Guest post by Mike Murray of Road and Mountain Bike Reviews
The Covid 19 has had an impact on cycling. The cycling calendar has been put on hold. Riders and team members have had to follow government guideline on self-distancing and isolation. We have created a beginner’s guide to cycling indoors to help cyclists who are at home.
Cycling outdoors is amazing, however it is not always possible. There are a variety of benefits to cycling in doors.
An entry level indoor cyclist can be faced with a wide variety of fancy equipment and accessories. A new indoor cycling enthusiast can get all the necessary indoor cycling equipment without breaking the bank.
The more an individual is willing to spend on an indoor trainer, will provide the rider with a quieter and more efficient trainer. Adjustable resistance, stimulating climbing, power meters and sensors that allow the rider to have a smother rider.
Different types of Indoor Cycling?
There are many different types of bikes for tackling every kind of ride possible. Indoor cycling has four main types: Rollers, Turbo trainer, Smart trainer and Static exercise bike.
Can be thought of as a treadmill for a bike. A roller has a set of three drums fixed on to a rectangular frame that sits on the floor. The back wheel drives the pair of rollers that turn the belt. The main difference between rollers and a turbo trainer is that a rider rides on top of rollers. Rollers requires less balance and skill.
One of the main benefit of rollers is it allows riders develop a good pedalling technique. A lot of professional riders will spend the winter on rollers perfecting this technique.
A second benefit of rollers is that they help the rider improve their balance and bike handling techniques. Improving the rider’s ability to hold a line, retrieve food or a phone for a quick selfie.
Advice for Using Rollers
Shoes: Wearing flat shoes will help the rider reach their full potential when using rollers. Riders wearing cleats can sometimes lose their balance when steading themselves.
Wall: An entry level indoor cyclist may benefit from having a wall to hold on to when starting out.
Focusing on a small object: A rider may benefit from having a small object to focus on. A spot on the wall is ideal.
Gear: Being in a higher gear will help the rider reduce the friction of the bike wheels and the rollers.
Hoods: Riding on the hoods will allow the rider to keep more control over the bike.
Fun: The most important aspect of training is that you have fun.
Pushing Yourself: Don’t burn out too quickly. Build up your pace.
A set of rollers allow the rider to get a hassle-free workout. Lots of Rollers can be seen set up on many cycling events to allow the competing cyclists to warm up.
Rollers have improved massively offer the years, offering the rider a smother and more comfortable ride.
Small bearings make it easier for a cyclist to get up to a higher speed. The majority of rollers have fixed resistance. If a rider is looking to work on power. They may want to consider a turbo or a smart trainer.
A turbo trainer clamps to the rear of a bike on a static stand. Once the bike is clamped into the turbo trainer.
The dial can be adjusted to the wheel of the bike. A compound tyre is required that offers less wear and not let heat build-up from using the turbo trainer. Turbo trainers’ wheels cannot be used outside.
Turbo trainers replace the rear wheel and are driven by a cassette. Direct turbo trainers tend to be not as noisier and stable as rollers. Entry level turbo trainers tend to have fixed resistance.
As the prices increase, the rider will be able to take advantage of features such as remote resistance control, smart features and power meters.
Common Mistakes When Using A Turbo Trainer
Rather than jumping on: Get a plan. A lot of riders will just hop on the turbo trainer and hope for the best. Any plan needs the cyclist to know where they are, their goal and how they plan to achieve it.
Turbo Training is Boring: Turbo training used to be boring. No more, riders can race online and take their skills to the next level. Riders need to get out of the mindset that turbo training is boring.
Burn Out: Riders should not focus on having an intensive work out every time they step on the turbo trainer. Training needs to be enjoyable to make sure the rider is motivated to do the next workout.
A smart trainer refers to a turbo train that uses specialist software like Trainer Road or Swift. The software allows the rider to recreate rides and races from the comfort of their own home. Working with wireless Bluetooth, heart and power monitors allows the rider to see how hard they are working out.
Key Benefits of Smart Bike Trainers
One of the main benefits of a smart trainer is that it allows the rider to know how fast they are working out by seeing a power meter.
The power meter can easily be seen through the software using a smart phone, laptop or an iPad. Allowing the rider to have a good idea on their performance and allow the rider to plan their training sessions to get the most out of every session.
An added benefit of a smart trainer is its ability to use software to allow the rider to take part in a tailored training program.
There may be no need to have a personal trainer. All the training can be done in real time and the rider can quickly and easily change the pace of the smart trainer to match their training goals.
One of the main features of the smart trainer is its ability to offer the rider a means of accessing an online community to compete when cycling indoors.
Advice for using Smart Trainers
Calibrate your smart trainer: A rider should get into a good habit of regularly calibrating their smart trainer. A smart trainers reading can be affected by changes in air pressure, temperature and movement.
Pedalling: Keep pedalling at all times as it will be harder to pick up the pace when the next interval begins.
Difficulty: The rider can adjust the level of difficulty in real time.
Plan your session: Smart trainers can make sure ridding more enjoyable. A rider should still plan their training session in advance to get the most out of the training session.
Different Events: A big advantage of the smart trainer is that it allows riders to train for different types of events such as sports, road races and tome trails. It’s not all about numbers. Don’t forget to focus on form and technique.
A stationary bike offers the rider with the cheapest, most stable and a no hassle way of cycling indoors. The same exercise bike found in your local gym can also be purchased for using in the home.
Advice for using a Stationary bike
Seat: One of the most common mistakes that people make is failing to adjust the seat. It only takes a few seconds. However, it can make a massive difference to a workout.
Stretching Out: Spend five minutes stretching your muscles. Cycling is a low form of exercise and an individual must make sure they are fully stretched out before beginning their workout.
Warm Up: Once an individual has spent five minutes stretching, they then need to spend five minutes warming up on the bike. After five minutes start picking up the pace for a real workout.
Riding Position: It’s vital for the cyclist to keep a good riding position. Keep the back straight and aligned with the seat.
Resistance Training: Pedalling on a bike is a really good start. However, changing the pace within the training session from hard, to medium and slow for a specific period of time will help the rider get the maximum out of the session.
Why should you Cycle Indoors?
Cycling indoors is a great way of toning the quads and glutens. Not only will cycling tone your lower body but it will also tone the upper body, if the rider starts to incorporate resistance bands or hand weights into their workout.
Cycling is a low impact sport that is ideal for individuals who want to build up their fitness levels at their own pace.
Indoor cycling is a brilliant form of exercise if someone is having trouble sleeping. Cycling can also improve breathing, that will in turn helps an individual have a better night’s sleep.
Indoor cycling is a great way of reducing stress and letting an individual forget about the stresses that life can sometimes bring.
We hope you have enjoyed Road and Mountain Bike Reviews article on indoor cycling and found it helpful and informative. Mike Murray
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.