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Training Riders - what's the deali-O ?(13 posts)

Training Riders - what's the deali-O ?Delia
May 21, 2001 7:30 AM
I hate the weather here in Chicago! I don't mean to whine but it really isn't conducive to cycling! It's rainy and cold and will be like that all week. So my question to all you brains out there is "What's a training rider"...I mean I think I know what it is i.e. something to place your bike on so that you can 'ride' indoors...transforming your road bike into a stationary one. Am I close? How effective is it in training. I know nothing beats the road but is it worth the investment? I run a lot especially when I can't ride, but I'm getting kind of bored with just running. So I guess what I'm asking is: is 'a training rider' a feasible alternative to just moving some place with better weather. If so, what are the pros and cons.
May 21, 2001 8:04 AM
There are basically two types of indoor trainers.
1) Rollers: a set of small cylinders approx 3 inch in diameter and about 2 feet long that one can ride their bike on. The rear wheel sits on/between two of the rollers with the front wheel on the remaining roller. This most nearly mimics riding out doors, but takes a fair amount of skill, I've heard of riders falling off and crashing.
2)Stands: A small frame that clamps on the out side of the rear axle, with a small cylinder that contacts the rear wheel. These generally have a resistance unit to vary the load.
Check out Performance's web site ( )and look for indoor trainers to see pictures.
If you do get one of these prepare yourself for a great deal of boredom. Many people set up in front of the tv and watch videos to relieve to boredom. My personal preference is to join a gym where on these days I can go and lift weights and/or do some type of cardio work. I have a trainer stand which usually just collects dust since I've joined my gym.
Stationary TrainerSpoke Wrench
May 21, 2001 8:08 AM
You're on the track. In their simplest form trainers consist of a rear axle support, a roller, and some kind of resistance generator. Expect to pay between $200.00 and $300.00 for a reasonable quality unit. Indoor trainers have two basic drawbacks:

1. They can be BOREING. Go to the "Y" or to a health club. Notice how few people decide to "go a little longer" when the timer bell rings. One way to beat the boredom is to structure an interval workout. "Spinning" classes, for example, are a pretty tough workout that goes pretty fast.

2. SWEAT. You're standing still so you don't have any air blowing over you. You are going to make a puddle on the floor. Be sure to clean off your bicycle afterward to prevent corrosion.
Stationary Trainerpeloton
May 21, 2001 9:23 AM
A stationary trainer will allow you to use your own bike as a stationary bike. The biggest negative that I can see is that, well, you are on a stationary bike. You will need a TV or radio nearby, or you will be bored out of your mind after 15 minutes. Of the stationary trainers on the market, you will find three kinds. The first are wind trainers. Wind trainers mimic the 'feel' of the road very well, but are very noisy. The second are fluid trainers. Fluid trainers also have a good road feel, and are very quiet. Some models are prone to leaking their fluid though. I would reccomend a good one like a Volare Elite or Cycleops fluid for reliability. The third category is magnetic trainers. Mag trainers are also quiet, but the resistance that they provide is low. You can spin them out pretty easy.

My favorite of the three is the fluid trainer. Good resistance and road feel, but quiet enough that I don't have to even turn up the volume on my tv or radio. I would also reccomend that you get a fan and aim it directly at you. It will help keep you cool, and keep your heartrate down. I've had good luck with Volare's fluid trainers.

You also have rollers as an option. Rollers are good for working on balance and a smooth pedal stroke. You can fall off of rollers though, so there is a learning curve. They also aren't much good for doing any interval work on. If you want to pedal hard, a trainer is your best bet. If you can only have one or the other, I think a trainer is the more versatile option.
re: Stationary TrainerHaiku d'état
May 21, 2001 1:47 PM
1. try loud music. this is my time to get away from the at-home rat race: housework, pitter-patter of litte feet, you get the picture. sooner or later, i'm going to move the old tv/vcr set into the garage and watch past-year tour tapes to fuel my trainer workouts.

2. blackburn sweatnet. works like they claim.

I bought a trainer and believe that128
May 21, 2001 9:25 AM
it's great for serious cyclists who want to stay in form over heavy weather periods. I bought the Cyclops wind resistance trainer and used it alot but it is among the most fantasically boring exercises you will ever encounter short of watching luggage come in at the airport. I believe the trainer is sometimes purchased by those, like me, with an excess of neophyte enthusiasm who come to quickly learn (three months over this past winter) that my time and energy was better spent elsewise. i.e. I really like running in weather so I would try to do that instead, doing 748 million crunches was more enjoyable and better calorie burn that 30 curiously timeless minutes on the purgatory trainer. Really, the trainer is great, but I just found better stuff to do to reach my personal fitness goals during the dark cold time,...And, ya know, honestly, I kinda felt like I was just spinning my wheels...
I imagine it's indispensible for advanced or serious riders and I will keep it and use it, but as a more cross-trainer, intermediate cyclist with no no plans to be competitive I'm sure I could live without the dasterdly thing.
I run, play ultimate frisbee, cycle and do some lifting....
re: Training Riders - what's the deali-O ?Len J
May 21, 2001 9:41 AM
Indoor training is the most boring activity I can think of, as others have said. Spinning classes work best for me. Good company, good motivation & you sometimes meet people you will end up riding with.

That being said, I have rollers with a fluid resistance attachment. I also have an attachment that supports the front wheel for when I want to work extra hard. During the winter I try to alternate.

Find what works for you.

p.s. a large fan works somewhat on the sweat problem.
Solutions to boredom:Lazy
May 21, 2001 11:55 AM
1. Old racing videos. Fairly standard tactic. As someone (I believe it was one of our Minnesotan cohorts) warned though, be careful using these on rollers since the next turn taken by the peloton could send you crashing into the wall. These are fun. In fact, I almost beat Lance up to Sestrieres earlier this year! LOL

2. Spinervals ( They're workout videos for cyclists. Very good!!! You will sweat your arse off, and they're structured for a specific work out. I have three of them. Highly recommended.
One more answer.9WorCP
May 21, 2001 12:04 PM
Everything these guys have said is pretty much true. I'd just like to add that magnetic resistance can be very noisy as well. I got a fairly cheap blackburn "track stand" for $150 and my cats hate it worse than the vacuum cleaner. Try to get a test ride if you can.
To get better at cycling you have to do exercises that involve pedaling. Weights can be an excellent complement to cycling but there is no substitute to spinning. Indoor training can be very effective but it takes dedication. Rollers smooth out you spin and adds finesse to your balancing capabilities, while the stands definitely give better resistance which, of course, is the best for your strengthening and conditioning. They are both most effective during winter so that you don't lose all of your conditioning before spring. A necessary evil for the cycling crazed.

PS. I would think this would be the time to hunt for bargains.
PPS. Its not that bad.
Do be do be do -- beware the penguins !Delia
May 21, 2001 12:42 PM
Yes. I agree that it doesn't sound like the most exciting way to train but I think I'll give it a try. I already belong to a gym which I use extensively during the winter. It might be wierd but I actually look forward to my 40 minute runs on the treadmill where I can crank my music and get lost in my head. I think that's kinda what I like about biking. It's about focus and concentration and yet at the same time it frees you from focusing and concentrating on the busy-ness of the day. I won't do it every day of course, only when it's crappy out and I don't want to run on the treadmill. Where's a good place to look for one?
Do be do be do -- beware the penguins !4bykn
May 21, 2001 2:09 PM
Bike shops tend to be expensive on these items from my experience, try Performance or Nashbar or any of the other catalog/internet dealers. My recommendation is . there may be sales on these this time of the year as everyone is riding outside, except for this week according to the weather channel.
Do be do be do -- beware the penguins !Andy V
May 21, 2001 3:13 PM
I recently bought an indoor trainer, a Cycleops Fluid Squared trainer. After alot of online research, this is the unit most people seem to recommend. I also highly recommend it. It's very quiet and offers alot or resistance. seems to have the best price for it ($230 as of today). Good Luck.
Don't forget rollers.bill
May 21, 2001 4:51 PM
I seem to be one of the more consistent boosters of these as training tools. Everyone seems to acknowledge rollers' place as skill-builders, but people tend to dispute their workout value.
When you are in the 53 chain ring and an 11 or 12 cog, spinning madly at 110 plus, you are working I don't care what anyone says. Now, you can't do the 50 rpm strength-training stuff, because you need to keep your wheels spinning pretty good for the gyroscope effect to keep you on the damn things as well as because of the lack of resistance (the resistance is mostly from tire deflection; if your wheels aren't turning, there is not much resistance), but they're pretty good otherwise.