Introduction- Do Bike Trainers Work With Any Bike?
Even though we love hitting the road and testing our limits outdoors, we must keep ourselves inside on several occasions. Still, these limitations are not enough to keep us off our rides, and the solution to continue to train is just around the corner.
Generally, bike trainers are able to work with any bike. However, you would first have to set them up by following the manufacturer’s instructions. These usually include things like front wheel blocks and a skewer for the rear wheel.
Bike trainers provide the commodity of exercising in the comfort of our house, making it as similar as possible to outside riding. But before you rush and get one for yourself, there are some things to learn about them.
Are Indoor Trainers Bad for Your Bike?
Bike trainers have been criticized throughout time for being a hazard for your ride. Theories were commonly based on the idea that indoor cycling was “unnatural,” especially in carbon frame rides.
Despite the fact that this idea was discarded, there are several facts to take into account, provided you practice indoor training very often.
There are three main parts of your bike that require special attention when using an indoor trainer.
In the first place, your rear skewer will have to cope with more stress as opposed to regular cycling. This is because your rear wheel is lying on a surface it was not prepared to be on.
Secondly, and following the same logic, your rear wheel can also get damaged. Remember, the friction and resistance inflicted on it are different from regular cycling, too.
Lastly, your front wheel is fixed when cycling on a trainer. This may lead to tire deformations and spoke damaging.
Fortunately, all of the above-mentioned potential issues when using a bike trainer require a lot of time to happen. Besides, there is no need to worry. They can be easily prevented from happening to your ride by following some simple steps.
Using a steel skewer will provide better resistance. Most trainers come along with one, so buying one for your ride may not even be necessary.
Regarding your rear wheel, there are some made of special rubber and tread for this type of activity. As for your front wheel and spokes, harm can be prevented by rotating it every now and then.
Are Indoor Bike Trainers Worth the Investment?
This is a question almost all cyclists ask themselves when faced with the alternative of acquiring a bike trainer. Aversion towards indoor cycling is not rare, so do not worry if it also happened to you.
Nevertheless, there are some advantages bike trainers have to offer, and that may be of help depending on your own situation.
- Time efficiency. Bike trainers provide an hour-long ride in a matter of seconds. Setting them up is quite an easy and quick task, and you can be riding in the comfort of your house in no time. Besides, should anything happen during your training that may require you to stop, you will always be available to attend to it in seconds.
- Indoor cycling is also a good option regarding your safety and that of the little ones with you. A bike trainer provides a traffic-free ride, with no need to pay attention to any other menacing vehicles around you. Just hop on, pedal as long as you want, and even watch your favorite show if you want!
- No rain-checks. Weather conditions become an obsolete factor when using an indoor bike trainer. Depending on where you live, harsh weather may limit your cycling and, thus, your training. This would not be a problem anymore should you get a bike trainer, and your training would not have to be interrupted because of severe or cold weather.
So, all in all, getting a bike trainer is a good idea. Still, we are aware that indoor cycling is not the same as going out for a ride. So, whether acquiring a trainer is worth the investment or not depends solely on your situation.
Fortunately, there is a wide variety of prices and models available, so your expenses can also match your budget and needs.
What is the best indoor bike trainer?
This video explains more about the different types of bike trainers (credits to MichaelsWorldTV):
As previously mentioned, there are different models and types of bike trainers for you to choose from. These are divided into three big groups: Direct drive, friction trainers, and rollers. Each one of them comes with its own pros and cons and varies in cost, too.
To help you decide, we chose the best ones of each type so you can check which one suits you and your ride the best.
Firstly, and referring to direct drive bike trainers, we chose the Kinetic R1 model. This trainer offers a side-to-side movement, which does justice to its “Rock-n-Roll” definition.
It is compatible with many power meter apps, so you can keep a record of your different performances. Its quietness is also an advantage, for you will not realize you are riding indoors if you close your eyes. Coincidentally, some users claimed that this side-to-side movement characteristic might not be as comfortable as it may seem.
Secondly, in the friction trainer field, the Yaheetech Magnetic Bike Trainer is a good option. With a much lower cost when compared to any direct drive trainer, this device is relatively well-built . On the negative side, it may come across as a little loud due to the friction.
Last but surely not least, when talking about roller trainers, we tend to choose the Elite Nero Interactive Rollers. With a progressive and adjustable resistance, this roller trainer also provides a sliding movement. By gently moving backward and forward, it resembles the sensation of riding outdoors. As a con, we can point out that, as it usually happens with roller trainers, it requires balance and focus while riding.