Best Bike Trainers
Indoor bike trainers are great accessories for anyone wanting to cycle without relying on daylight to do so!
Even if you manage to get off work in time to catch the sunset on an intense ride, indoor bike trainers are wonderful to have on days when the weather is less than ideal.
|Brand/Model||Key Features||Ratings||More Information|
|Kinetic Road Machine 2.0|| Fluid trainer
Fits 22-29" wheels
Comes with riser ring
| 4.9 out of 5
For more information, click here!
|Sportneer Fluid Bike Trainer Stand|| Fluid trainer
Fits 26-29" wheels and 700c bikes
Comes with riser block
| 4.8 out of 5
For more information, click here!
|CycleOps Fluid2|| Fluid trainer
Fits 700c bikes
Comes with climbing block
| 4.7 out of 5
For more information, click here!
|Travel Trac Comp Fluid Trainer|| Fluid trainer
Fits most 24-29" wheels and 700c bikes
| 4.6 out of 5
|Xspec Exercise Bike Trainer Stand|| Fluid trainer
Fits most 26-28" wheels and 700c bikes
Comes with wheel blocks
| 4.5 out of 5
For more information, click here!
A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Bike Trainers
Obviously, it’s not as simple as deciding you want a bike trainer and picking out the first thing that pops up in your search.
There are a few key pieces of information to keep in mind when it comes to selecting the perfect bike trainers for yourself or a loved one.
To begin with, how many types of bike trainers do you think are around?
There are a few! Smart trainers, turbo trainers, and more. The key is to look for the resistance source and determine which one will be best for you.
Do you want electromagnetic or fluid resistance? Smart trainers or simplistic trainers?
- Wheel speed typically determines the resistance levels in fluid trainers.
- Direct drive or tire drive trainers are the main options for smart trainers.
- With most direct drive trainers, you’ll have to remove the rear wheel of your bike and mount the frame to the actual trainer.
- With tire drive trainers, your bike’s tire and wheel manipulate the resistance source by rotating the drum attached to the unit.
- Tire drive trainers are usually less expensive and less of a hassle to set up than the direct drive alternatives.
- If you want more control over the power and calibration of your equipment, a direct drive trainer is the better choice.
What are smart trainers? Good question!
These have become increasingly popular as of late because they typically offer more resistance control. How’s that, you ask?
Smart bike trainers generally measure resistance levels with grade simulations or wattage control through phone applications.
Many people are starting to prefer smart trainers to the more old-fashioned kinds because they make it a bit harder to cheat or take the easy road since it’s controlled electronically.
- Some smart trainers have apps that provide virtual and competitive worlds to keep exercising fun and immersive.
- Most smart trainers will use ANT+FE-C or Bluetooth Smart communications.
So what if it’s rainy and cold outside? Sync up an app to a big TV and you can be riding on a beautiful, sunny, virtual trail before you know it!
- Standard trainers are great for people that aren’t too fond of using apps to control resistance.
- Most standard bike trainers are tire drive units, making it possible to adjust the resistance by changing gears or paying attention to how fast the rear wheel is spinning.
- There are also magnetic trainers, which make it possible to control resistance levels by wiring the trainers to the handlebars of your bike.
Our favorite bike trainers? Fluid, of course!
They’re the best at making it feel like you’re actually riding your bike on a road!
The resistance curves fluid trainers use are pretty efficient for anyone that craves the experience of going faster and switching gears much like you would notice going down a road.
Just pedal your little heart out and shift gears as needed when you want the resistance levels to go up or down.
The biggest downfall of owning a fluid trainer? Possibly running out of resistance. To begin with, most models will provide plenty of resistance.
If you’re going to be using these bike trainers pretty regularly, though, you might eventually run out of challenges to face in terms of resistance.
Smart trainers take the cake when it comes to providing continual challenges after long-term use.
Let’s face it, it’s easy to get bored after you’ve been doing the same thing for quite some time if you don’t have the option to change things up!
That technology also makes it easier to feel like you’re actually riding on a road, which is great for anyone that wants to feel like they’re not missing much by not riding their bike outside!
- Does it matter which kind of bike you use?
- Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. What matters even more than the bike is the tire sizes, more often than not.
- In most cases, road bikes work best with tire drive trainers while mountain or cyclocross bikes work well with direct drive trainers.
- If you insist on using a mountain bike and simply must have a tire drive trainer, then check to see if you’ll need to buy a slick trainer tire.
- Cyclists interested in bike trainers should take note of certain details like hub spacing and axle configurations to ensure compatibility.
- Consider any accessories or additional equipment you may need or want to purchase.
- You’ll probably want to get a floor mat to help prevent sliding.
- Some people may need a leveler for a smooth ride if the area the trainer is set up in isn’t completely flat.
- Skewers may be important if you are trying to place different kinds of bikes on one specific trainer.
- Some bike trainers on our list are bundles, including risers and other important pieces, while others are not.
- Check up on replacement parts and costs.
Are you wondering how much these excellent bike trainers could set you back financially?
It all depends on the brand, the model, the features, and more. At any rate, you can expect to spend anywhere from $30 to over $1,000 on a quality, indoor bike trainer.
Now, let’s take a look at our list of favorites!
Best Indoor Bike Trainers
- The Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 is a sturdy, yet small and simplistic, fluid trainer.
- This particular trainer doesn’t have a weight limit but if combined with the Rock & Roll Trainer, there is an approximate 260lb limit.
- Should come with a riser ring with a non-slip base.
- The flywheel weighs a little over 6 pounds, making it easy to feel like you’re really riding on a road.
- Can be paired with the Pro Flywheel if you want to add more resistance.
- Not overwhelmingly loud but it is not silent.
- The frame should be able to house wheels between 22 and 29 inches.
- Want more control over the power behind your workout?
- Consider using the Kinetic inRide Watt Meter.
- The trainer’s incline level is adjustable.
- The Sportneer Fluid Bike Trainer welcomes both mountain bikes with 26-29″ wheels and road bikes.
- Features a stainless steel frame.
- Comes with a riser block to make a wobbly ride much less likely.
- Impressively quiet compared to many other models thanks to the high-end resistance wheel.
- Has a dual-locking system that makes it easy to keep your bike in the appropriate position during use.
- Easy to set up despite its appearance.
- The frame is able to be folded up so that it can be stored almost anywhere and can be carried around just as easily.
- The CycleOps Fluid2 is a nice trainer for most road bikes but cannot fit large mountain bike wheels.
- This particular package should include the trainer base and a climbing block for additional resistance features.
- If you stack 2 climbing blocks together, you can enjoy 12 different adjustments for added difficulty training.
- Even if you reach a speed of twenty miles per hour with your bike on this trainer, you shouldn’t have to worry about the noise levels exceeding 70 decibels.
- We recommend using a training tire to prevent excessive wear-and-tear, as with most trainers.
- This model does make regular tires get a bit warmer to the touch than we’re okay with.
- The flywheel provides plenty of resistance while shifting gears, which is one of our favorite bike trainer features.
- The Travel Trac Comp trainer is more affordable than some of the other options but it does not come with a bunch of accessories.
- Does, however, fold, making it easy to store or carry it around on vacation.
- Is a fluid resistance trainer.
- We noticed that it’s a little less smooth than other models until you get it going for a bit. Once warmed up, though, it provides a nice, smooth ride.
- The flywheel is external.
- Should be able to fit most wheels between 24 and 29 inches, including 29″ mountain bike tires.
- Relatively quiet but definitely not silent.
- This is a great choice for anyone that isn’t enjoying magnetic trainers and wants an affordable fluid trainer to start with.
- This Xspec bike trainer is the most affordable one on our list!
- Yes, it’s also a fluid resistance trainer, so don’t worry that you’re getting a flimsy little magnetic trainer instead.
- To be fair, it doesn’t provide quite as much resistance as some of the other models on our list. For the price, though, we can’t complain. It does its job pretty darn well!
- The resistance level ranges from 20 to 725 watts on average.
- Should be able to fit most wheels between 26 and 28 inches and 700c bikes.
- Is one of the sturdier models we came across, being able to withstand up to 330lbs of weight.
- The bike trainer itself is pretty lightweight, making it incredibly easy to carry around from room to room or town to town as needed.
Figuring Out Which Bike Trainers Would Best Suit Your Needs
Magnetic trainers are great for smaller people that aren’t trying to get extreme workouts in, as the resistance isn’t usually as powerful in those models as in fluid trainers.
Fluid trainers are best for serious athletes that are trying to get in tip-top shape. In fact, some fluid trainers provide more resistance in a stationary position than you’d experience on an open road!
We found that it was harder to maintain fast speeds for long periods of time on the higher-end models than cheaper ones with fewer accessories.
Someone might be able to go 25mph on a flat, straight road with the same bike that they can only reach 20mph with on a trainer!
Smart trainers are every bit of awesome if you’re willing to spend several hundred dollars on your fitness.
There are some great smart bike trainers available online but we wanted to focus on affordable, efficient, and simplistic trainers today.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about bike trainers with us today and we wish you luck in your search!