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Bicycling: How to Choose the Best Indoor Bike Trainer

If riding outside is not always an option for you especially during winter season, an indoor bike trainer can be a valuable tool for you. There are several basic kinds of bike trainers, and we will talk about some of them to help you in deciding the best bike trainer for you. Bicycling has many health benefits such as increasing cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and flexibility, improving joint mobility, decreasing stress levels, improving posture and coordination, strengthening bones, decreasing body fat levels and preventing or managing diseases.

The five basic types of bike trainers include the wind, magnetic, fluid, rollers and indoor bikes. Wind is one of the original trainer styles wherein the pedaling powers a fan providing a good resistance. Wind trainers are simple, durable and one of the cheapest trainers. Magnetic or mag trainer uses a magnetic flywheel for providing a good resistance, and there are existing electronic mag trainers which can be controlled via remote or automatically based on a software application. Magnetic trainers’ resistance are adjustable, and they are much quieter than wind trainers, with wide variety of options for new featured models marketed today. Fluid trainers are the most common type of stationary trainer available today, and are based on magnetic flywheel that has chambers of viscous fluid to further tune resistance options. Fluid trainers have wide variety of features and options such as power and connectivity, providing the best “road feel”, offering a wide range of resistance adjustments, and are very quiet compared to other bike trainers. Rollers are the oldest style of bike trainers, sitting freely on three precision drums inside a frame and these smaller-diameter drums provide more resistance. Indoor bikes are similar to featured machines seen in high-end spin class studios, wherein many of them have integrated electronic dashboards and wireless connectivity, interfacing with training programs and apps. Indoor bikes are the most stable set up for indoor bicycling riding, reduce wear and tear on your bike and are the quietest option.

Many trainers can add power tracking as one of their options, and this is dedicated to the trainer as part of “smart trainer” or its own head unit. A “smart trainer” is defined as the capability to communicate to other devices such as downloading a training program in a phone-based app to automatically adjusts resistance or has the ability to sync to online training platforms. A few trainers pivot on an articulating base where you can stand up and pedal while leaning the bike side to side similar when you do it on the road.

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