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Bicycling: How to Choose the Best Indoor Bike Trainer

If riding outside is not always an option for you especially during winter season, an indoor bike trainer can be a valuable tool for you. There are several basic kinds of bike trainers, and we will talk about some of them to help you in deciding the best bike trainer for you. Bicycling has many health benefits such as increasing cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and flexibility, improving joint mobility, decreasing stress levels, improving posture and coordination, strengthening bones, decreasing body fat levels and preventing or managing diseases.

The five types of bike trainers are the wind, magnetic, fluid, rollers and indoor bikes. Wind is one of the original trainer styles wherein the pedaling powers a fan providing a good resistance that increases the rear wheel spins more quickly, either due to pedaling faster or using a bigger gear. Wind trainers are simple, durable and one of the cheapest trainers. Magnetic or mag trainer uses a magnetic flywheel for providing a good resistance, and there are existing electronic mag trainers which can be controlled via remote or automatically based on a software application. Magnetic trainers are affordable options abound, wherein their resistance can be adjustable and are much quieter than wind trainers, with wide variety of options for new featured models marketed today. The most common type of stationary trainer available today are fluid trainers, and these are based on magnetic flywheel that has chambers of viscous fluid to further tune resistance options. Fluid trainers provide the best “road feel”, offering a wide range of resistance adjustments, and are very quiet. Rollers are considered the oldest style or model of bike trainers, sitting freely on three precision drums inside a frame, and these smaller-diameter drums provide more resistance for you to achieve a great form. Indoor bikes are full featured machines similar to what you see in a high-end spin class studio, and many of them have integrated electronic dashboards and wireless connectivity, interfacing with training programs and apps. Indoor bikes are the most stable set up for indoor bicycling riding, reduce wear and tear on your bike and are the quietest option.

Many trainers can add power tracking as one of their options, and this is dedicated to the trainer as part of “smart trainer” or its own head unit. “Smart” trainer means having the capability to communicate to other devices such as downloading a training program in a phone-based app to automatically adjusts resistance or has the ability to sync to various online training platforms. A few trainers pivot on an articulating base where you can stand up and pedal while leaning the bike side to side similar when you do it on the road.

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