First-time Home Trainer Buying Question


New Member
Aug 26, 2015
Hello all,

I was wondering if anyone here was willing to share their indoor training setup as I am trying to buy my first serious trainer and would like to get the most out of the experience.

One main question I have is how to calculate cadence and upload the information to Strava; is it worth messing with a smart trainer that "Bluetooths" cadence to a bikecomp (I use a Garmin 1000), or would buying a cheaper trainer and attaching a 3rd party cadence sensor accomplish the same result?

Looking forward to seeing what you all do when the temperature gets too low, cheers!
I use a Garmin 510. I upload my outdoor and indoor rides to Strava from my Garmin. Cadence for me comes from my power meter but prior to having a power meter I had the Garmin magnetless cadence sensor on my left hand crank. I also have a Garmin magnetless speed sensor on my back wheel.

Now if you really want to get serious / get more out of your indoor workouts then do your workouts in conjunction with Using their app on your computer or ios device you get virtual or real power. Doing a Sufferfest workout video in conjunction with a matching Trainerroad power profile makes for a much more focussed workout. You then aren't guessing about how hard you're going. Ant+ stick required to connect your bike's cadence and speed sensor to your computer.

If you still haven't bought the trainer yet, don't but a cheap magnet type. Buy a fluid trainer like a Kert Kinetic or Cycleops Fluid 2 (which is what I have). These give a much better ride feel and will last years.

If you do use Trainerroad then you can either upload your workout from your Garmin as I do or you can sync your Trainerroad workouts with your Strava account automatically.

You'll also need a decent fan. You can get very hot riding indoors even if it's cold.

Hope this helps.
I've done a bit of everything. For a while I was using a dumb trainer (KK) and speed/cadence sensor that transmitted to my Garmin Edge 500 via ANT+. Worked fine. Then I made the the move to a smart trainer (Wahoo Kickr). Those things are awesome IMO. Not cheap - but worth the money. Now I ride rollers but have a power meter on my bike. The power meter transmits cadence so no worries there. I think how much you want to spend will largely dictate which direction you go.

No problem at all, happy to help! When it comes to indoor training setups, there are a few things to consider. Smart trainers definitely make things easier by automatically measuring and transmitting data like cadence via Bluetooth to your bike computer. However, if you're on a budget, a cheaper trainer with a 3rd party cadence sensor can also do the trick.

I personally prefer the Garmin cadence sensor as it's reliable and easy to use. You can attach it to your bike's crank arm and it will transmit the data to your Garmin 1000. Just make sure to calibrate it properly for accurate readings.

As for uploading the information to Strava, both smart trainers and 3rd party cadence sensors can do this. If you go with the 3rd party option, you'll just need to make sure to manually upload the data to Strava after your workout.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.