Tags: bike trainer aerobic exercise, bike trainer cardio, Does A Bicycle Trainer Give A Good Cardio Workout?
Does A Bicycle Trainer Give A Good Cardio Workout?
I am interested in getting a good cardio workout at home and am considering buying a bicycle trainer. Can you make any recommendations in so far as bicycle trainers go?
There are a few different types of bike trainers but all in all, you can get a tremendous cardio workout from a bike trainer. If you are looking at bike trainers for the first time, I recommend you skip roller trainers. A roller trainer requires both tires to be on the roller and for beginners it does not offer a stable ride. Its just much easier to ride a stable bike trainer. You may have heard that some gyms offer spinning classes. These classes involve exercise bikes and "spinning" will give you one heck of a workout. Well, some bike shops took notice and offered the same thing, except using bike trainers with the same spinning concept. If you need some motivation while riding, just check out the Spinervals DVD's. These DVD's are made for indoor bicycle workouts.
Many years ago you did not have too many choices when it came to bike trainers. You were pretty much looking at a wind trainer and nothing else. Luckily, the cycling industry has changed and along with that change brings quality bikes, bike accessories, and bike trainers. Now, as well as wind trainers, you have the choice of magnetic trainers, and fluid trainers.
So now we need to look at what type of trainer would be best for you. I can't make that determination for your but I can offer some help.
Wind trainers get their resistance from the wind... well, actually a fan. Some offer ways to increase/decrease resistance but in general you will find a noisy ride with the least amount of road like feel from any of the available bike trainers. If you are a beginner or or not tremendously strong, a wind trainer should provide enough resistance to give you a good cardio workout.
CycleOps Wind Indoor Bicycle Trainer
|Yes ($25 minimum)|
Magnetic trainers get their resistance from magnets. These magnets are placed on flywheels and when they get closer, more resistance is produced and when they move apart, the resistance becomes less. Magnetic trainers are not as noisy as wind trainers but if you are not used to riding a trainer, they can make quite a bit of noise. That is where having an mp3 player comes in handy. Magnetic trainers are considered a step up from wind trainers. However, due to recent technology, you can often find magnetic trainers that are less expensive as compared to wind trainers.
Why do I like magnetic trainers so much? Because they offer middle of the road resistance and I feel that if you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars, it could be just want you are looking for. Most magnetic trainers provide linear resistance, so you will still not get a fantastic road like feel but there are a couple of mag trainers made by CycleOps (CycleOps Magneto and CycleOps Supermagneto) which do offer progressive resistance. Of course you don't have to spend that much money if you want a quality magnetic trainer. Just take a look at the Bell Motivator Mag Indoor Bike Trainer and in particular, take a look at both the number and quality of reviews that this bicycle trainer received.
Bell Motivator Mag Indoor Bicycle Trainer
|Yes ($25 minimum)|
Now you can see what I'm getting at in regards to price.
Next, lets take a look at fluid trainers.
Fluid trainers use fluid that is sealed inside of a chamber as part of its way to provide resistance. Usually what happens is that there is an impeller and it rotates within the fluid. Pressure is built up and resistance increases/decreases with speed. Fluid trainers have the most natural road like feel of any bike trainer (well.. at least that I've been on) and provide the best resistance as well. It used to be that fluid trainers got a bad rap because they had a problem with leaking. Kurt Kinetic has been working hard to make sure that fluid leakage is a problem in the past. So why doesn't everyone just go out and buy a fluid trainer? Simple. Price. Having said that however, fluid trainers will give you the best resistance, road like feel, and if you are in above average shape and still looking to improve, a fluid trainer will be your best bet.
Kurt Kinetic Road Machine Indoor Trainer
|Too low to display|