Indoor bike training???



Bmxersmattertoo

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Dec 23, 2016
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Going to start having my son doing some indoor riding. What do you guys do for equipment? He has a rim drive trainer we put his race bike on but doesnt like the feel or the resistance..ive seen his cadence and it gets choppy. Is it the trainer or him? Was thinking of getting him some kind of stationary bike but want to be able to configure it like his race bike, mainly crank length. Is this possible or even nessesary?
 

dabac

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Sep 16, 2003
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Indoor riding is AMAZINGLY boring.
You need plenty of dedication to do it enough to get any worthwhile payoff from it.
On top of that, If you want to do Tabata style intervals you need a pretty decent trainer to soak up the power.
It gets warm too, when there's no air flowing past.
Fans and towels to soak up sweat is a requirement.

If it was me, I'd rather get some lights and a winter bike - with studded tires If needed - and keep riding outside.

Choppy cadence is probably an artefact of the trainer.
Very likely if it's a magnetic resistance trainer.
Some have reported good results from filling the rear tube with water to get some flywheel action going to smooth things out.
Unless you're using CF rims you can also get felt brake pads - a spin bike accessory - and set the brakes to provide some friction and resistance.
Matching crank length is a so-so thing.
There's a test done by a guy named Zinn showing that it's not that important.
Although riders may certainly have their preferences, and there are impressive formulas you can use to calculate your personal optimum.
Just as well since its quite common for spin bikes and good stationary bikes to use proprietary cranksets offering better longevity in blissful disregard of aerodynamics and weight.
My order of priority wrt bike fit is saddle height, cleat angle/pedal float, bar position and saddle fore/aft position. Crank length, bar width, q-factor are far down the list
 

concord

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Apr 21, 2004
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To make it feel like the real deal I'd say get a set of rollers. He will learn balance and spinning. I guarantee you there will be no time to get bored. When he gets to the point of shifting gears while on the rollers, it'll be time to go outside and race!
 

RapDaddyo

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May 17, 2005
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Trainers are awesome for training. You can do everything on a trainer that you can on the road, even including neuromuscular efforts. And, trainers are more efficient than road rides. I own three trainers (CompuTrainer, Tacx Swing and a big, heavy stationery bike that Schwinn once marketed under the label Tectrix). I primarily use my CompuTrainer because I can ride it in ergometer mode and ride a programmed workout, but I still use my Tacx Swing for NM efforts and for pre-race warmups.

The (reasonably priced) trainers that I would recommend are not actually one of the above. I would recommend either the KurtKinetic Road Machine or the 1UP USA Bicycle Trainer. Both are excellent trainers, solid, quiet and with a good road-like feel. The road-like feel is mainly a function of the weight of the flywheel. You can go with rollers, but they aren't very portable so they aren't a good race warmup option.

You'll want to get a good fan and buy a few extra tires because trainers are hard on road tires. And, a good selection of audio-video media is invaluable.
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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If the riding that you're doing on a trainer is boring then you're not going hard enough.

Doing tempo on an indoor trainer is the worst thing. I think I'd rather gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon. Planned interval work, anything from sets of 20 minutes down to 30 second smashfest efforts are great.

I'd keep the bike setup the same - saddle height, bar height and crank length.

As RapDaddyo said above, a BIG fan is required. Once you get too hot and start sweating buckets things become harder than they need to be and spraying sweat everywhere is hard on the equipment too. Cover the handlebars and top tube with a nice sized towel that can be used to towel down in-between efforts. If you have a place that's fairly cold - like a big shed or garage, train in there during the winter. My preferred fan has a remote control so I can be blasted during efforts but not frozen to death in the freezer like garage when I'm on a rest period. The trainers that RDO mentioned are probably the best bang for the buck whilst still giving good "road like" feel. If you have a spare back wheel you could put on a more durable tire and use that on the trainer. Most trainers will wear down a high quality road tire fairly quickly. There are special tires for use on a trainer but I had better success with cheap tires from the local sporting goods store.
 

CAMPYBOB

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Sep 12, 2005
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I can vouch for the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. It's quiet enough, smooth as silk and pretty good at replicating road feel at the pedals. I still enjoy my Kreitler rollers for proof of fit and position on the bike and for having to at least be aware that I'm still alive and breathing on a bike while inside. They do take focus and form if nothing else.

AS RDO said, trainers are efficient, are a really good use of training time, can do almost anything a road ride can in terms of effort and if you spend enough money on the distractions (music, fans, virtual reality, smart trainer, etc.) they can even be fun. Or so I'm told!

I'm more like dabac in thinking indoor riding on a basic trainer is just mind numbingly boring. A great workout, but hard to get through on an everyday basis...also sometimes known as an Ohio Winter! Unlike Swampy, doing intervals does zero for my ability to tolerate sitting inside on a trainer other than put high stress levels on the frame of the bike perhaps. I totally agree that a trainer should sit in an unheated garage, basement, storage shed or anywhere cold and remote where people won't hear me scream when I go mad from the boredom.

Note to self: Get a Zwift subscription.
 
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concord

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Apr 21, 2004
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I can vouch for the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. It's quiet enough, smooth as silk and pretty good at replicating road feel at the pedals. I still enjoy my Kreitler rollers for proof of fit and position on the bike and for having to at least be aware that I'm still alive and breathing on a bike while inside. They do take focus and form if nothing else.

AS RDO said, trainers are efficient, are a really good use of training time, can do almost anything a road ride can in terms of effort and if you spend enough money on the distractions (music, fans, virtual reality, smart trainer, etc.) they can even be fun. Or so I'm told!

I'm more like dabac in thinking indoor riding on a basic trainer is just mind numbingly boring. A great workout, but hard to get through on an everyday basis...also sometimes known as an Ohio Winter! Unlike Swampy, doing intervals does zero for my ability to tolerate sitting inside on a trainer other than put high stress levels on the frame of the bike perhaps. I totally agree that a trainer should sit in an unheated garage, basement, storage shed or anywhere cold and remote where people won't hear me scream when I go mad from the boredom.

Note to self: Get a Zwift subscription.

Made me chuckle with the boredom, I can relate. Plus I used up a ton of tires. So when I got my rollers things changed. I set them outside and on windy days it made it a little more realistic. Come to think of it that's the only time I didn't curse at the wind.
 

kopride

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May 17, 2006
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I just tried Zwift and its a blast. My set up is Cyclops fluid trainer, PT hub and an industrial strength fan. Zwift doggle on laptop is a game changer on the boredom front. You can ride a virtual loop with riders from all over the world, race against your peers, or ride a group ride. It even makes allowances for when you are climbing a hill or drafting. You could call your riding buddies on a crappy day, all log on and then ride together. It will also link to your Strava feed.

Tech has brought indoor riding to a new level. There is no reason to be bored or frustrated when the weather goes bad.
 
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Uawadall

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Jun 14, 2015
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I'd say I get about equal enjoyment from a set of rollers as I do zwift(with a magnus smart trainer). I prefer short, hard efforts, it can get boring if done too long. I'm not sure id be able to use a trainer with nothing else for even 20 minutes.
 

karlkras

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Mar 4, 2007
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I just tried Zwift and its a blast. My set up is Cyclops fluid trainer, PT hub and an industrial strength fan. Zwift doggle on laptop is a game changer on the boredom front. You can ride a virtual loop ....

Yeah, Zwift is pretty cool. It would be even cooler if they fully supported bluetooth (this is 2017) on Windows and got rid of the need for an old school ant+ dongle (or bridging with their mobile app, very futzy).
 
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kopride

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Yeah, Zwift is pretty cool. It would be even cooler if they fully supported bluetooth (this is 2017) on Windows and got rid of the need for an old school ant+ dongle (or bridging with their mobile app, very futzy).
Agreed, they should make it easier to use w/o a prioprietary dongle. Still fun.
 

James Brewer

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Jan 23, 2017
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Hello Bmxersmattertoo, it would be better if you get him a bicycle trainer and there are many stores where you can easily get them. Recently, one of my friends has brought a Racermateinc computrainer through which he is performing his bicycle training indoors. There are many software available with these computrainers which gives a real feel of riding and you get hundreds of routes for riding practice. Look for bike trainer with these features through which your son will not get bored while riding an indoor bike.
 

Jim Steed

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Jim Steed New Member

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Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 Fluid Trainer

Only used a couple of times - NEW CONDITION
PLUS --- I have added - Kurt Pro Flywheel(12-Pound, Silver) & front wheel stand ( riser ring)
I Paid Trainer : $339.00 Flywheel :$79.00 Kinetic Riser Ring $26.00

ALL for only $250.
71ikhQ3GfNL._SL1500_.jpg
 
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Henrywrites

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Feb 12, 2018
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To make it feel like the real deal I'd say get a set of rollers. He will learn balance and spinning. I guarantee you there will be no time to get bored. When he gets to the point of shifting gears while on the rollers, it'll be time to go outside and race!

Using the rollers to train the little kid on how to ride is the best way that I enjoyed while I was learning how to ride as a 7 year old kid. It was not easy, but it was not that difficult at the other hand back in those days.