With so many benefits to yield from riding a bicycle, it’s no surprise to see more and more people picking up the hobby every year. Biking has proven to be one of the most effective and enjoyable cardiovascular exercises available. It’s easier on the joints than running and many people hardly even realize what an amazing workout they are getting from it. Some people are restricted in the amount of outdoors riding they can do due to time constraints, seasonal changes in weather, and the geography of where they live. The use of bicycle trainers has helped many people overcome these factors and enjoy the benefits of biking anywhere at anytime. What is the best bike trainer? That depends on a number of factors which will be examined in this guide to bicycle trainers.
What Are Bicycle Trainers?
Bicycle trainers are to cyclists as treadmills are to people who enjoy running. They are essentially a machine that attaches to your bicycle allowing you to ride it in a stationary position. They are used by a variety of different people to benefit from the convenience of riding inside whenever they want too. Professional cyclists may use them to prepare themselves for a race if they need a warm up or cool down afterwards. They are also used by any person that simply wants to get a bicycle workout from the comfort of their own home.
Different Types Of Trainers
If you are considering purchasing a bicycle trainer, there are two different types of trainers you can choose from: Roller Trainers or Mechanical Resistance Trainers. These two trainers function in different ways, each having their pros and cons based on your preferences.
These trainers are fairly simple in design, consisting of a system of rollers which you mount your bike on too. These types of trainers are a bit more difficult to get a hang of since they don’t secure your bike vertically, making the user rely on their own balance to stay upright. Some people are intimidated by these trainers because they are harder to get used too but many people who use them claim that after conquering the learning curve, using them is simple.
Mechanical Resistance Trainers
These bicycle trainers use a device that holds your back wheel in place while repelling the motion of the wheels. These ones are a bit easier to use at first since they hold your bike in place making it easier to balance. They come with three different kinds of resistance mechanisms. Listed below are the three most popular mechanical resistance trainers available:
Wind – These mechanisms use a round fan to push air on to the wheel, creating resistance.
Fluid – Fluid mechanisms use chambers of resistance fluid to give a more realistic “road like” feel.
Magnetic – A magnetic wheel on the rear of this mechanism creates a magnetic force, creating resistance for the biker.
Pros Of Each Trainer
Roller trainers – These trainers are popular amongst people who aren’t looking to make a big financial investment. They are usually the cheapest type of trainer because of their simplicity. People also prefer these trainers because they offer a more realistic and challenging training session. Being able to move your weight from side to side and balance yourself out makes it feel as if you are on the road training rather than inside.
Mechanical Bike Trainers – As mentioned earlier, these trainers are much more beginner friendly and easy to get used too. They allow you to focus less on balancing yourself out and more on things like watching television or listening to the radio. They are also much more space conservative than roller trainers, making them easier to store and set up in different areas of your home.
Cons You Should Know
Either of these trainers can prove to be an indefinitely useful addition to your home. You should however, weigh out the cons with the pros to find out which type is the best for you based on your interests.
Roller Trainers – Chances are you aren’t going to be able to hop right on one of these and have it mastered the first time you use it. Some people find them easier to figure out than others but regardless of skill, you will need some time to get comfortable with one. There is also no way for you to increase the resistance that the rollers have on your wheels. In order for you to get more resistance, you have to change the gears on your bike. Due to the design of the roller systems, most of these trainers aren’t compatible with any bike tires other than flat and road styles.
Mechanical Resistance Trainers – These trainers tend to be pricey and require a more significant financial investment than the rollers. They also offer a less realistic biking experience since your back wheel is held in place. Some people complain that without having to balance themselves out, the ride feels less authentic. These trainers can also be a bit more expensive to repair since the mechanisms are more complicated than the roller systems.
So Which One Is Right For You?
There is no definitive answer to which of these trainers is the best since their usefulness varies according to the users interests. If you aren’t looking to invest a lot of money but want to experiment with a bicycle trainer, a roller system could be the best option. They also prove useful if you are looking for a more realistic and dynamic training session. If you want a more portable and balanced session, mechanical resistance trainers could be right up your alley. They allow you to effortlessly train indoors without sucking up too much of your concentration.
Give It A Try!
The convenience of bicycle trainers has proved invaluable to people with an interest in riding bikes. You can enjoy getting exercise, preparing for competition, or just passing time from anywhere indoors. They are great for people who don’t have a lot of time to spare due to a hectic schedule. They also eliminate restrictions placed on bicyclists caused by bad weather or the location they live in. If you are looking for an easy and convenient way to indulge in biking, it may be worth your while to browse the variety of bicycle trainers and see which one would work best for you.
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