I'm thinking of getting a trainer for indoors. It'll be too nasty here in a few months to go outside for rides. I've been to Spin classes but thought it would be fun to have an indoor trainer so that I'm not always committed to ride at a certain time (usually 6PM at my local gym). I've heard that the fluid ones are best - at least I think it was fluid - heard the fan ones are too loud. Anybody using these?
I have a trainer (had one and used it heavily for years), but I must say I much prefer spinning classes.
If the place you go has only one class at a bad time, maybe consider a different place with better hours.
The instructor, bikes being used, room setup all are very important, any of those things is bad and the classes can suck.
I find with spinning, because the classes are scheduled, I get more motivated to attend as opposed to hitting the trainer.
In the end anything that you keep up with that gives you bike type cardio good. Key being sticking with it religiously. I find with fitness you need to keep at it very regularly, doesn't take much to fall off the wagon.
I used to have a fan trainer a long time ago, and yes, it is very noisy! The most popular choices are magnetic or fluid resistance. I have both a magnetic and a fluid and both give enough resistance to get a very good workout. The biggest difference is that the magnetic trainer delivers resistance in a tighter range than the fluid. The thing I don't like about the fluid is that it takes several minutes to warm-up, then when it does, the resistance abruptly jumps up. Both are fine, though.