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    Senior Member Aahzz's Avatar
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    Trainer or Exercise Bike - pros and cons?

    While I know I could ride in the rain or bad weather, I generally hate it - so, am looking for an indoor solution for those days I won't go out riding, to avoid using weather as an excuse to return to my former couch potato ways. I am considering either a trainer or an exercise bike - obviously, the trainer has the pro of being my bike, that I'm used to, but what are your experiences with either or both?

    Thanks!

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    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Indoor trainers bend time and space with their massive boringness. One minute of on-the-trainer time amounts to about an hour of normal time, sort of like moving at the speed of light. Rollers are just as bad. Honestly, riding in the rain is much less terrible.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    Senior Member Aahzz's Avatar
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    I don't mind indoor training if I throw a movie on - a good movie makes time on an exercise machine fly, in my past experience

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    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    I have a Kurt Kinetics Road Machine Trainer and It's great. I can take my bike off or on it in 20 seconds. The bike is already fitted to me. I have gears ect. It also makes a nice stand for working on the bike. I've heard good reports about the Cycleops Fluid also. Most people say the wind resistance units are too loud to watch TV or Listen to Stereo.
    Last edited by jethro56; 03-16-11 at 07:47 PM.

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    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aahzz View Post
    While I know I could ride in the rain or bad weather, I generally hate it - so, am looking for an indoor solution for those days I won't go out riding, to avoid using weather as an excuse to return to my former couch potato ways. I am considering either a trainer or an exercise bike - obviously, the trainer has the pro of being my bike, that I'm used to, but what are your experiences with either or both?

    Thanks!
    Trainers have a number of advantages, first is that the bike is already fitted to you. This is the biggie, but it isn't the only, they take up a lot less space, many trainers fold flat, or nearly flat, they can be put under a bed, or in a closet, when not in use. Trainers tend to have more adjustments, not only on the trainer itself, but you can change gears on the bike, to give more fine grained adjust-ability.

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    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aahzz View Post
    I don't mind indoor training if I throw a movie on - a good movie makes time on an exercise machine fly, in my past experience
    Then you aren't working hard enough. I'm just giving you a hard time. I can't stand using the trainer I've got, but if you can, then more power to you.

    Think about getting a set of rollers instead of a trainer. They're more or less the same thing, but instead of attaching the bike through the rear axle, you just put the wheel down on a pair of drums. It feels more like riding out on the road ( or dirt, if you prefer ) because you're riding.



    Also, this seems controversial, but if you're going to be doing this until the rains go away, think about getting a very cheap tire so you don't wear down the one you plan on using outside.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    Trainers have a number of advantages, first is that the bike is already fitted to you. This is the biggie, but it isn't the only, they take up a lot less space, many trainers fold flat, or nearly flat, they can be put under a bed, or in a closet, when not in use. Trainers tend to have more adjustments, not only on the trainer itself, but you can change gears on the bike, to give more fine grained adjust-ability.
    I agree with the above statement.

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    Senior Member natbla's Avatar
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    Get a trainer with either magnetic or fluid resistance. Unless your using a very strict trainer based training program, You don't have to get one that has multiple resistance levels. After all, if you want harder resistance you just shift your gears to make it tougher. Performance and Nashbar had various trainers on sale very recently (possibly still going on), and you can pick up a decent one for under $150 on sale. Unless you have a personal gym room, I cna't see a benefit to getting an exercise bike. IF you have the money for a full function exercise bike you can spend a bunch on one of the trainer systems that included programed rides, Tour stages, and online racing when attached to a laptop. At the end of the day, if you have a decent road bike to ride why would you pass up on a well fitted bike just because your indoors?
    just spinning the wheels and up and over the hills of Western Maryland. Hmm make that the Hocking Hills of Ohio.


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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    You might want to try spinning classes.

    There are also other exercise machines. I am quite fond
    of my Concept 2 rower.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

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    Junior Member Rollinonroubaix's Avatar
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    I have a Cycleops trainer and love it. My bike was sitting in the house during the bad parts of the winter and I was able to put in some miles. There is nothing like riding outside. It is also very simple to roll out of bed and put 10 miles in before heading to work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Indoor trainers bend time and space with their massive boringness. One minute of on-the-trainer time amounts to about an hour of normal time, sort of like moving at the speed of light. Rollers are just as bad. Honestly, riding in the rain is much less terrible.
    ++.

    My doctor forbade riding outside for six weeks after removing a tibial nail and some screws in February, 2011. The trainer sucks less than loosing more fitness but is a lot worse than riding in snow (dress for skiing), riding in rain (depending on intensity you have rain jackets, shoe covers, rain pants, helmet covers), riding in sub-freezing weather (if it's not too cold to ski, it's not too cold to ride), and riding after midnight (get a nice LED head light that car drivers mistake for a motorcycle's and planet bike super flash rear blinker).

    Without fans there's also a huge heat problem. I'm as wet indoors at a recovery pace as out doors around lactate threshold.
    Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 03-16-11 at 07:52 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Missed the question.

    I have a Kurt Kinetics, a Concept2 rower, some winters I do spinning classes, and I like gyms.

    What I do is simple. I use the trainer, then the rower, than the gym and then a day off.

    That way I am doing something different every day.

    I got my rower used, if you poke around you should be able to find one used in
    good shape.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
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  13. #13
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Think about getting a set of rollers instead of a trainer. They're more or less the same thing, but instead of attaching the bike through the rear axle, you just put the wheel down on a pair of drums. It feels more like riding out on the road ( or dirt, if you prefer ) because you're riding.

    I'm all for rollers instead of a wheel-clamp trainer, but they're not the same beast in any way except that you turn the cranks and don't go anywhere...
    A stationary trainer can help to reinforce bad form and habits by means of its lack of repercussions. Think about it: If you lean hard on the left side of your bars as you reach for your water bottle with your right hand, it's unlikely you're going to skip the front wheel off your riser block. It's unlikely you'll even notice it if it's just a mild pressure difference. Same thing with uneven spin/pedal stroke. Differential pressure and poor form on a stationary trainer has little consequence since the bike is held upright regardless of all but the worst of mishaps, and there's no penalty for surging when you've got a flywheel to smooth things out on the dead spots in your stroke.
    Rollers are ready to point out your every flaw, no matter how insignificant you think it may be. When you've only got 7.5" of leeway from your centerline you start to notice things like if you mis-steer when reaching for a waterbottle or into your jersey pocket for a snack. How steady are you really when you take your eyes off the front-and-center to pick a new playlist on your iPod? When you attack, how smooth is your seated sprint speed? When do you really start pulling at the bars to surge, and how far off centerline does it put you? Can you stand and keep a smooth cadence? (Oh, you'll know because surging on non-full-motion rollers will pitch you off the front roller.) Can you stand and hold a straight line? Set your rollers in front of a full length mirror and stare yourself down for a 60 minute session; watch your form during things like reaching for bottles and shifting hand positions and standing. Try single-leg spin drills and see how well you fare. Try single leg and opposite hand. See if you can get smooth enough to ride no-hands on your rollers. Aim for the roller grail, and get smooth enough that you can change your jersey while riding on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Also, this seems controversial, but if you're going to be doing this until the rains go away, think about getting a very cheap tire so you don't wear down the one you plan on using outside.
    I use worn out summer tires on my rollers. I've heard good things about those red and/or yellow trainer-only high durometer, high mileage wearing trainer tires; but those things are like $50 IIRC.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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    I personally got an exercise bike. Why? Trainers suck and I have never wanted to ride one longer than 15 minutes. I have "rode" the exercise bike 25 minutes every day since Sunday (just got it last Friday, busy weekend). I think that is more than I ever put on the trainer I have!

    For me, the longer I keep my heart rate up, the more fat I am going to lose. I will save the cycling conditioning till its riding season (another few weeks if the weather holds!) It was like tennis practice (spring) in highschool, we worked out, ran, jumped rope, and played a little indoors, but none of us got any better till we were able to play outside at least 3x a week.

    Rollers are the best option if you want to keep cycling shape and balance and all.
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    Senior Member Aahzz's Avatar
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    SO I found an exercise bike on Craigslist for $50, checked it out and like the feel. Going to try it for a while and see how it goes....

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    Senior Member natbla's Avatar
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    Enjoy it.You might want to look at the seat and see if you can switch it out for a real bike saddle. Many of the exercise bike seats cut into the back of your legs and will make it hard to stay on it beyond 30 minutes.
    just spinning the wheels and up and over the hills of Western Maryland. Hmm make that the Hocking Hills of Ohio.


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    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Heck, I work for a company that makes exercise bikes and I can't stand using them. I've been on our equipment a grand total of 2 times in 6 months; for product testing purposes only.

    I'll use our other stuff, just not the bikes. It was a couple months of sheer hell that I spent riding the stationary recumbent in the gym for my surgical recovery before I was allowed to try a regular bike again. I was happy to be riding again at all, but man I hate the stationary bike.
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  18. #18
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Any stationary indoor bike or trainer will bore you to death unless you have a training program to follow and use the device with some intensity. If you just sit there and pedal along steadily you will go insane fairly quickly. I would have voted for the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine or equivalent.

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    Kurt Kinetic Road Machine has my vote...but it does get monotonous.

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    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nymtber View Post
    I personally got an exercise bike. Why? Trainers suck and I have never wanted to ride one longer than 15 minutes. I have "rode" the exercise bike 25 minutes every day since Sunday (just got it last Friday, busy weekend). I think that is more than I ever put on the trainer I have!

    For me, the longer I keep my heart rate up, the more fat I am going to lose. I will save the cycling conditioning till its riding season (another few weeks if the weather holds!) It was like tennis practice (spring) in highschool, we worked out, ran, jumped rope, and played a little indoors, but none of us got any better till we were able to play outside at least 3x a week.

    Rollers are the best option if you want to keep cycling shape and balance and all.
    If trainers suck, because they get boring, then exercise bikes do to, just your not used to it yet. In both cases your a hamster on a wheel, going like crazy and getting nowhere. There are two ways to fix this, if you have a TV near where you do your training, then hook a DVD player up to it, and run a few training videos. You need more then one, or the video will get boring, just like outdoors you need more then one route you can take.

    Another option for taking the boredom out, is don't just ride, throw in some intervals, maybe a high speed spin, or a high resistance grunt fest, just spinning along is what makes it boring.

  21. #21
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Rollers, full length mirror, Zune full of religious metal (or whatever your choice of trainer music happens to be.) This isn't a formula against boredom, but rather my tools to train through it. Learn to embrace the monotony of the trainer/rollers/exercise bike and use it for meditation, reflection, soul-seaching, prayer... whatever you want to call it. If you can deal with a couple hours on a trainer just staring at yourself in a mirror, that 30 minutes of headwinds or long mountain climb on your next long ride won't seem quite so bad when the breeze picks up.
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  22. #22
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    This is the best indoor trainer you can get, it will work more muscles than you can imagine. It also floats forward and backwards with your movement on the bike, you can sway side to side. Stand up and crank out some power, it has a resistance flywheel for more intense workouts. It's expensive and I dont regret ever buying it, I even got the wife using it. Takes a few times to get the hang of keeping your balance but after that it's like your riding on the road. I crashed once, got caught up watching Bubba's World on MTV and lost my concentration. Front wheel rubbed the side rollers and I over compensated and fell sideways. I have a old couch next to it so the fall wasn't as bad as it could have been.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99ssconv View Post
    This is the best indoor trainer you can get, it will work more muscles than you can imagine. It also floats forward and backwards with your movement on the bike, you can sway side to side. Stand up and crank out some power, it has a resistance flywheel for more intense workouts. It's expensive and I dont regret ever buying it, I even got the wife using it. Takes a few times to get the hang of keeping your balance but after that it's like your riding on the road. I crashed once, got caught up watching Bubba's World on MTV and lost my concentration. Front wheel rubbed the side rollers and I over compensated and fell sideways. I have a old couch next to it so the fall wasn't as bad as it could have been.
    I like the look of this one. Never tried a roller, but would be willing to give one a go, and like you say, once you get used to it, ought to be no problem! (I hope!)
    Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.*~Robert Collier

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99ssconv View Post
    This is the best indoor trainer you can get, it will work more muscles than you can imagine.
    Sure, but for the $850 it costs you could also buy a rain bike, enough gear to keep you dry and comfortable, then continue to train outside... I think the E-motion rollers are cool, but I've got a Kurt Kinetic that's so boring I can't stand to use it. Doesn't really seem like Inside Ride has managed to solve that problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Sure, but for the $850 it costs you could also buy a rain bike, enough gear to keep you dry and comfortable, then continue to train outside... I think the E-motion rollers are cool, but I've got a Kurt Kinetic that's so boring I can't stand to use it. Doesn't really seem like Inside Ride has managed to solve that problem.

    Have you ever tried one, they are nothing like the fixed rear wheel trainer.

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