Author Topic: Info on Trainers please  (Read 7136 times)

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Offline tonythomson

Info on Trainers please
« on: September 24, 2009, 06:16:34 am »
So as the winter here in UK draws in need to continue to train ready for Florida to Vancouver next spring.

Can anyone give me advice on trainers - have decided against a roller set up.  Looking at a budget trainer as don't need anything fancy - just something to sit on and keep riding fit and break in new Brookes saddle!

Thanks Tony
Just starting to record my trips

Offline tanslacks

Re: Info on Trainers please
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2009, 09:57:32 am »
Well, there will be lots of opinions on this subject, but I love this model. I have used it for several years... many, many hours a week. It took some adjusting to get it just right and now it's a dream. I had a roll type trainer before and hated wearing out my expensive road tires on a trainer. Oh, and it is not cheap!

Good luck

Offline DaveB

Re: Info on Trainers please
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2009, 12:19:31 pm »
They all work if you are looking to maintain fitness.  Fluid trainers are "non-linear" so resistance increases faster than "speed", which is what happens in real riding.  Magnetic trainers are usually linear so the effort is directly proportional to speed.  Unless you are looking for very realistic training either will do.  Elite is one well known brand.   

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Info on Trainers please
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2009, 12:25:39 pm »
I don't know what is available in the UK, so rather than give you specific brands, I would rather give you what features to look for.

I have an old Travel Trak.  It has an inductive dampening (AKA magnetic) system.  Once upon a time, that was the rage.  There is a cable mechanism that lets you change the load while you ride.  I have since decided that is a silly feature since one pretty much picks a load and sticks with it, and now I have this cable that just gets in the way.

It used to be that a pair of squirrel cage fans provided the most realistic ride load.  These are really loud, and I don't think they are common any more.  I suspect that the hydraulic (AKA fluid) loads are really a squirrel cage fan in a sealed oil bath.  I would go with a hydraulic load.

Riding a trainer can redefine what boring means to you.  I would get a wider framed trainer as that will improve your stability.  If your attention span wanders, you could fall over.  So get a wide framed trainer.

Some trainers just destroy bike skewers.  Some trainers come with a skewer for you to use, and some don't.  If you need to get a skewer, a Shimano Deore steel skewer is just about indestructable.  I have a now hideous Durace skewer that I used only one time on my trainer.  My trainer destroys aluminum skewers, especially pretty ones.

Riding a trainer is noisy.  Using a slick tire (smooth profile) makes the least noise.

There are now trainers that are interactive, and let you relive your favorite ride, or experience downloadable rides.  The gym I belong to has 2 work out bikes with interactive features.  This does make riding the bikes a lot more interesting.  I think I am to frugal to buy a trainer that does this.

Come up with ways to stay motivated while you ride.  It will be boring.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Info on Trainers please
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2009, 11:45:47 pm »
Thanks, paddle, probably the best information on trainers I've seen!
To the OP, that Amazon link had a wide range of devices. Huge differences in quality, resistance method, and froofroo doodads like interactive video and energy metering reflected in the pricing. Be sure to check the online bike suppliers like Nashbar and Performance as well as REI for bargains and closeouts. You local shop might have some devices that have been returned.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline staehpj1

Re: Info on Trainers please
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2009, 07:33:30 pm »
I hope this isn't too off topic, but...
I find riding a trainer pretty boring and try to avoid it.  I am not saying others will or should feel the same way, but it is something to consider.   It is hard to stay motivated if it is boring.  That said I have found that I can stay in pretty good touring shape even when I am not riding much.  Both running and indoor rowing seem to keep me in pretty good shape for touring.

Before my spring tour I had only about 200 miles in for the year.  I had been running and trail running and had run a half marathon a few weeks before the tour.  I was able to average 80 miles per day for the 10 days of riding and even managed a 142 mile day at the end of the tour.  I did all this in reasonable comfort with a base of about 200 miles.

Similarly a year or two ago when I started riding after a winter of indoor rowing I found myself to be in pretty good riding shape (for some reason I find indoor rowing less monotonous that riding a trainer).  I am 58 years old and a mediocre athlete at best, so if it works for me it probably would for most folks.

My point is that maintaining general fitness is the main thing and to be in reasonable touring shape doesn't necessarily require a great deal of riding miles.

I'm not knocking the trainer if it works for you, merely suggesting that other options work well too.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Info on Trainers please
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2009, 05:06:12 am »
Hi Guys,
thanks for all your input, much appreciated and will go ahead with getting a trainer thanks to your help. 
Point taken about keeping fit which I do and I use the rowing machine regularly.

Plan to use it when the live soccer is on TV to help with the boredom.

Getting a trainer is as much about breaking in my new Brookes saddle as well as keeping fit.  Is this a bit pathetic?  But the thought of setting off from Florida to Vancouver next spring with an unused Brookes doesn't bear thinking about.
Just starting to record my trips

Offline TCS

Re: Info on Trainers please
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2009, 10:11:58 am »
Can anyone give me advice on trainers - have decided against a roller set up.

Keep an eye on your form.

I've seen plenty of riders out in the early spring who were strong and fit, but stomped at the cranks and lurched down the road after a winter of pedaling without having to ballance.

"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."