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Simple Indoor Setup for a Casual Rider?

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Simple Indoor Setup for a Casual Rider?

Old 12-27-20, 02:11 PM
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LadyMuMu
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Simple Indoor Setup for a Casual Rider?

Hi all,

I'm a very casual bike rider. I commute to and from work Spring-Fall (about 2 miles) in the midwest on a Cannondale Quick 5. I ride on trails and paths a few times a week and a few times a year, I like to do longer rides of about 50 miles or so. I'd like to bring my bike into my basement for use over the winter. I used to have a cheap used indoor spin bike that bit the dust that I used with Peloton app and enjoyed very much. That bike bit the dust--crank pedal threads stripped and crank was impossible to replace. Like I said, it was super cheap. I'm grateful it lasted long enough to get me interested in riding outdoors.

I don't want to purchase a quality indoor bike (I'd rather save my money for my next outdoor bike!) and I'd love to just stick with my Quick if possible. And I'd like to do the bike classes on Apple Fitness+. Main goal is to have another option for cardio in the winter in my house and be ready sooner for getting back outside in the spring. Have heart rate monitor and cadence detector from previous indoor bike setup.

I've read around these forums and while most of the advice is geared for hardcore road riders, I picked up some thoughts and ideas. I'm thinking a basic entry level trainer may do the trick for me like a Fluid2. Questions I have are will it fit a non-road bike tire size? Is changing rear wheel just a "nice to do" or a must for riding a few times a week indoors until March? Thanks in advance for the tips.
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Old 12-27-20, 03:07 PM
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In this era of mass indoor training and Zwift riding I can't bring myself to recommend anything less than a direct drive smart trainer. Something along the lines of an Elite Direto or Wahoo Kickr Core. My Elite Direto is the best cycling investment I have made. I ride far more indoors than outdoors now, and reach my peak fitness in the dark of winter.
To have accurate power readings and changing resistance with the hills of a virtual world is too fun. I can't recommend recommend going a cheaper route. It would probably be a waste of money when you find out the equipment isn't good enough to do what you really want. If you're going to do something do it well. That's my advice, although it isn't what you're looking for.
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Old 12-27-20, 03:23 PM
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CL where I am has a profusion of used fluid trainers for˜$100
add a couple of Mangene sensors and a HRM and you can still get the whole enchilada for under ˜$150-200 using your phone as a head unit.
Smart trainers are going for a premium, are $$ and are more than most will need.
A $15 ANT+ PC/laptop dongle will get you on Zwift if you like looking at Bots in Spandex
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Old 12-27-20, 06:28 PM
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Thanks for the speedy responses!
Dcook87, I certainly can see why you'd prefer the Direto or Kickr Core! Your commitment to indoor cycling puts my modest goals to shame. As a single bike owner, I'm reluctant to use a device that I can't easily pop my bike on and off. That, and those two models are more than I paid for my bike! But it's true I suffered a cheap product before--but I'm just not in a position to spend that much on a trainer set up right now. I'm also not interested in adding Zwift to my subscriptions. I'm budgeting for new quality but mid-level bikes for DH and the tween this spring and just need something to keep cycling in my winter fitness regime which includes weights, backpacking, yoga, etc. But your words of caution about cheaping out aren't falling on deaf ears.

bikebikebike, your advice is a little more my speed. I'm in a fairly bikey place so I'll keep trolling CL and FB Marketplace to see if I strike it lucky. Thanks for the encouragement!
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Old 12-27-20, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyMuMu View Post
Questions I have are will it fit a non-road bike tire size? Is changing rear wheel just a "nice to do" or a must for riding a few times a week indoors until March? Thanks in advance for the tips.
What size rim are you riding? Most wheel on trainers should work with common sizes. For the rear tire...swap for the indoor trainer tire. It was a huge difference for the few days I rode on my regular tire waiting for my indoor tire to arrive. Squeaking, slipping, and noise all went away once the tire was swapped...so I highly recommend that.
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Old 12-27-20, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyMuMu View Post
Thanks for the speedy responses!
Dcook87, I certainly can see why you'd prefer the Direto or Kickr Core! Your commitment to indoor cycling puts my modest goals to shame. As a single bike owner, I'm reluctant to use a device that I can't easily pop my bike on and off. That, and those two models are more than I paid for my bike! But it's true I suffered a cheap product before--but I'm just not in a position to spend that much on a trainer set up right now. I'm also not interested in adding Zwift to my subscriptions. I'm budgeting for new quality but mid-level bikes for DH and the tween this spring and just need something to keep cycling in my winter fitness regime which includes weights, backpacking, yoga, etc. But your words of caution about cheaping out aren't falling on deaf ears.

bikebikebike, your advice is a little more my speed. I'm in a fairly bikey place so I'll keep trolling CL and FB Marketplace to see if I strike it lucky. Thanks for the encouragement!
i have one bike and i put it on and take it off the trainer (kicker) easily. less so in winter and ideally less in summer but last summer was very smokey here in reno, NV so it was on and off based on current conditions. don't let that be a factor.
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Old 12-28-20, 08:44 AM
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If what you're describing is some very light indoor training, then get a wheel-on trainer. No need to spend lots for a wheel-off model. Then you have to decide if you want to use the online services, like Zwift, or not. if you do, a smart trainer, like the Wahoo Snap is needed. If not, and all you want to do is spin and watch TV, any good quality trainer will do.
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Old 12-28-20, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by LadyMuMu View Post
I'm in a fairly bikey place so I'll keep trolling CL and FB Marketplace to see if I strike it lucky.
You can check Shopgoodwill.com from time to time as well for something in your area. I got a Cycleops trainer there for cheap to try it out and didn't like it so sold it on nextdoor.com
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Old 12-29-20, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by LadyMuMu View Post
Hi all,

I'm a very casual bike rider. I commute to and from work Spring-Fall (about 2 miles) in the midwest on a Cannondale Quick 5. I ride on trails and paths a few times a week and a few times a year, I like to do longer rides of about 50 miles or so. I'd like to bring my bike into my basement for use over the winter. I used to have a cheap used indoor spin bike that bit the dust that I used with Peloton app and enjoyed very much. That bike bit the dust--crank pedal threads stripped and crank was impossible to replace. Like I said, it was super cheap. I'm grateful it lasted long enough to get me interested in riding outdoors.

I don't want to purchase a quality indoor bike (I'd rather save my money for my next outdoor bike!) and I'd love to just stick with my Quick if possible. And I'd like to do the bike classes on Apple Fitness+. Main goal is to have another option for cardio in the winter in my house and be ready sooner for getting back outside in the spring. Have heart rate monitor and cadence detector from previous indoor bike setup.

I've read around these forums and while most of the advice is geared for hardcore road riders, I picked up some thoughts and ideas. I'm thinking a basic entry level trainer may do the trick for me like a Fluid2. Questions I have are will it fit a non-road bike tire size? Is changing rear wheel just a "nice to do" or a must for riding a few times a week indoors until March? Thanks in advance for the tips.
You definitely do not need a direct drive trainer to do the riding you describe. I have used a simple fluid "dumb trainer" for years, doing spin classes on apps (like Peloton, etc) and doing interval workouts while watching Netflix/TV, and it works great for that purpose. You can add/remove resistance by using your gears. Any wheel-on trainer should work with your non-road bike tire size just fine, no need to change the rear wheel or tire. The only exception to this would be if you're using knobby tires. Knobby tires will work, but they make a ton of noise and it gets annoying.

The main benefit of a "smart trainer" is if you have an interest in programs like Zwift or Rouvy, or other workout programs that need to control the resistance for intervals/hills/etc. Smart trainers are fun, and Zwift/Rouvy make indoor riding more engaging and realistic, but you definitely don't need this if your goal is to just do spin classes on Peloton app, or Apple+. Even if you decide that you want a "smart trainer" there is definitely no need to spend big bucks on a direct-drive setup. I have a Wahoo Kickr Snap and it works really well for Zwift.
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Old 12-29-20, 09:36 AM
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Agree with the advice to look for a wheel-on fluid trainer like that posted above. I keep seeing very nice used ones popping up on CL and FB marketplace as people are upgrading to fancy smart trainers.

They will all work with a wide range of wheel diameters and tire widths. I’m sure yours will fit fine. You may need to change the QR skewer to fit the trainer m but those are $12. And if your current back tire has a tread, you’ll want to get a slick tire. They sell trainer specific tires for this purpose, but I’ve always just used an old road tire that’s near the end of its life.

Once you have the trainer worked out, you should be able to get on the Apple+ workouts or tons of other applications.
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Old 12-30-20, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyMuMu View Post
Hi all,


I've read around these forums and while most of the advice is geared for hardcore road riders, I picked up some thoughts and ideas. I'm thinking a basic entry level trainer may do the trick for me like a Fluid2. Questions I have are will it fit a non-road bike tire size? Is changing rear wheel just a "nice to do" or a must for riding a few times a week indoors until March? Thanks in advance for the tips.
The Fluid2 is a "dumb trainer". New, the cost is almost as about the same as the TACX Flow, a little more buys a new Wahoo Snap. Both of these are "smart" wheel-on trainers. If you can find a fluid trainer used at low cost then ok. With a wheel-on trainer a tire specific for the application is really nice however a regular tire will work as long as it is a street tire. Knobby tread will be very noisy and slip a lot.

You might not think that Zwift has anything for you, that was what I thought until I tried it. It makes a very tedious chore interesting and has rewards for accomplishments. I went from riding about 500 miles outside per year to over 6000 miles per year and my indoor trainer was a big part of it because during the winter I spent a lot of time on my trainer which made riding outside a lot more fun due to the increased fitness level. There are a lot of very casual Zwift users.
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Old 12-30-20, 02:21 PM
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If you want a basic entry level trainer, I'd look at the Saris Mag Trainer for $189. It's about as basic as it gets.
I'm not sure a $300 Fluid2 really improves the experience, but maybe it has better "road feel"? For sure, if you're into the $300 price range, it might be worth considering a Taxc Flow, which at $370 is probably the cheapest legit "smart trainer" out there. It has limitations as well, but will get you up and riding on Zwift.

Your bigger challenge will be finding any of these available to buy from a store right now. If you're looking for a dumb trainer, you can probably find many options on CL as people are upgrading to smart trainers and looking to offload (myself included).
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Old 12-31-20, 07:24 AM
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Lady MuMu - If you were able to do indoor training on that old spin bike without using the Peloton app, and didn't get bored - just buy any "non-smart" fluid or fan type trainer you can find. There are lots of those being sold used, too.

But, if it took using that Peloton app to keep from being bored doing indoor cycling, then spring for one of the low-end, wheel-on trainers. I've been using the Wahoo Kickr SNAP for 4 years with my 25 year old touring bike, works great. Someone else mentioned the TacX flow, too. That way you can try Zwift or Rouvy or other online apps to keep the setup from just gathering dust! No need for a direct drive trainer.
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Old 01-01-21, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyMuMu View Post
I've read around these forums and while most of the advice is geared for hardcore road riders, I picked up some thoughts and ideas. I'm thinking a basic entry level trainer may do the trick for me like a Fluid2. Questions I have are will it fit a non-road bike tire size? Is changing rear wheel just a "nice to do" or a must for riding a few times a week indoors until March? Thanks in advance for the tips.
I have ridden quite a bit indoors on a Kinetic Road Machine. Changing the rear tire has not been a must, but a trainer specific tire is quieter and saves your regular tire from excessive wear. And wheel-on trainers do seem to wear out tires faster than actual roads do. A Fluid 2 should have enough adjustability to fit your Quick 5.

+1 to putting on a TV show or Youtube workout video. I know a lot of people are on Zwift and are happy with it, but personally, watching GCN workout videos has taken the mundane grind out of indoor cycling for me. And it costs nothing!
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Old 01-06-21, 04:27 PM
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In my experience, my fan is louder than my wheel-on trainer.
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Old 01-07-21, 09:16 AM
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I'd look for a Kurt Kinetic or Cyclops Fluid trainer on Craigslist, FB Marketplace, etc. As people like myself upgrade to a smart wheel-off trainer they sell off the older ones cheap.
In my case I saved my KK Road Machine for my wife, who uses it to augment her fitness routine and doesn't care about detailed performance metrics or riding on Zwift, Rouvy, etc.
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Old 01-10-21, 07:18 PM
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I ended up just buying a great pair of winter biking pants and gloves instead. When it's not too icy, I ride outside now. After seeing all the responses, I realized that I already spend a LOT of time working out in my basement during winter (weights, yoga, etc.) and figured a little sunshine would do me some good. I may still do a indoor trainer setup when and if the right thing comes up on my local resale market. Thanks again for all the great feedback!
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Old 01-10-21, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyMuMu View Post
I ended up just buying a great pair of winter biking pants and gloves instead. When it's not too icy, I ride outside now. After seeing all the responses, I realized that I already spend a LOT of time working out in my basement during winter (weights, yoga, etc.) and figured a little sunshine would do me some good. I may still do a indoor trainer setup when and if the right thing comes up on my local resale market. Thanks again for all the great feedback!
Good choice. the best riding is in real life anyway.
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Old 01-12-21, 12:19 PM
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I think the simplest thing is a set of rollers, preferably a set with resistance. One just puts the bike on the rollers and rides. There's no fooling around with anything. You need smooth tires is all. It's best to start with the rollers in a doorway, then move them near a wall once one gains confidence. Does wonders for your outdoor skills and pedaling. No noticeable tire wear. Plus it's interesting - I'm never bored on my rollers, even for a 2 hour ride. Can't watch TV though music is helpful.
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Old 01-12-21, 01:28 PM
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Hello can someone recommend a very comfortable gel saddle for a stationary exercise bike. On the road I usually wear bike kit, but its unnecessary for stationary riding. Instead of a performance saddle with padded shorts, I want to find a very comfortable gel saddle so I can ride 30-45 mins at a time without discomfort. I see saddles for low end bikes on amazon for $15-20 but if anyone has experience with a particular brand.

Please do respond that every saddle and rider is different..... I get that. I'm not riding a century. Just looking for a well made gel / padded saddle that allows me to ride without padded shorts.
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Old 01-12-21, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Limbatus View Post
Hello can someone recommend a very comfortable gel saddle for a stationary exercise bike. On the road I usually wear bike kit, but its unnecessary for stationary riding. Instead of a performance saddle with padded shorts, I want to find a very comfortable gel saddle so I can ride 30-45 mins at a time without discomfort. I see saddles for low end bikes on amazon for $15-20 but if anyone has experience with a particular brand.

Please do respond that every saddle and rider is different..... I get that. I'm not riding a century. Just looking for a well made gel / padded saddle that allows me to ride without padded shorts.
you really should start a new thread topic rather than hijack one that is not relevant to what you want.

that said, no.
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