15 Mar 2016
TRAIN SMARTER – WITH A TURBO TRAINER
There are three major designs of turbo trainer, and there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that every single one of them has the capacity to inflict severe pain and boredom. The good news is that they’re fantastic for keeping up fitness levels in cold, wet and dark winters. Pedaling against the resistance of rollers without going anywhere at all may seem a struggle, but it certainly beats dealing with ice, gusting winds and rain!
It gets better!
In reality, turbo trainers are good for far more than dodging bad weather. They excel at really targeted training sessions, as there’s nothing – such as traffic, terrain or awkward road layouts – to interrupt the continuous timed efforts of intervals. They’re also great for warming up before an event.
For those with day jobs that aren’t cycling, turbos get the maximum from your available time. Half an hour on a turbo trainer is worth half an hour, as there are none of the extra, time-sapping demands of getting out in the real world (and cleaning it all up afterwards). All this is why pro riders tend to use them all year round. But what should you look for when buying?
Turbo trainers are available from a number of different manufacturers, and in three basic types, including fluid resistance
Firstly, take a look at the pros and cons of the various designs.
– Magnetic resistance
These are quiet, and many are also adjustable for resistance as you ride. That can be very useful to finely-tuned training sessions, but they need a power source.
– Fluid resistance
Oil-filled turbos are quiet, but tend to be more expensive than other types. Their resistance increases naturally the faster you spin them.
– Air resistance
Fans are loud, but they’re simple and cheap – if you can find one. Most manufacturers have turned to newer designs, as resistance adjustability is minimal.