I have a good friend that loves to ride her mountain bike once the weather gets warmer, but she suspends all physical activities once the winter months come in full force. Guess what happens, she gains at least 15 to 20 pounds additional pounds during those idle months.
A month ago, she called with much enthusiasm about the changes she made during this winter period. She was able to continue her bike riding with the aid of a bicycle trainer. I listened with enthusiasm as she spilled the “beans” about the best indoor bike trainer brand she purchased and how many times a week she’s using it to stay in shape.
The initial desire to write this indoor bike trainer reviews came from that conversation, and she deserves all the credit for the inspiration. During my research and using the valuable information she provided, I learned the many ways to spot the most durable brands of bicycle trainers, and where to get one for less.
What Exactly is Bike Trainer?
To make it simple to understand, it is a well-crafted piece of machine equipment one can use to stimulate the action of riding a regular bike right in the comfort of your own home. While there are many design variations when it comes to top rated bike trainers, most would allow you to enjoy the true feeling experienced while riding your bicycle outdoors.
This piece of equipment is so simple and yet effective. While using one, you actually get the true feeling that you’re pedaling your bike down the city streets. But the best part is that using an indoor bike trainer allows you to stay in shape during the colder months when most people tend to gain the most pounds.
It would be wrong to compare the pedaling experience on a bike resting on a bicycle trainer to spin bikes, stationary bikes, or recumbent bikes. For one, using a regular bike on a trainer allows you to engage in more specific pedaling actions, which ultimately leads to better physical workout.
Top Bike Stand for Indoor Riding
If you enjoy riding bicycles, you should not give up when the weather gets colder or rainy. As you know, most of the weight gains occur during the colder months when most Americans are too afraid to even step outside and do some physical fitness exercises. Here are the top bike stands for indoor riding:
1 – Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer Portable Exercise Bicycle Magnetic Stand
From the feedbacks, we explored this unit is very easy to setup and can be used in just about any place in your dwelling, including the basement or a dedicated exercise room. It is one of the cheapest bike trainers one can buy online and comes with a foldable wide frame, which makes it easy to move around your home.
Most of the feedbacks from current users stated it was easy to setup, and most gave it high ratings for the heavy duty construction design style.
The Conquer indoor bike trainer comes with mounting cups that are sturdy with quick release mechanism for the riders convenience.
The needed front wheel riser block is included, and you’re able to use one single adjustment to experience a progressive magnetic resistance. This trainer stand is compatible with 700c, 27-inch, and 26-inch bicycles.
The need for manual adjustments means you have to stop cycling to make it happen. Few of the current users complained that the noise from the resistance was a little too loud.
The price alone is a god reason to consider buying this indoor bike trainer from Conquer. The wider frame is foldable, which gives it greater portability. The inclusion of a front wheel block makes it an ideal bike trainer for beginners and pros alike.
2 – RAD Cycle Indoor Magnetic Bicycle Trainer
This is an indoor trainer bike stand that uses magnetic resistance. Some have called it lightweight, which makes it ideal for those with limited space, and it can also be easily moved around.
Not only is it light in weight but it can also be folded for easy transport to your favorite exercise location.
The RAD Cycle Indoor Magnetic Bicycle Trainer is compatible with 700c wheels, 27-inch, and 26-inch bikes.
Based on the dozens of feedbacks from existing customers, it is quite easy to change the resistance levels.
Few of the current users complained it can be noisy when using a mountain bike on it. Some have suggested you should only get the trainer stand if your bike has quick release tire features.
At least, the manufacturer is more forthcoming with information as to what the bicycle trainer can do for you. It is quite affordable and comes with all the right features to simulate a great riding experience.
The Different Types of Bike Trainers
The design of a bicycle trainer is influenced by the type of resistance it provides. From the research information gathered from industry supported sites and government publications, there are four main types of bike trainers one can find online.
The most popular types of bike trainers are; Magnetic, Fluid, Wind, and Rollers. Let’s look at the pros and cons for each type of bike trainer.
Bike Trainers with Magnetic Resistance
This is a bike trainer that offers magnetic resistance mostly in the rear tires. The device uses a magnetic flywheel to create the resistance. It is also true that your pedaling does not get harder unless you engage the shift gears found on your bike.
Some will come with easy to use adjustment settings for such purpose. You might also find a few top units that offer progressive resistance using spring-loaded magnets.
This is probably the quietest among all types of bike trainers, and most of the brands offering this type of resistance design are inexpensive and widely affordable.
Most will come with adjustable resistance levels one can use to simulate riding on a hill, mountain tracks or easy roads.
The high-end magnetic bike trainers will come with a remote control one can use to make the required adjustments even while riding.
The less expensive models will require you to dismount and manually adjust it to your desired settings.
While one can argue about the complaints that they’re prone to breaking easily, it is true that the resistance provided is somehow limited by the design.
Bicycle Trainers with Fluid Resistance
A bicycle trainer that uses this type of resistance will have fluid chambers along with a magnetic flywheel. This type of bike trainer resistance is quiet while also giving you the ability to experience gradual increments in resistance levels as you pedal.
They’re popular among cyclist worldwide simply because it is the best bike trainer one can use to accurately create the feeling of riding on hills, flat surfaces, rough terrains, and others.
You’ll find that best indoor bike trainer using fluid resistance design allows for better ride simulations without any adjustment on the part of the rider.
Cost wise, this type of resistance bike trainers are costly even for the cheaper models as compared to the magnetic and wind trainers.
Prolong use tend to create friction, which can cause the trainer to get hot, a condition that may ultimately shorten the lifespan of the product.
Bike Trainers with Wind Resistance
The name for this type of bike trainer is most appropriate simply because the resistance is offered by a fan that is positioned close to the rider’s legs. In simple terms, the rider’s pedaling will create and increase the rate of resistance experienced.
The best indoor bike trainer for beginners is one that comes with wind resistance. Even the top brands are not only suitable for endurance training but also lightweight, which means you can move it around with ease.
It is also true that a bike trainer with wind resistance design offers the most realistic feel of outdoor cycling.
The fans might create more noise than you’re comfortable with. Even the top models with this type of setup will offer little or no adjustment settings. You’re also limited to the resistance levels experienced just because your pedaling controls that.
Bicycle Trainers Using Rollers for Resistance
Not too many units come with this type of design, simply because it poses greater riding challenges for even pro cyclist. The resistance is created as you carefully balance your bicycle on top of three cylinders, one in the front wheel and two for the back wheel. This is the resistance type preferred by cycling enthusiasts and pro riders.
Once you master the balancing act, it is the truest simulation of outdoor bike riding among all the designs. You do feel all your pedaling strokes and you get to enjoy the best road riding experience.
It comes with a higher learning curve, and might not be that friendly to beginners. It is easy to fall off while learning how to master smooth pedaling for best road cycling simulation.
More Bicycle Trainer Reviews
3 – Soozier Magnetic Resistance Cycling Indoor Bike Trainer Stand
Probably not the best sounding name for an indoor bike stand, but the magnetic resistance offered by this unit has high approvable ratings from current users.
It has a steel frame that is sturdy and durable, which translates into better riding experience.
You can use this magnetic resistance indoor bike trainer from Soozier with most road bikes and mountain bikes.
This best bicycle trainer is suitable for beginners and comes with all the right features to also satisfy the needs of pro cyclist.
Some of the current users complained the noise from the resistance mechanisms was too loud during pedaling. It is not the easiest to setup according to some feedbacks.
The magnetic resistance is enhanced by a sturdy steel frame. It has a quick release mechanism and can accommodate 27-inch, 26-inch and 700c bicycles. The unit can be folded down, which means better portability.
4 – CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer
We included the CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer because most of the current users gave it high ratings for the road like feel it enables. It has an aluminum body with a steel frame and comes with power band resistance.
Most of the current customers gave it high ratings for its road like feel.
The CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer is designed to use a hydraulic fluid feature to automatically help increase your speed.
The instructions that came with the device needed better clarification based on feedbacks from a few users. Some experienced leaking fluid after prolonged use of the indoor bike trainer from CycleOps.
It is pricey, to say the least, and might not be all that friendly to beginners needs. On the other hand, most of the current users of the product love it, and the included lifetime warranty is the best in the industry.
Key Features to Consider When Search for a Good Bicycle Trainer
Despite the fact that most of the present day bike trainers are made durable, and can be a worthwhile investment if utilized the right way, some are not worth the asking price. This niche industry is loosely regulated and there are new manufacturers trying to make inroads into this lucrative market.
It might be easier to select from the 7 brands in this bike trainer reviews, or you can use the following factors when doing the buying research on your own:
Type of Resistance
You’ll have to decide beforehand the type of resistance design you want in the bike trainer you choose. You can examine pros and cons of each resistance type as listed above.
If it has more features you can bet it will come with a higher cost. Some will offer you choices of different wheel size, which might have an influence on the type of riding exercises you can experience.
Performance Metrics from Real Users
Before including any brand in this indoor bike trainer reviews, I looked over the feedbacks provided by the current users of the product. At a minimum, the majority of current users of the bike trainer must give it high ratings for it to be worth the money.
It is easy to find bicycle trainers one can use indoors from less than $100 to over $300. What influences the price is the resistance type, manufacturer’s reputation, and where you buy the product from. Within this review, you’ll find brands that cover all the price ranges mentioned.
Additional Bike Trainer Reviews
5 – Magnet Steel Bike Bicycle Indoor Exercise Trainer Stand
This is quite an appropriate name for an indoor trainer bike. It offers magnetic resistance levels that increase with your speed.
It has an easy to engage foldable design, which leads to faster setup and storage. The inclusion of adjustable knobs guarantees a better precise fit.
You can feel comfortable engaging the included five resistance settings due to the use of heavy duty steel for the frame.
Some of the current users said it was too noisy while others said it was quiet during the rides. It does not come with any climbing block.
The included five internal resistance settings will appeal to beginners. It is compatible with all your top of the line mountain and road 27-inch, 26-inch, and 700c bikes.
6 – Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 Fluid Trainer
This is not your average indoor trainer bike due to the high-quality components that it comes with. The progressive resistance enabled is probably the closest you’ll get to feeling like you’re riding your bicycle outdoors.
Not only does it deliver excellent road feel, but serious athletes can use this bicycle trainer to achieve some spectacular training results.
It comes to you fully assembled, and you get a lifetime warranty, which makes the investment a worthwhile idea.
Depending on whom you ask, some customers claimed it was a bit noisy while others said it was quiet during the most intense rides. It is quite expensive.
This bike trainer from Kinetic Road Machine uses roller resistance and comes highly recommended by cycling blogs and industry critics.
7 – Kinetic Z Rollers
I like this design for many good reasons. It is made using lightweight aluminum materials, and it is probably the most portable roller resistance bike trainer on the market today.
The lightweight design gives it incredible portability features.
The design itself is appealing and comes with dual grooved setup, which makes it far easier to get on and off from either side.
It comes with higher pricing and some people might not be able to justify the investment. It takes a while to learn the balancing techniques for a smoother ride.
If you’re looking for a roller resistance type of trainer stand, this brand has all the required features one requires for a great riding experience. The Kinetic Z Rollers are designed to accommodate wheelbases as high as 110 to 97 centimeters.
The inclusion of an unconditional lifetime warranty makes it one of the top bike trainers you can almost look at as an investment in your physical wellbeing.