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Old 01-17-13, 03:06 PM   #1
Bikey Mikey
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Using a trainer...harder than I thought.

Weather has just been horrible the last few days and snow is predicted tonight. The owner of my LBS knows that I've been antsy and chomping at the bit to get back on the bike--he's letting me borrow a trainer from his shop(free) so I can get on the bike. I set it up today and discovered that it's harder than I thought. I did 60 minutes and it was tough. I usually ride 2 to 3 hours on the road which seems easier than 60 minutes the trainer--probably since there isn't any real momentum as on the road. It's a Jetblack Cycling Hydrogel Z1 trainer.
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Old 01-17-13, 03:41 PM   #2
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With the name Hydrogel, I'm assuming that it's fluid trainer. Does it have any type of resistance setting? If so, you may want to play with a few settings until you find the right one. I don't know of too many fluid trainers with adjustable resistance, but that is one of the things I really like about a magnetic trainer. And with a remote control for the resistance, mine can be changed, as needed, while pedaling.

They are quite different than riding the road, but better than nothing in bad weather; just a little boring at times. They are great for rehab, too.
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Old 01-17-13, 04:05 PM   #3
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Keep at the trainer. It won't get any easier but you will get fitter than if you were not riding.

I may moan about the weather over here but if I put my mind to it- I can ride in rain- and wind- and cold. One thing i won't do though is get on a trainer. Spiinning at the gym is bad enough for me. It does my brain in and I do not have the resolve to use one. So well done on riding the trainer and you never know- You may enjoy it-----Eventually
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Old 01-17-13, 04:15 PM   #4
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A fan for thermal regulation may be helpful. Trainer is good for you.
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Old 01-17-13, 04:33 PM   #5
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I'm already using a fan. The LBS owner mentioned it but I already knew I was going to use a fan. Today I set the trainer up in front of the TV(that's the Tele for our UK brethren). Tomorrow, I think I'll use my netbook and watch a flick on Netflix...need see if I have a long reaching pair of earbuds...or maybe I'll just listen to my Mp3 player. 0400 is a bit early to have the volume up to hear over the fan. An hour on the trainer is definitely far better than no ride whatsoever.
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Old 01-17-13, 05:27 PM   #6
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My experience has been that trainers make great workshop stands if you don't have the real thing ... but are instruments of mental torture when used as intended.
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Old 01-17-13, 11:24 PM   #7
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My experience exactly. I can ride outdoors for an hour to an hour and a half, but on the trainer I feel completely drained after half an hour. I have the Cyclops Fluid 2, which I assume is similar to yours. I have an iphone mount, so I attach the iphone, listen to Pandora, and use headphones, which helps slightly to pass the time.
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Old 01-18-13, 12:25 AM   #8
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I think many of us do more coasting than we realize, or would like to admit, when riding outdoors. So keep in mind...when you ride a trainer you're not doing any coasting; it's a full hour of turning the cranks (gasp!).

On the ear-bud cord issue, I bought a 10' extension at Radio Shack.
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Old 01-18-13, 06:52 AM   #9
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I did another 60 minutes today. The earbuds I used were just long enough(with some slack) to reach the netbook sitting on a portable table, TV tray(wood). I watched part of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy while pedaling away.
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Old 01-18-13, 07:24 AM   #10
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Get two music recordings on the Ipod and set the beat to the cadence. One with a high cadence of around 110 and one at 70. One for spinning and one for hills. Bet the 110 comes on for the hills though.
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Old 01-18-13, 07:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikey Mikey View Post
I'm already using a fan. The LBS owner mentioned it but I already knew I was going to use a fan. Today I set the trainer up in front of the TV(that's the Tele for our UK brethren). Tomorrow, I think I'll use my netbook and watch a flick on Netflix...need see if I have a long reaching pair of earbuds...or maybe I'll just listen to my Mp3 player. 0400 is a bit early to have the volume up to hear over the fan. An hour on the trainer is definitely far better than no ride whatsoever.
Not that it matters at all, but the usual spelling is telly, or even the tube, usually pronounced toob.

This information dates from my Brit days a few million years ago, so it could be outdated.

As for trainers, I set one up last year and rode it three times before dying of boredom. The space where it was last year is now occupied by a rather nice leather couch, and have not thought out where I would put it this year. I am also too lazy to change out the tire on the bike, so trainer is gathering dust in the basement waiting for me to concede defeat and cut my losses with a kijiji sale.

Anyone out there who wants to make me an offer on an almost new trainer? I can always go and find it and look up the brand.
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Old 01-18-13, 08:27 AM   #12
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Not that it matters at all, but the usual spelling is telly, or even the tube, usually pronounced toob.

This information dates from my Brit days a few million years ago, so it could be outdated.

As for trainers, I set one up last year and rode it three times before dying of boredom. The space where it was last year is now occupied by a rather nice leather couch, and have not thought out where I would put it this year. I am also too lazy to change out the tire on the bike, so trainer is gathering dust in the basement waiting for me to concede defeat and cut my losses with a kijiji sale.

Anyone out there who wants to make me an offer on an almost new trainer? I can always go and find it and look up the brand.
Yeah, I realized it this AM that I misspelled Telly--just didn't bother to fix it. I lived in England during my teens(14 to 18) and should've automatically spelled it correctly.

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Get two music recordings on the Ipod and set the beat to the cadence. One with a high cadence of around 110 and one at 70. One for spinning and one for hills. Bet the 110 comes on for the hills though.
No Ipod. I won't buy or use an Ipod or Itunes. For some reason I loathe Itunes and Ipods. I have a Sansa Mp3 player. I'll likely be returning the trainer Monday. It was just a loaner for the run of crappy weather. I will likely get a trainer eventually, next year perhaps, just so I can still ride during strings of foul weather and still ride if I decide to get the Carpel Tunnel surgery on my left hand next year.
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Old 01-18-13, 08:46 AM   #13
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There's a discussion going on in the racing sub-forum at the moment about why trainers make for a harder workout than riding on the road. Consensus is that it is a mix of overheating and the absence of the opportunities for micro-recovery that happen all the time on the road as the terrain and cadence change. Plus boredom, of course.

My view is that the lack of recovery is the big issue. Even when out on the road, if I do a two-hour workout at a steady tempo it is more challenging than two hours with the same average heartrate, but including peaks and troughs.
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Old 01-18-13, 09:39 AM   #14
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I highly recommend signing up for trainerroad or something similar as it will help you structure workouts on the trainer that will help you get stronger, and cut down on the boredom. Stepfam's suggestion on the music is also great. You can use jog.fm.com to find music with the exact cadence you want.
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Old 01-18-13, 06:35 PM   #15
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The trainer is just a loaner(not sure on how long) and will only be used for crappy days--read icy roads/snow/rainy cold weather. I used the trainer this AM because I had a Sub job lined up and wouldn't be able to ride in the afternoon. Schools opened 2 hours late and the sub job got cancelled(covering classes for meetings(meetings were cancelled so the job was not needed)--so, I also rode in the afternoon, 22 windy miles. The afternoon ride allowed me to see the rode conditions and since I can only ride in the early AM tomorrow, I'll use the trainer on Sat. too(too many areas that will turn to ice for early AM. Sunday, I can ride in the PM, so I won't bother with the trainer.


Edit: Oh yeah. I stopped at the LBS and told one of the staff that the trainer was harder than I thought it would be. She said the owner lent me one that is tough, that is harder, but they've seen me ride and figure that it would be good and I could handle it. I stated I did 60 min yesterday and 60 minutes today. She said that with that trainer it was probably equivalent to riding 1 to 2 hours on a road.

Last edited by Bikey Mikey; 01-18-13 at 06:51 PM. Reason: added some additonal information.
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Old 01-20-13, 08:07 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
There's a discussion going on in the racing sub-forum at the moment about why trainers make for a harder workout than riding on the road. Consensus is that it is a mix of overheating and the absence of the opportunities for micro-recovery that happen all the time on the road as the terrain and cadence change. Plus boredom, of course.

My view is that the lack of recovery is the big issue. Even when out on the road, if I do a two-hour workout at a steady tempo it is more challenging than two hours with the same average heartrate, but including peaks and troughs.
Riding a trainer is like riding uphill, but the hill doesn't end until the ride does..... I find the best way to use a trainer is to in insert gaps into the ride, for example 9 minutes on, 1 minute off, then repeat. The one minute off, allows for the recovery you normally get on the road, but it's not a long enough gap that you cool down.
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Old 01-20-13, 08:22 AM   #17
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You might enjoy rollers. Good for your balance, form, concentration, and you don't have to worry about cold feet; and it provides a bonus of many hours of entertainment for the cats if you have them!

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Old 01-20-13, 09:18 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
With the name Hydrogel, I'm assuming that it's fluid trainer. Does it have any type of resistance setting? If so, you may want to play with a few settings until you find the right one. I don't know of too many fluid trainers with adjustable resistance, but that is one of the things I really like about a magnetic trainer. And with a remote control for the resistance, mine can be changed, as needed, while pedaling.

They are quite different than riding the road, but better than nothing in bad weather; just a little boring at times. They are great for rehab, too.
Magnetic trainers are somewhat linear in resistance. If you pedal twice as fast, the resistance is about double. To accommodate different riders, the trainer has adjustable resistance levels.

Fluid trainers are like riding outdoors with wind resistance. Air drag goes way up as a riders speed increases. So just shift to a harder gear to increase resistance on a fluid trainer.

Here's the power needed for a Kurt Kinetic fluid trainer, with my comments. Kurt says it matches riding up a 1% grade outdoors.
10 mph 70 watts. Easy cruising for me.
20 mph 250 watts. Working hard to maintain this, and I'll back off after a while.
30 mph 650 watts. I can do this for few seconds at a time.
40 mph 1400 watts. Wow--Cat 1-2 bike race 10 second sprint power!

Last edited by rm -rf; 01-20-13 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 01-20-13, 10:19 AM   #19
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Even at the spinning session this morning--And going by the Watts posted by rm-rf. -- Spinning bikes do give you a rest. 1 hour session and warm up was at 110 watts rising to 150. Flat sections were done at 200 to 220 and cadence at 95 to 110. Hills though and I was seeing upwards of 250 and that was hard. Highest I saw was 305 and I knew it. It was a relief to get back to 180 for the rest periods. Those figures would be different for other riders depending on the resistance they were using but I knew I had worked hard by the end.

And TV.---Tele(Vision) Or The Box over here.

And no ride today. temp only 32 F- no wind but 4" of white stuff all around.

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Old 01-20-13, 10:44 AM   #20
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She said that with that trainer it was probably equivalent to riding 1 to 2 hours on a road.
I am starting my second winter season of using a trainer, and this is what I estimate, as well--that riding a trainer (a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, in my case) provides 1.5 - 2 times the workout than riding the comparable distance on the road.

I guess I am abnormal in the sense that I am not bored on the trainer at all. Perhaps it is the type of workouts I do most often. Most of the time, I do a type of fartlek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fartlek ) workout with periods of varying intensity. I find that the concentration required to adhere to the planned workout agenda, as well as monitoring my performance realtime by constantly glancing at my cyclecomputer, keeps my mind occupied and keeps the boredom at bay. Indeed, I am finding that at times, my concentration is so intense that I enter a kind of Zen-like state of meditation. What I really enjoy about the trainer is that, with the immediate and precise feedback provided by my cyclecomputer, I can literally see improvement in my fitness from one session to another.
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