When the weather gets frightful, maintaining your cycling fitness can become a challenge. When rain, snow, lightning or other outdoor variables make riding outside impossible, an indoor bike trainer can be a great way to stay in shape.
Wind trainers use fans to create air resistance, simulating surface resistance on an indoor ride. While wind trainers are generally the cheapest, there are limits to the resistance they provide, and they have the reputation for being the noisiest.
Magnetic (also known as "mag") bike trainers use magnetic resistance to provide resistance on an indoor workout. Mag trainers are more expensive than wind trainers, but most provide different levels of resistance and are generally less noisy than wind trainers.
Fluid trainers combine magnetic resistance and fluid resistance chambers to provide resistance. While fluid trainers can be the most expensive, they provide an excellent level of resistance and a nearly silent indoor workout.
A notable innovation in simulating outdoor cycling is the Rock & Roll from Kinetic by Kurt. By allowing the rider to lean left and right as he rides, the Rock & Roll adds a new level of realism to indoor workouts.
When shopping for an indoor bike trainer, consider a cheaper trainer will be noisier and might provide less resistance, while a more expensive trainer will generally be quieter and have a better range of resistance.
Article Written By Billy Brown
Billy Brown is an outdoor sports writer living in Northern California.
An avid rock climber and trail runner, he's been writing about outdoor activities, fitness and gear since 2005. He regularly contributes to "The Record Searchlight," uncooped.com, and Trails.com, as well as other print and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Simpson University and is a NASM-certified personal trainer.