Best Indoor Bike Trainer To Exercise In All Weathers

An indoor bike trainer is a valuable tool that helps you keep training despite the harsh weather. This tool is an important asset for cyclists preparing for an important even during winter when the weather is unsuitable for outdoor cycling.

If you want to find out more about this tool, read on. If you just want to see which is the best indoor bike trainer on the market, click on the links in the table below.

I’ve been cycling for many years and I know that cycling indoors is not the most pleasant activity. Yet, the best indoor bike trainer can help you keep in shape and improve your performance even when the winter snow keeps you inside the house.

But as you can guess, finding the best indoor bike trainer is often a hassle. What is the difference between the various types? What features should the best model have? Let’s find it out in the guide below.

Types Of Indoor Bike Trainers

Indoor bike trainers can be divided into four main categories. Let’s find out more about their drawbacks and advantages.

Wind Bike Trainers

Wind bike trainers have been the first indoor bike trainers invented. They are the cheapest trainers, are simple and durable, and ideal for those cyclists who only want to maintain in shape during the cold season.

The trainers are equipped with a fan powered by the pedaling force.  The resistance increases with the speed of the rear wheel, when pedaling faster or when using a bigger gear. Thanks to the increased resistance, you’ll be able to improve your performances.

The main downside of these trainers is the fact that they are not adjustable and they only offer basic features. They don’t simulate the road very well and are pretty noisy.

Magnetic Bike Trainers

Magnetic bike trainers are also basic trainers but instead of a fan, they use a magnetic flywheel to provide resistance. These trainers can use either a traditional magnet or an electromagnetic resistance that can be controlled with a remote control or with a software app.

These trainers are usually more expensive than the wind models but still affordable and the resistance can be adjusted by the cyclist. They are also quieter compared to the wind trainers while the newest versions have numerous features and options.

The main downside of these trainers is their durability, along with a limited resistance range.

Fluid Bike Trainers

Fluid bike trainers are a version of the magnetic trainers but they have a chamber of viscous fluid that increases the resistance exerted by the trainer. These trainers are designed to simulate the road as closely as possible, are quiet and have a lot of options and features.

Fluid bike trainers are the most common on the market and most of these models feature connectivity to mobile devices and apps.

The main downside of the fluid bike trainers is their durability. Fluid bike trainers are susceptible to overheating and, although manufacturers work on improving their durability, they will not last a lifetime.

Roller Bike Trainers

Rollers are the old school models of the indoor bike trainers. The bikes are kept in position by three precision drums which turn as you pedal, providing resistance. The resistance is higher if the diameter of the drums is smaller, and this model is the preferred of the elite cyclists who want to keep in shape.

Some newest models of roller bike trainers are also equipped with magnetic or fluid elements, and they are great for those training for a cycling marathon.

The main downside of these bike trainers is the resistance range. In fact, unless you’re not accustomed to the workout, it will take some practice to get used to these trainers.

Indoor Bike Trainer Alternatives

As an alternative to the indoor bike trainer, you can consider investing in an indoor bike. These machines are similar to those find in a professional gym and they use either magnetic or fluid controlled resistance. Many indoor bikes have integrated electronic controls and wireless connectivity with integrated training programs.

The main advantage of the indoor bikes is their stability. They are also the quieter option and an alternative to using your bike indoors.

On the downside, they are expensive and you’ll typically need a spare room or dedicated space to install them.

How To Choose The Best Indoor Bike Trainer

  • Type of trainer: to make sure you choose the best indoor bike trainer for you, the first thing to consider is the type of trainer you need. If you mostly train just to keep in shape during winter, a wind or magnetic model might be sufficient. If you want to follow a workout plan, a fluid trainer might be the best, while a roller trainer is ideal if you want to improve your pedal stroke.
  • Compatibility: to avoid investing in a useless indoor bike trainer, make sure you check its compatibility with your bike. It should hold it in place firmly and balanced.
  • Stability: stability is another thing to have in mind, especially if you’re not an expert in using indoor bike trainers. Trainer crashes may be rare, but they can happen.
  • Noise level: as a general rule, all indoor bike trainers make noise, but there is a difference between a very noisy trainer and one that you can barely hear.
  • Storage: when the winter is over you’ll most likely want to put your indoor bike trainer in storage. For this reason, I recommend choosing a model with foldable legs.
  • Other features: if you want to connect the trainer to apps, training programs, and other software, choose a model with connectivity. Some high-end trainers even come with software designed for those who get bored cycling indoors.

Best Indoor Bike Trainer

1. CycleOps Fluid2 Indoor Trainer

If you want to keep training on a trainer able to simulate the road as closely as possible, then CycleOps Fluid2 Indoor Trainer might be the best indoor bike trainer to consider. The trainer is designed to fit all common mountain and road bikes and it has an adjustable clutch that provides the ideal roller to tire tension.

The trainer boasts three rear dropout spacing settings and the 2-inch resistance rollers are compatible with numerous wheel sizes, including 26, 27, and 29 inches, 650b and 700c wheels.

CycleOps Fluid2 Indoor Trainer

The tool also comes with adjustable footpads that provide a stable ride on most surfaces, while the precision-balanced flywheel will allow you to customize the challenges of each ride.

The trainer comes with a lifetime warranty and it is built with 100% recyclable materials, durable and resistant to rust.

Things We Liked
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    Noise level: this indoor bike trainer is very quiet and it makes a noise lower than 70 decibels when cycling at a speed of 20 mph.
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    Self-cooling: designed to prevent overheating, this indoor bike trainer includes a self-cooling mechanism. A patented fan design keeps the trainer performing for a longer time.
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    Foldable: the unit is easy to store when not in use. The trainer has a classic foldable frame and it occupies a little space when not in use.
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    Options: if you need something more than the trainer, you can opt for a training kit or a power training kit.
Things We Didn't Like
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    It can take a long time for the fluid to heat up and provide proper resistance.

2. Sportneer Steel Bicycle Exercise Magnetic Stand

Bike Trainer Stand

The Steel Bicycle Exercise Magnetic Stand by Sportneer is another excellent indoor bike trainer to consider if you need a unit able to provide different difficulty settings. This trainer, in fact, boasts 6 resistance settings that can be changed from a bar-mounted remote and that can simulate all cycling conditions.

The trainer also boasts a wide base and 5 adjustable rubber feet that offer an unshakable stability to the trainer. You can use it on any type of surface and adjust its feet for stability on uneven flooring.

This indoor bike trainer is also equipped with an easy bike release designed to help you unmounts the bike in a breeze. To remove the bike, it is sufficient to press the lever clamp and remove the bike from the trainer.

The trainer folds compactly for storage and transport, which is another great added feature. Folded, it has a footprint of 22x18x6 inches.

Things We Liked
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    Resistance settings: this indoor bike trainer is suitable for all cyclists and for all levels of training. It has 6 settings which can be easily controlled by a bar-mounted remote.
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    Silent: the trainer is equipped with a noise reduction resistance wheel that makes the unit run smoothly and quietly.
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    Adjustable feet: the unit is equipped with 5 rubber feet which are adjustable and that can provide an excellent stability for all types of surfaces.
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    For road and mountain bikes: the trainer is designed to fit all road and mountain bikes with wheels between 26 and 28 inches or with a 700c wheel.
Things We Didn't Like
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    Some users complained about the unit damaging the bike’s tire.

3. Travel Trac Comp Fluid Bicycle Trainer

The fluid resistance produced by the Travel Trac Comp Fluid Bicycle Trainer is progressive and provides a smooth road-like feel. This makes the trainer ideal for road cyclists preparing for a marathon, but also for those who want to stay in shape.

The unit boasts an external flywheel that facilitates a smooth and efficient pedaling action, while a wide base provides a solid stability of the trainer on all floor types, even during hard efforts. Moreover, the faster you’re pedaling, the harder it gets, the trainer being perfect for all types of workout.

Travel Trac Comp Fluid Bicycle Trainer

The trainer folds compactly for storage and transport. To install it, the unit doesn’t require any type of assembly and is easy to set up.

Thanks to the internal disc, the unit is quiet. Moreover, it accommodates almost all types of road and mountain bikes.

Things We Liked
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    Fluid resistance: ideal for all types of workout, the fluid resistance provides a road-like feeling and increases with the pedaling.
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    Stability: the wide base provides stability on all types of surfaces even when the training is demanding.
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    Easy set up: putting up the unit is a breeze, there is no assembly required, and the trainer folds compactly for storage and transport.
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    Quick release: this indoor bike trainer includes a rear quick release skewer that ensures a proper bike fit.
Things We Didn't Like
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    The unit is not renowned for its durability.

4. Gavin Indoor Bike Trainer Exercise Stand

Indoor Bike Trainer Exercise Stand

A magnetic indoor bike trainer might be the best option if you just want to keep up with the rhythm until spring. In this case, a unit we recommend is the Gavin Indoor Bike Trainer Exercise Stand. This bike trainer is renowned for its heavy-duty construction and stability.

The unit boasts an extra wide frame with sturdy mounting cups that is adjustable and foldable. The mounting cups are designed to reduce slippage and have an included quick release.

The unit provides a progressive magnetic resistance and it is compatible with bikes with 26-inch, 27-inch, and 700c bikes.

The trainer also comes with a front wheel riser block, which is a great advantage.

Things We Liked
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    Durable: this magnetic indoor bike trainer is built to last. It has a magnetic resistance and it is ideal for leisure cyclists.
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    Easy assembly: the trainer is easy to assemble and it folds compactly for storage and transport purposes.
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    Construction: the unit has a heavy-duty construction with sturdy mounting cups designed to keep the bike in place.
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    Quick release: if the sunshine calls you out, just use the quick release to take your bike off.
Things We Didn't Like
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    The trainer is really noisy.

5. Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer Portable Exercise Bicycle Magnetic Stand

Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer Portable Exercise Bicycle Magnetic Stand is another indoor bike trainer that satisfied our expectations. This is a magnetic indoor bike trainer designed to provide maximum stability and great resistance for winter training.

The trainer boasts a heavy-duty construction with an extra wide frame. Moreover, it is foldable and easy to assemble. No tools are required and setting it up only require minutes.

Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer Portable Exercise

The trainer is compatible with the most common types of road and mountain bikes, including 26-inch, 27-inch, and 700c wheel bikes.

Another feature we like is the quick release and the included front wheel riser block that keeps the front wheel stable while training.

Things We Liked
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    Durable: this magnetic indoor bike trainer is built to last. It has a magnetic resistance and it is ideal for leisure cyclists.
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    Construction: the unit has a heavy-duty construction with sturdy mounting cups designed to keep the bike in place.
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    Easy assembly: the trainer is easy to assemble and it folds compactly for storage and transport purposes.
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    Quick release: this indoor bike trainer includes a rear quick release skewer that ensures a proper bike fit.
Things We Didn't Like
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    This indoor bike trainer doesn’t provide enough resistance for faster riders.

Conclusion & Final Pick

Without a doubt, the CycleOps Fluid2 Indoor Trainer is the best indoor bike trainer available on the market. It is designed to fit almost all mountain and road bikes, it simulates the road almost perfectly and is ideal for those who want to stay in shape, workout, or train for a marathon.

It is adjustable, it has three rear output spacing settings and 2-inch resistance rollers compatible with almost all wheel sizes. It has adjustable footpads, it is stable on most surfaces and a precision-balanced flywheel allow riders to customize the ride.

It also comes with a lifetime warranty, is environmentally friendly, durable, and built to become your trusted companion for winter training.

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