As the fall draws near, I'm trying to prepare myself for the inevitability of winter. This was the first year in about 5 that I did a fair bit of cycling again. I'm very happy to get back into it. Its been a fun season so far, and I'm looking for ways to continue it through the winter.
As I see it, there are several options to bring cycling indoors.
1. Trainer Stand (Fluid/Friction/Wind)
3. Compu Trainer (Computerized Magnetic)
4. Spinning Bike
5. Computerized Exercise Bike
I have a Blackburn TrackStand Ultra. While I'm sure it is a fine piece of equipment, it is mind numbingly boring to ride. Stare at the wall and pedal. Not fun.
I've never tried a set of rollers, but I can't imagine that its too much more fun than a trainer stand. Stare at the wall and pedal.
Compu Trainers and spinning bikes seem to intrigue me. Neither is terribly inexpensive, but I think it would be a worthwhile investment to keep the legs in shape through the winter months. The compu trainer is hooked to a pc/lapto and can display courses, other riders, etc. I would think that would make things a bit more interesting.
Spinning bikes are also somewhat intriguing. The spinning dvd's that are available make it seem more interesting than staring at a wall or tv show while pedaling. Plus there is some motivation to do it.
I'm a techie, so anything that is interactive or spits out how much work I did, or how fast I went, is a plus. I love to try to improve on my last session. Pedal a cadence 1 or 2 rpm faster. Shave a few seconds off a route. Take my average speed up a couple tenths of mph, etc.
I'm almost never bored on rollers. Especially a set with resistance. Ride and listen to the radio. Maybe you could face a window? There are many, many drills, intervals, etc., to keep the legs in a little pain, the mind involved, and the boredom away. Then there's the thing of just staying up. Or you can do S curves and see how close you can come to the edge without going off. Then there's standing or riding on aerobars or forearms on the bars. Lots of skills to develop.
Last I looked the Compu Trainer was in the $1400 neighborhood. Yes, its reasonably expensive, but if it allows me to forgo the YMCA or gym membership, I'll recoup a portion of the purchase price over the winter. Its winter here for a LONG time North Dakota.
I'm leaning toward either the Compu Trainer, a high quality spin bike, or high quality upright exercise bike. That way the wife can use her bike with the trainer or she can use either of the bikes. She would never ride rollers, and she tried my trainer stand once and hated it worse than me.
Anyone out there go through the same process?
Anyone purchased any of these that could provide some additional input?
Thats kind of where I'm at. I've never been much for cross country skiing. Living in North Dakota doesn't afford much opportunity for dowhill. I do quite a bit of snowmobiling, but that isn't a huge cardio activity.
I'll do some swimming, basketball, and stay in the gym. I just don't want to start 2010 with no cycling legs. It was a bugger this spring trying to get my legs into decent enough shape for 20-30 mile rides.
I find a trainer and Spinnervals DVD's Tolerable I do not get bored.. Coach Troy has u changing things yup ever 5-10 mins so it passes the time fine
if you love numbers though and can afford it get the computrianer I'm' sure if give you all the feedback you'd ever want
+1 for Spinervals
When I was riding a lot, I rode through the winter when I could get out, mostly on weekends for long rides. I just dressed for it. However, it gets dark early and I didn't want to be riding at night where I used to live on congested roads, therefore I rode a mag trainer and used Spinervals dueing the week. I bought three or four titles and rotated them. Coach Troy can kick your butt if you let him.
Another thing to consider is an elliptical cross trainer.
I recently bought a mid priced one of these and it is really impressive.
You can train as easy/hard as you want. You can even do interval training!
I train in the garage listening to my radio.
An alternative to a compu trainer is the Travel Trac 4 Real Axiom trainer by Elite. Its about $800, is also a computerized magnetic resistance unit, and provides a pretty decent workout. Its not the same as a computrainer, but its also about half the price.
I have a spin bike that I bought used. The advantage is that it's always set up- I don't have to get a trainer out of the closet, wheel a bike in from the garage, and hook it up. And it is sturdy enough that I can stand on it without worry, unlike a bike on a trainer. I put a real bicycle saddle and pedals on it.
But it's still just as incredibly tedious as a bike on a trainer. DVDs (spinervals, carmichael, old TdF, whatver) make it less boring, but it's still dull. Another disadvantage is that there's no power sensor, so I can't use it for power-based intervals or testing. But I use it only when the weather is too rotten to ride outside, and that's only 10-20 days a year.