My husband is scheduled for total shoulder replacement surgery on Oct. 21. He had his left shoulder done 3 years ago, with excellent results -- however, he wasn't riding at that time. Now, he rides 3-5 days/week and participates in our group's long weekend ride events.
We're discussing the best option for maintaining his muscle and aerobic fitness during the recovery/re-hab period. I suggested an indoor trainer; he wants a stationery bike. Going to a gym will be out of the question until he can safely drive (to further complicate that, our cars have manual transmissions).
One advantage (for him) of a stationery bike is that he can just sit on it and use his left hand to change the settings. On a trainer, he'd need to reach the gears to shift with his right hand in order to simulate the tension changes on a stationery bike (true? Please correct me if not). An advantage of the trainer is that we can set one of the bikes on it -- a bike that is already taking up space in the house (we have 5 bikes and a treadmill inside the house) AND it would be my solution for night riding in winter -- just get on, put in a DVD, and away I go without a care about weather, bad/drunk/sleepy drivers, weak headlight battery, etc. And, doesn't a trainer provide a more real-world cycling experience than a stationery bike can provide?
I'd appreciate any feedback before we fork out the $$ for either one. The immediate goal is not to improve his hill climbing ability or speed, but to maintain his leg muscles and aerobic fitness while his shoulder recovers.