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Bicycling: How to Choose the Best Indoor Bike Trainer

Bicycling is best done outdoors, but there are times when riding outside is not always an option especially during winter season, so an indoor bike trainer can be a valuable tool for you. There are several kinds of trainers, and we will learn each type for you to gain knowledge and understanding about the best bike trainer for you. Bicycling helps in increasing cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and flexibility, improving joint mobility, decreasing stress levels, improving posture and coordination, strengthening bones, decreasing body fat levels and preventing or managing diseases.

The five basic types of bike trainers include the wind, magnetic, fluid, rollers and indoor bikes. Wind is one of the original trainer styles wherein the pedaling powers a fan providing a good resistance, which increases the rear wheel spins more quickly, either due to using a bigger gear or if you’re pedaling faster. Wind trainers are the cheapest trainers available, and they are simple yet durable. Magnetic or mag trainer uses a magnetic flywheel for providing a good resistance, and there are existing electronic mag trainers which can be controlled via remote or automatically based on a software application. Magnetic trainers’ resistance are adjustable, and they are much quieter than wind trainers, with wide variety of options for new featured models marketed today. Fluid trainers are based on magnetic flywheel that has chambers of viscous fluid to further tune resistance options. Fluid trainers have wide variety of features and options such as power and connectivity, providing the best “road feel”, offering a wide range of resistance adjustments, and are very quiet compared to other bike trainers. Rollers are considered the oldest style or model of bike trainers, sitting freely on three precision drums inside a frame, and these smaller-diameter drums provide more resistance for you to achieve a great form. Indoor bikes are full featured machines similar to what you see in a high-end spin class studio, and many of them have integrated electronic dashboards and wireless connectivity, interfacing with training programs and apps. Indoor bikes are the quietest option available that greatly reduce the wear and tear of your bike, they are the most stable set up for indoor bicycling riding.

It makes sense to add power tracking if you don’t have power meter on your bike because this is dedicated to the trainer with as part of “smart trainer” or its own head unit. A “smart bicycle trainer” refers to its capability to communicate to other devices such as downloading a training program in a phone-based app to automatically adjusts resistance or has the ability to sync to different online training platforms. Some trainers pivot on an articulating base where you can stand up and pedal while leaning the bike side to side just as when you do on the road.

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