It’s getting closer to that time in the year where normally the weather can dictate your riding. In this blog we’re going to take a look at turbo trainers. What are they? Benefits of a turbo trainer ? and What’s best for me? As well as look at some of our top picks from budget all the way to the most advanced.Well in this guide we hope to take you through the basics and make your decision towards a trainer a little easier.
Let’s start with what is a turbo trainer? Taking it right back to basics a turbo trainer is like a treadmill for your bike. It allows you to take your existing bike that you know and love and ride it indoors instead of one of those generic exercise bikes that don’t give you that real world feel. There are many different types of turbo trainer so let’s take a look at them.
One of the most popular among budget turbo trainers, these trainers are often cheaper than most however can be louder and lack a more real ride feel.
These are usually quieter than magnetic trainers and offer a more realistic ride feel as the fluid resistance acts more like your bike on the road.
Unlike the magnetic and fluid trainers the direct drive turbo trainer does not require you to have a wheel in your bike as the bike mounts directly to the trainer, these have the most realistic ride feel and are packed with accurate information and features to help your ride along.
There are many benefits to turbo trainers however some have greater benefits than others, for example if the weather turns, what are you most likely to do if you were planning on going for a ride, most people would call it off and leave riding for another day. However with a turbo you can do the opposite, you can plan for the unexpected and ride whenever you like rain or shine, morning or night it’s your choice.
Another benefit of a turbo trainer is that you are able to cram in those smaller high intensity rides. Sometimes it’s a pain to get out for a ride especially in the wet so a turbo trainer really allows you to maximise on your training and make those small minutes count.
A common misconception with turbos is that they are a winter tool so why spend the extra on one, well why not feel like a pro in your own home and use the turbo to warm up or down, this way you minimise damage or risk of injury and get the most out of your riding, meaning you can spend more time out on the road or trail.
Another myth is that turbo trainers are just for road bikes and road riders, this is completely wrong, with most turbo trainers able to support up to a 700c wheel all the way to a 26 inch wheel the options are endless. Not only that but whether your a road rider, mountain biker or someone looking for a bit of indoor fitness, turbo trainers can really help to develop your bike fitness all while been relatively affordable and more comfortable than a traditional exercise bike.
Smart trainers are able to connect to your smart device or computer to change and enhance your indoor riding experience, whether it is more information on your ride or its that extra drive in motivation that you need to get you on the trainer. A smart trainer also offers a change in scenery to your normal turbo trainer experience that is staring at a blank wall ………… A smart trainer paired with an application such as Zwift allows for an interactive training experience combining challenges, competitiveness and socialisation all from the comfort of your living room.
When finding the right trainer for you there’s a couple of main considerations, for example do you live in a flat or somewhere with potential noise restrictions, well then we recommend a direct drive turbo trainer as these are much quieter and will let you ride all day and night without being that noisy neighbour. Another area to consider is do you want a smart or more traditional trainer, we would always recommend a smart trainer to keep that motivation up however if you’re on a budget, non smart trainers are up for grabs at some pretty impressive prices. Overall when looking at trainers you need to consider what features you need for your training and what you may want to do in the future, for example the Wahoo ecosystem allows for expansion with a range of accessories to expand your ultimate pain cave. However if you have any questions or would like a full rundown of any product specific, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team either in store or online.