A Guide to
Riding a turbo might not be as enjoyable, or provide the same sensation of being outside and enjoying the scenery as actually riding, but some modern trainers come with plenty of tech, so you can be riding in the warm and dry at home, while virtually taking on some of the biggest climbs in Europe. Trainers like the Tacx i-Genius T2020, Tacx Bushido iPad trainer, and Elite Real Axiom all offer virtual riding experiences.
When trying to find the best turbo trainer for you, there are a few things to look out for. The first is the resistance unit, which will keep your effort in line with the speed of the roller. Resistance units are often are often fans, magnets or fluid. Fans tend to be loudest, and while a fluid resistance units should feel smooth.
The clamp secures your wheel in the frame of the turbo, it’s usually a pair of screw clamps with lock nuts or a quick release. Most turbos come with an additional skewer so you can avoid damaging the one that you ride with.
The frame holds you and your bike in place and keeps everything stable and planted. It’s nearly always made of steel, though some have aluminium legs to keep the weight down. Some turbo trainers have fold-out legs or a fold- out wheel stand. The exception to this is the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll II trainer – which moves side to side for a more realistic experience.
If you want to get the most out of your turbo sessions, we've got some turbo training advice from Sir Chris Hoy .
For a more 'interactive' training experience you could also opt for a classic set of rollers. Rollers don’t require your bike to be fixed to them (unlike with turbo trainers), instead the bike rolls independently on top of a dual-rear roller and a single front.
Rollers take some practice to get your balance, but as you have to use your core and find your balance, once you've got the hang of it, they are great for extended steady efforts. With short interval sessions you'll concentrate on balancing as well as your pedaling power. At Evans Cycles, we stock a range of rollers, so whether you want a basic set, like the Tacx Antares or something more advanced like the Elite Real E-Motion rollers , we’ve got you covered.
If you're thinking about investing in a set of rollers, have a look at our blog entry on learning to ride on rollers.