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  1. #1
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Any body else hating and loving their trainer this winter?

    Some winters I ride outside, some I don't. So this winter I'm just down in the basement on the trainer, when I can force myself.

    We all hate our trainers, right? An hour outside riding is not enough - I want 2, 3, 5 hours riding. But an hour on the trainer is interminable.

    Next winter I hope to go back to winterbiking, but for boring reasons, that wasn't possible this year. Even when I do bike outside in the winter, there are some days when it has to be on the trainer. After all, I do live in Minnesota. And the trainer is good for my ability, if not my soul.

    Yes, the trainer is good for me, not just because of the workout. I learn a lot about my technique, or lack thereof. I can really concentrate on my pedaling stroke. A lot of the improvements in the last couple of years on my cadence and in pedaling circles comes from conscious work on the trainer. Similarly, my position on the bike - working on my core and getting low and engaging the glutes- a lot of that comes from thinking about and practicing the right position on the trainer.

    Recently, I realized how much stronger my right leg is than my left, and so I'm working on making the left leg do more. OK, you think - that's something I should have realized ages ago and I shouldn't have needed the trainer. Yeah, I feel stupid not having realized it. But somehow the distractions outside keep me from concentrating on such things.

    Some people like spin classes and spin bikes, but if I have to ride inside, I like actually being on my bicycles, with real pedals and gears and the right geometry and feel of a road bike.

    But still, it's hard to keep going for an hour. I've heard of people who put in multiple hours on the trainer, but I can't imagine it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member North Coast Joe's Avatar
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    Love/hate seems to be a good outlook toward your trainer. You seem to be very savvy at picking up your riding faults and correcting them while suffering.

    I do look for technique faults in my indoor riding, but have to share the trainer with others in the family. Thus the training bike is not equipped with a saddle of my choice, a saddle height that is less than I require, and only 150mm cranks. None of that easily adjustable. Because of this, I work on standing and grinding a lot. Good for core strength, I guess. I'm doing two hours sessions now. The only way I can endure the time expenditure is to lose myself in music through the headphones.

    I have a dedicated Winter bike, very safe and well-equipped. I found this year and last, though, that frostbite is easier to aquire than when I was younger. Also, we have a considerable amount of snow here, and at times feel very uncomfortable surrounded by traffic with four foot walls of snow along the roadside. There's just no place to go if things aren't looking good with approaching vehicles. An occasional ride outside is the best I can manage.

    So, thinking about it further, there's no love for my trainer. Just burning, all-consuming hate. I'll try again today to wear out that resistance unit so it's no longer usable. Doubtfully successfully, it seems to be well made!

  3. #3
    Senior Member climberguy's Avatar
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    If you want to improve your technique while riding indoors, the usual recommendation is to get some rollers. I plan to someday.

    I don't hate my trainer, or love it for that matter. Because I'm coming back from injuries, I'm happy for any session on the bike. I put the trainer in front of my TV or computer and do some channel surfing or watch cycling videos. The time passes just fine.

    I got outside yesterday for a ride on snowy, slippery roads--but it wasn't arctic cold, and not much traffic. That was good, too. Any time spent on the bike is good, in my view.
    And I did it all clean.

  4. #4
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    I love/hate my trainer but cannot force myself to do longer sessions. It's an hour or so for me, that's it. So I do more intense rides, but still. I just can't do it AND keep my sanity.

  5. #5
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    I can only handle an hour (tops) on the Iron Maiden. It does keep me ride-oriented and allows me to hang on to a portion of cardio fitness for those first few rides in March. For me it's "ugh/ok/ugh".
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  6. #6
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    While i can't say I love trainer riding, i can't say i hate it either. This is my first year with this apparatus, I have two available to me. My road bike is at the coach's house where we do drills on monday and thursday nights. Then saturdays are social recovery rides of 3 hrs. Not sure I could do 3 hrs alone. BUT. I CAN do a 2 hr movie for lsm's and of course I can set up a timer for intervals. Plus, i can just hop on and and go for a 30 minute spin if I want and it takes a lot less time to get dolled up for the trainer. That reminds me. I have to get a grounded three port plug adapter so I can run my laptop, a fan, and an overhead light. Can't see the stupid garmin without it. I guess I like the trainer.

  7. #7
    In the wind mercator's Avatar
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    I've been a dedicated winter rider for the past ten years or so, but for the last five years I've gotten in the habit of getting a nice case of pneumonia in the spring which really puts a damper on the training. I think I'm getting the bugs from the grandkids, but suspect that all that riding in low temps is weakening my immune system. So my solution this year is to only ride outside when the weather is nice or I have no choice, otherwise it's in the basement on the rollers. We'll see how it goes, but for me an hour on the rollers is as much as I can bear.

  8. #8
    Coffee Stud
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    O[QUOTE=mercator;17575291 but suspect that all that riding in low temps is weakening my immune system. .[/QUOTE]

    Medically speaking, Not true. Exercising hard can temporarily lower your immunity, but not because it is outdoors. FWIW, since we are over 50 (me 75) training outdoors (as long as it is not dangerous) makes you tougher both mentally and physically (thats why God make MTB's). Then when the weather breaks and you do real training outdoors you will be amazed how well you progress.

  9. #9
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by North Coast Joe View Post
    Thus the training bike is not equipped with a saddle of my choice, a saddle height that is less than I require, and only 150mm cranks. None of that easily adjustable.
    Before I bought my trainer (Kurt Kinetic Road Machine - I'm very happy with it BTW), i used to ride stationary bikes at the gym. I hated those even more, in part because the saddle always felt wrong, the geometry always felt wrong, and worst of all, they always have short cranks. The pedal stroke felt so different from riding a real bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by North Coast Joe View Post
    The only way I can endure the time expenditure is to lose myself in music through the headphones.
    I wrecked several sets of earbuds back in my gym days. They would flood with sweat. Then, once I moved to the basement I tried normal headphones, but they got so awfully sweaty and disgusting. So I bought an inexpensive set of bluetooth speakers that can sync with my ipad or phone. It's my basement after all, I can rock out a little.

    BTW, I tried watching videos - everything from spinervals to stupid TV shows, and it just doesn't help pass the time or keep my focused on the exercise. Either it doesn't hold my attention or it holds too much of it and I don't make a serious effort on the pedals. Listening to music is just fine, though. It's the only thing that makes the hour even close to tolerable......("I will not look at the timer until 2 more songs finish!")

  10. #10
    Member Oldguyonoldbike's Avatar
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    I hate the trainer. I usually can't take it for more than about 30 mins., but with loud music have been able to force myself to stay on it for an hour or so. On the other hand, it helps hang on to some level of fitness through the winter.
    Luckily, I live in Oklahoma (wow! I never thought I would say that!) and it doesn't happen very often that it's too cold to ride for more than a week (again, living in Oklahoma, too cold to ride means below about 30.)

  11. #11
    Senior Member tony2v's Avatar
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    I've been doing a 12 week High Intensity training program the past 3 years to get ready for the start of track racing. We're on the trainers Tues and Thurs, but we get to ride outside Sat and Sun. Doing the training with 12 other riders helps with keeping the focus on the task. I use a PowerTap so I know what my target numbers for the drills are. I also train Monday nights at the velodrome. Oh yeah, I just spent 86 minutes on the spin bike at the gym, 55 minutes during spin class.
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  12. #12
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    Trainer is only option when it's below zero and snow everywhere. Just over 3000kms on the rollers since November 1st. Feel like a hamster spinning around at best of time, Netflicks is my friend. Orange is the New Black!
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  13. #13
    Hardening the F up
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    1265 miles and counting...

    I try to do an hour minimum ea session. My one day record is 3 hrs and change (50 "miles" on fluid resistance).

    It's going to be a lot of fun not being a wheezy fat guy when we finally get back outside.

  14. #14
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no sweat View Post
    1265 miles and counting...

    I try to do an hour minimum ea session. My one day record is 3 hrs and change (50 "miles" on fluid resistance).

    It's going to be a lot of fun not being a wheezy fat guy when we finally get back outside.
    well, good for you. 3 hours. That's something I simply could not do.

    (Though I don't believe in any useful conversion between time on a trainer and "miles".)

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    well, good for you. 3 hours. That's something I simply could not do.

    (Though I don't believe in any useful conversion between time on a trainer and "miles".)
    The way I figure, distance on the trainer is the cumulative total of wheel rotations, right? So the more 'miles', the more 'work' you put it.

    It's not really comparable to miles on the road; but it's comparable to OTHER trainer rides. For example, after an hour on the trainer; whether I've done 15 miles or 20 or 25 tells me a lot about how hard I was pushing on that ride. Along with virtual power, TSS, and other metrics of course. But I do keep track of it because it helps me keep track of how much work I've done, especially cumulatively (how many miles on the trainer in the week, etc.)

  16. #16
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RomansFiveEight View Post
    The way I figure, distance on the trainer is the cumulative total of wheel rotations, right? So the more 'miles', the more 'work' you put it.

    It's not really comparable to miles on the road; but it's comparable to OTHER trainer rides. For example, after an hour on the trainer; whether I've done 15 miles or 20 or 25 tells me a lot about how hard I was pushing on that ride. Along with virtual power, TSS, and other metrics of course. But I do keep track of it because it helps me keep track of how much work I've done, especially cumulatively (how many miles on the trainer in the week, etc.)
    OK, I can't argue with that. If it works for you. For me, there's a hard hour, an easy hour, or something in between. I keep track of outside miles quite carefully, but inside I'm not going to look too hard at any numbers, except for staring at that damned clock.

    Though it seems like a perfect place to note:

    YMMV

  17. #17
    Hardening the F up
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    (Though I don't believe in any useful conversion between time on a trainer and "miles".)
    Depends on the trainer. This is what I use https://kurtkinetic.com/technical-in...id-resistance/

    I have the $75 "inRide" pod which transmits trainer speed to my iphone and converts to power, etc. based on this characteristic. On that basis, I've done 51 megajoules of work.

    Edit: the other thing the trainer is really good for in my case is (duh) training. My outdoor environment is all hills. I was sort of a poster boy for Z3 syndrome -- good for getting tough, but not how you get really truly fit and fast. The trainer has been really remarkably effective on a results/time spent basis (the down side being that the time spent isn't terribly pleasant). My ftp is up quite a lot from last Fall, and it's been all done on Z2 riding and better aerobic efficiency.
    Last edited by no sweat; 03-01-15 at 09:13 AM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    I've read several sources that state that the time on a trainer is approximately equal to 1.5 x trainer time of riding on the road. For one thing, there isn't coasting on a trainer.
    I'd have to track down the sources in order to site them.
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  19. #19
    Member TCR Rider's Avatar
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    There's no comparison between real world riding and the road to nowhere but the one thing about the trainer is that you can get a really focused workout without distractions. When it's icy or sloppy outside I get a better workout on the trainer than I would stressing about keeping the rubber down on the roads.
    I do a lot of specific workouts to keep it from getting boring. I have a few spinnerval DVDs or some intervals and I can stay on the thing for up to 3 hours or around 50 pseudo miles. I have a KK Rock & Roll Fluid Trainer and a Stages PM along with a Garmin speed sensor on the rear wheel so I have enough data to work with.
    At the moment I'm still recovering from an ablation so I'm just grateful to be on the bike and working myself back into shape for the spring.

  20. #20
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    For the first time in many years, I ditched the trainer this winter. Like many, finding the motivation to suit up and spend an hour on the bike got to be almost drudgery. Soooo . . . this winter, I joined the "Y" and have been doing 2-3 spin sessions a week. It's still stationary cycling, but it has made all the difference in the world. I may end up selling the trainer.

  21. #21
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    I'm 58 just really getting back into riding this past year for health/stress relief benefits mostly. Purchased a set of rollers rather than a fixed trainer for the inside. First day was a disaster but quick learning curve, actually a little bit fun as you always have the idea you might fall at anytime. A few things I noticed I am shedding pounds quicker on my rollers than I ever did on the road, mostly commuting 25 miles RT each day, rain, shine, cold didn't matter, my core seems to be much stronger, along with much better cardio and what seems to be a smoother balanced pedal stroke. I know you can't develop the same leg strength without a tension device (my rollers were less expensive so no tension device). When the snow finally melts the truth will be known how much it helped.

  22. #22
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    Have been having a terrible time this winter getting myself onto the trainer. Perhaps because so much of my energy has gone into snow removal. The other day I actually did 25 minutes! That's a mere drop in the bucket of what I should be doing. I do like using one of my real bikes though (set up on a trainer). Just keeping the agility of getting off and on a road bike is important at my age.
    When Spring does arrive it won't be a new experience.
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  23. #23
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    I actually look forward to my sessions in the basement on the rollers. The alternative is, well there really is no alternative when its so blasted cold outside and snow is piled high everywhere. It's either ride the rollers or don't ride. I have a tv set up in front of the rollers along with a fan. I watch a cycling workout video and keep track of heart rate, cadence, pseudo distance, etc. I at least have something to measure this way and can tell if I'm working hard enough. I don't care if the distance is not the same as outside, that's not the point. I'm looking at level of workout intensity so when I do get back outside in the Spring, I'm not starting at zero.
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