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  1. #1
    N_C
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    Why is it that trainer mileage is not considered real mileage?

    I mean a mile is a mile right? Whether you ride a bike, walk or drive a car you are still travelling a mile, correct? A mile is the same distance whether or not it is traversed on a dirt path, gravel road, asphalt road way, a roadway paved with concrete & even one traverwed on a bike trainer or rollers correct?

    Ok so let's get back to the real question at hand. The one regarding riding a mile or more by bicycle & the differance in doing it on a roadway or a trainer.

    I'll use this as an easy & simple example: If I ride my bike from home to the intersection of Hamilton Blvd & Outer Drive & back I know it will be a total of 2 miles. But if I ride the 2 miles on my trainer isn't it the same physical distance as riding to Hamilton & Outer Drive & back?

    So why the issue/concern/controversey over riding & keeping track of mileage on a trainer? I have had people tell me that riding a mile on a trainer is not the same distance of riding a mile on the road. I don't understand how that can be. A mile is a little over 5,000 feet in lenght, (don't know the exact distance). So why does it make a differance if that distance is riden on a trainer or on the open road?

    Granted me & the bike stay in one place while I'm pedalling on a trainer, but the as the rear wheel spins & the magnet passes the sensor over & over again my computer is keeping track of how far, or should I say the equalivilant to how far I have gone.

  2. #2
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    If you want to count miles ridden on a trainer, then do so. If you want to count miles ridden in your dreams, do so. It's not like there's some international organization that determines which miles 'count' and which do not.

  3. #3
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    So why the issue/concern/controversey over riding & keeping track of mileage on a trainer? I have had people tell me that riding a mile on a trainer is not the same distance of riding a mile on the road. I don't understand how that can be. A mile is a little over 5,000 feet in lenght, (don't know the exact distance). So why does it make a differance if that distance is riden on a trainer or on the open road?
    The difference is that if you're out there on the road, you're dealing with the elements -- the wind, the rain, the heat, the cold (for those in cooler climates than mine), the differing road surfaces. They all make up part of the riding experience. In fact, many of my most memorable rides would have been considerably less so without any of the above factors. So while it may be "the same distance", it's hardly a challenge on the same scale.

    In anycase, it's really your own decision just which miles you log and which you don't. It's the same for everyone. I could just as easily put down a fabricated 250km ride that I did "in spirit" in my log, but the only person I'd be cheating in that situation would be myself, so I don't.
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  4. #4
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Dang! I'm wasting my time riding at the indoor track!....
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  5. #5
    Senior Member LordOpie's Avatar
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    so a century on a trainer doesn't count?

  6. #6
    Pat
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    Well, I think the calibration of the trainer is a rather tricky sort of thing. On a trainer, you can set the resistance really low and get the wheels spinning like all get out and viola', you have a pile of miles. Of course, you were averaging 29 mph and you were not even breathing hard. So I think calibration is an issue.

    A way to calibrate the trainer would be to know what mph you do at certain heart rates on the road and convert over with the trainer. If you do 18 mph at 150 bpm and you train at 150 bpm for an hour, you have probably done the equivilent of 18 miles.

    The problem with the above is it is easy to "cheat". It is harder to cheat out on the road. You may say, "I have done my 18 miles" but if you are not back to your ride start, what you say is immaterial.

    I think this is why quite a few people are skeptical of "trainer miles". Keep track of them by all means as a way to track your training, but just remember they are all too easy to fudge.

  7. #7
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    i think the only way to be accurate, is to go by hours on a trainer. Miles will be off...plus on a trainer you dont deal with the weight load you deal with as a moving object on the road. You can emulate that resistance, but it's not the same.

    at least to me:

    road = miles
    trainer = hours

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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Do whatever suits your training needs.

    No one is looking over your shoulder.

    I keep track of my trainer miles, as best as I can estimate them, for my own purposes. I am only competing against myself, so who cares?

    As far as being in the "elements" is concerned, IMHO, it takes a lot more guts to do a boring hour on the trainer than it does to ride an hour in the elements. Given the opportunity, the trainer is my last choice of activities. However, I am also not going to go out in 0 degrees Fahrenheit in a wind of 20-30 mph just to prove some sort of useless point.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pat

    The problem with the above is it is easy to "cheat". It is harder to cheat out on the road. You may say, "I have done my 18 miles" but if you are not back to your ride start, what you say is immaterial.

    If I do 18 miles up and down hills, and you do 18 miles on the flats, are they the same 18 miles?

    If I do 18 miles at 10,000 feet and you do yours at sea level, are they the same?

    If I do 18 miles in heavy winds and you do yours when it is calm, are they the same?

    If I do 18 miles at an average speed of 20 mph, and you do yours at an average 12 mph, are they the same?

    There is no way to get "comparability" between different persons reported mileage. It is silly to try. So, keep track of what you would like to keep track of for your own training purposes, in whatever manner you might like!
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 10-22-04 at 07:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    If I do 18 miles up and down hills, and you do 18 miles on the flats, are they the same 18 miles?

    If I do 18 miles at 10,000 feet and you do yours at sea level, are they the same?

    If I do 18 miles in heavy winds and you do yours when it is calm, are they the same?

    If I do 18 miles at an average speed of 20 mph, and you do yours at an average 12 mph, are they the same?

    There is no way to get "comparability" between different persons reported mileage. It is silly to try. So, keep track of what you would like to keep track of for your own training purposes, in whatever manner you might like!
    Right on. Let me add

    If I do 18 miles on my knobbies and you do yours on slicks, are they same

    If I do 18 miles on my 25#, panniered loaded touring bike and you do yours on a 15# carbon fiber racer, are they the same

    If I do 18 hilly miles on my 42/16 geared fixie and you do yours on a 53/42 front and 23/11 rear, are they the same

    If I do 18 miles playing stoker for my wife on the tandy and you do yours on the single stem, are they the same

    If I do 18 miles after gorging down a number 3 burrito combo with 3 corona chasers and you do yours on power bars and gatorade, are they the same

    If I do 18 miles in billy bob ravine with darrell and his brother darrell chasing me down with whiskey and a gleam in their eyes and you do yours on the burbville bike trail, are they the same

    Miles is not miles

  10. #10
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Right on. Let me add
    I like your examples better than mine!

  11. #11
    SAB
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    Agree about calibrating the resistance on a trainer. My trainer has both air-resistance and magnetic resistance. I find that spinning in a high gear with the fan only feels *about* like spinning on a flat, smooth road in a moderate gear. If I add the magnetic resistance, which has 8 levels, it gets real hard fast - feels like a steep hill. I can barely turn the pedals in the big ring, with mag on the highest level. What helps me judge is the watt-meter on the trainer. I know it's only a rough estimate but if reading 100Watts then I'm not even sweating. I can maintain 150-175 Watts for an hour. 200 Watts feels like a time trial. 225-275 are like intervals. I also have a book of indoor trainer interval workouts, that I do twice a week in the winter. Each page builds on the previous workout and it's designed to be completed through the winter season. I've never made it through the whole book - the workouts just get way too hard!

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    Why do you even want to count miles on the trainer???? In case you don't know, it is extreme bordom to spend 5 hours on the trainer versus riding outside for that long. To answer your question, it is inhuman and abusive to spend long time on the trainer. Therefore, you just can't get miles from riding on a trainer. Second, your fitness on the trainer does not translate onto the real world of riding on open road. Counting miles on the trainer is pointless. In fact, this off season, I will try to skip the trainer session all together.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Don Cook's Avatar
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    It doesn't make any difference. If we're talking specifically about distance, your bicycle measures a mile by counting wheel revolutions. Once they've spun enough to equal a mile, by golly it's a mile! Now, if we're trying to equate the amount of excersize we get by spinning our wheels a mile on a trainer versus doing it on the road, it's a very difficult thing to do. That's why when we talk about miles, it's probably a good idea to specify if they were accumulated on a trainer, on the road, going down a 10% grade, and so on. It allows us to relate the circumstance to our own experiences and thus get a better understanding of what you did. I count trainer miles during the off season just so that I can track my excersize effort. But I don't intermingle them with road miles.

  14. #14
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    One thing's for sure.......doing a century on a fixed gear ain't the same as doing one on a geared bike!
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    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    I use a 1upusa trainer. It dosen't have a tension adjustment, so you can't cheat. You are pedaling against a clutch that resists more the faster you try to go. You use your gears. It is actually like riding slightly uphill the whole way.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Xtrmyorick's Avatar
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    Computrainers do the same thing. As you go faster, resistance gets harder, making it feel like you're going against a wind. They also simulate terrain fairly well, so you can go 18 miles all downhill if you want, or 18 miles up a 20% grade, and the resistance changes drastically. Doesn't make it as exciting and fun as the actual road, though.

  17. #17
    Senior Member neuronbliss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avalanche325
    I use a 1upusa trainer. It dosen't have a tension adjustment, so you can't cheat. You are pedaling against a clutch that resists more the faster you try to go. You use your gears. It is actually like riding slightly uphill the whole way.
    How do you like that trainer? Is it quiet? Have you compared it to the CycleOps Fluid 2 (Ive seen their comparison, wonder if you have any)?

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    I think everybody's wrong here. Nobody never "rides" any "miles" on a trainer. You only produce an effort which is electronically translated into "miles" for convenience's sake. That's it, that's all. You could translate this effort into watts, or calories, or megabytes, or dollars, whatever you want...

    Riding a mile is when you ride from point A to point B, which is 1 mile away from point A.

  19. #19
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    If you keep records for only for yourself, do whatever your conscience dictates. But if you are going to list miles in this forum, you should tell us how many of them are trainer miles. Why? Because it matters to many, if not most, of your readers. Those readers who donít care about the difference can still look at the total. But those who care about the difference will understand what your numbers really mean.

    As someone who commutes through the snow and ice, I believe there is an enormous difference between the type of dedication it takes to ride 10 miles inside while watching sitcom reruns, and the type of dedication it takes to ride 10 miles in 10F over icy roads.

    I occasionally use stationary bikes when traveling. I would never think about adding that time to what I consider my real total.

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    riding on a trainer at 25 mph is even easier than riding on the road at 25 mph with a 25 mph tailwind. That would effectively elimate the wind resitance factor. But the friction with the road is much greater than rollers too, so it would be tough to compare the two directly.

    I like the idea of comparing heart rates.

  21. #21
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 520commuter
    riding on a trainer at 25 mph is even easier than riding on the road at 25 mph with a 25 mph tailwind. That would effectively elimate the wind resitance factor. But the friction with the road is much greater than rollers too, so it would be tough to compare the two directly.

    I like the idea of comparing heart rates.
    Using the Spinervals Videotapes, I DID compare heart rates last year, and found that my heart rate with the training videos far exceeded my general heart rates on the bike outside.

    You would be amazed at the amount of sweat you can work up, even using a fan.

    When you say riding on a trainer at 25 mph is so easy, you must not have used a training video, which are filled with interval training, high speed, high drag, and a variety of other strenuous activities.

    Try using your trainer to train, not just to pedal 25 miles per hour. It makes a world of difference.



    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute
    As someone who commutes through the snow and ice, I believe there is an enormous difference between the type of dedication it takes to ride 10 miles inside while watching sitcom reruns, and the type of dedication it takes to ride 10 miles in 10F over icy roads.
    Okay, and I will work much harder on my trainer using high resistance and interval training that riding 10 miles on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

    You simply can not put rules around mileage reporting, as each time you do someone will shoot your assumptions down.

    10 miles is not 10 miles is not 10 miles. Only way to compare would be to have the identical track.

    Please see the previous discussion on all the variables on mileage reporting.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 10-22-04 at 03:28 PM.

  22. #22
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Okay, and I will work much harder on my trainer using high resistance and interval training that riding 10 miles on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

    You simply can not put rules around mileage reporting, as each time you do someone will shoot your assumptions down.

    10 miles is not 10 miles is not 10 miles. Only way to compare would be to have the identical track.

    Please see the previous discussion on all the variables on mileage reporting.
    Yeah, but you avoided my point that, when reporting mileage to this Forum, you should make it clear what miles were done on a trainer because it matters to many, if not most, of your readers. Those readers who donít care about the difference can still look at the total. But those who care about the difference will understand what your numbers really mean.

    What you keep track of for your own purposes is your own business.

  23. #23
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    [QUOTE=Daily Commute]
    As someone who commutes through the snow and ice, I believe there is an enormous difference between the type of dedication it takes to ride 10 miles inside while watching sitcom reruns, and the type of dedication it takes to ride 10 miles in 10F over icy roads.

    QUOTE]

    I agree. I'd ride ten miles through a blizzard without a thought if there was somewhere I had to go. However, I'm not sure what it would take to force me to ride a trainer like a damn hamster in a wheel, even if I didn't have to watch TV (which I despise) To me, the really dedicated ones are the folks who manage to exercise just for the purpose of exercise, whether on a trainer or a bike.

    Paul

  24. #24
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=PaulH]
    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute
    As someone who commutes through the snow and ice, I believe there is an enormous difference between the type of dedication it takes to ride 10 miles inside while watching sitcom reruns, and the type of dedication it takes to ride 10 miles in 10F over icy roads.

    QUOTE]

    I agree. I'd ride ten miles through a blizzard without a thought if there was somewhere I had to go. However, I'm not sure what it would take to force me to ride a trainer like a damn hamster in a wheel, even if I didn't have to watch TV (which I despise) To me, the really dedicated ones are the folks who manage to exercise just for the purpose of exercise, whether on a trainer or a bike.

    Paul
    I've often noticed that lots of people qualify their mile by saying what kind of terrain it was on and what kind of weather they faced. Distinguising trainer miles isn't much different. I'm not saying trainer miles are evil, but I think we'd all have a different view of a 4000 mile year if 3000 of the miles were on a trainer.

    Maybe the way I'd put it is that you get credit for exercising on a trainer. You get credit for cycling on the road.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    How do you like that trainer? Is it quiet? Have you compared it to the CycleOps Fluid 2
    I really like the 1upusa. It is quiet, you can watch TV at a normal volume. I did not actually ride a Cyclops Fluid 2, I did not want fluid after reading so much about people having leakage problems.

    riding on a trainer at 25 mph is even easier than riding on the road at 25 mph with a 25 mph tailwind.
    Not on this trainer. You won't ride this one at 25mph in anything but a sprint. It is harder than the road riding solo, not in a pack. If that is not enough, you can change the position of the balls in the clutch (in about 10 minutes) and make it even tougher. I am 6ft 193lbs and have ridden a few mountain centuries and the regular setting is tough enough for me.

    Plus, a lifetime waranty.

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