Stationary bicycle adapters

I like bike riding. There are quite a few bicycle trails *in my area.
But it is getting too cold to bike. Rather than get a exercise bike, I am considering an adaptor to turn my bike into a stationary one.
sometthing like

Anyone know of any others? Am I being silly and should I just get an exercise bike (In general I don’t like exercising for the sake of exercising thats why I enjoy going on trails I get to see nice scenery)

*I’m talking abondonded railroad trails, not mt bike trails (tho ther are those too–my bike is not a mt bike)

These are fine-- we had one when we lived up north (don’t remember model). I’d recommend these over “exercise bikes”, unless they have changed a lot in the last few years and no longer suck as much. These trainers are cool, but a bit tedious, but will keep you in shape better than nothing at all. Another option is “rollers” which I don’t have the drive for-- sort of like a treadmill for your bike. Takes a lot of balance, apparently.

I prefer trainers to excercise bikes too. Excercise bikes tend to have very wide pedal spacing (“large Q factor”), which I don’t like. Also they don’t feel very solid compared to a real bike frame. Excercise bikes do have one advantage though - they tend to be more quiet than a bike+trainer. Trainers can make as much noise as a small washing machine. (Well, at least in my apartment - it may be because the floor is flimsy and amplifies vibration.)

I have the SportCrafters Mini-rollers which are actually trainers, not rollers. (As capybara said, rollers require you to balance the bike yourself instead of having the bike fixed.) It’s inexpensive and works well. I’ve also used a CycleOps trainer - worked well, but the SportCrafters works much better on non-standard bikes like mine. (I have a recumbent bike and recumbent trike, both with non-standard hubs.)

I have a turbo-trainer thing I pull out occassionally. They’re way better than an exercise bike, mainly because you’re using your own bike. As stated above, plan for some noise! If they operate using squirrel cage fans for resistance, you get a very loud whirring sound.

It can get boring, so plan some time killers.
Sometimes while riding I would hook up some headphones, or watch tv, or read a book . Once my wife came home and I was riding sitting up straight and playing the guitar.

I ride my bike down to around 25F/-3C in non-ice/snow conditions. After ten minutes, you warm up if you’re wearing layers of clothes (and sweat ‘wicking’ under-garments - including socks).

A trainer is fine as you’re riding your bike. Since you’re not going to be turning - you might consider a different seat and adjusting the handle-bars for comfort.

There are trainers with ‘plug-ins’ to computer or video-game software. Similar to stuff you’d find a gym - though I imagine you can probably race ‘real’ people via the net. Stats, virtual displays - all that.

The main difference in price will be quality and, as lost4life said - noise.

Also you might want to get something that raises your front wheel up. I think they’re only around $15 - which is that much more than a phone book. :wink:

Do try and get in a ride outside when it’s sunny, calm wind and dry.

Trainers, rollers, and fenders each have their role in winter training.

Rollers are great for developing balance and good spinning form, but are tough to get a good aerobic work-out on, unless you use the brutally expensive Kreitler resistance rollers.

Trainers like the Blackburn and Tacx trainers are pretty good for areobic workouts, but do nothing for technique and can be extremely borking. I prefer Spinning workouts to both the above techniques.

Also, keep in mind that both of the above workouts will cause you to sweat a lot, with no wind to carry sweat off the bike. As a result, you’ll want to keep a towel over the top tube and bottom bracket, to prevent rust. Or at least wipe town the bike after the workout.

I’ve found that if the weather is even tolerable, the best workout is getting out on your bike. Mounting fenders, or building a fixed-gear winter bike.

I generally try to combine 3 intense Spinning workouts (45min-1hr each) with a more relaxed longer road ride on the weekend, during the winter. I’ve found this to provide an excellent amount of exercise, while preventing total winter boredom.


  • Christian

I don’t know what you mean by “Kreitler resistance rollers” - is this some kind of variable friction roller? So I can decide that I’m gonna take on a hill/headwind and ratchet the resistance up (and downshift?)

Yep yep. Always wipe sweat off. Your chin sits over important structural areas of your bike. A fan will help, especially if you have long hair that wants to flow back over your head rather than clump and wick sweat.

Or not-minding grit shot up your back. :wink: I’ve only done a bit of gym-cycling - and found it way inferior to riding outdoors. When it gets real bad - I either do nothing (or lift weights) or run on a treadmill.

Very good advice, Bj/Christian.


I use a bike on a trainer during the winter and it works out pretty well for me. It does get boring so I have a small TV and a CD player next to it to provide some entertainment as I ride. Definitely set a fan up in front of you if you can as it reduces sweating a lot (although it doesn’t eliminate it so you still may need a towel as recommended above). I have never liked the riding position you use on an exercise bike. I much prefer the position you get with a conventional bicycle on a trainer.