For decades, indoor training has been a boring affair with little ability to target training or measure actual results. Even worse, it’s been noisy for the user and for anyone nearby. Recently, however, new trainer designs have been developed with smoother, quieter systems and the ability to create real road feel and feedback. At the same time, advanced training apps have been developed while also bringing wireless connectivity to these new indoor trainers. “Riding” in the winter months used to be about holding onto some small amount of fitness for the season where today it’s all about exploding onto the new season even fitter than before. Another great benefit of smart trainers is the ability to ride with friends all over the world or to make new ones simply by logging on to a group ride. Like multi-player video games, training apps bring the user out from a solitary experience and into a world of community and competition.
We’ve highlighted three of our favorite smart trainers here and invite you to come in and try out our immersive demo station. Ride a standard test route or race against RCB staff best times. You can even test ride a new bike off the rack if you’d like. As Wahoo Fitness says, “crank it up” this winter.
Wahoo Fitness KICKR – Direct Drive Smart Trainer
The ultimate indoor trainer, hands down. KICKR’s large, 12.5-pound flywheel is paired with the most advanced algorithms to create the most realistic road-like feel on the market. This responsiveness means your app-based workouts will feel like your favorite rides and deliver the best possible fitness results. KICKR’s high-grade gearing is matched to a Gates belt drive system reducing friction and vibration to produce only 61 decibels of noise. For comparison, the average decibel range of conversation in an office or restaurant is 60 decibels. Robust steel frame construction designed to withstand 2000 watts of output. KICKR uses your smartphone, tablet, or computer to control resistance and provide reliable power measurement within +/- 2% accuracy.
$1200 / 47 pounds / 1-year warranty / iOS, Android, PC (Mac & Windows) compatible
Wahoo Fitness KICKR SNAP – Wheel-On Smart Trainer
Convenient, easy-to-use mount, on-wheel design transforms any regular road or mountain bike into a smart trainer. The wide-stance steel frame is designed with stability in mind so you can train at maximum effort without concern the trainer will shift or move. SNAP uses your smartphone, tablet, or computer to control resistance and provide reliable power measurement toward your fitness goals. Folds flat for easy storage.
$600 / 38 pounds / 1-year warranty / iOS, Android, PC (Mac & Windows) compatible
Kinetic Road Machine | Smart Control – Wheel-On Smart Trainer
The Road Machine is an on-wheel trainer with electronic resistance built onto a robust, tig-welded frame. a 14.3-pound flywheel is paired with a large diameter roller allowing for increased tire contact with reduced tire slip and wear. The Road Machine is compatible with tires from 22″ to 29″ and tire widths up to 3″. Pretty much any bicycle you’ve got can be a connected, smart trainer bike. Folds flat for easy storage. Includes free 6-month subscription to Kinetic Fit power-training app.
$650 / Lifetime warranty on frame – 2-year warranty on resistance unit / Apple and Android compatible
Our staff is well-versed on all the compatibility requirements for these and other indoor trainers. Compatibility with certain types of bicycle quick release systems or axle bolts can be tricky and these days they can come in all shapes and sizes as well as widths. Ensuring a secure fit to the trainer is important for safety and training needs but also for the well-being of the bicycle and components. The brands we work with offer numerous solutions for nearly every type of bicycle including the ingenious Kinetic Traxle for 12-mm rear thru-axle systems. Our sales and service team is ready to take on any compatibility question so you can ride your trainer confidently.
As much as we are hardware enthusiasts, it’s the app developments in recent years that has us buzzing about indoor training. Not only do these apps offer training plans and effort tracking, they provide options to ride with friends or to ride in races like a Pro-Tour professional cyclist. These smart trainers also connect to fitness tracking apps such as Strava so you can maintain a consistent training journal throughout the year. Here are some of our favorites:
Zwift – Zwift translates real world effort into speed in a digital world. Power, measured by watts produced, propels the virtual rider through the digital landscape and Zwift has a number of locations real and imaginary. Zwift allows for group riding, giving credit for drafting so you can use tactics, and also adjusts speed based on height, weight, and road gradient. Zwift offers loads of information but in a presentation that makes the riding fun.
Kinetic Fit – Kinetic Fit is a program of over 200 workouts and 24 training plans developed by professional cycling coaches. Guided workouts provide targets and motivation throughout and video integration allows for the user to apply the workout to a favorite cycling video. The format looks great on a phone and there are training plans for road, off-road and triathlon.
Sufferfest – Sufferfest combines training with officially licensed footage from 35 professional races. Downloadable or streaming options pair with corresponding FTP-based workouts put you right in the heat of the race with clear on-screen instructions. Great musical soundtracks also keep the motivation high.
TrainerRoad – TrainerRoad offers structured training plans for every type of rider. This is a straightforward system compatible with just about any device and offers guided feedback through every workout. TrainerRoad offers a wide range of training plans and is extremely time effective.
Take a tour of Zwift
Please note that some of these apps offer free versions with premium options to purchase while others are subscription based. Many offer free trial periods so try before you subscribe or drop by and ask any of our staff for advice.
Kinetic’s app is easy to use
Wahoo KICKR with trainer floormat