What you need to know to be safe and have a blast!
How Do Indoor Bike Trainers Work
Why Use a Trainer Instead of a Stationary Bike?
Bike trainers are much more similar to a real bike than a stationary bicycle, and so they are used for training and not only for exercising. The feeling is much more realistic than on a static bike, and the position is identical to the one you'd use riding the bike outdoors, which has benefits if your goal is to train to use a real bike and not just exercise. They are also usually cheaper than purely static gym equipment because they use your regular bike instead of a static bike, so if you like mixing indoors and outdoors cycling, they can be the most cost-effective option.
Things to Consider When Buying a Trainer
Photo by: road.cc
Why Use a Stationary Bike Instead of a Bike Trainer
Personally, I have made the decision to go with a stationary bike (Peloton) vs. a traditional bicycle trainer. The apparent difference is that a stationary bike always setup and doesn't require me to takedown every time I want to go outside and ride. It can be ridden year-round in an indoor climate-controlled place no matter the weather and is ready to go in an instant. A traditional bicycle/trainer can provide a more realistic experience but can take 15-30 minutes to set up and get ready - which can be a substantial motivational deterrent.
Turing the Bike Trainer Into a Game
Several websites and apps make indoor training a game. Zwift is a digital destination to ride in for fitness, fun, and adventure. I used it, and it is great to break up the monotony of spinning while watching TV. With many different features, goals, rides, and even the ability to meet up and ride together, you feel like you are on an actual ride!
One of the things that makes this a more polished "game" is the interaction between your laptop, TV, and Mobile device. While the computer is sitting on a stand/dress off the bike – the Mobile Link App on your mobile device gives you power and control over the game and lets you interact with other riders.