Ride All Year with a Bike Trainer

November 30, 2021
Woman Riding A Specialized Road Bike On A Tacx Indoor Bike Trainer in Edmonton Canada
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Keep Riding, Even Indoors!

The days will inevitably get shorter, colder, and harsher. As a bike rider, it can be tough to get yourself excited for a morning ride when the mercury keeps dropping. If you want to keep warm and keep the pedals pumping, a bike trainer might be perfect for you! From the simplest to the most elaborate setups, we have a bike trainer to suit your indoor riding needs!


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Train with your existing bike

The simplest form of bike trainer is the on wheel trainer. These trainers attach to the rear wheel of your existing bike, so you can turn your bike into an indoor riding machine in no time! While you can't simulate the rolling terrain of an outdoor bike ride - it does afford you the opportunity to make yourself a stronger bike rider while also building all the endurance you need to conquer the steepest hill (whether it's real or virtual). You have options for your wheel-on setup! Magnetic trainers allow you to manually control resistance with a lever that mounts on your handlebars, while fluid trainers offer more intuitive, organic resistance at a slightly higher price point.

United tip: Install a special "trainer tire" for your wheel-on trainer to save your regular bike tires

Direct drive trainers

The next phase of bike training is a direct drive trainer. This category of trainer allows you to remove the back wheel of your existing bike to amp up your training experience! These trainers use a specialized flywheel that can simulate the real inertia of stopping and starting on a bike. They also come with the added benefit of flexibility - you just need to reinstall your tire to get back to outdoor riding as opposed to installing a special trainer tire for an on wheel trainer.

Smart bike trainers

Functionally, smart trainers are very similar to direct drive trainers, but they carry the added benefit of connectivity. Apps like Zwift are compatible with smart trainers and allow real-time data tracking for your ride! The trainer can adjust resistance and even vary elevation on the fly to truly simulate the most relaxing or most difficult outdoor rides.

Complete smart bikes

The true top-of-the-line indoor riding experience! A smart bike combines the immersion of a bike trainer with the ease of use of a stationary bike. These trainers can stand on their own - so there's no need for you to attach your own bike! They also feature extensive customization options so they can emulate the feel of your own bike down to the most specific details such as brake hoods and crank arm settings. Along with the ability to mimic many different types of terrain and elevations, smart bikes truly make for one of the most immersive indoor riding experiences!

Stationary bikes

Stationary bikes offer the ability to set up a permanent indoor biking station for your home gym. While they don't offer the same range of features and the ability to perfectly simulate a bike ride like a bike trainer, they are simpler to set up and allow you to keep your bike intact in case you want to ride outdoors as well. These bikes come in three distinct varieties: 

  • Exercise bikes: your standard upright bike. These bikes have you sitting in an upright position with dials to control for resistance during your ride. 
  •  Recumbent exercise bikes: these bikes are ideal for people who have joint pain or find upright exercise bikes uncomfortable. The rider sits in a more reclined position that takes stress away from their shoulders, back, and sit bones. 
  • Spin bikes: these bikes are great for riders who want to partake in more intense virtual rides or do virtual spin classes from home. They can be ridden in a traditional upright position, a standing position, and even a bent over position for those riders who really want to dig deep and simulate an intense ride. These types of stationary bikes also tend to have places to secure your phone or tablet so you can follow along with a virtual class or chart your progress with riding apps like Zwift. 

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