Bike Trainers & Trainer Accessories

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Bike trainers

Indoor bike trainers come in several different forms with each offering a different riding experience. The key benefits to most bike trainers is that they are easily stored thanks to their fold-up designs, which makes them great for travelling or working out in a tight space. Before purchasing your bike trainer, make sure it matches your needs and is compatible with your bike.

How does the bike attach?

Rear wheel attachment

Rear wheel attachment models connect via the rear axle and require the rear wheel to be attached to the bike. A drum is then manoeuvred into contact with the rear tyre to provide controlled resistance. These models are best used with bikes that feature smooth tyres, and they will cause some wear to the rubber. Make sure to check your bike’s compatibility including your wheel size and axle type prior to purchae.

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Direct attachment

Direct Drive models require the rear wheel to be off the bike so the bike’s rear dropouts can be attached to the trainer. These trainers do require a cassette (rear cogs) to be fitted so the bike’s chain can connect to the trainer and provide resistance.

Like the rear wheel attachment trainer, there are some compatibility concerns to be aware of when purchasing. For example, if your bike features a thru-axle system (such as many modern mountain bikes), pay close attention to compatibility.

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Rollers

Most rollers do not require the bike to be attached, and instead the bike balances on top of three rolling drums. These are a popular choice for those wanting a more interactive ride experience and are great tools for training balance, smooth pedalling and core strength.

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What makes each model special?

Magnetic trainers

Magnetic trainers use powerful magnets to control the resistance while you ride and can be a very simple and cost effective option. Direct Drive magnetic trainers, like the JetBlack ‘Whisper Drive’, are among the quietest trainers on the market and are great for use inside your home.

Fluid Trainers

Fluid trainers, such as the JetBlack ‘Z1’ range, use special fluid inside the trainer to control the resistance. As you pedal faster, the fluid naturally increases resistance as it’s forced through a series of holes. This kind of model predominantly attaches via the rear wheel and has a realistic road feel.

Wind trainers

Wind trainers use a special fan to provide resistance when you are riding. As you pedal, the fan resists against the air. These models can be quite loud but do offer a realistic road feel.

Smart Trainers

Smart trainers are the latest innovation in bike trainer technology and allow you to connect your trainer to a wide variety of helpful training accessories for greater workouts and enjoyment. Trainers, such as the Tacx ‘Neo Smart’, work wirelessly to connect to your smartphone, watch, bike computer or even your home computer, and provide you with live updates of your power and cadence. These trainers are also immensely popular for pairing with a virtual reality and online riding platforms like (Zwift)[/blog/zwift-workouts-review].

Rollers

Most models of rollers require the bike to be balanced on top of three rolling drums. This balancing can be difficult for beginners but can be a great training tool as it requires more coordination than static bike trainers. Along with balance and coordination, rollers can also assist in developing a smooth pedalling action. You’ll often seen them being used by professional track cyclists to warm up on. Most basic models of rollers do not have significant resistance, although more premium options sometimes do.