What’s a bike trainer?

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A bike trainer allows cyclists to ride indoors by placing the rear wheel of their bike into a sturdy frame. Different types of resistance, including wind, magnet, and fluid technology, can be used. This allows athletes to train indoors during inclement weather and practice different types of workouts. It is important to consider the different types of trainers and try them out before purchasing one.

A bike trainer is a piece of fitness equipment that allows a cyclist to ride a bicycle indoors. An athlete can simply place the rear wheel of his bike into the sturdy frame of the trainer, thus transforming his road bike into an exercise bike. Wind, magnet and fluid technology can be employed to help cyclists continue to train during the cold, dark winter months.

Serious cyclists often train outdoors on road bikes to stay fit. However, inclement weather could present dangerous riding conditions, preventing cyclists from exercising outdoors. In these situations, many professionals are turning to the potential benefits of a bike trainer.

Bike trainers are fairly short triangular frames with wide bases. When the rear tire is inserted into the trainer, the bike should remain upright and motionless, even if an athlete pumps the pedals and spins the tires. Most models feature some type of resistance mechanism to make running indoors as similar to an outdoor training session as possible.

A bike trainer allows cyclists to practice different types of workouts. From simulated hill sprints to long-distance runs, athletes can keep fit in their own homes. Many people admit that a stationary run can never accurately mimic an outdoor run. These frames, however, allow you to train on your own personal racing bike rather than a typical stationary bike found in most gyms.

There are three common types of resistance to choose from, each with its own pros and cons. The most popular type of bike trainer may be one that uses fluid resistance. While this model is generally the most expensive, many professionals and enthusiasts argue that the price is worth it to get an accurate ride. A smooth trainer is able to increase the resistance placed on the rear tire the faster a rider pedals, and remains fairly quiet.

A magnetic bike trainer or “mag” uses magnets of opposing strengths that move in opposite directions around the rear tire. These styles tend to be cheaper than flowy trainers, but they can also be less effective. Mag trainers usually offer several resistance settings, but these must be changed manually, possibly stopping a run.
The cheapest and generally least accurate type of trainer uses a fan, powered by the rider, to create resistance. Sometimes, these wind trainers make a lot of noise. Serious athletes rarely use these models because they are the least like a real outdoor workout.

If a cyclist is considering buying a bike trainer, it might be a good idea to try out a few different models at a sporting goods store if possible. Many athletes who use trainers regularly point out that they can wear out a rear bicycle tire quickly. Road tires work with a bike trainer, although thicker trainer tires can be a good option.

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