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6.7. What's the best kind of trainer to use in the winter?




Description

This article is from the Triathlon FAQ, by with numerous contributions by James Goddard others.

6.7. What's the best kind of trainer to use in the winter?

There are two common types of trainers available: stationary trainers
and rollers. Stationary trainers clamp on to your rear fork and
provide a rolling mechanism for your rear wheel. Resistance is offered
by wind (a fan attached to the roller), fluid (a fan incased in oil
attached to the roller) or magnets. Wind units tend to be the
cheapest. Fluid resistance tends to offer the smoothest ride. Magnetic
units often have adjustable resistance. If you get a stationary
trainer you should also get a block for the front wheel to keep the
bike level.

Stationary trainers have the following advantages/disadvantages:

Pros:
Excellent for spin/muscle/aerobic training
Easier to ride/learn
Cheaper (usually) than rollers
Some have computer interfaces to simulate road conditions
More options for resistance control
Cons:
Do nothing for balance and form
Allows you to coast
Cause a lot of wear on the rear wheel
Causes more stress to the frame of the bike
Requires no thought so can be mind numbing

Rollers provide 3 tubes two of which are connected by a belt. The
front wheel rests on a single tube and the rear rests between two
tubes. The belt from the front rear tube to the front tube causes the
front wheel to spin with the rear wheel. Resistance is offered by
friction and gears (smaller tubes offer more resistance) or a fan unit
attached by a belt to one of the tubes. Rollers have the following
advantages/disadvantages:

Pros:
Excellent for spin/muscle/aerobic training as well as form and balance
Ride is more true to actual road riding
Do not allow you to coast
Force you to concentrate on your workout
Less stress/wear on bike


Cons:
Harder to learn/use
More expensive than basic stationary trainers
Less resistance options

The big reason most people avoid rollers is that they have a steep
learning curve. The common fear is that you will ride off the rollers
and hurt yourself. You can't actually ride off rollers like you might
imagine, the only thing you can do is drop the front wheel off of the
side of the roller which can cause you to loose your balance and
fall. The best tip for learning to ride rollers is to start in a
doorway so if you loose your balance you can just stick out your elbow
to stop your fall.



 

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