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No excuses: Training tips for cycling at home

14 Apr 2020
by Kristin Janacek

The threat of spreading Corid-19 (Corona virus) is impacting millions of individuals around the world! Social distancing is being suggested to minimize the effect of spreading contagious virus’. However, many of us rely on group workout sand training sessions to motivate our fitness and many of us depend on it to guide us through workouts. Even without this current threat, there seem to be more and more reasons and excuses making it hard to maintain consistency in your training. Busy schedules, work travel, caring for family, safety on the roads to name a few. Consistency is king when it comes to improving. So, what now? Continue reading for your guide to setting up a corner of your home to be your sweat haven. All the gear you need, the gear you would like to have and the tools to keep you motivated.

If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you are a cyclist or a road biker who has invested in a bike they love which fits like a glove! Actually. Who actually gets custom fit gloves? Your bike fits better than a glove! So you should enjoy the sleek fit whenever you want! A good bike fit is critical to safety, injury prevention and enjoyment.

To set up your bike studio at home, you will need a space about three feet by 6 feet ideally with a hard surface. You will use your bike and a bike trainer but there are a couple of options out there which can be confusing. There are two types, a smart trainer and a not-smart trainer which I’ll refer to as a basic trainer. The main difference between the two is price and how resistance is applied.

First the basics, the bike trainer is an apparatus that you connect the rear of the bike to the apparatus and resistance is applied through the apparatus. I am being vague as to what the rear is because for smart trainers, some require you take the back wheel off and others you need a skewer and you leave your rear wheel on. (

Let’s explain a “Smart Trainer”. This is an apparatus which can operate your bike if provided a programmed workout… more on how to do that in a minute. You will control the bike from a laptop or computer and the bike will adjust to the prescribed resistance you provide it. There is very little room for cheating by cutting intervals short or not putting your all into the hard intervals.

You will see that these are not exactly cheap but considering you will ride 2-3 times per week or more, you would make this up on the gym classes you’re already paying for but likely aren’t able to use.

So, perhaps you’re not ready for that kind of investment. That’s okay! Don’t get discouraged, you can use a basic bike trainer. There are plenty of options that are great exercise tools. The advantage of these aside from the cost, is that they don’t require power and they often times can be stored under a couch or bed when not used. This is the one I have an love it:

To start riding this type of trainer, you affix the bike to the trainer. (remember the skewer I was talking about?) Add the resistance according to how the trainer works and start riding. Simple as that! You use your shifters to change the resistance just as you would on the road. You can also follow workout plans from a book, an app or an online engaging tools like Sufferfest, Zwift and Trainer Road (to name a few).

With a not-smart trainer, you will need a couple of bike accessories if you want to get feedback from the tools I mentioned. There is no way to measure speed if you’re in a stationary position without gadgets. You can get a power meter on the bike which could be a good addition if you are serious about training. There are several options to choose from:

I use and older version of Garmin’s speed and cadence sensor:

Wahoo also has a great product:

Both of these have the ANT+ technology which allows you to share this data in real time with your phone or computer – making the interactive tools like Sufferfest, Zwift and Trainer Road come to life.

There are some accessories that will make your ride more enjoyable but are not necessary for your ride:

With these essentials, you will never have to miss a bike workout! In fact, many individuals are choosing to workout inside for many of their rides. I don’t recommend never riding outside. Riding outside is essential for bike handling skills and balance which are not experienced on a trainer, but your fitness improvement can be calibrated in an almost lab-like environment. Here are more tips from our team regarding training:

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