When the weather turns sour and won't allow you out on bike rides, consider a bicycle stand. It will allow you to get your biking in without leaving the house - and while allowing you to exercise on a bike to which you are already accustomed.
Options for Bicycle Stands
You don't just need a stationary bike stand that will prop your bicycle up so you can ride indoors - you need a stand that will offer up some resistance while also holding your bike stable. If the stand isn't stable, you risk damage to the bike, or worse yet, injury to you. Choose a bike stand that suits your needs and will provide you with a good indoor ride.
Kickr Smart Trainer
On the high end of the spectrum at around $1200, this bike stand is designed for bicycle athletes. The Kickr Smart Trainer offers a silent ride that mimics outdoor riding and can be made an even better simulation when accompanied by the company's fan attachment and the climbing mechanism. This product syncs to riding apps to record riding data. This bicycle stand is most appropriate for a serious rider who wants to continue with training even when the weather isn't conducive to riding. Reviews of this trainer say this product provides all the "bells and whistles" an avid cyclist would want.
Bkool Smart GO Trainer
The Bkool Smart GO Trainer is another stand designed for serious cyclists - this product is at the lower end of the high-end spectrum with a cost of around $400. It can simulate hills and is light and compact - a good option for a rider who needs to move their bike frequently. The trainer comes with access to a simulator app to make indoor rides feel a little more real. Bicycling.com says the Bkool Smart Go Trainer is a "budget friendly smart trainer."
Cascade FluidPro Power Bike Trainer
Bike Radar gives this trainer high marks for its easy set up and durable operation. The Cascade FluidPro Power Bike Trainer costs around $400 and comes with wireless monitoring of heart rate, speed, time and distance. The combination of the trainer and the monitoring system make for a good combination for riders who want to measure their progress. The stand folds quickly and easily for storage and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Named one of the best indoor bike trainers by Average Joe Cyclist, the Kinetic Cyclone is a mid-range trainer that costs around $175. This stationary bike stand is compatible with most bikes and offers "road-like resistance." The stand is lightweight and durable, but is not as quiet as more expensive models. Amazon customers give it good reviews, but the biggest concern appears to be the noise - most customers say they simply wear headphones and listen to music to drown out the sound while riding.
Sportneer Bike Trainer Stand
An inexpensive option, the Sportneer Bike Trainer Stand fits most bikes and offers an indoor ride with six settings for resistance. This stand costs around $90 and has largely positive reviews on Amazon where customers say the stand is sturdy and easy to assemble. Another positive feature mentioned is the ease at which the bike can be disconnected from the stand. The stand can also be adjusted to accommodate uneven floor.
Tips for Purchasing a Stand
Decide which features are most important to you before you buy a stand, and ensure your bike is compatible with a stand before you make your purchase. Some speciality stores will have indoor bike trainer stands available to try so you can feel the ride before you purchase - this is a good idea as every stand offers a different feeling ride.
Types of Stands
There are three types of indoor bike trainer stands, each with their own merits:
- Fluid stands feature silicon for resistance - these are typically the most expensive as they offer the smoothest, most customizable ride.
- Magnetic stands feature a magnetic flywheel for resistance - the resistance is fixed, which doesn't offer the variety many cyclists want.
- Wind stands feature a fan for resistance - these are typically the least expensive.
Be sure to set up your stand according to the manufacturer's instructions, and to accomplish any necessary repairs as instructed. A trainer stand that doesn't function correctly can result in damage to your bike or injury to you.
Avid bicyclists know that the weather can dictate how a ride feels and that sometimes it's simply not feasible to head outdoors for a ride. The right stationary bike stand can provide a good ride on your own bike without leaving the house.