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  1. #1
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    Good winter trainers?

    Hi all,

    First off, this is a great site and quite motivating too!

    I started biking again this July and feel good about the progress I have made so far but I am getting nervous about winter. Typically, my winter consists of eating, beer and t.v. and I don't want to fall into that again.

    I live in Minnesota and am not much of a fan of the frigid temps. Do any of you recommend a good bike trainer? I currently weigh 260 lbs and ride a a Cannondale Bad boy.

    Thanks!
    Sean

  2. #2
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I bought a used set of rollers off of the local craigslist web site for $50.00 and they were great. I like the rollers, because that makes me concentrate on riding, and not just spinning the rear tire. The larger the roller size the better also from what I have read.
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    THanks for the info! I am very much a newbie as far as trainers go, is there a brand that is better than another? When you say rollers, what is that exactly? Everything I have seen so far is for just the rear wheel.

    Thanks again,
    SEan

  4. #4
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    I bought a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine from REI during their last 20% off sale. It was one of the best-rated fluid trainers; lots of people with CycleOps trainers reported leaking, which I didn't want to deal with. Setup is pretty easy and the unit provides pretty realistic resistance. I think it's a bit loud, but it's much quieter than anything else I've seen or heard.

    There are a couple of things to realize about trainers: 1) they're boring as Hell, and 2) if you set them up inside, there won't be any wind to help keep you cool so you'll sweat all over the place. While I can easily spend 3-4 hours on the bike riding outdoors, I get pretty bored after only 30-40 minutes on the trainer...

  5. #5
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    These are trainers:
    http://www.bikesomewhere.com/images/...MAGCONCEPT.jpg

    They are great for indoor bike training, however they get boring quickly and they make you lazy (as you don't have to steer or balance.


    These are rollers:
    http://www.bikyle.com/images/EliteParbolicRoller.jpg

    Rollers force you to balance, steer as well as the standard pedaling you do on a trainer... it's better for training as you don't get lazy and just pedal. It forces you to balance yourself and steer properly. The downside is that it's a bit dangerous as you can fall off and it's got quite a learning curve in getting on and getting started.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    I prefer going to group spinning classes at the gym, and doing some cross-training during the winter. Spin classes tend to be geared only towards interval training at my gym, so you don't get as much saddle time like you do when you really ride outside. Cross training at things like weight lifting, doing lots of core exercises, etc. helps me prevent injuries during the next cycling season too. Besides, switching things up makes it a lot less boring...


  7. #7
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    If you go the roller route, put the rollers in a door frame when you first start out. It makes it easier to mount the bike, and also you can put your hands in the door way if you want to stop easily. Others will put it next to a couch or something solid, so they can put their hand down to stop.

    I fell off once and that was when I went too far to the right and ran over the roller cable and it knocked the cable off of the roller and I went forward. The cable is basically a huge o-ring.
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  8. #8
    Lanterne Rouge
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    Get gloves, get winter gear and lights, and ride through.

    Trainers suck.

    Rollers suck, with the added benefit of allowing you to fall down, and not giving much resistance.

    If you think "it's too nasty out to ride", check out arcticglass.blogspot.com and then come back and tell me that with a straight face.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member piper_chuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    There are a couple of things to realize about trainers: 1) they're boring as Hell, and 2) if you set them up inside, there won't be any wind to help keep you cool so you'll sweat all over the place. While I can easily spend 3-4 hours on the bike riding outdoors, I get pretty bored after only 30-40 minutes on the trainer...
    Spend $10-15 on a box fan and put it on a chair in front of you. That'll give you some breeze. Ditto on the boredom. Listening to music, watching TV, or something interesting helps, but it's still tedious.
    Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?

  10. #10
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I also have the Kurt Kinetic, and add that it is boring. I have had it for a couple of seasons with minimal use.

    The Kinetic is (as I recall) rated for tandem usage, which as a clydesdale is why I decided on it as my choice.
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  11. #11
    VoodooChile zoste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superslomo View Post
    Get gloves, get winter gear and lights, and ride through.

    Trainers suck.

    Rollers suck, with the added benefit of allowing you to fall down, and not giving much resistance.

    If you think "it's too nasty out to ride", check out arcticglass.blogspot.com and then come back and tell me that with a straight face.

    This is my plan for the upcoming winter, too. I've been going out every morning all summer at 5 am and for the last few weeks it has been before sunrise, so I have already invested in lights.
    Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

  12. #12
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I don't think rollers are fun, but if you are wanting to keep biking during the winter without freezing, the rollers are ok. I usually put in a DVD movie and watch that while riding my rolllers. I did the Bourne Century last winter, to put some miles on on a weekend day while it snowed all day long.

    I will put in a DVD ride for whatever miles I want and then do something else. It is great exercise and being on rollers is a good thing for improving your riding skills and there is resisitance, because if I stop pedaling, the bike stops in less than two seconds. It is not like coasting on the road, you always have to pedal.
    2007 Jamis Ventura Comp
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    Thanks for all the information! I guess I have a lot to consider.

    I wish I could drag myself out there and bike outside in the winter, I just always peter out. It isn't the cold, it is the inability to move!! I feel like I am always skidding around. Maybe I should check out the winter biking forum to see how people set up their bikes for the winter..

  14. #14
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I do agree heavily with cross training. Swimming is great, jogging/running/walking/elliptical is great as long as you get your heart rate up. Lifting weights is also a very good thing to consider. If you work hard at lifting your heart rate will also go up. You can do many different cross training or alternative training when you are not biking.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Zoxe's Avatar
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    We have considered getting a lower end bowflex (or similar) for this fall/winter. Cold doesn't bother me, but riding in cold rain does, and we get a lot of that around here in Nov/Dec. I would like to tone up a bit anyway and do NOT see myself making use of a local gym. The main thing I struggle with (besides the inital cost) is the space required.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by puckpack View Post
    Hi all,

    First off, this is a great site and quite motivating too!

    I started biking again this July and feel good about the progress I have made so far but I am getting nervous about winter. Typically, my winter consists of eating, beer and t.v. and I don't want to fall into that again.

    I live in Minnesota and am not much of a fan of the frigid temps. Do any of you recommend a good bike trainer? I currently weigh 260 lbs and ride a a Cannondale Bad boy.

    Thanks!
    Sean
    Come on down to Texas.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    A little off topic, but close enough not to start another thread. How do stationary bikes compare to a trainer. I realize with a roller there is balance and a smooth cycling motion can be worked on, but a trainer vs a stationalry bike?

  18. #18
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbikingman View Post
    A little off topic, but close enough not to start another thread. How do stationary bikes compare to a trainer. I realize with a roller there is balance and a smooth cycling motion can be worked on, but a trainer vs a stationalry bike?
    There are lots of different stationary bikes. But most put you in an upright position
    that works somewhat different muscles than if you were riding. They're not bad, but not ideal, either.
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  19. #19
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoxe View Post
    We have considered getting a lower end bowflex (or similar) for this fall/winter. Cold doesn't bother me, but riding in cold rain does, and we get a lot of that around here in Nov/Dec. I would like to tone up a bit anyway and do NOT see myself making use of a local gym. The main thing I struggle with (besides the inital cost) is the space required.

    Why would you not use a local gym or YMCA or community center?

    Most of them have a lot of money in equipment that is available to give you great cross training. Just curious.

    If you are looking for used equipment. Go on your local craigslist.org site. They are for sale all the time, as the equipment is usually just a dust collector.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Jay68442's Avatar
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    Really any trainer will work if you use it. I picked up one last year on sale at my LBS but only used it twice. I just could not get motivated when riding indoors. Even with dvd's and so on, it just was not for me. The recommendation for placing a fan in front of you is a good one though. This year I will be investing my money in winter cycling gear.
    If you look for the truth outside yourself, it gets farther and farther away. ~ Tung-Shan

  21. #21
    Senior Member HuffyMan's Avatar
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    I have a set of Minoura rollers with a resistance attachement. They work fine and really help in holding your line on the road. It's boring as others have said but what stationary exercise isn't. I'm going to try and extend my season this year by getting more cold weather clothing and going for it.
    When it snows, although not often I'll break out the rollers again.
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  22. #22
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    In trainer versus stationary cycle, I don't think there is even a contest.

    Stationary cycles are for people that don't have bikes to put on trainers... and they don't get any extra use. The one potential advantage if you spend enough money, and it motivates you is the training programs on the higher end ones. I did find that the ones in the gyms would get me motivated, when I would drag myself to the gym to get on it.

    My brother has a really nice stationary bike that gathers dust as nicely as my trainer does.

    The reason I say they don't compare, is your bike fits you, you know you like to ride it, you know the way it fits... why go through all the effort to do the same for a stationary bike too... plus as someone mentioned, they are all either semi-recumbent or completely upright... which is only good if it matches your riding style.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Zoxe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flip18436572 View Post
    Why would you not use a local gym or YMCA or community center?

    Most of them have a lot of money in equipment that is available to give you great cross training. Just curious.
    The short version is that I have an aversion to gym jocks after some unfortunate comments while lifting free weights in college with my roommate. Although it's been awhile, the stigma is still there.

    Because of that, I think that home equipment would be less dusty than a gym membership. If I bought a membership, I'm afraid I'll find lots of excuses not to make use of it.

    Beyond that, the biggest thing that's kept me riding is having Mrs. Zoxe there. The days she doesn't feel like going, I get us up and ready ... and vice versa. We've talked about getting free weights or a bowflex and putting them alongside a stationary bike to continue the buddy-system motivation when the weather is crappy.

    When we get ready to buy, I'll definitely be checking CL. Thanks for that!

    // Zoxe

  24. #24
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I used to be the same way towards the gym in my thinking. Then I decided "what the #uck" and started walking and lifting. Then elliptical, then jogging, then interval training, then bicycles, I have lost over 125 pounds and have more fat to lose. That is why I am asking. I can't work out with my wife, so you have the motivation that is working for you.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoxe View Post
    The short version is that I have an aversion to gym jocks after some unfortunate comments while lifting free weights in college with my roommate. Although it's been awhile, the stigma is still there.

    Because of that, I think that home equipment would be less dusty than a gym membership. If I bought a membership, I'm afraid I'll find lots of excuses not to make use of it.

    Beyond that, the biggest thing that's kept me riding is having Mrs. Zoxe there. The days she doesn't feel like going, I get us up and ready ... and vice versa. We've talked about getting free weights or a bowflex and putting them alongside a stationary bike to continue the buddy-system motivation when the weather is crappy.

    When we get ready to buy, I'll definitely be checking CL. Thanks for that!

    // Zoxe
    That is to bad. Just some insecure meathead. I found the same sort of mentality at some gyms too. The YMCA around here is very family oriented and they have people of all abilities there.

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