It's been quite warm here in Richmond, but it seems like winter has finally come. Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you have to stop riding your bike. Why not take your ride inside? Here is your quick guide to indoor training.
Why would you want to ride your bike indoors?
There are a number of reasons that you would want to ride your bike indoors as opposed to outside. The first and most common reason is weather. Every winter lots of cyclists choose to set their bike up on indoor trainers in order to keep up their fitness when the days are shorter and it’s too cold to ride outside. Or if you were really looking forward to getting a ride in on your day off, but it’s pouring down rain, you can just set your bike up on an indoor trainer and still ride.
Indoor cycling can also provide a much more efficient workout if you are crunched for time. We all live busy lives, and although we would all love to be able to go outside and ride our bike for hours and hours, that just isn’t practical. When you ride your bike on an indoor trainer, you don’t have to deal with things like traffic lights or variable terrain, so you are able to keep consistently pedaling. This constant level of work means that a workout that would probably take 2 hours outdoors, can actually be achieved in a shorter time indoors. Lastly, a great reason to take up indoor cycling would be if there was a global pandemic and you are self isolating.
Different Setups for Different Budgets
No matter what your budget is, there is an indoor trainer solution to fit your needs. Wether you are looking to spend a few hundred dollars, or a few thousand dollars, there is an indoor setup for you.
Kickr Bike - $3,300+
Direct Drive Trainer - $1,200
With a direct drive smart trainer like the Tacx Neo 2T, you take the rear wheel off your bike and connect it "directly" to the smart trainer. This allows for a realistic ride feel and an amazing indoor training experience. The Tacx Neo 2T can even be used in Stand Alone Mode, which doesn't require it to be connected to any power outlet. This is a great solution for warming up on race day, or traveling for work.
Wheel on Smart Trainer - $500
\These are functionally just like the traditional wheel on trainer, with the addition of a “smart” motor that controls the resistance on the rear. These smart trainers, like the Wahoo Kickr Snap, also open up a world of companion apps such as Zwift, TrainerRoad, and Wahoo's own SYSTM. These applications create a much more engaging training experience and you gain the sense of community from other riders who are also indoor cycling and using the apps.