How to Keep Fit When the Weather Is Sh**... Thoughts on Turbo Trainers

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How to Keep Fit When the Weather Is Sh**... Thoughts on Turbo Trainers
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Posted: Dec 16, 2019 at 9:25 Quote
I am thinking about delving into the world of turbo trainers... I have several reasons for doing so and in no particular order they are as follows.

First one is mainly due to bad weather and how muddy things can get near me.

Secondly i only get time once a week (it's a two hour round trip to get to my local trail) and i don't have time to head out during the week.

Thirdly, light, or lack there of. And yes, i already have night lights, i just don't want to head out, on my own to my local trail to ride around in the woods late at night.

And finally, i really want to keep my fitness level up, and having something at home that i can "hop on and off" would be extremely useful. So when i finally do get the chance to head up to my local trail i can actually enjoy it!!

I have conducted a little research, and i have come to the conclusion that:

1. i need to buy a turbo trainer
2. i need a new bike for the turbo trainer
3. i need (or want) to buy a subscription to {insert well known training program here}
4. a holder for my phone so i can see {insert well known training program here}
5. Training Mat (read sweat catcher)
6. Fan??


So my questions really are as follows:

- what turbo trainer should i get? Ideally i would like a smart trainer after reading about all the benefits...

- what type of bike do i need to get? (this isn't going to get used outside of the house as i will only be using this on the turbo trainer, so ideally i don't want to spend too much on this unless absolutely necessary)

- what subscription training service is best (or are there any free ones out there)? I've heard about zwift but only v briefly...

- anything else i need to get??

Posted: Dec 16, 2019 at 9:39 Quote
what ive seen people do is use rollers, that you just hop your actual bike on and off. maybe worth a shot? seems easy to make

Posted: Dec 25, 2019 at 8:41 Quote
I bought one a few year ago and used it all of 5 or 6 times. waste of money id say. jogging is free and very good for fitness as is boxing classes. i know they are not bike riding but they are brilliant to maintain fitness, and probably improve the fitness if you commit to 1 run and 1 boxing class/lesson a week. save your money dude Wink

Posted: Jan 1, 2020 at 6:32 Quote
Hey mate, Ben here from The Strength Factory.

I work as a professional coach for MTB racers and riders over here in the UK.

Things to bear in mind......
Rollers will not offer enough resistance.
A friction type trainer where the rear tyre drives the trainer will always slip. They are noisy, crude and you need a special tyre. For that reason and to work with an app I would go direct drive. I use a Wahoo Kickr with some of my athletes but there are cheaper ones out there.

If you also have to buy a bike just to use indoors though then I would be tempted to buy a second hand Wattbike instead which will cost about the same as a trainer and bike together. This way you can also do sprint training on the Wattbike which you can't do on a turbo.

I have not really used any apps but have some clients who enjoy Trainer Road.

If you want a full programme for the winter including strength training then check this out too....
https://thestrengthfactory.uk/complete-mtb-programme-trail-end-2/

Good luck with the training.
Ben

Posted: Jan 6, 2020 at 3:23 Quote
I recently picked up an Elite Direto, which is a "direct drive smart trainer" and I mounted my old hardtail to it using the 11sp cassette, the bike was non-boost rear spacing and fit nicely...but included were spacers for running a wider and thicker axle if needed. I run this through Zwift and have about 80 miles on the set up so far. What I can say, and seems to be the generally accepted understanding, is that trainer miles are not at all like trail/road miles. No break, no coasting, typically. The smart trainers work off of your own output and what you're wanting from the experience. You can just ride the map and go up and down hills, or there are workouts depending on what you want out of them. I am currently on a MTB workout plan which has, I think, 12 workouts total...it's a great workout. If you have the financial means it's a good pick up. Rollers with knobbies will cause the tires to melt from the heat build up, as will "tire on" trainers. Zwift does have a monthly fee but I don't mind that personally, with the ease of "riding" at home and getting good results. I'll know more in 6-9 months but it seems to be a great supplement to riding when the days are shorter and the riding isn't as pleantiful.

Posted: Jan 6, 2020 at 12:43 Quote
raddad0410 wrote:
I recently picked up an Elite Direto, which is a "direct drive smart trainer" and I mounted my old hardtail to it using the 11sp cassette, the bike was non-boost rear spacing and fit nicely...but included were spacers for running a wider and thicker axle if needed. I run this through Zwift and have about 80 miles on the set up so far. What I can say, and seems to be the generally accepted understanding, is that trainer miles are not at all like trail/road miles. No break, no coasting, typically. The smart trainers work off of your own output and what you're wanting from the experience. You can just ride the map and go up and down hills, or there are workouts depending on what you want out of them. I am currently on a MTB workout plan which has, I think, 12 workouts total...it's a great workout. If you have the financial means it's a good pick up. Rollers with knobbies will cause the tires to melt from the heat build up, as will "tire on" trainers. Zwift does have a monthly fee but I don't mind that personally, with the ease of "riding" at home and getting good results. I'll know more in 6-9 months but it seems to be a great supplement to riding when the days are shorter and the riding isn't as pleantiful.

This is great! I was just thinking about getting into a similar set-up. My ankle is fractured in 2 places and I'm hoping the cast will be off in a couple of weeks. This might be a good way to get moving again. Would love some more updates/advice as you go along.

Posted: Jan 10, 2020 at 5:24 Quote
MTB-Strength-Factory wrote:
Hey mate, Ben here from The Strength Factory.

I work as a professional coach for MTB racers and riders over here in the UK.

Things to bear in mind......
Rollers will not offer enough resistance.
A friction type trainer where the rear tyre drives the trainer will always slip. They are noisy, crude and you need a special tyre. For that reason and to work with an app I would go direct drive. I use a Wahoo Kickr with some of my athletes but there are cheaper ones out there.

If you also have to buy a bike just to use indoors though then I would be tempted to buy a second hand Wattbike instead which will cost about the same as a trainer and bike together. This way you can also do sprint training on the Wattbike which you can't do on a turbo.

I have not really used any apps but have some clients who enjoy Trainer Road.

If you want a full programme for the winter including strength training then check this out too....
https://thestrengthfactory.uk/complete-mtb-programme-trail-end-2/

Good luck with the training.
Ben

thanks Ben really helpful advice, will take a look at this when i get home this evening!

Posted: Jan 10, 2020 at 5:26 Quote
srh2 wrote:
raddad0410 wrote:
I recently picked up an Elite Direto, which is a "direct drive smart trainer" and I mounted my old hardtail to it using the 11sp cassette, the bike was non-boost rear spacing and fit nicely...but included were spacers for running a wider and thicker axle if needed. I run this through Zwift and have about 80 miles on the set up so far. What I can say, and seems to be the generally accepted understanding, is that trainer miles are not at all like trail/road miles. No break, no coasting, typically. The smart trainers work off of your own output and what you're wanting from the experience. You can just ride the map and go up and down hills, or there are workouts depending on what you want out of them. I am currently on a MTB workout plan which has, I think, 12 workouts total...it's a great workout. If you have the financial means it's a good pick up. Rollers with knobbies will cause the tires to melt from the heat build up, as will "tire on" trainers. Zwift does have a monthly fee but I don't mind that personally, with the ease of "riding" at home and getting good results. I'll know more in 6-9 months but it seems to be a great supplement to riding when the days are shorter and the riding isn't as pleantiful.

This is great! I was just thinking about getting into a similar set-up. My ankle is fractured in 2 places and I'm hoping the cast will be off in a couple of weeks. This might be a good way to get moving again. Would love some more updates/advice as you go along.

I second what srh2 wrote, really great stuff here. Will be interested to hear your updates as you go along too!

Thank you very much!

Posted: Jan 27, 2020 at 13:06 Quote
I’ve had a turbo trainer for years and whilst I know it’s good for me and really does make a difference, I hate it.
Actually I should be on it now !

Posted: Feb 8, 2020 at 8:27 Quote
Personally love my turbo. I don't get a huge amount of time to ride outdoors probably twice a month if im lucky at the moment and the turbo helps me to keep fitness and build on it. I've used Zwift (didn't like it personally) loved The Sufferfest workouts were brutal and the videos can keep you entertained. However i now use trainnerroad and i have seen really good results in fitness and overall speed on the bike. Not as engaging as the other two but seems to work really well for me. All three are a monthly subscription service (which can be cancelled at anytime) and i think all three also offer a week or two free for your to try. Pretty lucky i can just switch off and pedal for a couple of hours indoors i know alot of people who just cant as they find it too boring.

If you're going to do it make sure you get a fan as well, even in a cold garage at this time of year i over heat.

Posted: Feb 18, 2020 at 7:51 Quote
srh2 wrote:
raddad0410 wrote:
I recently picked up an Elite Direto, which is a "direct drive smart trainer" and I mounted my old hardtail to it using the 11sp cassette, the bike was non-boost rear spacing and fit nicely...but included were spacers for running a wider and thicker axle if needed. I run this through Zwift and have about 80 miles on the set up so far. What I can say, and seems to be the generally accepted understanding, is that trainer miles are not at all like trail/road miles. No break, no coasting, typically. The smart trainers work off of your own output and what you're wanting from the experience. You can just ride the map and go up and down hills, or there are workouts depending on what you want out of them. I am currently on a MTB workout plan which has, I think, 12 workouts total...it's a great workout. If you have the financial means it's a good pick up. Rollers with knobbies will cause the tires to melt from the heat build up, as will "tire on" trainers. Zwift does have a monthly fee but I don't mind that personally, with the ease of "riding" at home and getting good results. I'll know more in 6-9 months but it seems to be a great supplement to riding when the days are shorter and the riding isn't as pleantiful.

This is great! I was just thinking about getting into a similar set-up. My ankle is fractured in 2 places and I'm hoping the cast will be off in a couple of weeks. This might be a good way to get moving again. Would love some more updates/advice as you go along.

After a few months with the trainer and also trail riding I can say that the hours spent on the trainer were definitely worth it. I enjoy the workouts and they really push you in ways that you cannot get during trail riding, road riding....probably. Intervals seem to be the key with MTB training workouts and those can be hard and not at all fun, but worth it. I've seen huge jumps in both my sustained power but more importantly the climbing, the workouts have you pushing for a longer time than on trails and as a result you can push through steep sections harder and you know what you have left in tank as far as strength and endurance.

Posted: Feb 18, 2020 at 11:40 Quote
raddad0410 wrote:
srh2 wrote:
raddad0410 wrote:
I recently picked up an Elite Direto, which is a "direct drive smart trainer" and I mounted my old hardtail to it using the 11sp cassette, the bike was non-boost rear spacing and fit nicely...but included were spacers for running a wider and thicker axle if needed. I run this through Zwift and have about 80 miles on the set up so far. What I can say, and seems to be the generally accepted understanding, is that trainer miles are not at all like trail/road miles. No break, no coasting, typically. The smart trainers work off of your own output and what you're wanting from the experience. You can just ride the map and go up and down hills, or there are workouts depending on what you want out of them. I am currently on a MTB workout plan which has, I think, 12 workouts total...it's a great workout. If you have the financial means it's a good pick up. Rollers with knobbies will cause the tires to melt from the heat build up, as will "tire on" trainers. Zwift does have a monthly fee but I don't mind that personally, with the ease of "riding" at home and getting good results. I'll know more in 6-9 months but it seems to be a great supplement to riding when the days are shorter and the riding isn't as pleantiful.

This is great! I was just thinking about getting into a similar set-up. My ankle is fractured in 2 places and I'm hoping the cast will be off in a couple of weeks. This might be a good way to get moving again. Would love some more updates/advice as you go along.

After a few months with the trainer and also trail riding I can say that the hours spent on the trainer were definitely worth it. I enjoy the workouts and they really push you in ways that you cannot get during trail riding, road riding....probably. Intervals seem to be the key with MTB training workouts and those can be hard and not at all fun, but worth it. I've seen huge jumps in both my sustained power but more importantly the climbing, the workouts have you pushing for a longer time than on trails and as a result you can push through steep sections harder and you know what you have left in tank as far as strength and endurance.

Thanks so much for the update & review raddad0410. The Elite Direto & Zwift is what I'll get!
My cast just came off, now I'm doing some physio to get my mangled ankle back on track. Stuff sure doesn't heal as fast when we get older Frown

Posted: Feb 18, 2020 at 11:53 Quote
srh2 wrote:
raddad0410 wrote:
srh2 wrote:


This is great! I was just thinking about getting into a similar set-up. My ankle is fractured in 2 places and I'm hoping the cast will be off in a couple of weeks. This might be a good way to get moving again. Would love some more updates/advice as you go along.

After a few months with the trainer and also trail riding I can say that the hours spent on the trainer were definitely worth it. I enjoy the workouts and they really push you in ways that you cannot get during trail riding, road riding....probably. Intervals seem to be the key with MTB training workouts and those can be hard and not at all fun, but worth it. I've seen huge jumps in both my sustained power but more importantly the climbing, the workouts have you pushing for a longer time than on trails and as a result you can push through steep sections harder and you know what you have left in tank as far as strength and endurance.

Thanks so much for the update & review raddad0410. The Elite Direto & Zwift is what I'll get!
My cast just came off, now I'm doing some physio to get my mangled ankle back on track. Stuff sure doesn't heal as fast when we get older Frown

Well do some shopping there are a lot of direct drive trainers out there and the Tacx and Wahoo trainers are also highly regarded. I like mine and I got it for a great deal so it's mine until it stops working. Get better and get stronger!

Posted: Feb 18, 2020 at 13:13 Quote
My setup is a Nashbar single speed cyclocross bike ($200), a second hand Kurt Kinetic Road machine smart ($100), a indoor mat from Amazon (like $30-40), a trainer tire ($30), a riser block from Nashbar ($13) and a subscription to Trainerroad ($15 a month). It has done wonders for my cycling fitness as I can fit in quick focused workouts in short amounts of spare time. Most of my workouts are less then an hour but even with that fitting in 3-4 a week has done wonders for endurance and climbing ability.

I also tried out Zwift and decided it is great if you want a video game but the workouts in Trainerroad just seemed more focused and there are tailored plans that seem better then Zwift.

Posted: Feb 21, 2020 at 22:33 Quote
Tacx smart trainer 2240 off eBay for 90 quid for me. Just stuck my road bike on there with Zwift. I find it great for winter training, obviously not comparable to going out but a lot better than sitting on a gym bike. The Zwift racing and group rides give you motivation to go a lot harder then if you were on yourself. Before I just wouldn’t ride in the week and have a ride on a weekend, now I have a couple of indoor training sessions in the week with the ride at the weekend.

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