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Looking for Experience on Cycling TRAINER stands/apparatus

I'm considering buying one of those bike trainer stands that you put your bike in and it allows for simulated cycling - often used to maintain or build fitness for cyclists during inclement weather, off seasons, rehab, etc. 

I just read up on the basics on the REI site and surveyed what's available via REI. Do you have one? What's your experience with it? 

Ideally, I wanted to be able to leverage my own bike's gears and to do so via using the changer mechanism on the handlebars vs. some app (the latter of which the REI salesperson told me is typically how you 'change gears' or intensity using these things).

Before you just tell me to go get an exercise bike, I have one; I like my own bike (Cannondale touring) much better, it fits me perfectly and is more comfortable than any exercise bike I've ever ridden, and I have some physical disabilities where I believe this kind of trainer could be helpful in helping my body safely acquire (i.e., 'learn') the coordination of fine motor skills many of you regular riders do not even realize you apply each time you ride.

Please let me know your experience, stuff maybe not written about but that could be helpful with these, etc.

Many thanks.

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Re: Looking for Experience on Cycling TRAINER stands/apparatus

@Anonyms Thanks for reaching out!

A bike trainer is a great way to get exercise indoors and if you have a great bike that fits you well, then it sounds like this would be a great option for you! I've owned a couple of indoor bike trainers and I really liked the fact that I could use my own bike for training rides. It was more comfortable and even felt better when I got out on the road again with my own bike.

A few things to consider when purchasing a bike trainer:

  • If you're going to be putting considerable miles on your trainer you'll want to invest in a bike training tire. They are quieter and it will help prevent extra wear on your road tires.
  • Some cycling trainers can be loud. You'll want to read up on the product specs if the sound is something you might be concerned with.
  • You'll want to consider a riser block and a mat to go with your trainer. The bike trainer will lift your rear wheel off the ground by a couple of inches, which means you'll need something to lift your front wheel off the ground as well. You can buy a riser block, or use a phone book. The advantage of the riser block is that they typically have a groove for your front tire, so they're more stable, but many of them have multiple height options if you want to feel like you're climbing a hill. The mat is important to protect your carpet or floor. The first time I road mine I didn't have a mat and left a nasty black streak on the beige carpet!

Hopefully this helps, thanks!

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well lived.
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