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  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    What's better -- exercycle or trainer?

    Title says it all. There are exercycles of all kinds from cheapos to "gym quality" on CL all the time; of course they take up a lot of space, but are they better, worse, or about the same as getting a trainer and using one's own bike?
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  2. #2
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    I asked myself the same question a couple of years ago, and ended up with a trainer I can put my own bike on. I reasoned that this allowed me to easily get miles on a seat, and setup that would make the miles easier when the weather improved. I also find that I like working through the gears, and picturing the rides past, and future.

    In my research, I found that wind resistance trainers were often loud, but most of the others were quiet enough. Also look to make sure it will be stable enough for out of the seat sprints.

  3. #3
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    If you have the bike fitting well, a trainer. You will have the same
    riding position (many exercycles have awful seats and an upright riding position which uses different muscles).

    Try the 2nd Spinervals in the Fitness series 'Sweating Buckets' if you aren't a racer. The first one is kinda blecch, and I haven't tried the others. Of course, if you are a racer, or want an intense workout, then skip over to the Racing series.

    I have had a Kurt Kinetics for 3 years now, it's good.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcalpik
    I asked myself the same question a couple of years ago, and ended up with a trainer I can put my own bike on. I reasoned that this allowed me to easily get miles on a seat, and setup that would make the miles easier when the weather improved. I also find that I like working through the gears, and picturing the rides past, and future.

    In my research, I found that wind resistance trainers were often loud, but most of the others were quiet enough. Also look to make sure it will be stable enough for out of the seat sprints.
    +1 on the ability to adjust the setup in prep for the riding season. I think I finally have the new bike dialed in for the riding season. I've changed cranks and the seat while it's been on the trainer this winter. Now if it just feels as good once it's off the trainer and on the road.
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  5. #5
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Not enough choices. Question should be something like...
    What's better -- exercycle or trainer or root canal or kidney stones?
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  6. #6
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    Not enough choices. Question should be something like...
    What's better -- exercycle or trainer or root canal or kidney stones?
    Decisions, decisions, decisions....
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  7. #7
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Title says it all. There are exercycles of all kinds from cheapos to "gym quality" on CL all the time; of course they take up a lot of space, but are they better, worse, or about the same as getting a trainer and using one's own bike?
    Rollers? I know, it wasn't one of the choices.

    I never liked the exercycles at the gym, but if it was really set up specifically for me maybe it would be better.

  8. #8
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    Not enough choices. Question should be something like...
    What's better -- exercycle or trainer or root canal or kidney stones?
    Thanks for the Laff o' the Day!
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  9. #9
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    ..........and, a trainer can double as a very secure repair stand if need be and you don't mind squatting down. You can also move around a bike on trainer much more easily if you like variety. I sometimes take mine out under the patio overhang during rainy weather-- get to enjoy the rain and get outta the garage.

    +1 Beverly. A good way to tinker away at bike fit.
    +1 with many above: Keeps your riding position....also easier to meaningfully get up off the saddle.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  10. #10
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    ..........and, a trainer can double as a very secure repair stand if need be and you don't mind squatting down.
    I often use the bike rack on the back of the van as a repair stand. It also makes a great place to wash the bike. The rear of my van is always cleaner than the rest of the van
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    Not enough choices. Question should be something like...
    What's better -- exercycle or trainer or root canal or kidney stones?
    What have you got against root canals and kidney stones???

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    Gary,

    My wife got a Lemond Revmaster, and it really fills the gap between cheezy excersize cycles and mounting your bike on a trainer... You can use a real saddle and set up the machine to mimic your bike's positioning. It's solid as a rock, and feels like a bike when you spin on it. Best of all the evils, IMO.
    Last edited by Big Paulie; 10-04-07 at 10:55 AM.

  13. #13
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I've been thinking of getting a recumbent exercycle to help me get in shape to ride my new recumbent bike. It seems to me that this is likely to be a closer match than most of the upright exercycles are to standard bikes, especially if one can find a recumbent cycle machine that comes close to the same seat to bottom bracket angle as their bent.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  14. #14
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
    I've been thinking of getting a recumbent exercycle to help me get in shape to ride my new recumbent bike. .
    Probably a good idea. From my own experience of a year on a recumbent, there is a learning curve for your body, which uses a somewhat different set of muscles and from a different angle. The more hours you spend in recumbent position it would seem the more efficient your body gets for driving you along on a real recumbent.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  15. #15
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Paulie
    Gary,

    My wife got a Lemond Revmaster, and it really fills the gap between cheezy excersize cycles and mounting your bike on a trainer... You can use a real saddle and set up the machine to mimic your bike's positioning. It's solid as a rock, and feels like a bike when you spin on it. Best of all the evils, IMO.
    Sweet. We're getting those in our gym this week. Spin class here I come.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  16. #16
    Senior Member teamcompi's Avatar
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    buy a trainer, get the root canal and forget the exercycle, and keep the kidney stones

  17. #17
    Hwy 40 Blue Hwy 40 Blue's Avatar
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    I think my two cents' worth is worth more here. That's because I've been using a bike trainer for years as well as going to the gym and using every possible bike they have there. We've had a lot of bad weather lately where I live and most of my rides have had to be of the indoor variety.

    OK. I love the trainer because it's my own bike at home and I can really can move through the gears and get a great workout - but, it's noisy and a bit unstable -- I don't stand up and I don't rock 'n roll on the thing.

    My favorite indoor ride is on a spin bike at the gym. Absolutely stable and rock solid, also feels more like a real bike, infinitely adjustable for tension and fit, such as seat and handlebar position. I love it. Downside: They're fairly expensive if you want to buy one for home use, and you can't fold 'em up and put them aside, which I do with our little trainer, which I bought at Nashbar years ago for $99. I just plop that thing down in front of the TV, mount the old Trek and away I go. Can't beat it. If I have more time, I go to the rec center and use a spin bike.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    I can tell you for a fact that the best part about owning a Schwinn Air Dyne is the motivation it gives me to ride a real bicycle. It just sits out there in the shop, looming, threatening me to have to ride it again. It's horrid. Want to buy it?
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  19. #19
    Senior Member DaveTaylor's Avatar
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    I have all three, an exercycle (recumbent), a trainer and rollers. The rollers are by far my favourite. Both the execycle and the trainer reduce the experience to an exercise in that you are just sitting there cranking the pedals around. Only on the rollers are you really riding your bike.

    There are a lot of people that don't find rollers the right thing for them and then a trainer may be the way to go. A couple of thoughts: I don't like the idea of aluminium or CF bikes clamped in a trainer. Seems to me that they are subjected to loads not necessarily included in the frame design. I would not worry about a steel bike. I really think that a spinning bike is the next best thing to rollers.

  20. #20
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    Plus an exercycle takes up a bit of room and every trainer I have ever seen folds up in some manner.

    Now, I wish I had a digital camera on my last trip to the thrift store. They had an Italian steel exercycle. Can not remember the brand. Had a spedo and adjustable seat, wheel tension and adjustable hb. If the wife was not in tow I might have snuck it home. Thing had to be 40 years old.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Title says it all. There are exercycles of all kinds from cheapos to "gym quality" on CL all the time; of course they take up a lot of space, but are they better, worse, or about the same as getting a trainer and using one's own bike?
    I have a Cycle Opps trainer, a recumbent Exercycle, an upright Exercycle.

    The trainer is best to simulate and prepare for road/trail biking. I do 17 MPH at 90 RPM and get HR 125.
    Same posture and muscles as used on a road bike. Above speed is demanding and road biking seems easy after that. The trainer simulates a light head-wind or a slight incline (about 2-3 degrees).

    The recumbent Exercycle uses different muscles. My butt can be lifted since the pressure is against my back with legs horizontal or somewhat up. The machine says that I do over 20 MPH at 90 RPM and the machine says 700 calories/hour. My HR is under 110. That means that the machine is wrong or the posture and style exercise uses fewer muscles. This exercise seems more easy than the above trainer.
    I do not trust the calorie readings.

    I no longer use the upright Exercycle because the trainer is more realistic and the upright offers no advantage that I am aware of.

  22. #22
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Travis
    Sweet. We're getting those in our gym this week. Spin class here I come.
    Not another spinning class.

    Hope you are not like the lot at my class- 14 of us if they all turn up. They can all thrash me on the hills and Cadence and how quickly they recover after a hill. Difference is- They save all their energy by reading about cycling- instead of doing it. They can all tell me about the latest spec on the latest Full suspension bike to be launched by X,Y,or Z but none of them will come out on the Tandem with me.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  23. #23
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    Not another spinning class.

    Hope you are not like the lot at my class- 14 of us if they all turn up. They can all thrash me on the hills and Cadence and how quickly they recover after a hill. Difference is- They save all their energy by reading about cycling- instead of doing it. They can all tell me about the latest spec on the latest Full suspension bike to be launched by X,Y,or Z but none of them will come out on the Tandem with me.
    Like you, I'd rather be outdoors anytime, but with family and job responsibilities my fall and winter riding is mostly indoors, at least during the week. So I try to make the most of my spin classes. And you're right stapfam, many in spin classes never actually ride a bike that goes anywhere.

    PS.
    I'm a hard-tail guy. I've never ridden a full-suspension bike in my life.
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  24. #24
    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Title says it all. There are exercycles of all kinds from cheapos to "gym quality" on CL all the time; of course they take up a lot of space, but are they better, worse, or about the same as getting a trainer and using one's own bike?
    You live in San Diego, and want to ride inside? I live in Pennsylvania, and ride outside in the winter! What does it rain ... like 4 days/year???

    Okay, sorry for the mini-rant. I would go with a trainer, as your position will be the same as when you are on the bike. It's also much more compact.

  25. #25
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    I do everything on my bike on a trainer that I do on my bike on the road... except actually go anywhere
    I have never ridden an exercycle (well, OK... I tried a friend's out. Once. For maybe 2 or 3 minutes, if that)
    So, I guess I'm not the best judge. But somehow being on my saddle, running through my gears really makes crazy sense to me
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

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