Trainer feels too easy?



MadCow182

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Nov 15, 2019
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Is it normal for a fluid trainer to feel easier than actually riding?

I ride a 29er MTB on sidewalks mainly. Usually 20ish miles per ride and I'm usually never out of my middle ring. I recently got a fluid trainer and was surprised by how much easier it felt in my normal gearing.
 

BrianNystrom

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Aug 13, 2013
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So use a larger gear to get more resistance, if that's what you want. It's not rocket science.
 

Uawadall

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Jun 14, 2015
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So use a larger gear to get more resistance, if that's what you want. It's not rocket science.

What he said...Cycling is a sport with unlimited challenge. Say someone was fast enough to ride 50 miles per hour for 8 hours straight. That is absurdly above human level, but can they do 53? Can they keep the pace for 9 hours?

I find it hard to believe that you can’t make it harder for yourself. Pedal faster, use a bigger gear, use a training app such as Zwift and be challenged by others. Also, ride on the road. Sidewalk riding is for the elderly and kids.
 

Froze

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Jul 13, 2004
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Sidewalk riding is also very dangerous, most motorists are not expecting a cyclist to be coming down a sidewalk, it's one thing for a pedestrian to stop instantly if a car pulls out not seeing them it's another for a cyclist to do the same thing. Even for kids riding on the sidewalk is challenging, in their neighborhood where driveways are the only threat is minor but out in the city where cross streets are is a major threat.

I bet since you ride on the sidewalk you are probably also riding in the wrong direction (against the flow of traffic) which makes riding on the sidewalk even more dangerous! because not only do the motorist not expect someone to be zipping down a sidewalk with the flow of traffic but now you added an additional hazard of them not even remotely expecting a cyclist to be zipping down a sidewalk in the wrong direction.

And when you do hit the streets you are NOT a pedestrian, you cannot ride your bike against the flow of traffic thinking it's safer, the fact is it is much more dangerous, not to mention against the law, you have to ride with the flow of traffic just like a car, and you have to obey the same rules of the road as a car.
 

Uawadall

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Jun 14, 2015
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Sidewalk riding is also very dangerous, most motorists are not expecting a cyclist to be coming down a sidewalk, it's one thing for a pedestrian to stop instantly if a car pulls out not seeing them it's another for a cyclist to do the same thing. Even for kids riding on the sidewalk is challenging, in their neighborhood where driveways are the only threat is minor but out in the city where cross streets are is a major threat.

I bet since you ride on the sidewalk you are probably also riding in the wrong direction (against the flow of traffic) which makes riding on the sidewalk even more dangerous! because not only do the motorist not expect someone to be zipping down a sidewalk with the flow of traffic but now you added an additional hazard of them not even remotely expecting a cyclist to be zipping down a sidewalk in the wrong direction.

And when you do hit the streets you are NOT a pedestrian, you cannot ride your bike against the flow of traffic thinking it's safer, the fact is it is much more dangerous, not to mention against the law, you have to ride with the flow of traffic just like a car, and you have to obey the same rules of the road as a car.

Where I live, I’d say 60-70 percent of the people ride on the sidewalk and don’t wear helmets. It is a common site to see someone with no helmet, on sidewalk, wrong side of the road and headphones on...

Most kids, especially small ones can’t ride on the road. Parents should be careful letting them ride further than around the block on the sidewalk. I wouldn’t begrudge an elderly person riding on the sidewalk, but the shouldn’t be doing any more distance than a child. By elderly, I mean 80 years of age with a basket going 6 mph.
 

Froze

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Jul 13, 2004
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Where I live, I’d say 60-70 percent of the people ride on the sidewalk and don’t wear helmets. It is a common site to see someone with no helmet, on sidewalk, wrong side of the road and headphones on...

Most kids, especially small ones can’t ride on the road. Parents should be careful letting them ride further than around the block on the sidewalk. I wouldn’t begrudge an elderly person riT
Where I live, I’d say 60-70 percent of the people ride on the sidewalk and don’t wear helmets. It is a common site to see someone with no helmet, on sidewalk, wrong side of the road and headphones on...

Most kids, especially small ones can’t ride on the road. Parents should be careful letting them ride further than around the block on the sidewalk. I wouldn’t begrudge an elderly person riding on the sidewalk, but the shouldn’t be doing any more distance than a child. By elderly, I mean 80 years of age with a basket going 6 mph.

Where I live I think it's probably around 50% of the adults ride on the sidewalk with no helmet and headphones on...a great combination! Also where I live it's not real uncommon to read in the news that those people are getting hit by cars! What's really strange, I'll see guys riding $8,000 or so racing bikes, with full pro looking kit on riding the sidewalks in the wrong direction and going fast with no regard for stopping before crossing on a crosswalk. Then when they get nailed they blame the motorist! The cops around here see it differently, if the cyclist is an adult and they are riding at a fast clip with no regard to stopping before crossing a street it's the cyclists fault because bicycles do not belong on the sidewalk, they failed to stop, and they were riding in the wrong direction; that pretty much ends all liability for the motorist.

We don't have a high percentage like you do riding on the sidewalk because we have a almost decent bike path system, but part of the bike path system does push cyclists onto a sidewalk through the heart of the city, I ride the street instead and take the lane, it's safer.

I saw a woman in her upper 80's maybe 90's riding a bike over the weekend not riding at a bad pace for her age especially, she had no helmet on! At first I thought riding at her age without a helmet was recipe for disaster but then I got to thinking about it...you know, if she hit her head even with a helmet on, and not even hit her head that hard, at her age her brain probably wouldn't take it and it would probably kill her, so why not ride without a helmet and have some fun?
 
Sep 30, 2017
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Is it normal for a fluid trainer to feel easier than actually riding?

I ride a 29er MTB on sidewalks mainly. Usually 20ish miles per ride and I'm usually never out of my middle ring. I recently got a fluid trainer and was surprised by how much easier it felt in my normal gearing.
Yes, that is pretty normal. Most inexpensive trainers, and even some fairly expensive ones, don't offer much resistance. No matter what gear you use, it won't offer enough resistance. I have a pretty expensive one and even it, in my highest gear, only equals riding on flat ground. The only solution is a better trainer. Ideally, you want one that offers enough resistance to duplicate climbing a steep grade.
 

Froze

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Jul 13, 2004
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I don't know what brand of fluid trainer you bought but I disagree that they don't offer resistance. I have a CycleOps Fluid2 trainer and as your speed increases so does the resistance; even the real cheap ones for $125 have resistance but are usually limited to around 700 watts max, but the one I have is capable of 1500 watts! I know I can't do 1500 watts but that's the degree of resistance it's capable of. If you ride your fluid trainer correctly you will get MORE of a workout in say an hour then you would on the street for an hour, you would have to add at least another 15 minutes on a street ride to equal an hour on a trainer. Another good trainer is the Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 is capable of 3000 watts, but really, short of being a professional track racer you'll never come close to that, but it is a good machine as is the one I have; the only drawback to the Kinetic machine is that it is louder than the CycleOps and that's the only consistent complaint it gets in reviews.

Those above two machines are the best non computerized ones in the business. There are machines dedicated to hooking up to a computer so you can do Swift type of training, but be prepared to spend a lot more money plus a monthly fee.
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
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Edit; my answer was goofy, sorry. There is no turbo or roller trainer on the market that can replicate climbing a mountain, sorry for the confusion, you can to some degree if you use your gears correctly and spin at higher cadences, but it still won't be like climbing a steep grade; the faster your speed is on a fluid trainer the more difficult it becomes to pedal which is why gear selection is critical along with cadence to build up more resistance within the unit. While Swift type of computerized turbos try to replicate it they really don't do a very good job, plus on the Swift you have to maintain pedaling downhill or the "bike" will slow to a stop. Swift is pretty good, it's the best thing like it on the market but the price to get started is expensive; if you have a laptop you've got some of the expense taken care of; but you'll need a Wahoo Kickr and those are around a $1,000, plus it's $15 (last I checked) fee a month to be on the Swift, plus internet service which most people have today anyways. You should get a trainer tire, however all I use on my CycleOps is a used tire that is in my opinion no longer road worthy, then I clean the tire really well with a scrub brush making sure there are no bits of debris or small stones lodged in the tire, if there is I pick them out, if you leave any debris on the tire it will wear a groove in the roller drum.

I hope I explained it better this time, but you never know
 

Mr. Beanz

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Aug 18, 2015
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If the trainer is too easy, you can make it hard. Do some intervals. We had a rainy season years ago here in California, I know, hard to believe. SO I got a trainer that year.

I read up on some interval trainer (pre Zwift years). I would do a one minute biggest gear interval. Relax while spinning for 3 minutes to recover. Then do a 100+ cadence for 1 minute. Repeat as many times as possible. I would warm up for 5 to 10 minutes first. But once you start the intervals, it does not last too long.

Sometimes I would throw in a 5 minute hard effort in a big gear to mix it up.

I did place a personal fan on a table in front of me and crank up the headphones with some AC/DC. :D On a mat if indoors because you are going to DRIP!

But yes, some people make it too easy. I remember years ago, bike in bikejournaldotcomm days, some lady on a forum said she would do a 20 MPH average speed on the trainer while reading a book in front of her fireplace and had mega miles logged. But her outdoor rides were averaging 14 MPH over 20 miles. So be realistic. :p