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Work Out Indoors on a Bicycle Trainer: Exercise Tips

Updated on August 8, 2020
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Stephanie has run seven marathons, including the Boston Marathon and numerous half marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks. She loves running and exercise!

Indoor Bicycling on a Bicycle Trainer

Do you want the convenience and flexibility of home exercise? I sure do, but I don't want to pay for expensive home workout equipment! With a bicycle trainer, I was able to set up my bicycle indoors, "ride" it any time of the day or night in any weather, and reach my fitness goals while watching my favorite television shows. Sound good to be true? Never heard of a bicycle trainer? You're in for a pleasant surprise, then.

After running several marathons, I suffered a health set back a few years ago and had to change my fitness routine. I had a treadmill gathering dust and was not sure how to arrange for a decent cardiovascular workout that I could do without leaving home. Then I discovered a bicycle trainer! Generally less expensive than an exercise bike, you can convert a road bike to an indoor experience by mounting it on a trainer. Ride for as long as you would outdoors, but enjoy the flexibility of staying indoors to watch kids or avoid inclement weather.

My Bridgestone mountain bike mounted on a Blackburn TrakStand Trainer
My Bridgestone mountain bike mounted on a Blackburn TrakStand Trainer | Source

Working out on a Bicycle Trainer

Should You Try a Bicycle Trainer?

I will be 100% honest and say that I am not a bicyclist. My workout of choice has always been running. For that matter, I am really not a swimmer, either! My doctor suggested that I use my time off from my foot to do some laps at the local pool. Since it takes 24 laps to go even a quarter mile, I couldn't see myself getting into shape swimming 1/16 of a mile a day...

My injury requires me to stay off my foot for the most part. Originally, I was diagnosed with a stress fracture. But after 3 X-rays and an MRI, we've discovered fluid and swelling in several toe joints. It hurts to walk on the treadmill, but I can ride without pain.

In hopes that I will be running again in a month or so, I opted for a less expensive bicycle trainer. I shopped around for a bit and found a Blackburn TrakStand Trainer at a store here in Bend, Oregon. I will say that you may have to find a specialty bike store to purchase a trainer. They did not have them in stock at Target, Wal-Mart or Fred Meyer. But check around online on sites like eBay, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You might find an amazing deal on a bicycle trainer!

The cost was approximately $160, plus an extra $15 for a "TrakBlock" on which the bicycle's front tire is mounted. The TrakBlock has three different heights, allowing you to increase the intensity of your workout. Because our gym membership cost us $174/month (before we dropped it), this seems like an excellent deal. When you consider the cost of a quality treadmill or other indoor exercise equipment, it only makes sense to use an existing bicycle for your home gym.

My bike on a trainer - front view
My bike on a trainer - front view | Source

Bicycle Trainer Workouts

Like I said, I am not a bicyclist. I enjoy running, and can do so for anywhere from 1-3 hours. On my trainer, I try to make it at least 30 minutes. Don't let that fool you, however. I am not wimping out!

You can change gears on your bicycle to increase intensity, and you can also change the resistance on your bicycle trainer. I have the resistance at the maximum, but I do not ride at the highest gear! I am using new muscles that don't get attention during my running training, which is difficult, to be sure.

You can watch television, listen to music, and even mount a reader onto your bike so that you can enjoy newspapers or magazines.I do have to admit that the only thing that is missing is the electronic readout of my treadmill or my Nike wristband.

I'd love to know how far I was riding or how many calories burned. In some ways, I consider this to be a blessing. All I have to focus on now is the time. So, for now, I am riding 35 minutes a day and hope to soon increase it to 45 minutes.

So far, the biggest drawback of switching from running to biking is a sore rear! But that would have been the case outdoors, regardless. Plus, I can't help but think that a little bit of pain is good. It reminds me that I am working out my body and (hopefully) getting healthier. Quality bicycle shorts may help with soreness, too.

When I was telling a friend about my new bicycle trainer, she asked if it was difficult to balance on it. My answer is no! But in watching the following video, she must have been thinking about working out on a bicycle roller. It definitely looks more challenging.

Installing a Bicycle Trainer

Get a Bicycle Trainer

Putting together the bicycle trainer was not at all difficult. At least that's what my husband said! I am pretty confident that even I could do it.

So, what are you waiting for? No more excuses about cold weather, expensive clubs, or the cost of indoor gym equipment. For less than $200, you can convert your bicycle for use inside your home or garage, and work out in the comfort of your home.

Bicycle Trainers are Available in stores and online

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Stephanie Marshall


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