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Fan While Riding

Old 01-07-21, 11:13 PM
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Het Volk
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Fan While Riding

Curious,

I see all of these fan set-ups, and maybe I am just an odd-duck, but I have a heater instead (since I am riding in my basement, which can run around low 60's in winter. Is there a training benefit, or do people just not want to sweat? I guess when I ride in the summer, it is usually (especially this last summer) 95 degrees and sunny as all hell. Maybe it has caused my blood to run too thin, because I prefer riding in the heat. Little need for warm-up, ligaments and joint injury is lower, and overall, I just feel snappier.....but curious....are there training or other reasons to want fans blowing on you while on the trainer?

(Note: I have one of those top-tube towel hammock contraptions to keep sweat off my bike, so that is not a concern).
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Old 01-07-21, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Het Volk View Post
Curious,

I see all of these fan set-ups, and maybe I am just an odd-duck, but I have a heater instead (since I am riding in my basement, which can run around low 60's in winter. Is there a training benefit, or do people just not want to sweat? I guess when I ride in the summer, it is usually (especially this last summer) 95 degrees and sunny as all hell. Maybe it has caused my blood to run too thin, because I prefer riding in the heat. Little need for warm-up, ligaments and joint injury is lower, and overall, I just feel snappier.....but curious....are there training or other reasons to want fans blowing on you while on the trainer?

(Note: I have one of those top-tube towel hammock contraptions to keep sweat off my bike, so that is not a concern).
I really can't answer your question as an authority but I think I read somewhere that there is a health and performance benefit to having air circulating while in heavy exercise. Maybe, maybe not. The argument is that even on still, hot days there is some rider caused air movement that evaporates sweat from the rider.

From my personal experience when I forget to turn on my fans I get quite uncomfortable fairly quickly, 5 or so minutes. I have 3 fans that I use, one in the front, another behind and a third pointed at my trainer electronics. I have them all turned up to high and still would like more air movement. My basement is cool and in the winter when I turn on the fans it feels chilly but that soon changes. I'm not one that sweats a lot and hardly ever drip sweat nor do I feel the need to protect my bike from dripping sweat because there isn't any but having fans has become important to me.
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Old 01-08-21, 12:28 AM
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I'm also a 3 fan user and start sweating after warming up even on Z1, <50% FTP, recovery rides. I sometimes open the window next to my setup when it's 40F outside if I'm racing. With my setup and a series of sweat bands that I rotate through so none get soaked, there's very little moisture hitting the sweat protector on my frame and even less getting anywhere on the bike, which is a nice side-effect. Someone on another forum claims his frame was completely trashed by a season of indoor training, so sweat can be a real danger if not limited.

Here's a good article from Zwift Insider on the topic of cooling: https://zwiftinsider.com/how-much-fan/ .

I don't overheat when riding outside as long as I stay hydrated and keep moving, so it's clear to me that air movement makes a massive difference.
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Old 01-08-21, 08:55 AM
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I don't know anything about training benefits, but for me riding without a fan really sucks. I get super hot. A fan helps keep me cooler and I also like that the air movement feels more "real". I probably sweat the same either way, but the fan helps evaporate it off my skin much faster which helps with cooling.

I just use one cheapo box fan in front. It's currently down on the floor near my front wheel, angled up at me. I'd prefer it to be up higher so it hits more of my upper body/face, but I haven't figured out a good way to do that with my current setup yet.

Ideally I'd have a fan with a remote, so that I could switch it on after 5-10 mins of riding. My basement is also a bit chilly in the morning when I'm doing most of my riding, so the first few minutes are cold but things heat up fast on the trainer.
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Old 01-08-21, 11:01 AM
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A fan makes me feel like Im riding super fast and feel the wind. I make whichever kid annoyed me the most that day sit by the fan and change the fan speed based on if Im riding uphill, flat road, or downhill.

...or I use a fan because I sweat and it helps cool me.
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Old 01-08-21, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Het Volk View Post
Curious,

I see all of these fan set-ups, and maybe I am just an odd-duck, but I have a heater instead (since I am riding in my basement, which can run around low 60's in winter. Is there a training benefit, or do people just not want to sweat? I guess when I ride in the summer, it is usually (especially this last summer) 95 degrees and sunny as all hell. Maybe it has caused my blood to run too thin, because I prefer riding in the heat. Little need for warm-up, ligaments and joint injury is lower, and overall, I just feel snappier.....but curious....are there training or other reasons to want fans blowing on you while on the trainer?

(Note: I have one of those top-tube towel hammock contraptions to keep sweat off my bike, so that is not a concern).
i too have a heater becasue i ride in the garage but only in teh winter (ideally). the garage is 40F, after an hour or two my toes are pretty darn cold.

i only run the heater until my head is hot (on the ceiling aimed down). after that the fan is on, starts on setting 1 then progresses up from there as i get hotter.

the fan is definitely needed to prevent overheating. overheating will affect your ride performance. when you overheat you ride slower and feel much more tired. case in point, when i ride here in reno IRL and leave early in the morning when only 70F i can ride a 60 mi route easily, feel fine at the end. if i do that same ride later in teh day when 90F+ it is a much different story, i can finish but i am tired at the end.

bottom line, you really need a fan. mine is an old panasonic i got from my grandmother. i rememver it when i was a kid.
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Old 01-08-21, 11:29 AM
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I put a fan behind me so I always have a tailwind. It makes me way faster.
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Old 01-08-21, 12:17 PM
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All depends on your training goals. if you want to maximize performance on the bike, cooling is worth a few watts. If you want to train your heat tolerance, you might want to go the other way. Also some of us have pretty acidic sweat. Even with a bike bikini and a towel wrapped around my seat post, I still see corrosion of metal parts I sweat on through the year.

FWIW: https://zwiftinsider.com/how-much-fan/
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Old 01-08-21, 02:27 PM
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Heat makes a big difference for me. In my basement in the low 60s F I am miserable just easy pedaling for 15 minutes if I don't have a fan on. I've got a pair of 20" high velocity fans pointed directly at me (controlled with smart plugs so I can turn them on while riding). Even with both fans blasting I am dripping sweat pretty soon and have to swap out my cotton headband every 20-30 minutes. If I wasn't so lazy I would move the whole setup to the garage where it's colder.
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Old 01-08-21, 03:09 PM
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My garage is typically in the low 50s lately and I run a 24" pedestal fan. If I'm doing anything over sweetspot, I am down to bibs within 10 or 15 minutes and I will still leave a puddle next to the bike.
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Old 01-08-21, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
My garage is typically in the low 50s lately and I run a 24" pedestal fan. If I'm doing anything over sweetspot, I am down to bibs within 10 or 15 minutes and I will still leave a puddle next to the bike.
Same here.

I start out with the fans off and a short sleeve jersey in my unheated garage that's generally 55 degrees or less. I do 10 minutes Z1/Z2 to warm up the legs and the trainer tire, then to a spindown and turn the fans on. After about another 5-10 minutes the jersey comes off. Even in a 55 degree garage, with fans, I still sweat profusely.
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Old 01-11-21, 09:01 AM
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I started Zwifting w/o a fan years ago and quickly remedied that issue. I sweat pretty easily so without a fan I would be a dripping mess which I usually am, even with the fan. Now I've never tried moving my set up to the garage where it would be pretty chilly but I still think I would sweat a ton, just might take a little longer.
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Old 01-11-21, 08:39 PM
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I sweat on the Kickr whether I’m in the garage or inside down in the Cave. It’s the cold, wet condition that sucks, no matter where I am. So, cold & sweaty from being outside is misery, and cold & sweaty in front of a fan indoors is almost as bad. I’m trying to convince myself I need a Headwind fan set to HeartRate for this reason. Cool down, less cold wind.
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Old 01-12-21, 12:11 PM
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In winter, I use heat to keep my indoor ride area at about 58. Lab tests have concluded that cyclists give their best performance at 55. Even at 58, I use a 24" box fan. If I don't use the fan, I feel my body temperature rise, start to sweat, and feel my apparent effort increase at the same power. That makes sense, because getting rid of heat makes one's heart work harder to pump blood to the surface to carry away heat, thus heart works harder and less blood available to the muscles. This is the reason that many riders don't test FTP the same indoors and out.

I wear a light wicking T, padded shorts, and short finger gloves, usually summer weight socks. I see photos of riders in bike jerseys. That'd be too hot for me. In summer I take my shirt off and run the fan on high.
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Old 01-12-21, 06:39 PM
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I keep my basement window open and I get the temp down to the upper 40's/low 50's, I have 3 fans (2 lasko pro performance fans, 1 lasko cyclone). Just bibs, no jersey. I need all the cooling I can get, I do sweet spot training on trainerroad and my intervals are all currently in the 270w region, so 800w are being lost as heat. My arms/torso stay dry, my brow does sweat, I could probably do a little more to get a fan to my head but that's really the least critical part for cooling.
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Old 01-16-21, 04:06 PM
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Probably redundant with earlier posts, but if you are putting out watts, you need a fan unless your basement is really cold. My basement is usually 57 *F, 14C and I ride in summer kit. I am chilly for the first couple of minutes, but unless it is super low-key (< 1.3 W/kg), i turn the fan on after 5-10 minutes.

If I have all the heat up "high" in my basement, then it's more like 62 F 17 C and then it's too warm to zwift without two fans.
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Old 01-16-21, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
I put a fan behind me so I always have a tailwind. It makes me way faster.
All you folks riding indoor trainers have my respect, because I consider them to be psychological torture mechanisms. But since I live where the winter allows riding in fair weather 40+ degrees on at least three or four days of the week, I ride outdoors only. Still, since you're training, don't you want the added resistance of a stiff headwind? At least on the first part of your route, before you turn and head for home, I mean. A tailwind heading home is good for morale.
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Old 01-16-21, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DeadGrandpa View Post
All you folks riding indoor trainers have my respect, because I consider them to be psychological torture mechanisms. But since I live where the winter allows riding in fair weather 40+ degrees on at least three or four days of the week, I ride outdoors only. Still, since you're training, don't you want the added resistance of a stiff headwind? At least on the first part of your route, before you turn and head for home, I mean. A tailwind heading home is good for morale.
It all depends on why you're on the trainer in the first place. I've done some two-hour trainer sessions that left me far more roasted, used up, tired and weak than some strenuous outdoor 4+ hour rides ever did. Why? You don't ever, ever, ever stop pedaling, coast or get a really good recovery break on a hard trainer workout. You're working toward a goal. It's the journey and the destination all mixed into one activity, with no stop signs, turns, loose dirt/sand/debris from the latest storm, no flats, no mechanicals, no dogs, no dropped water bottles to have to stop and turn around to retrieve, no cleanup of filthy winter road grime on bike, or any of the millions of other things that people whine and complain about here on BF about riding outside. If I were just spinning along on a set of rollers or a wheel-on trainer with nothing to look at except a clock then I'd probably agree with your first sentence. But, fortunately, that's not even close to what indoor training is about when you're riding a smart trainer. Shoot- even a wheel-on trainer with GCN videos can put some serious work into your legs if you do it like you mean it! No power meter required. Some people just love riding bikes, and they'll train for it no matter what.
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Old 01-16-21, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post
It all depends on why you're on the trainer in the first place. I've done some two-hour trainer sessions that left me far more roasted, used up, tired and weak than some strenuous outdoor 4+ hour rides ever did. Why? You don't ever, ever, ever stop pedaling, coast or get a really good recovery break on a hard trainer workout. You're working toward a goal. It's the journey and the destination all mixed into one activity, with no stop signs, turns, loose dirt/sand/debris from the latest storm, no flats, no mechanicals, no dogs, no dropped water bottles to have to stop and turn around to retrieve, no cleanup of filthy winter road grime on bike, or any of the millions of other things that people whine and complain about here on BF about riding outside. If I were just spinning along on a set of rollers or a wheel-on trainer with nothing to look at except a clock then I'd probably agree with your first sentence. But, fortunately, that's not even close to what indoor training is about when you're riding a smart trainer. Shoot- even a wheel-on trainer with GCN videos can put some serious work into your legs if you do it like you mean it! No power meter required. Some people just love riding bikes, and they'll train for it no matter what.
That's a really good explanation of the trainer experience, and I understand that culture a little better now, so thanks. Having recently examined why I ride, I realize that I very much ride for the scenery. Like you, I also seldom stop pedaling (when moving), but I admit to taking a break to snack and hydrate every twenty miles or so. Yeah, my workouts take four-ish hours, but I love every minute of it, including the headwinds. I figure my rides are training for the touring I want to do. I definitely admire the discipline you display, training indoors during inclement weather. I didn't intend to disparage you or anyone else who rides indoors. I can and have ridden for hours in the cold rain, have hiked most of the day in the sleet and snow. I've never seen a trainer that I could ride more than 30 minutes.
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Old 01-17-21, 01:17 PM
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I was never a fan user until we started using the spin bikes at the gym between classes in the off season. I'm not a heavy sweater but at the point where the sweat is running into my eyes or I'm distracted from wiping it off, I need some help. At the gym that meant turning at least 1 of the fans on in the large empty classroom, and preferebly aiming one at me.

I'm just now setting up my indoor station and grabbed a single Honeywell fan (cheap amazon find). It seems to be just enough to keep me from dying. The particular bedroom I'm converting will get sunny and hot in the summer, but ideally then I'll be riding outdoors!
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Old 01-17-21, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Zoxe View Post
I was never a fan user until we started using the spin bikes at the gym between classes in the off season. I'm not a heavy sweater but at the point where the sweat is running into my eyes or I'm distracted from wiping it off, I need some help. At the gym that meant turning at least 1 of the fans on in the large empty classroom, and preferebly aiming one at me.
I remember doing spin classes in a gym and the instructor never had fans which was one of the reasons I stopped going to spin classes! She probably thought for some people who are not big sweaters (young ladies) this made them feel they were getting results but for old guys like me, it was a living hell. I kept saying to her, you need to get fans in here but she wasn't listening.
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Old 01-17-21, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
I remember doing spin classes in a gym and the instructor never had fans which was one of the reasons I stopped going to spin classes! She probably thought for some people who are not big sweaters (young ladies) this made them feel they were getting results but for old guys like me, it was a living hell. I kept saying to her, you need to get fans in here but she wasn't listening.
My particular gym has 3 industrial strength cage fans and the lights are firmly OFF to not contribute to whatever residual heat they might cause. At least if you sweat, others won't see it glistening.

I never did classes there; we'd stop after work for a workout and if we ran long the early arrivers would be there staking out their favorite bikes. Normally it was just me and Mrs. Zoxe and maybe 1 or 2 others looking for cardio after a weight session.
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Old 01-17-21, 03:37 PM
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At 10 deg Celsius with the fan on the 3rd step (strongest) I still need a towel to wipe away the sweat at every 2-5 minutes. At 15 deg Celsius and the same fan at the maximum speed, I can't avoid a puddle of sweat falling on the floor, no matter wiping with the towel.
How could one possibly ride indoor without a fan? Maybe try sauna bath instead?
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Old 01-17-21, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post
I sweat on the Kickr whether Im in the garage or inside down in the Cave. Its the cold, wet condition that sucks, no matter where I am. So, cold & sweaty from being outside is misery, and cold & sweaty in front of a fan indoors is almost as bad. Im trying to convince myself I need a Headwind fan set to HeartRate for this reason. Cool down, less cold wind.
You definitely need one- I have one I got with my kick and love it, for most riding I have it set to speed so the fast you go the more wind, more realistic but if I am going to do a significant climb I will set it to heart rate so I don't cook because theres very little fan going slowly.
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Old 01-18-21, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Zoxe View Post
I was never a fan user until we started using the spin bikes at the gym between classes in the off season. I'm not a heavy sweater but at the point where the sweat is running into my eyes or I'm distracted from wiping it off, I need some help. At the gym that meant turning at least 1 of the fans on in the large empty classroom, and preferebly aiming one at me.

I'm just now setting up my indoor station and grabbed a single Honeywell fan (cheap amazon find). It seems to be just enough to keep me from dying. The particular bedroom I'm converting will get sunny and hot in the summer, but ideally then I'll be riding outdoors!
Even in a 55 degree garage, with two box fans on high blowing on me, I STILL sweat profusely. I ended up using one of those Halo sweatbands with a little gutter that deflects it to the sides so it doesn't run into my eyes and I STILL have to mop my face every couple minutes.
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