I've been riding bike trainers for nearly 25 years. Yes, in college I was part of a cycling group that rode for fun. We were called the Shawnee Wheelers. We would get together every Sunday and ride up to about 50 miles.
As part of this cycling group, what you quickly found out was that the quality of your bike and what type of shape you were in made the difference between being in the lead group or the group that lagged behind. Unfortunately I found myself in the latter and it was not because of the quality of my bike. At that time I road a top of the line aluminum Trek bike with profile bars. I looked cool but truth be told I was slow.
My background was in weightlifting and more specifically powerlifting. So I had the aerobic capacity of a turtle and road just about as fast. Strong as all heck because I could outride nearly anyone in the group for the first quarter mile but then the lack of lung capacity took over.
I Need A Bike Trainer!
I started on a regimen of jogging and riding the exercise bike in an attempt to get in riding shape but I quickly found out that somehow it didn't translate too well to riding my bike. About the same time (without having access to the internet) I found out about bike trainers. Actually, you could not find a magnetic trainer or fluid trainer. Choices in bike trainers were very slim. Within a week my roommate and I purchased the same wind trainer and within a month we were both riding along with the lead group. Yes, I'm here to tell you that it sure does help to be riding the bike you train on outdoors as the same bike that you use on ur indoor rides with the bike trainer. My wind trainer was a fantastic piece of equipment and incredibly loud. Actually I should say was and still is a fantastic piece of equipment because I still own it and ride it today! You changed gears while riding and it changed the intensity as well as the sheer loudness of the bike trainer. Neighbors below us would knock on the ceiling when it became too loud. There was no such thing as a mat that deadened the sound or a riser block to level the front tire. You simply put a book under the front wheel. But I loved those days riding indoors and would not change a thing. Nearly 25 years later and you would expect a radical price increase in bike trainers but truth be told, today you can buy a magnetic trainer with so many more features and half the noise as the wind trainer that I used to ride. Beyond that you have fluid trainers which take riding indoors up yet another level. So, yes... luckily things have changed.