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Bicycling: How to Choose the Best Indoor Bike Trainer

Bicycling is best done outdoors, but there are times when riding outside is not always an option especially during winter season, so an indoor bike trainer can be a valuable tool for you. There are several types of bike trainers, and we will talk about some of them to help you in deciding the best bike trainer suited for you. Bicycling has many health benefits such as increasing cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and flexibility, improving joint mobility, decreasing stress levels, improving posture and coordination, strengthening bones, decreasing body fat levels and preventing or managing diseases.

The five basic types of bike trainers include the wind, magnetic, fluid, rollers and indoor bikes. Wind is one of the original trainer styles wherein the pedaling powers a fan providing a good resistance that increases the rear wheel spins more quickly, either due to pedaling faster or using a bigger gear. Wind trainers are simple, durable and one of the cheapest trainers. In place of a fan, a mag trainer or magnetic trainer utilizes a magnetic flywheel to provide resistance, and newer trainers are electronic that can be controlled via remote or vary automatically based on a software application. Magnetic trainer is an affordable option, with the resistance can be adjusted, much quieter than wind trainers, and offers a wide variety of options for new featured models marketed today. Fluid trainers are the most common type of stationary trainer available today, and are based on magnetic flywheel that has chambers of viscous fluid to further tune resistance options. Fluid trainers provide the best “road feel”, offering a wide range of resistance adjustments, and are very quiet. Rollers are the oldest style of bike trainers, sitting freely on three precision drums inside a frame and these smaller-diameter drums provide more resistance. Indoor bikes are similar to featured machines seen in high-end spin class studios, wherein many of them have integrated electronic dashboards and wireless connectivity, interfacing with training programs and apps. Indoor bikes are the quietest option available that greatly reduce the wear and tear of your bike, they are the most stable set up for indoor bicycling riding.

Now, trainers have an option to add power tracking as one of their options, and this is dedicated to the trainer with as part of “smart trainer” or its own head unit. “Smart” trainer means having the capability to communicate to other devices such as downloading a training program in a phone-based app to automatically adjusts resistance or has the ability to sync to various online training platforms. A few trainers pivot on an articulating base where you can stand up and pedal while leaning the bike side to side similar when you do it on the road.

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