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Bicycling: Choosing 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 types of bike trainers, and we will talk about some of them to help you in deciding the best bike trainer suited for you. Bicycling has many health benefits such as 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 that increases the rear wheel spins more quickly, either due to pedaling faster or using a bigger gear. Wind trainers are simple, durable and one of the cheapest trainers. In place of a fan, a mag trainer or magnetic trainer utilizes a magnetic flywheel to provide resistance, and newer trainers are electronic that can be controlled via remote or vary automatically based on a software application. Magnetic trainers are affordable options abound, wherein their resistance can be adjustable and are much quieter than wind trainers, with wide variety of options for new featured models marketed today. Fluid trainers are the most common type of stationary trainer available today, and 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 similar to featured machines seen in high-end spin class studios, wherein many of them have integrated electronic dashboards and wireless connectivity, interfacing with training programs and apps. Indoor bikes are the most stable set up for indoor bicycling riding, reduce wear and tear on your bike and are the quietest option.

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 trainer” is defined as the 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 online training platforms. A few trainers pivot on an articulating base where you can stand up and pedal while leaning the bike side to side similar when you do it on the road.