How to choose a turbo trainer
How to choose a turbo trainer
Gear > Gear Guides

How to choose a turbo trainer (cont)

Laugh in the face of wind, rain and snow, and keep training through winter with a turbo

We continue our guide to buying a turbo trainer...

Turbo training: the extras

If you’re indoor training, a turbo trainer is probably top of your indoor kit list, but a turbo session is massively improved by adding a few extras.

Ideally, you want to have a dedicated space in the house for your turbo-trainer, but if that’s impossible there are many models that fold down to take up less space.

Triathlete on the turbo trainer

Make sure you have a training mat to protect the floor from sweat and pressure from the trainer. The floor needs to be hard and flat as you definitely don’t want your trainer to wobble, and the addition of a mat will also help reduce the amount of noise made by your turbo. 

Make sure your training space is well ventilated as a turbo session can be sweaty work – keep fans, towels and fluids within easy reach while you’re riding.

Your turbo trainer lifts the rear wheel of your bike a few inches off the ground, so it can be useful to have a stand for the front wheel to level things out – an appropriately-sized book will do the trick if you don’t want to spend the extra money.

Turbo-training can cause wear on your tyre, so if you plan on doing a lot of miles on the trainer you might want to get a dedicated training tyre or even a spare wheel. An old tyre will also work, but will wear out faster. 

Speed and cadence sensors mean you can monitor and track the work that you’re doing, syncing that data to your training log, and enabling you to use a multitude of training apps, including Velo-Trainer.

Athletes on the turbo trainer side by side

Get some friends involved – whether you set up your turbos side-by-side, or interact through your indoor training app to ride and race together, cycling’s better when it’s social, so don’t let being indoors stop you enjoying a ride with your friends. 

Turbo training: an alternative

If you’re not convinced by the turbo, you might want to consider training on rollers. These simple metal frames can be difficult to get used to, as you really need to focus on your balance and control to stay on the drums as you ride.

Rollers

Some feel rollers offer a more realistic riding sensation when training indoors, and the systems are very easy to set up. However, due to their simple nature, most don’t come with any resistance adjustments, so they may not offer all of the training potential you’re looking for.

Check out our guide to four of 2014's best turbo trainers here. And once you've bought your turbo, get started with these five turbo trainer sessions.

Tony Holt is a personal trainer and creator of Velo-Trainer, the social indoor cycling game


 
 

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Neil Curtis

Hi really enjoyed this. I actually run a dedicated turbo trainer website and there are some pretty cool trainers that come close to making indoor training fun.

I've recently tested & reviewed 2, a Bkool Pro and a Kinetic Rock & Roll with inRide. Both these are higher priced trainers but the data and interactive training experience makes indoor training a lot more motivational. They even encourage you to train longer and more frequently.

The Rock & Roll trainer testing can be seen here: http://turbobiketrainer.com/kinetic-rock-and-roll-turbo-trainer-review-2015/

JonoM2

I'd also recommend the training area either be on a ground floor or above an empty room, such as a garage. Most trainers will vibrate a bit, increasing with how hard one pedals, so people downstairs may think there's a large truck passing or mild earthquake going on during training sessions.

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