Best Bike Trainers – Top Picks and Reviews in Every Category

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What happens to your health agenda during the snow-filled, cold winter seasons? Well, if you are like most, the odds are that you probably even don’t think about training throughout the cold period, in the first place. Of course, it borders on the impossible to head out for a riding session with all the snow and cold, however, if you are really serious about training hard in order to achieve your specific health goals, purchasing a bike trainer (also referred to as turbo trainers or bike stand trainers) would be in your best interest. The popular indoor trainers are actual among the most affordable pieces of training equipment you can invest in.

fluid bike

For those in the dark, bike stand trainers are used to train indoors without having to worry about harsh weather conditions on any given day. Basically, a turbo trainer allows you to connect it to the rear wheel of your bike, so as to achieve the desired intensity levels unlike using a gym machine for instance. These trainers, therefore, have a plethora of valid benefits that can go a long way in helping you get to your health goals in record-breaking fashion. For instance, a good trainer provides surreal resistance similar to that faced outdoors, and hence requiring you to brake or switch gears; only in the comfort of your living room.

That aside, a quality turbo trainer can not only help you get in shape but also, help you warm up for any nerve-wracking competition effectively. If you closely watch sprint cyclists during the Olympics, for instance, they usually warm up on some stationary bikes attached to some equipment at the back, so as to relax the nerves and reduce lactic acid levels in the muscles – yes, these are bike trainers. Athletes and riders looking to join the pro league can, therefore, enjoy a ton of benefits pegged to owning one of these products. However, how can you find a suitable bike trainer to cover your needs? Well, let’s have a look.

The Ultimate Bike Trainer Buyer’s Guide:

Before rushing out to get your hands on one of these babies, it is worth noting that stand trainers come in a myriad of varying designs, based on the type of resistance provided. Knowing this solitary factor can hence allow you to make an informed decision while out shopping for your ideal training equipment. Here are the four basic types of trainers you should expect to come across.

– Magnetic Trainers – these types of stand trainers adopt a magnetic flywheel that provides sufficient levels of resistance for the rear tire. Their main strength is that they are almost silent meaning you won’t have to fret about waking up your beloved family, during one of those early morning sessions.

– Fluid Trainers – these types of trainers adopt a striking combination of a magnetic flywheel with fluid chambers designed to work concurrently to provide adequate levels of resistance. They are really quiet compared to other types, and you are allowed to change the resistance levels progressively as you work your way up – depending on whether or not it is automatic.

– Wind Trainers – its engineering is quite basic, yet, effective; a fan powered by the pedals is used to create resistance. The main pro with wind trainers is that they offer surreal training conditions similar to those encountered outdoors. However, these models can be a little noisy beside the fact that the provided resistance is somewhat limited.

– Centrifugal Trainers – these products use high-quality pressure plates to create resistance. The major benefit you get is that they won’t produce too much noise, besides the fact that you can adjust the resistance levels at will.

Now that you have a rough idea of what to expect, let’s dive right in and have a look at the trending brands on the market, creating the entire buzz this year, shall we?

The Best Bike Trainers – 2016:

Our Pick for the Best Bike Trainer Overall and Best Fluid Trainer 2016 – The Kinetic Road Machine:

The founder Kurt Kinetic, currently own the rights for the very first leak proof, fluid resistance model and with that, you can tell that his products are clearly in a league of their own. The Kurt Kinetic road machine paints the perfect picture of superior craftsmanship at its best as a bike trainer that can be used for some training applications, thanks to sufficient resistance levels. This dynamic road beast also adopts the patented leak proof system alongside an automatic resistance setting functionality that is convenient while training. Below, are some of the product’s key features.

The Features:

  • To begin with, the Kinetic trainer boasts a high-quality 6.25-pound flywheel with a completely sealed resistance creating the unit for durability purposes. This is in addition to the innovative leak-proof system, and 80 cooling fans around the machine designed to curb overheating issues. With this, you can be guaranteed of the trainer working efficiently for years.
  • Secondly, this trainer boasts a convenient automatic resistance control system, to provide sufficient intensity levels required for cyclists training for competitions. The good thing is that it is crafted to fit a plethora of wheel sizes ranging anywhere from 22 – 29 inches, meaning you need not worry if you own any standard road or mountain bike.
  • With the Kinetic road trainer, you also get a highly stable platform that comfortably allows stand-up riding, essential for those training for uphill competitions. The tire roller is made of quality stainless steel material and is pretty durable regardless of what you throw at it.

The Good:

  • If durability ranks high on your list of priorities, this is the best trainer you simply can invest in. With innovative technologies such as the infinite number of cooling fins, efficient leak-proof system, and extra large roller, you can expect it to serve you a good number of years if not a lifetime.
  • The fact that it can be fitted to some rear wheel sizes makes it one of the most versatile trainers around. This combined with the innovative automatic resistance, makes up for a laid back riding experience, primarily due to the fact that you don’t have to constantly stop just to adjust the resistance settings.

The Bad:

Regardless of being a state-of-the-art piece of machinery with plenty of exciting features going for it, it comes with a major downside that may end up being a deal breaker for some. Being an automatic resistance, creating unit, it means that you are confined to what it gives you. In short, you can only train as hard as the trainer lets you. That said, I found the resistance levels to be highly sufficient even for pros and advanced riders.

In conclusion:

You can own one of these for slightly under $300 on sites such as Amazon and even though the price tag may seem hefty in comparison to other trainers, its overall worth is simply priceless. The Kinetic Road Trainer gets a handful of thoughtful technologies, essential features, and durable parts, to give it an edge over any other turbo trainer on the market. In a nutshell, this is the ideal bike stand trainer to invest in regardless of whether you are a pro or perhaps a novice.

Our Pick for the Best Wind Trainer 2016 – CycleOps Wind Trainer:

Investing in a bike trainer need not be an expensive affair and if its truly your intention to train hard all winter and summer, going for an affordable unit such as the CycleOps is advisable. The renowned manufacturer has for over a decade now, been at the forefront of producing high-quality trainers such as this wind trainer designed to offer sufficient resistance levels and exemplary comfort levels as well. To put this into better perspective, lets have a look at some of its key features.

The Features:

  • If storage is an issue around the home, you should probably consider going for the CycleOps wind trainer thanks to its lightweight nature and foldable design. It sports highly durable zinc fan blades that weigh twice as much as the flywheel meaning it is indeed a durable unit regardless of weight.
  • It also packs a steady and progressive wind resistance system that automatically increases or decreases based on the current wheel speed. Overall, the trainer can sufficiently provide up to 600 watts of power, and hence, making it one of an ideal wind resistance units around.
  • Moreover, you also get a lifetime guarantee on top of the above, and you won’t have to change your bike’s tires with the CycleOps trainer as it is designed to fit standard mountain and road bikes.

The Good:

  • The CycleOps wind trainer significantly beats the rest in its league thanks to the amazing aesthetic features entailed. In all honesty, it is one of the better-looking wind units you can get your hands on currently and entails superior craftsmanship consisting of a bronzed frame to enhance a classy finish. Considering its compact frame and foldable design, you are bound to enjoy the plethora of benefits pegged to owning this trainer.
  • Unlike other trainers in its league, the CycleOps adopts a simplistic approach that doesn’t incorporate sophisticated technologies, nor fancy resistance settings. This not only makes it quite user-friendly but also very durable being that there are no delicate technologies to break in the first place. In a nutshell, the lifetime warranty offered during purchase is no joke, it just goes to prove the unit’s worth.

The Bad:

Unfortunately, wind trainers are not the best at maintaining low noise levels, and this one is no exception. The CycleOps, however, will provide equally sufficient intensity levels as amplified as the noise it tends to produce during training.

In Conclusion:

In a nutshell, this is certainly the best, cheapest bike trainer you can invest in at just under $150. If you are a health enthusiast on a budget or perhaps, an athlete seeking a surreal riding experience while indoors, your safest bet certainly lies in the CycleOps. Not only does it reflect great value for money, but in fact, is a bargain considering its impeccable features. It is also quite a looker and most likely, will complement the interior décor at home.

Our Pick for the Best Magnetic Trainer 2016 – The Gavin Bicycle Cycling Trainer:

Gavin is a small manufacturer renowned for stamping authority as a reliable mid-range bike trainer company – with a plethora of great products to show for. The main reason why it makes the cut as the most reliable magnetic trainer is due to its highly durable nature; that doesn’t in any way compromise on the storage or weight. To have a comprehensive idea of what I’m talking about, let’s have an in-depth look at some of the trainer’s key features.

The Features:

  • As mentioned above, the Gavin trainer is pretty compact and very easy to store. That said, the manufacturer had to adopt innovative design techniques to ensure that this doesn’t compromise on its longevity or durability. To achieve this, the manufacturer incorporated an extra wide steel grade frame to enhance stability and yet, still managed to retain an easy-to-fold package that is very essential in today’s world where finding space for anything can provide a challenge.
  • Secondly, it packs a solid quick release system that is pretty convenient. This means that you won’t have to invest further in additional systems in case your bike doesn’t entail this feature. It is a single resistance unit that increases progressively as intensity levels surge.

The Good:

  • The main pro with the Gavin trainer has to be its considerable price tag of $100, which is affordable for a magnetic model if you ask me. The trainer packs a handful of essential features that eventually serve as a bargain. Besides the great features above, it is quite a looker and in particular, the orange finish tickled my fancy.
  • It is a versatile trainer you can fit in 26 and 27-inch wheels effectively. The fact that it comes complete with a quick release system and riser block is a plus, considering that you won’t have to part with extra bucks for these additional features.

The Bad:

Similar to the above unit, it packs a single resistance setting which only increases as you pedal faster. This may serve as turn off especially for advanced riders or pro athletes with the intention of training hard at extreme intensity levels.

In Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Gavin trainer is one of the few affordable magnetic units worth investing in. As you may have noticed, the product actually can be relied upon to offer sufficient resistance levels ideal for both novices and pros. It is one of the best trainers on the market overall, and if your main goal is to find a piece of equipment that can serve you years without breaking down or even deteriorating in any way possible, the Gavin is one of the safest bets around.

Wrapping it Up:

In conclusion, there are plenty of essential health benefits pegged to using a turbo trainer. As a cycling enthusiast, I understand how depressing it can be to stare outside on a daily basis, only to find huge amounts of rain or snow which greatly deter your chances of exercising. The above products can go a long way in making your indoor training applications as exciting as it is outdoors, thanks to the quality features entailed alongside innovative technologies. That said, there are plenty of other great products on the market, but you could do worse than with the above trainers.

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