Everyone has heard of treadmills, but not as many people have heard about options to cycle indoors. While it may not be as nice as feeling the wind riding outdoors, there are a lot of unique benefits in addition to maintaining physical distancing. Indoor cycling gives you a more controlled, technologically advanced environment that means you can tailor training specifically to your goals and track progress precisely. You can also cycle no matter the weather outside. Finally, there are lots of ways to cycle with friends from around the world. Since there are a huge range of options, you can cycle indoors pretty affordably, or you can splurge on an extremely realistic experience.
Here are some options:
- Trainer stands: the cheapest option. These are just stands you connect your bike’s back wheel to so you can spin without moving. They are easy to set up and only require the amount of space your bike would normally take up. To make riding harder or easier, you just shift to a different gear. You can also use it in combination with a YouTube video if you want a structured workout.
- Fan bikes: more expensive than just a trainer stand but you don’t need a bike already. These are bikes built for stationary indoor-use only and use a fan to create resistance. They usually come with a built-in computer of some sort that track some stats about your ride.
- Interactive trainers: These are some of the most expensive options. They include options like Peloton where the bike is built for indoor-use and is completely connected to a virtual community. These are basically the modern version of fan bikes. Through a subscription, you can also ride with trainers in real time. It’s like going to a spin class without having to leave your house.
- Smart trainers: Similar to trainer stands but much more technologically advanced (and more expensive). They attach to your existing bike and the trainer adjusts resistance automatically based on the route you decide to ride. Smart trainers mimic real-life cycling the closest. Fancy smart trainers can even move your bike up and down to simulate climbing hills. Most are linked to apps like Zwift, where you see a virtual version of yourself cycling virtual routes. Through Zwift, you can race others and keep track of a ton of metrics.
Written in collaboration with Kelvin Ng