Let’s Talk…Trainers and Rollers

What motivates you to crank out the miles on a Trainer or Rollers?  In our “Let’s Talk” series for this month we’re discussing trainers and rollers and everything that goes along with them.  What tips or suggestions do you have to make riding indoors more exciting?  What brands or models do you recommend?  What is your most interesting story about using them?

This post will be built by you.  Have a look at the video and then leave your comments, and join us in this discussion.

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  • http://twitter.com/icemanbb Bob Burpee

     I have a CycleOps, it works great but for me riding a trainer is highly boring.  I’ve tried watching TV but if it’s a program I’m interested in then I don’t pay attention to the cycling.  On the other hand (fingers are better then toes) if the program is boring then you have a double dose of boring.  I will use music and that helps some. Mostly I use the trainer for intervals and for specific training (e.g. pedeling with just one leg to work on motion). 

  • http://twitter.com/perdlespedales Ronald Houde

    We have owned a TACX I-Magic VR Home Trainer for a few years now. Although it will never beat riding outdoors, we love riding with Real Life Videos, especially since the TACX Software Trainer was updated to V3.6 and provides the ability to follow the course on GoogleEarth. We can now ride on 3 continents (Europe, North America and Africa) and any of a dozen of so circuits at a moment’s notice.  The rides never get boring and when Spring returns to Montreal, we are ready to go once again!

  • http://twitter.com/myrnacgmibus Myrna CG Mibus

    Well I tried a trainer for the first time today – it was a CompuTrainer so I had the feeling of going up and down hills which helped keep the “ride” a bit more real. It was okay – not as fun as, well, riding my bike, but it was a lot better than a treadmill. Still, without my iPod I would have struggled to get through my 10 mile ride.  I am not sure if I will buy a trainer – I’m paying a nominal fee to use the CompuTrainer for the rest of the month to see if I like it. If I do, I can pay a monthly fee to use the trainer or I may buy one of my own to keep here at home.

    I will keep listening to my tunes when I ride (any great riding music suggestions out there? – I like Flogging Molly – I’d like to make a trainer play list). Also may consider getting a book on tape to listen to.

    • Jhyde32153

      ok here ya go a question from a noob! I just started riding several months back and have invested only a min amount of money in a TREK hybrid.  Would like to try a trainer but don’t want to invest as much as I did for my bike and find out I dont like it. Ideas?

      • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

        Hi, thanks for leaving your question and we’d be happy to help you out.  You could do what Myrna did (mentioned in the comment above).  She is renting a CompuTrainer to see if she likes it.  You could also purchase a lower cost trainer for now.  If you decide you like it then you could invest in a better one down the road.  Hope that helps.

      • http://twitter.com/StevieDexter Stevie Dexter

        As well as the replies already posted, pop into your local bike shop that has a bike fit studio. Unless they are a real fancy-dan organisation, there fit studio will probably be based around a turbo trainer. Be open an honest and ask if you can try it. With the possibility of selling you a turbo or at least providing superb customer services thus keeping you coming back, only the most grouchy of shop owners would turn you down.

  • tibbs

    I use a TT fro the weeks where I can’t get out on  the bike due to weather, kids etc. Hard to motivate yourself to get on it but I used one of the sufferfest vids the other week and in fairness it made the hour or so pass very quickly and I enjoyed it for once.

  • http://twitter.com/PedalmanTO PedalmanTO

    I kind of like the trainer. I enjoy the mental test it gives along with the physical aspect. It’s tougher to stay focused on a trainer when you need to.  I currently use a computrainer, which makes it pretty fun but also have a regular cyclops. I throw some tunes on, or my Hilly 100 if I want to challenge myself.

    • http://twitter.com/StevieDexter Stevie Dexter

      You would like it! LOL

  • http://twitter.com/skiphreaknj Robin Evensen

    I’ll ride the “drainer” (i.e. trainer) if the weather is bad or I get home late from work.  I usually watch a DVD while riding – I find putting the closed-caption on also helps distract me/make time go faster.  Also, doing drills on the trainer helps pass the time (one-leg clipped in/pedaling).

    Just tried rollers for the first time tonight.  What an experience! I had the help of someone to get me started – more difficult than I thought but I’m ready for a new challenge!

  • Juliestarling

    CycleOps Fluid 2!  I put my folding bike on it and watch TV or a movie.  It’s great for busy days, inclement weather, or days I just don’t feel like going out.  Love it!

  • J-mac

    I’d like to hear people talking about rollers.  Never used them, but would like to.

  • http://twitter.com/JeepGorilla Sonny Williams

    The indoor trainer sucks, but when I’m on it, I burn and turn for about an hour, 90 minutes tops, and get great results. The key is to mix it up with sprints, climbing intervals, ladders and the like. Before you know it, you’ve blasted an hour and got some good power to go along with it. Toss in a video of TDF going up Alpe D’Huez and ride out of the saddle every time Lance does. Right…

  • Jack Yates

    My advice it so make a game out of it.  Watch TV while riding on the trainer and every time someone says a certain word you have to sprint for one minute.  Doing things like this is a way to make it more fun.

    • Rachel

      I like this idea.  I have done similar things to make the trainer more interesting and will do this one also.

    • http://twitter.com/StevieDexter Stevie Dexter

      Might try that with football. Every corner = a sprint

  • http://twitter.com/StevieDexter Stevie Dexter

    You know me. “Blah blah blah, The Sufferfest is awesome…” but it is so there! I don’t get on the rollers as much as I would like to but they are much more enojyable and better for building your bike handling skills than a turbo is. And The Sufferfest videos make it much easier to get through an hour and use it in a structured way. I’m with MArthat too, I do it whilst watching football. Forget the rubber tyre mark I had to scrub for 30 minutes to remove after I almost went through the TV screen (that was ages ago, I’m much better know!)

    • http://twitter.com/StevieDexter Stevie Dexter

      I think a brain fart must have affected my spelling!

  • Steph

    I have been asking myself the same question for the past month.  I would really like to know how to make my time on the trainer more enjoyable.  I look forward to some good responses.

  • G-Frank

    I really hate riding on the trainer.  I am thinking about getting some rollers to see if that makes things more interesting.  What do you think about using rollers?

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Hi, if you’d like to know everything possible about rollers (and trainers) head over to the Cycling 360 podcast at http://www.cycling360media.com/notes-from-podcasts/trainers-and-rollers/.  It has great information.

  • Rikaguilera

    As much as I hate riding indoors, I do ride a trainer or rollers every now and then. Usually with a recorded race to view for inspiration. A stage of the Tour De France, or the one I have on repeat this year is the Mount Baldy Stage of The Tour of Cali. Rollers do give you more of a “real” ride, as you have to be more aware when riding them. You can’t snooze or you will fly off! My trainer, while perhaps not the best of the newest tech out there, is just plain boring., non realistic, and takes the enjoyment out of a session. I have participated in a trainer group ride though, and that was a blast. A group gets together, usually with a workout video, or computerized session, and you race eachother. This is something I highly reccomend to anybody. Fun alternative to a ride.

  • http://twitter.com/twittyboyd Martha A. Boyd

    Ay, Chihuahua! Nice hat Boss #9! I like watching soccer matches while on the trainer. 90 minutes go fast.  Just have to watch it that I don’t fall off  the bike when my team scores.   We have a Cycle-Ops and like it! Have a good one! 

  • BrennanAnnie

    I will get on my trainer for any numher of reasons but the biggest one these days is time. When I am busy and have very little time to get ready, get out, wait for lights and get back, I jump on the trainer. I either multitask, getting some emailing or reading done or I watch tv programs I would not otherwise have time for. I use a Cyclops and have had it for about 7 years.

    • http://twitter.com/kenwday Kenneth Day

      +1 on this.  Sometimes you need to get 1.5 hours in but you don’t have 15 minutes on each side to clothe/declothe.  I haven’t figured out how to email on the trainer though…. 

  • Tim

    It’s 5am…got time for an hour session…it’s dark, cold and wet…trainer or road…