Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Bike Trainer: Taking you places you've never been

I had never rode a bike on a trainer let alone owned one before. Those are something for "serious" riders. 4 hour "training" rides indoors? Now that's just insane. But I had ran that on a treadmill before so I guess touché. I can't say I hadn't considered getting one before but in addition to the question of the seriousness of my winter biking needs, several issues always came to mind:

  1. It takes up space. Yes, it is additional fitness equipment that frankly our small, 2-bedroom home doesn't accommodate very easily.
  2. It will wear out my bike! I mean I love my bike, even if it is what 'real' bikers would call an entry-level road bike, and the thought of it wearing out before its time is a sad one to say the least.

However, winter rolled in and come early January, my husband declared that he wanted to get a bike trainer to help him really focus on getting fit. I applauded his enthusiasm and decisiveness so I suggested it be a belated Christmas present to ourselves for the good of our health.

Off he went to research and select the right bike trainer for our needs and our budget. After reading many reviews and specs of a variety of models, he settled on the CycleTEK Momentum1 Indoor Cycling Trainer.

CycleTEK M1 Indoor Fluid Bike Trainer
The CycleTEK Momentum1 high performance indoor cycling trainer uses unrivaled technology for a smooth, quiet, high performance,indoor cycling experience. 

Now this trainer offers several features that I won't go into detail on (you can read more on their website) but one particular feature is how quiet it is. No one wants to listen to a lovely fan, tire or similar 'road' noise continually drone on for the entire duration of their workout so this to me was a very obvious and important factor. And quiet this one is. I won't say there is virtually no noise but when your cat can curl up and take a nap right next to your bike while you ride--I'd say that's a pretty good indicator.

The cost of the trainer plus the front wheel riser block and a home-made floor mat ($17 worth of utility rug runner from our local home improvement store) was over a $100 less than most similar models plus accessories.

So, armed with my Pandora app, a small wireless speaker and a book, off I went to spin along an imaginary road every other night after work. I've gone through several books and well over 200 miles in the last 3 months and I have enjoyed learning how to create variation in my workouts enough to keep things interesting.

Sometimes this involves intervals of hard and easy paces--pedaling in and out of the saddle--and other times a bit of zoning-out while continuing to spin since you don't need to pay attention the same as you would on actual streets and roads.

There is something freeing and relaxing about that. And as I've only scratched the surface of the multitude of articles, training tips and plans available, I feel this equipment is yet to become dull and boring as some have claimed.

I suppose it's all in how you approach it but for me this has been a great fit and worthy investment. Now as the weather turns warmer and I transition to the outdoors, I think I will be well suited for upcoming rides and my body will be thanking me for it.

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