Not every rider is so committed to riding that they are willing to take their hundred or thousand dollar bike out in the rain or snow. Additionally, sometimes the weather is just so bad you cannot go riding no matter how committed you are.
If you live in a particularly wet environment, bike enthusiasts may also be disappointed. Fortunately, this is where indoor bike trainers come in. A bike trainer stand works with the bicycle that you already have purchased.
It clamps onto your real axel and uses a resistance roller to provide traction. This allows you to ride with resistance indoors, effectively letting you ride the same bike that you would use for training for a marathon, fitness, or even recreation.
If this sounds like a great idea and you don’t know where to start- here’s the lowdown on some of the top rated bike trainers found on Amazon.
Types of Bike Trainer You Can Buy
When you purchase a bicycle trainer stand, you will find that there are several types to choose from. These include:
Flywheel- These type of trainer are a higher-end. They include a heavy-duty flywheel that can give you feedback as you ride, which is great if you are using your trainer for training.
Wind- Wind bike trainers use a fan that is powered by the back tire of your bike. The harder you pedal, the more resistance you will build up.
Rollers- Roller trainers have 3 cylinders that you must balance your bicycle on top of. They allow you to balance while you train, for a different type of bike trainer experience.
Fluid- The way that fluid bike trainers work is by increasing resistance using a fluid, usually silicon, which is inside of the trainer. They offer progressive resistance as you increase your cadence.
Magnetic- Magnetic bicycle trainers create fixed resistance, which does not increase the harder you pedal. You can shift gears or adjust the trainer to increase or decrease resistance, however, a few may use spring-loaded magnets for progressive resistance.
Top Rated Bike Trainer Reviews
Now that you have an understanding of what an indoor bike trainer is, as well as the different types that are offered, here are some of the best bicycle trainers.
Trainer Bicycle Indoor Trainer by Bike Lane
The first on the list of best bicycle trainers is the Trainer Bicycle Indoor Trainer by Bike Lane.
- Magnetic bicycle
- Use the gears on your bike to increase and decrease resistance
- Very sturdy and durable
- Can be used as indoor exercise bike with addition of riser block
- Weighs 18.5 pounds, lightweight compared to other options
The greatest advantage of this particular trainer is the price, which is a lot lower than some others on our list of top rated bike trainers. This is a magnetic-style trainer that is fairly quiet, a lot more than others in the same class.
It is important to note that the noise will increase as you add resistance, but this should be expected with a bicycle trainer. If it does bother you, or you have downstairs neighbors, placing a towel underneath the stand can help to cut back on noise.
You should also make the investment in a riser block if you purchase this type of trainer. These are usually very affordable. Otherwise, the trainer causes your bike to lean forward and can put strain on your back, wrists, and shoulders. You can also use books or a block of wood, if you decide against the riser block.
Another great thing about magnetic trainer bikes is that they offer resistance. However, without many adjustments, this may not be as much resistance as some serious trainers would want.
Finally, you should take note that this particular model does not fit 29” wheels. Additionally, the resistance may cause weaker inner tubes to pop. For this reason, you should consider purchasing a trainer tire, which will also cut down on noise.
Indoor Magnetic Portable Bicycle Stand by Conquer
The next model on our list is also magnetic. It has a low price, and the following features:
- Unique color options include bright orange and bright blue
- Extra wide frame
- Folds for easy storage and transport
- Mounting cups to reduce slippage with quick release
- Progressive magnetic resistance
- Included Riser Block
- Works with 26”, 27”, and 700C tire bikes
One of the first things to note is the design of this particular trainer. It comes with mounting cups and an extra wide frame, to allow better holding of the bike. Additionally, the entire assembly is very durable. This is because of the high quality construction and the thickness of the frame.
The resistance is also a decent feature. There are three separate adjustments that create resistance- the gear level of your bicycle, the level of magnetic resistance, and how tight the contact wheel is against the tire. This creates a fair level of resistance, though not quite as much as you would get from the road. Additionally, if you add too much resistance, it can damage the rear tire.
The directions that come with this model are not very clear, but this best bicycle trainer is very easy to assemble. If you do have difficulties, you can find information online, or even look at Youtube videos.
Another thing to note is that training tires are the best to use with this bike. Not only do tires with knobbier tread create more noise when you use the trainer, they are easier to damage. Finally, this model comes with a riser block, so you do not have to worry about straining to use this bike trainer stand.
Road Machine Indoor Bicycle Trainer by Kinetic by Kurt
This model on the list of best bicycle trainers is a fluid-style bike with a flywheel.
- Fluid-style with flywheel for added resistance
- Measureable workload
- Very stable- even allows you to ride standing up
- Unconditional lifetime warranty
- Fits wheels between size 22”-29”
- Magnetic drive system and progressive resistance
- Green color
While this model is more expensive than the other bike trainers that have been reviewed so far, it is also quieter and offers more resistance. It is very easy to assemble and it comes with a bike skewer so you are reassured that your bike is not going to slip. This is also made with wider tubing, which makes it significantly more durable than some bike trainers in the same class.
The resistance offered by this best bike trainer makes it a great option for high intensity training. Additionally, it works with a rear-mounted bicycle computer, so you can really monitor your training. The final advantage is that this bike stand is very quiet when you use a training tire. You can still hear the chain of the bike moving, but no more than you would if you were riding outdoors.
There are two separate disadvantages of this particular indoor bike trainer. First, if you overtighten the L-bolt, it may bend. This is a problem for individuals who are 200+ pounds that need more stability. The second disadvantage is the tires. Regular tires may wear with time. Additionally, the tire squeaks with acceleration and deceleration, but they do become quite again once your speed becomes steady.
The final thing to note is that you can tell the Kinetic by Kurt company trusts their bike trainer stand. Unlike any of the other models on this list, it comes with an unconditional lifetime warranty.
Fluidpro Bike Trainer by Cascade Health & Fitness
This best bicycle trainer is a fluid-style bike trainer stand with a heavy flywheel for added resistance.
- Orange and Gray
- Close to 40 pounds
- Coated with industrial powder to prevent corrosion
- Double sealed fluid-style bike
- Heavy flywheel to add resistance
- Three height options
The major advantage of this bike trainer is its fluidity. It is very smooth, does not jerk like some models in the same class, and actually feels as if you are riding down the road. This could be because of its heavy-duty construction. Unfortunately, this makes it significantly heavier than other models and it weighs close to 40 pounds.
There are three different height options for the Fluidpro Bike Trainer. This is great for adapting to different bike sizes, however, it can be difficult to adjust the locking mechanism for the bicycle at first. Another thing to note is that the front legs of this bike trainer stand do not lock into place, so it will need to be adjusted every time that you move it.
There are a few other advantages to mention as well. First, it is very easy to set up. Its realistic ride and fluid movements are also a great advantage, because they allow you to complete a high intensity workout. Finally, this works well with rear-mounted bike computers.
Galaxia Roller by Tacx
The final model on our list of best bike trainer reviews is the Galaxia Roller by Tacx, having these features:
- Proprietary technology- trainer moves forward with acceleration and backward with deceleration
- Roller-style trainer
- Bright blue color
- Weighs under 25 pounds
- Use with mat for pivot motion, but also works on carpet
The biggest advantage of this bike is the back and forth movement of the bicycle. The proprietary technology from the Tacx company allows the bicycle trainer stand to move forward as you accelerate and backward as you decelerate. This lowers the learning curve from traditional roller-style bicycle trainers.
Another thing to note is that this model can teach you to pedal properly. Many people are guilty of using a “square” pedaling motion. In order to use this best bicycle stand, you have to pedal in a circular motion. This also offers less resistance than a lot of other models, which is a slight disadvantage if you want to train long-term.
The final thing to note about this model is the assembly. An advantage is that the rollers adjust to accommodate different bike sizes. However, doing this can be somewhat difficult without the help of a Youtube video or detailed instruction. When these fail, however, you can take it in to your local bike shop, or contact customer service for assistance. Another disadvantage is that the axles and frame tend to stick. You can prevent this by lubricating the parts before you assemble the bike trainer.
So What Is The Best Bike Trainer for the Money?
After considering the best bike trainer reviews on this list, the best bike trainer stand for your money is the Road Machine Indoor Bicycle Trainer by Kinetic by Kurt.
The reason this best bicycle trainer tops the list is its compatibility for any tires between 22”-29,” its smooth operation, and the level of resistance that it can offer. While it is not the best option if you want a cheaper bike trainer stand, it is the best option if you want quality for the price that you are paying. It also may not be the best option for more heavyset individuals, because of the way the L-bolt bends with over tightening.
In addition to the benefits that have already been mentioned, this comes with an unlimited lifetime warranty. This means that as long as you have this best bicycle trainer, its durability and construction are guaranteed by Kinetic by Kurt.
Wrapping It Up
Whether you are looking for something to do while you sit in front of the television, or plan to train or exercise during rainy or snowy months, choosing one of the best bike trainers is the way to do it.
Before purchasing a bike trainer, consider your price range, the type that may be best for you (consider fluidity, noise level, how portable it needs to be, etc.), and whether or not the trainer will be compatible with the bicycle that you plan to use it with.
This can keep you from being disappointed with your purchase. Additionally, looking over bike trainer reviews before your purchase can really help when you are making the decision.