The fall is upon us, and it’s now dark before most of us get home from work. For the cycling enthusiast, that means the roads will be without you for awhile. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned bicycle buff, the very idea of sitting around all winter with little to no time on the bike is depressing. There is a solution. One can purchase a trainer and keep on peddling. A bicycle trainer is a tripod like machine that you mount your back wheel into so that the bike is stationary. Then you just hop on and start some virtual cycling.
There are 3 types of Trainers
Fluid – This trainer uses fluids in a confined space to create hydraulic resistance. It is reported to be the preferred trainer for cycling experts, so if you’re looking for a real winter workout on your bike, this might be the trainer for you.
Wind – This trainer works on wind resistance. As you peddle, your bicycle tire spins little fans that create the resistance. This is a noisy contraption, but that might not be a problem if you’re like me and you like to hop on your bike and plug in the iPod.
Magnetic – A mag trainer’s resistance is created by a series of magnets. Less expensive versions have a manual adjustment that allows the rider to create varying tension. More expense mag cycling trainers can be controlled by the cyclist while sitting on the bicycle and peddling.
Top Trainer Brands
There are a number of brands producing bicycle trainers, but a few brands and models are rated as stand-outs.
CycleOps JetFluid Pro Trainer is rated very high. It costs about $369.00, so this is more for the hardcore cycling buff.
Kinetic Road Fluid Trainer is another well received fluid trainer that comes in around $319.00.
Travel Trac Red Tour gets the gold wallet prize with a price tag of $399.00.
Blackburn Trakstand Mag 3 is a much less expensive bicycle trainer at a moderate $199.00. Naturally, it doesn’t rate as high with the cycling community, but I have to say that I own it, and I like it fine. I would call myself and intermediate bike buff, so for the price and what it can do, I’m very happy. Granted. I have to manually change the resistance, but I’ve found that by putting it on the middle setting and simply gearing up and down while peddling, that I get plenty of resistance, and a decent workout.
My best advice is that anyone interested in purchasing a trainer should stop by a reputable bicycle shop and talk to the real experts.