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Trainer Mileage to Road Mileage?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Trainer Mileage to Road Mileage?

Old 07-16-08, 11:41 AM
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malpag3
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Trainer Mileage to Road Mileage?

Hey all, I'm just curious if anyone knows if mileage as well as speed on trainers (mine is the Kinetic Road Fluid) is significantly different than actual mileage/speed?

I've experimented with different wheel contact distances and I think I found the most realistic. The band of contact is about 2-3mm wide on the center of the rear tire.

Anyway, after about 45minutes on my trainer I feel about the same as after 1h30 minutes on the road.

Any ideas?

PS If you want a trainer, get a fluid one by either Cycleops or Kinetic at an REI garage sale. Both companies offer excellent warranties on their trainers that people find somehow more complicated than just taking them back to REI. I bought mine for about $70, called Kinetic to report the leaky resistance unit, and had a new one shortly thereafter.
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Old 07-16-08, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by malpag3 View Post
Hey all, I'm just curious if anyone knows if mileage as well as speed on trainers (mine is the Kinetic Road Fluid) is significantly different than actual mileage/speed?

I've experimented with different wheel contact distances and I think I found the most realistic. The band of contact is about 2-3mm wide on the center of the rear tire.

Anyway, after about 45minutes on my trainer I feel about the same as after 1h30 minutes on the road.

Any ideas?

PS If you want a trainer, get a fluid one by either Cycleops or Kinetic at an REI garage sale. Both companies offer excellent warranties on their trainers that people find somehow more complicated than just taking them back to REI. I bought mine for about $70, called Kinetic to report the leaky resistance unit, and had a new one shortly thereafter.
KK is pretty accurate when compared to riding on the flats.

You don't usually coast when riding a trainer. It adds up, so you need less time on the trainer for equivalence.
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Old 07-16-08, 11:47 AM
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Good point. Coasting isn't ever really an option, but I never think about it while riding on it to be honest.

I guess that would do it! I'm sure it helps form too, eh?
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Old 07-16-08, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by malpag3 View Post

I guess that would do it! I'm sure it helps form too, eh?
Not as much as a set of rollers. You really need both; a trainer for working and rollers for working on your spin. Resistance rollers are supposed to take the place of both, but I've never tried them.
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Old 07-16-08, 12:00 PM
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I think 1 minute on a trainer causes more mental anguish than riding 3 hours past the bonk outside. I don't know what that converts to in terms of a mile:mile ratio, though. I know I never feel like I get as good a workout on the trainer as I do outside.
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Old 07-16-08, 12:02 PM
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I think Carmichael advises a 3:4 conversion in his book; something like that. He does say you shouldn't do more than some length of time on a trainer. I don't have his book handy.
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Old 07-16-08, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by CharlieWoo View Post
KK is pretty accurate when compared to riding on the flats.

You don't usually coast when riding a trainer. It adds up, so you need less time on the trainer for equivalence.

"With Tom’s help, we have been able to create an “average” rider assumed to be 165 lbs, riding a 23 lb bike with 170mm crank arms up a 1% grade, at sea level with no wind on rough asphalt... etc. The “outdoor ride” that we reference in the PDF is based on this “average” rider. Tom was then able to calculate how much power it would take for our average rider to maintain a given speed."

http://www.kurtkinetic.com/documents..._Curves419.pdf

When I am on a truly flat surface, riding in the drop part of the bars, I think that it's a tad easier than riding the KK at the same speed.
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Old 07-16-08, 12:12 PM
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why does it matter? 45 mins. = 45 mins. and 1 mile = 1 mile whether you're inside or outside.

I do winter stuff on the trainer every year and find that at first wattages are a little lower for a perceived exertion than outdoors, but easier to keep constant. After a few weeks, things seem to normalize. Explosive efforts are always less indoors though because you cant pull up on the handlebars the same way as on the road.

I also always get on the trainer with a planned workout to get on, complete, and be done. Otherwise it can be very mentally draining, but I cant think of a reason that it would matter to have some sort of convoluted conversion for time or distance.
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Old 07-16-08, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
I also always get on the trainer with a planned workout to get on, complete, and be done. Otherwise it can be very mentally draining, but I cant think of a reason that it would matter to have some sort of convoluted conversion for time or distance.
Only so people can track the "miles" they rode/ I agree, it's useless. Just track the time and be done with it.
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Old 07-16-08, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
why does it matter? 45 mins. = 45 mins. and 1 mile = 1 mile whether you're inside or outside.
and it doesn't matter if your riding a fixie either, right?

You (we) may spend little time coasting outside, but the recovery it allows can be significant.
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Old 07-16-08, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by CharlieWoo View Post
and it doesn't matter if your riding a fixie either, right?
You (we) may spend little time coasting outside, but the recovery it allows can be significant.
I dont think that's an apples to apples comparison for trainer time vs. road time. On the trainer you pedal however hard you want, whereas when you're riding fixed the terrain dictates how fast (downhill) or how much force you need to apply to the pedals (uphill).

fwiw, there is debate among the wattage nerds over the merit of riding fixed. it's argued by folks much more qualified than I'll ever be that when riding fixed you actually put out less power over the duration of a normal ride because you dont ride as hard on the flats or downhills given gear size limitations, and going up hill you put out similar watts as you would riding with multiple gears. so, although you might feel more fatigued, you end up doing less work.
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Old 07-16-08, 01:00 PM
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Just as on the road, mileage on a trainer is meaningless. The important things to pay attention to are time and level of exertion.
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Old 07-16-08, 01:27 PM
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This is like asking if a pound of feathers is heavier than a pound of bricks.
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Old 07-16-08, 02:49 PM
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^^Really? I mean there are more polite ways to call people dumb.

I found it a valid question considering that different trainers claim different levels of "realism" and levels of resistance.

Not everyone's afforded the luxury of time enough to go ride for over an hour and half to get in a good spin. Certainly not us folk with two jobs, and little spare time.

Thanks to those who were not asshats.
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Old 07-16-08, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by curiouskid55 View Post
Just as on the road, mileage on a trainer is meaningless. The important things to pay attention to are time and level of exertion.
+1.

If you pick up a powertap, you'll see that while speed might not correlate perfectly, you can get a pretty tough workout on a trainer. There's no coasting, and a good fluid-based trainer will definitely kill you before you max out the resistance.

Some of the most intense rides I've ever done have been on a trainer, but mileage is a lousy measure of the ride.

If you think trainer miles aren't "real," though, pick up a copy of Race Day:

www.realrides.tv

And when you're done puking, report back.
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Old 07-16-08, 06:53 PM
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riding is riding. training is training. it all helps to different degrees. later.
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