer and definitely worth considering!

Eat properly

Maintaining your blood sugar and energy levels is vital to keep you on track in your indoor training sessions. This means eating properly all day, rather than trying to time meals and snacks with your session in mind. As you are likely to train for up to an hour, at various levels of difficulty, your body needs to have a stable base level of energy to draw on.

Carbohydrates are essential for this and are best digested from rice and pasta. Red meat is unpredictable in terms of energy because it can be hard to digest. If you feel weak during a session, eat natural sugars such as those in fruit. For more great nutritional tips, check out our guide to some food essentials for indoor training.

Keep cool

You will burn a lot of energy during a training session, which means you’ll heat up. Unlike the outdoors, this heat has to be dealt with by artificial means. If you overheat, this could even lead to fainting; but even just sweating too much will dehydrate you, which can have a serious impact on your well-being.

As well as sipping water every 10 minutes, make sure your environment can deal with that perspiring brow of yours. Modern gyms will be well ventilated, but if you’re at home, you should definitely use a fan next to your trainer (as any proper man cave should have!).

Dress right

Another way to keep cool and comfortable is to dress correctly. Again, unlike riding outside, indoor training sessions mean constant contact with your saddle. Most trainers won’t really let you stand up, free wheel and let the breeze caress the stresses on your body (although the Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller does an awesome lifelike job!), so comfort really is the key.

So yes, padded shorts are a must for indoor training. On your upper body, remember you are indoors and will more than likely sweat like a champ. Wear something light and thin to help dissipate this and your body heat.

Train in intervals

One of the main differences between outdoor cycling and indoor training is the distance. The main focus of indoor training is to increase your fitness levels rather than see how far you can ride. Interval training enables you to push yourself over short spells. These should vary in intensity, giving your whole body a great workout over your session.

Keep yourself entertained!

Certainly one of the major complaints we’ve heard about riding indoors is the boredom. It really has put some people off , especially at home, where the repetitive nature of cycle training can let the mind wander.

Our golden tip: if you are training alone, make sure you have your favorite music or other entertainment at hand (some of the options on our top accessories list might be right up your alley). Make this one of the first things you prepare for, so that it’s ready to go when you are. This could also be a decisive factor in motivating you to keep the training sessions going, especially if you’re one of those that struggles without the wind ruffling around your ears!

Best THREE stationary bike stands for under $80!

There are some truly great stationary bike trainers out there – we personally love the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine model – but for beginners and the more price-conscious shopper, we know there are a few of you out there looking for a great value bike stand.

Related: The FIVE best indoor trainers to buy this Christmas!

Let’s face it, as the economy bites many of us in the ***, saving some money is always a good thing. So, after getting a few questions from readers asking us about some cheaper options, we decided to put this article together.

There are a whole load of stationary bike stands dropping in under the $80 mark, and you can find many online at stores like Amazon, as well as other high-street bricks and mortar outlets (though it has to be said, we’ve struggled to find the variety you can find on the Internet).

Below are the best THREE stationary bike stands we know of and have seen, and that are also ranked well on Amazon by satisfied customers. Don’t forget to check out our comparison table for an ever-expanding list of bike stands and our unique summary of each and every one’s features.

NOTE: The bike stands below are suitable for 26″, 27″ or 700C wheels.

The Magnet Bicycle Indoor Exercise Trainer

Magnet Steel TrainerThis has to be the very best value stationary bike stand we’ve seen out there. Quite how these guys built this bike stand and sell it for typically under $50 we don’t know, but there are hundreds of happy customers who’ve snapped up this Magnet Bike Stand.

What makes it such a winner? Well, first of all, it’s cheap, and therefore perfect for beginners and the very price-conscious. It also has FIVE internal resistance settings (changeable from your handlebar, and which provides progressive magnetic resistance, meaning the resistance increases as the speed increases), is seen to be heavy duty (it weighs in at a solid 20 pounds) and is considered to be quiet too.

The instructions that come with the stand are notoriously bad, but if you follow the images you should be up and running in minutes (see our full review here).

See the latest deals for the Magnet Indoor Trainer on Amazon

Conquer Indoor Trainer Stand

stationary bicycle standThis superb value exercise stand is not a big brand name (in fact, it recently seems to have been branded by a new company called Conquer, who have additional models for sale online). But the fact there are numerous happy reviews on Amazon sends a clear message that a big brand name isn’t always everything.

Why is this stationary bike stand a hit? Well, this stand is also considered heavy duty (also weighing in at 16 pounds with NO cheapo plastic bits, it’s entirely made from metal) and also stable, while also being fold-able – great for storing away! The stand comes with magnetic resistance done in a single adjustment (you do have to get off the bike to adjust it). Another good selling point – it also comes with its own Riser Block (you’d typically have to spend another $10-20 on one of these).

The only drawback we can see with this stand is that it seems slightly noisier than, let’s say, the Magnet Exercise Trainer we describe above, but overall, is excellent value.

See the latest deals for this Indoor Cycling Trainer on Amazon

Soozier Adjustable Magnetic Resistance Indoor Bike Trainer Stand

Soozier Adjustable Bike StandThe Soozier Indoor Bike Stand is another great value option we’ve come across recently. It also comes in at well under the $80, and you can even strike it lucky on some websites with deals pricing it at under $60.

The Soozier (as we like to call it) comes in at almost half the weight (11 pounds) of the above two bike stands, but is considered very stable and sturdy, and easy to assemble. This one also has five resistance levels, and as per the Magnet above the levels of resistance are adjustable via your handlebar. The noise levels are also considered very quiet, though we’d always recommend some good music to stick on your headphones or at least take your training session out on the patio/another room if others are nearby (mountain bike treads will always create a bit more noise). The stand is also easily fold-able, so can be stored away through those good weather months!

Definitely one to consider!

See the latest deal for the Soozier Indoor Bike Trainer Stand on Amazon

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All in all, the three stationary bike trainers above are ALL excellent value and each is an excellent option. You really can’t go wrong with any of them, and your training sessions are about to get started on the right foot (or pedal…)!

More trainers that just missed out on making this list because they’re a few dollars above the $80 limit is the bestselling Sportneer magnetic trainer, the great value Graber Mag trainer, well worth checking out, the superb Bike Lane Pro trainer, the Minoura B60D trainer, the Akonza Magnet Steel trainer, and the new kid on the block, the Ohuhu Magnet trainer, another excellent option that just hovers around the $80 zone…!

The Cycleops Fluid 2 Indoor Bike Trainer: one of the best in the business!

Cycleops Fluid 2 Trainer

As highlighted throughout this site, I have tried and tested a few different bike trainers, but the Cycleops Fluid 2 Indoor Bicycle Trainer is definitely one of the best stationary bike trainers I have ever tried (well, that is until I recently discovered the amazing CycleOps Silencer!).

For starters, this Cycleops bike trainer is one of the quietest bicycle trainers I’ve ever worked on! If you’ve ever used a lower-end bike trainer, you’ll be familiar with the annoying and sometimes deafening whirr they produce. You might save a bit on the cost, but your eardrums of your closest friends and family will suffer, trust me!

You don’t get such noise with the Cycleops Fluid 2 bike trainer. That’s important to me because I frequently train at night after work and don’t want to disturb the sleep of my wife and kids. Even when I’m pedaling my hardest, this bike trainer runs quietly. And yes, the low noise level allows me to place the stationary trainer in my living room and train while my family watches television – good eh?!

It is such an unobtrusive presence that my kids are more likely to be disturbed by my panting and gasping (yes, I do try and burn some calories!) as I train than by any noise emitted by the trainer.

In addition, while no indoor bike trainer can ever fully capture the joy of outdoor riding, the Cycleops Fluid Indoor Trainer comes closer than most with an extremely realistic cycling experience. When I first used the trainer, it became immediately apparent to me that the Cycleops designers had put a massive amount of thought and effort into simulating outdoor cycling because the resistance provided by the trainer was extremely similar to that provided by tarmac roads. This allows me to practice my outdoor riding skills in the safety of my home while rain, snow or hail pours down outside.

Summary of the Fluid 2’s Main Features

Here’s a quick summary of the main features that might wow you:

  • The Fluid 2 Trainer is one of the best ways to stay in great condition during the off season
  • A new larger flywheel delivers a true road-like experience, with twice the inertia (read all about the resistance technology from CycleOps here)
  • Power band technology means you have a wide resistance range to work with
  • An infinite resistance curve ensures increased wattage as you increase speed
  • The Fluid 2’s self-cooling mechanisms keep the unit performing better and for longer
  • Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
  • Dimensions: 23 x 22 x 7 inches, and it weighs 11.5 pounds

Pros and Cons of the Cycleops Fluid 2 Trainer

The only thing I didn’t like about this Cycleops bike trainer was the vague set-up instructions. I’ve never been a very hands-on person, so assembling the trainer gave me a real headache. This gave me an opportunity to experience Cycleops’ renowned customer service for myself. I called customer support for assistance on setting up the trainer and they were very forthcoming with advice. The patient and helpful customer support officer talked me through the product assembly step by step and with their guidance, the whole process took me only five minutes to complete. In short, the exemplary customer service more than made up for the slightly ambiguous set-up instructions.

After purchasing the Cycleops Fluid Indoor Bike Trainer a few months back, it has now become my training method of choice for rainy days. It allows me to keep my fitness level up in the off-season so that I’m raring to go once cycling season starts again.

Worth the high price tag?

Highly recommended, because despite that relatively high price tag (around $300), it really is one of the best in the business. It also makes our list of the Top 5 bike trainers for 2018, but it is serious competition for one of the top end choices included on that list, the Kinetic Kurt Rock n Roll Trainer. Alternatively, check out the awesome technology of the SuperMagneto Pro from CycleOps – it comes in at around $400, but is a great ride!

Click below to save yourself 10% on the regular price over on Amazon!

3 killer ways your indoor trainer can help you lose weight!

indoor bike trainer losing weightOK, the health benefits of cycling are well-documented – higher muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness levels, better blood circulation and yes, effective weight loss.

This last benefit is a particularly important one, given that those of us a little overweight are more statistically likely to develop a whole host of ailments ranging from diabetes and high blood pressure to kidney failure and heart disease. So yes, keeping the pounds off is vital in a world that seems intent on feeding us food that is ever higher in fats and sugar.

SEE ALSO: FIVE awesome nutritional tricks for cyclists, EIGHT ways to get the MAX out of your indoor training sessions, and Ride early in the morning if you want to stay lean and sexy!

One of the most effective and efficient ways to burn those nasty, evil calories is with a bicycle – and an even better way of losing those pounds during the winter months is with an indoor bike trainer. Indoor trainers are superb in assisting you squeeze in fat-burning workouts whenever you can, regardless of what the elements are throwing at us outside.

We’ve dug a little deeper into this topic ourselves, as we’ve been down the road of trying to effectively lose weight, so here are THREE killer tips that worked for us and will hopefully do the same for you if you’re looking to turn your saggy waistline into a solid six-pack.

TIP 1: Exercise at 50-60% of your maximum capacity 

Imagine a spectrum that measures physical effort from levels 1 to 10, 1 being a slow stroll and 10 being “so exhausted you can barely walk”.

It may seem intuitive to cycle at levels 8 to 10 as they would appear to be the most effective in burning calories.

However, the “effectiveness” of a given workout depends on your fitness goals. Cycling at high intensity may be good for building cardiovascular fitness, but if fat-burning is your aim, it’s best to cycle at low to moderate intensity (somewhere between levels 4 to 6).

A good gauge is whether you can maintain a conversation throughout the session. This encourages your body to burn lipids rather than muscle and as an added bonus, leaves you less sore the next day so you can work out more often for faster results.

A golden tip for ensuring your trainer helps in your quest to lose weight: tweak the resistance!

TIP 2: Try interval training

Interval training involves alternating high and low intensity training within a single workout.

That could involve a 30 second sprint on your indoor trainer, followed by a minute of brisk strolling (say at level 4 on the spectrum we discussed above). This 90-second workout forms a single interval. If you perform 10 to 15 of these intervals in one training session, your fat-burning engine is sent into overdrive.

According to studies, HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is far more efficient at fat-burning because it sends your metabolism through the roof for up to 24 hours after your workout, ensuring your body is constantly zapping away at your excess fat.

TIP 3: Mix it up!

Invest in a decent indoor bike trainer that comes with adjustable resistance (even better, go with one of these and never worry about resistance again!), as this will give you a myriad of options with which to vary your training.

After a few weeks of interval training, your body might adjust and your weight loss might start to plateau. Switch it up with long endurance sessions at very high resistance but low speeds. Keep your body guessing, and you’ll consistently get results with your fat loss goals.

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With these 3 killer tips and a trusty bike trainer, that extra tire will be gone in no time at all!

Good Luck and Happy Riding!

See Also: The 5 BEST bike trainers of 2018

The ULTIMATE guide to bike trainers and accessories this winter

winterbikerideIt’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 (or just take a little look at the 5 best trainers we recommend for Christmas) – 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!

Why you need to buy a smart indoor trainer

kurt kinetic rock n roll smartWith the onslaught of winter getting ever closer, it’s time to take a look at the options around for enhancing our workout regime  – yes, it’s time for a look at the smart indoor trainer!

We created this site a couple of years ago to compile all the research we’d previously done on the old standard indoor trainers – and heck, it was a lot of research! From the old-timer classic from Kurt Kinetic, to the once popular Forza F2, we’d tested and reviewed a whole ton of rides. And with fellow cyclist friends wanting the lowdown on what indoor trainer to buy, the site helped more than a few people out!

But progress is progress, and the technological advancements we’ve seen over the last 3-4 years throughout a whole bunch of industries has also moved in on the world of indoor trainers. And yep, the latest and greatest stationary bike stands now come in an amazing smart version!

>>> READ: Some of the best smart home trainers make our 2018 “BEST OF” list

Smart indoor trainers are wonderful; they are now the most modern kind of workout equipment around for cyclists and, in my opinion, worth every dollar spent. They don’t come cheap, although the tremendous value you get with the Tacx Vortex Smart Trainer is definitely worth considering if you’re on a budget or just not sure of the benefits of splashing out on a top-of-the-range smart home trainer. Then again, the upgraded Kinetic Road Machine smart trainer checks in at less than $300, well worth considering.

To be able to give you an idea of what smart indoor trainers are all about, let’s take a look at what smart trainers are all about and some killer reasons that will have you reaching for the BUY button in a flash!

What makes a smart trainer so, er, smart?

So, still wondering what a smart indoor trainer actually does??

Basically, a smart indoor trainer provides wireless connectivity that enables it to be paired with a variety of smart apps and devices (we’re talking iPads and the like).

Typically using technology like Bluetooth 4.0 (Smart or Low energy) or ANT+, these trainers can be remotely connected to a cycling computer, a tablet or any other device that can display your workout data in real time.

This means that in addition to recording the ride from your one hour session, where you are getting critical performance data like speed, distance, cadence, and power in some cases, you are also able to experience some truly structured training sessions, interactive videos and even the ability to take on riders online (with programs like Zwift)!

Smart trainers provide the opportunity to really hone in on your efficiency – they also open up a whole world of additional features, depending on the type of the trainer you use – and your budget.

Some truly wonderful long-term benefits of using a Smart Indoor Trainer

Smart home trainers are advanced but definitely not beyond a beginner indoor cyclist.

Below we’ve compiled a little list of the advantages of actually adding one to your cycling workouts.

Regulates control of ERG mode on smart trainers

The software or app you use to work with your trainer can help control the ERG mode for many trainers (see this great video for more details of what ERG modes are all about) in a highly effective manner. So, this basically means you have a great workout about to rock your training sessions, since the ERG setting you define on the trainer (for example, 300 watts) can be locked in, and your smart trainer software will do some adjustments and tweaking to make sure you keep on pedaling to the max. This can have a great impact on your training and your upward curve to fitness greatness!

Uses robust technology

Being a fairly new innovation in the world of indoor trainers, smart trainers have been created with some top-notch materials and components. They are also even more durable than the standard trainers out there. Running on ANT+FE-C capability, smart trainers are also able to provide a number of awesome techie features, including speed sensoring, and heart-rate monitoring to name a few. Smart trainers are here to stay baby, and don’t be worrying about having to replace them every couple of years…

Prevents tires from wearing out

Many smart trainers still come with the standard rear skewer attachment process, but be aware that some smart trainers also come with a “wheel-off” option. These types of trainers are known as direct drive trainers, and enable you to remove your bike’s back tire, which ensures that it won’t wear out no matter how much you use your equipment. This allows you to work-out as much as you want without wearing out too many tires (except for training slicks now and again, but of course, this depends on how often and how hard you train).

No more boring workout sessions

The typical smart trainer has the ability to give you a truly supreme ride experience! Once paired with the right software, you can battle it out with friends or with others from around the world on life-like tour courses (for example, when using Zwift). Of course, you can also do this with non-smart trainers, you just won’t get the realistic ride you get with a smart trainer, when climbing a hill for example.  

Plan your workout ahead of time

Download the correct apps or smart software and you’ll be able to program your workout for whenever you have free time. You can add in all the details of the workout you prefer and simply start the program and do your workout without having to consciously think about it while pedaling away. This gives you an opportunity to do other things while you are working out – like reading a book or watching some shows, as your workout program has already been programmed into your trainer!

Great value for money

In reality, more traditional (read: not smart) models are more affordable (some great options even come for under $80) but when you think about all the added benefits and features of smart home trainers, you can see they are in fact, priced quite reasonably. Of course, yes, having a smart indoor trainer in your home would definitely elevate your indoor workout experience, and perhaps even bring your motivation to a whole new level!

>>> READ: 3 of the best smart home trainers make our 2018 “BEST OF” list

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!