Don’t let the weather conditions keep you off of your bike and interrupt your training schedule. Get indoors on a bike trainer and get riding! An indoor ride is better than no ride. Getting back into shape can be challenging and time-consuming. A turbo trainer or indoor trainer allows the cyclist to ride the bike indoors and keep his legs in shape all-year-round, without having to worry about having to start all over again at the beginning of each season. One of the biggest advantages of buying an indoor bike trainer is that this opens up a much wider window of time for biking which is a huge benefit unavailable to individuals who only train outdoors.
Here are three recommendations that cover some of the best indoor bike trainers around, each produced by a different world famous bike-trainer-maker and each offers its own amazing features, and it is up to you to determine what the purpose of using the trainer is, and to establish which of these features are right for you based on your specific needs and budget.
The aim of this short review list is meant not only to highlight quality bike trainers, but to give you an idea of what is out there and help you find the indoor trainer that is appropriate for your level and style of training.
Pick Your Important Factors
There are several key factors to consider when picking out a new bike trainer: adjustable or variable resistance, real road feel, noise, portability, available space in the room, budget, and experience.
Kinetic Road Machine Indoor Bike Trainer
Kinetic is a brand well-known in the world of indoor trainers with a long history. The American company is the most innovative trainer maker and has set the standard in the resistance bike trainer industry in the U.S.
The Great Features Of Kinetic Road Machine Indoor Cycle Trainer
The Kinetic Road Machine is a progressive fluid resistance trainer, which means that the resistance is directly proportional to the rotational speed of the rear wheel, due either to a faster cadence or harder gearing. So there are no manual adjustments needed to control the resistance.
The Kinetic Road Machine is actually the brand’s best-selling, most versatile entry-level trainer model. It has the same fluid resistance unit as the Rock and Roll Trainer. The Road Machine Bike Trainer receives its resistance by spinning a blade through a fluid/liquid-filled sealed chamber, paired with a 2.84kg (6.25-pound) flywheel to produce realistic acceleration as well as a claimed 15-second coast down time that actually feels like riding on an actual road.
The Kinetic Road Machine actually calibrates the resistance unit using a PowerTap wattage meter to measure power output, so you can compare training efforts over time. And like every Kinetic Trainer, the resistance fluid/liquid is unaffected by the heat created by pedaling. The completely sealed fluid chamber filled with thermodynamically neutral silicone liquid ensures a 100% protection against leakage. The cooling fins on the outside of the unit efficiently transferred the heat outside the device’s housing.
Pros And Cons Regarding Kinetic Road Machine Indoor Bike Trainer
Another cool thing I love about this indoor bike trainer stand is that no matter how long or how often and how hard your cycling session is going to be, the Road Machine is designed so that fluid does not lose viscosity or resistance after heating up to a specific range.
The Kinetic Bike Trainer frame accommodates a wide range of bike types and all the accepted wheel sizes available on the market. It is really easy to setup straight out of the box, and after that it only takes about 30 seconds to take the bike up and down when you are done. Its wide stance and its good build quality makes the Kinetic Road Machine very stable and very durable, so you can train with confidence.
The major downside is cost, but it is much better quality than a lot of fluid trainers available now on the market in its class – and in this price range, road feel, and noise level. The Kinetic Road Machine Bike Trainer not only provides progressive resistance that closely simulates actual outdoor riding conditions on an indoor bike trainer, but it also provide the reliability and stability necessary for a good indoor bike trainer stand.
Unbalanced somewhat heavy weight make such a trainer a bit heavy to transport to pre-race warm-up/indoor group rides or anywhere else you might need it to go!
Bell Motivator Indoor Bike Trainer
The Bell Motivator is definitely one of the cheapest entry-level magnetic bike trainer model you can get today. It is not quite as smooth or realistic trainer as it is with top-end fluid resistance trainers like the above mentioned Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, but I think this model strikes the right balance between price and performance.
If you don’t need variable resistance or are looking to save a little money, the Bell Motivator is a great ultra-low-budget pick. It does not have the road feel or accuracy of the best indoor bike trainers now on the market but it is a great option for the rider on a budget who wants a decent magnetic resistance trainer with a few less features at this price.
The Bell Motivator Bike Trainer creates magnetic resistance by spinning repelling magnets past each other as the flywheel spins. In this model the amount of resistance is fixed – as effort and cadence increase the resistance does not vary, so you do not get the right “road typically feel”. Meaning more or less resistance can be obtained only through shifting the gears on your bicycle while pedaling.
Bell Motivator Magnetic Bike Trainer Advantages:
The warranty offered by the company is the best I have seen for a magnetic resistance bike trainer in its price range.
The sturdy A-frame of Bell Motivator Bike Trainer is made from durable steel that guarantees complete stability and total safety and reliability while riding. The Bell Motivator work with most road and mountain bicycles with 24- to 29-inch wheels, whether they have quick release wheels or bolt-on ones.
When it is taken out of the box, the setup is relatively easy, unfold the legs and mount your bike with the BELL`s provided quick release skewer and lock it down. Due to the BELL`s clever design, it is very easy to put away after a session.
Bell Motivator Magnetic Bike Trainer Disadvantages:
There seem to be only two real negatives to using Bell Magnetic Indoor Bike Trainer. The first thing I noticed about this trainer is that if you are doing some explosive pedaling-intensity changes all of a sudden, such as when encountering a hill or sprinting to the finish line in a road race the resistance of the Bell Motivator Magnetic Indoor Bike Trainer will be overcome, and so allow the flywheel to break free from the resistance current.
Keep in mind that the Bell Motivator Trainer is definitely not designed to deal with high wattage workouts, but rather for light to moderate workouts!
The second thing, in terms of noise output, this trainer is not the quietest trainer I have heard, but it is definitely not the loudest magnetic trainer. I would say this trainer is better suited for use in the garage or ground floor if you live in a house, but if you reside in an apartment, the best thing you can do in order to reduce bike trainer noise level, is to use a smooth road bike tires instead of knobby mountain bike tires.
CycleOps Mag plus Indoor Bike Trainer
The CycleOps Mag+ is a traditional/classic rear-wheel-driven trainer that is an ideal entry-level turbo for that cyclist looking for an indoor trainer that can handle a resistance range of 400 watts.
The CycleOps Mag+ Trainer as its name suggests utilize magnets as it source of resistance. And in fact, the faster that the rear wheel spins, the greater the amount of resistance is created by the eddy currents technology. Five different difficulty levels of resistance are featured on the CycleOps Mag+ that can be manually controlled through a simple remote dial/cable that attaches to the handlebars. By combining these 5 levels with switching of the gears, the CycleOps Mag+ easily allows you to find a resistance that suit the type of training efforts you’re looking for.
The Mag+ makes use of CycleOps classic series trainer frame, that is solidly built and uses a spring-loaded axle clamp, bolt-action mounting mechanism for easy bike installation and secure engagement every time you ride. The CycleOps Mag+ model, according to the manufacturer, is compatible with most modern road, track and mountain bike frames out of the box, but won’t spread far enough to fit the newer Boost bikes.
The Mag+ uses a 2″ diameter roller that fits anything from a 26″ to a 29” wheel including 700c, however tyre width is limited to 2.5” not for the new plus-sized tires.
So what about noise level? Well, while using the CycleOps Mag+ trainer especially at slower speeds the noise level is less pronounced, but once you pass 22 mph, the noise gets much louder. Unfortunately, it seems that that is the case with most magnetic based resistance bike trainers that I have tried so far. The noise from a bike trainer can be lessened by using cycling-specific training tires, such as those sold by CycleOps, Tacx, Vittoria, or Continental. They are made from a different rubber compound that minimize tire wear, overheating, slippage and noise, which is an awesome side benefit as well.
A good quality turbo trainer should be part of every self-respecting cyclist’s arsenal of training tools. And, if you would like to know more about each of these popular three models you should read all of the customer reviews that have been made by real consumers by clicking on the links below. The gathered information from the feedbacks of the respondents will give you a greater insight, so that you can decide which one is going to offer you what you want out of it in terms of specification/resistance.
Which Bike Trainer Is Right for You?
Even within these three proven indoor bike trainer models, there’s a range of choice. Here’s how to pick:
If you’re still relatively new to road cycling, but don not want to spend $200-$300 for a bike trainer that you are planning to use only occasionally to build up some endurance in your legs, then an entry level magnetic resistance trainer like the Bell Motivator will serve you fine.
But If you are really planning to do serious on-bike training indoors and/or you really want to get an indoor trainer that offers a enough resistance for a hard interval-style workout, consider investing in a quality magnetic trainer like the CycleOps Mag+ or a fluid trainer like the Kinetic Road Machine.
Hopefully this short list of best bike trainers has given you a good insight in choosing the right indoor bike trainer you think may suit you, so you can further investigate your choices.
All in all, the best bike trainer should fulfill your needs and always give you the best possible bike training experience and results despite being indoors.