aellis28
Does anyone use trainers for the winter months?  I live in Chicago-land and soon I will not have the option to enjoy my rides as much as I should.  I've been thinking about getting a trainer but curious people's thoughts.

I also have a Ridley X-Trail with the thru-axles, so curious if anyone has dealt with that on trainers, which I believe adds some complexity.

Curious thoughts on above and if currently using a trainer, which one, and do you use it???

Thanks much!
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RoverAl
I have one and use it during hellish busy times, and when adult obligations take priority over getting out there. They are nice to have as a means to exercise although nothing beats the great outdoors. I go thru periods of non use contrasted by getting into a routine on the trainer. It just takes discipline. A good way to catch up on some shows whilst pedaling in front of the boob tube.

Currently looking into TA adapters for mine. I have a performance bike Travel Trac which is well built but not designed for TA's.

Some higher end units are mind blowing expensive. The site that has a possible axle solution has some nice units to.

http://ridinggravel.forumchitchat.com/post/thru-axle-adapter-for-a-trainer-8245984
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bobknh
In my racing days, I came a believer in trainers for high intensity training. I used them all year round and had much success as an age group masters UCSF racer. IMHO, trainers are best used for developing or maintaining specific skills and abilities, rather than trying to pile on the miles and hours to maintain aerobic endurance. The best place to start is Arnie Baker's web-site: http://www.arniebakercycling.com . Arnie is a personal friend and valued coach. He has coached many an athlete to National Championships and medals, including yours truly, and is still a significant player in the Southern Cal cycling scene. Even if you never want to compete, if you can absorb some of his ideas, you'll be able to get more from your indoor riding sessions, and be much better prepared to hit the dirt roads and gravel, when the weather gets better. Even just an hour or so a week, properly spent, can make a huge difference once Spring arrives.
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caravan2001
This is my first post to the forum, thanks for having me.  I am new to gravel riding and am actually picking up my new bike tomorrow (Niner RLT steel) and super stoked.  Living in rainy Oregon though, I am not new to trainers.  I have been using them on and off for 20 years and have tried most styles.  That said, I have not ridden a gravel bike on one, but I started using a trainer with MTBs. I quickly learned that with mountain bikes at least, slicks are the way to go.  I don't know how a gravel tire would perform on a trainer and it depends on the trainer type. I have used standard trainers with the back tire on a hydraulic wheel, I sometimes use rollers which are amazing for improving bike handling skills and I currently use a "smart" trainer, the one I use is the Wahoo Kickr.  The Kickr is just amazing, but it costs $1000+ so it's not for everyone.  There are other smart trainers out there for little less but the Kickr is the best out there imo.  Smart means that it has an integral power meter and links to your laptop and runs a bunch of training apps like Zwift or Trainer Road.  A lot of people get bored to death on trainers and can't last 30 minutes.  An interactive training app (Trainer Road) or social media type app where you ride against/with people from all over the world (Zwift) really helps keep things interesting.  You can also just get a standard trainer and watch cycling vids/crank tunes but I have found that the smart trainers have increased my fitness a ton. It's been great having a structured workout in my garage.

So long story long, trainers are not for everyone, but for me they work great because I can ride super early in the morning (rain or shine) and if you can stick with a structured program (intervals) you can get an incredible workout in an hour.  The Kickr is the best but it's not cheap, that;s for sure.  I also have a basic Tacx stationary trainer and fwiw, they make some good ones too.  For rollers, e-motion Inside Ride are the best and really provide a realistic road feel.
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JWB475
I ocassionally use a roller trainer in the winter when I can't get out and ride. I like it better than a fixed trainer since I still have to balance a bit and I can move from side to side when using it.

I read an interesting article about Zwift on Outside, sounds like a fun (but spendy) way to battle the boredom:
https://www.outsideonline.com/2111486/boredom-bikings-biggest-enemy-can-zwift-defeat-it

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bobknh
caravan2001 wrote:
This is my first post to the forum, thanks for having me.  I am new to gravel riding and am actually picking up my new bike tomorrow (Niner RLT steel) and super stoked.  Living in rainy Oregon though, I am not new to trainers.  I have been using them on and off for 20 years and have tried most styles.  That said, I have not ridden a gravel bike on one, but I started using a trainer with MTBs. I quickly learned that with mountain bikes at least, slicks are the way to go.  I don't know how a gravel tire would perform on a trainer and it depends on the trainer type. I have used standard trainers with the back tire on a hydraulic wheel, I sometimes use rollers which are amazing for improving bike handling skills and I currently use a "smart" trainer, the one I use is the Wahoo Kickr.  The Kickr is just amazing, but it costs $1000+ so it's not for everyone.  There are other smart trainers out there for little less but the Kickr is the best out there imo.  Smart means that it has an integral power meter and links to your laptop and runs a bunch of training apps like Zwift or Trainer Road.  A lot of people get bored to death on trainers and can't last 30 minutes.  An interactive training app (Trainer Road) or social media type app where you ride against/with people from all over the world (Zwift) really helps keep things interesting.  You can also just get a standard trainer and watch cycling vids/crank tunes but I have found that the smart trainers have increased my fitness a ton. It's been great having a structured workout in my garage.

So long story long, trainers are not for everyone, but for me they work great because I can ride super early in the morning (rain or shine) and if you can stick with a structured program (intervals) you can get an incredible workout in an hour.  The Kickr is the best but it's not cheap, that;s for sure.  I also have a basic Tacx stationary trainer and fwiw, they make some good ones too.  For rollers, e-motion Inside Ride are the best and really provide a realistic road feel.

Thanks - good post. The Kickr and Lemond trainers, and similar are a good, but expensive idea. You remove your back wheel and hitch your bike to a device with a compatible cluster. This means you wont destroy tires or have to worry about wheel compatibility. These devices also, depending on price, include monitors and real time measurement- even power- for analysis and download to your computer. If however, $1,000+ isn't in your budget, you may want to consider trainers like the Kurt Kinetic road machine. You would likely have to install smooth tires- or even purchase a second wheel to use on the trainer. But, you can buy an inexpensive wheel and tire for this purpose, and still be ahead in cost. Frankly, if I were still racing, I would probably purchase a Lemond or Kickr. But I jus did an interval workout on my 12 year old Kurt Kinetic this afternoon. More than OK for me.
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bobknh
bobknh wrote:

Thanks - good post. The Kickr and Lemond trainers, and similar are a good, but expensive idea. You remove your back wheel and hitch your bike to a device with a compatible cluster. This means you wont destroy tires or have to worry about wheel compatibility. These devices also, depending on price, include monitors and real time measurement- even power- for analysis and download to your computer. If however, $1,000+ isn't in your budget, you may want to consider trainers like the Kurt Kinetic road machine. You would likely have to install smooth tires- or even purchase a second wheel to use on the trainer. But, you can buy an inexpensive wheel and tire for this purpose, and still be ahead in cost. Frankly, if I were still racing, I would probably purchase a Lemond or Kickr. But I jus did an interval workout on my 12 year old Kurt Kinetic this afternoon. More than OK for me.

Here is a direct drive from Elite (same idea) at a much lower cost: https://www.amazon.com/Elite-Turbo-Direct-Drive-Trainer/dp/B00ZX4BJYY/ref=pd_sbs_468_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=NYK5KGC2Y28JER6Q2YAD .
Elite makes some good products. I own an Elite model that works well with 20" wheels on my Elliptigo, and folding bike. Haven't tried this direct model though, but my guess is that it is OK - but not quite the same quality as the $1K+ Kickr or Lemond.
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bobknh
bobknh wrote:

Here is a direct drive from Elite (same idea) at a much lower cost: https://www.amazon.com/Elite-Turbo-Direct-Drive-Trainer/dp/B00ZX4BJYY/ref=pd_sbs_468_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=NYK5KGC2Y28JER6Q2YAD .
Elite makes some good products. I own an Elite model that works well with 20" wheels on my Elliptigo, and folding bike. Haven't tried this direct model though, but my guess is that it is OK - but not quite the same quality as the $1K+ Kickr or Lemond.

Here is one that may make everyone happy - if you can afford it: https://www.cycleops.com/post/blog-16-cycleops-unveils-5th-generation-of-smart-trainer .
Me - I'll stick with my old reliable Kurt Kinetic.
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bobknh
bobknh wrote:

Here is a direct drive from Elite (same idea) at a much lower cost: https://www.amazon.com/Elite-Turbo-Direct-Drive-Trainer/dp/B00ZX4BJYY/ref=pd_sbs_468_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=NYK5KGC2Y28JER6Q2YAD .
Elite makes some good products. I own an Elite model that works well with 20" wheels on my Elliptigo, and folding bike. Haven't tried this direct model though, but my guess is that it is OK - but not quite the same quality as the $1K+ Kickr or Lemond.

Not sure if Lemond is still marketing his direct drive device. Also not sure if he is selling the steel Washoe road bike. A visit to his website showed that his company may be in transition. 
Also -- if you go the direct drive route, make sure that the device you purchase can fit the rear dropout spacing on your bike.
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aellis28
This is great feedback, thanks all!

I've been debating on the Kickr, just not sure I want to spend $1,200.  I do think the direct drive is the way to go, just need to make sure I use it for the price!

Thanks again for the feedback.


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caravan2001
JWB475 wrote:
I ocassionally use a roller trainer in the winter when I can't get out and ride. I like it better than a fixed trainer since I still have to balance a bit and I can move from side to side when using it. I read an interesting article about Zwift on Outside, sounds like a fun (but spendy) way to battle the boredom: https://www.outsideonline.com/2111486/boredom-bikings-biggest-enemy-can-zwift-defeat-it


Zwift is pretty cool.  It was cooler when it was free but... It is pretty neat if you have a fast enough computer.  It's basically like a Wii game for biking and you get to use your actual bike.  If you don;t have a power meter or smart trainer, it's a little tough to get accurate speeds.  It's pretty fun and can make an hour training ride go by fast but it's a little gimmicky.  Once i started using Trainer Road with structured workouts, I realized I was not pushing myself with Zwift.  It's easy to just go on there and pedal around.  With a structured program, you have to stay in the zones prescribed by the particular workout you choose so depending on what workout you choose, you pretty much get your ass kicked every workout.
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Clarkmajor
Hey aellis28, I am also living in an area where the weather conditions are unpredictable and because of that I was not able to carry out my cycle training. Then one of my friends suggested me to make use of Racermate bicycle trainer see it here through which I was able to carry out my cycle training indoors. According to me these kind of bicycle trainers are very useful and you should get one for the winter months.
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CADBiker
I got a Wahoo Kickr from my wife for Christmas and LOVE IT.  Been riding it since Christmas day no less than 1X every 3 days. (I alternate gym days with riding days, 7 days a week) We have been fortunate to have some good  or ridable weather days here in NW Arkansas at least 1 day per week including last Saturday when it hit 81 degrees (windy though)  Have my Kickr hooked up to Zwift and also ride with some YouTube videos for something different. The one thing I know is, that when I have been out on real rides with my buddies lately is how strong I have felt since trainer riding with them especially this time of year when we only get out about 1X a week. And it has really helped keep me in shape for those early spring riding events coming up as opposed to last year when I was gasping for air in March-April on rides
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