Cycling Expert Answers Google’s 12 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Turbo Trainers
It’s that time of year again: the days are getting shorter and the weather is a bit gloomy, which could prevent some of the less hardened (i.e. sane) riders from venturing out. on the roads. But if the same cyclists want to keep riding, what can they do? On the one hand, they may consider using a turbo trainer for indoor training.
The best indoor trainers have come a long way and now many of them can effectively recreate the feeling of riding your road bike outdoors, only in a way that is safer and less dependent on weather conditions. Pair these smart trainers with an interactive workout app to keep you entertained and a fan to keep you cool and you might end up spending more time in your pain cave, riding a turbo, than outdoors. .
As exciting as indoor cycling is, it can be a little intimidating at first. You have to ride your bike on the indoor trainer – unless it’s the wheeled variety – and fiddle with tapes, etc. certainly more complicated than jumping on an exercise bike. Where to start ?
Asking a turbo trainer expert is probably a good idea and if you don’t have one on speed dial, fear not like us. We asked Tyler harris, Cycling Product Manager at Wahoo Fitness, to answer some of the most researched turbo trainer questions we could find. And answer that he did!
Below are all of his ideas that will hopefully get you started on your turbo training journey.
Is a home trainer bad for your bike?
While there have been cases of damage when riders have mounted their bikes incorrectly on indoor trainers, turbo trainers are perfectly safe when properly installed. All of Wahoo’s tests have shown that riding turbo trainers produces the same (or less) load on your bike as when riding outdoors.
Is it okay to leave the bike in the indoor trainer?
Certainly. If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated indoor training space – “the cave of pain” – many riders choose to leave their bikes on the turbo trainer all the time. Leaving the bike on the turbo poses no additional risk to the bike and in many cases it is best to store it outside in the cold and wet. For wheeled trainers, however, you will just need to remember to inflate the tires to the correct pressure before each ride.
Is a turbo trainer good for weight loss?
Yes. Training on a turbo trainer is one of the most effective ways to improve fitness and burn fat (if that’s part of your training goal). We have found that riders who introduce regular, short, intense turbo sessions often improve more than those who subscribe to the old school philosophy of a weekly 5 hour Sunday outing.
It’s hard to get into the habit of riding consistently and above the threshold, but having a smart trainer at home can help you plan your workouts around other commitments. In addition, with a multitude of interactive online training platforms such as SYSTM, training is more immersive than ever!
Do turbo trainers damage tires?
No. It has become a bit of an urban myth with turbo wheeled trainers like the KICKR SNAP. All of our tests showed wear similar to that of a tire compared to the road. In fact, the road has a lot more debris, which often results in cuts and damage to the tires, which shortens their life.
However, we recommend that you wipe down your tire before each turbo session after riding on the road to make sure stones or glass are not stuck in the tire.
Can normal tires be used on a turbo trainer?
Training tires will provide more life compared to a regular road tire, but may be more difficult to swap back and forth.
How long does it take to use a turbo trainer?
It all depends on your training goals and personal preferences, really. Some users – and professional athletes – train almost exclusively on their turbo trainers and then run outdoors. Meanwhile, others can only use a trainer when the weather is bad.
Is turbo training better than road training?
In most cases, yes. While we all love the feeling of freedom and exploration that comes with road driving, indoor driving is often favored when it comes to the benefits of training.
It is much easier to achieve structured efforts indoors without the interruptions of traffic lights and other road users. Not to mention much safer – while faking the effort to win a race outdoors can be fun, you often don’t have the luxury of closed roads like during a race or sport.
Do you need to change gears on a smart trainer?
It really depends on what kind of mode you are using. All of our Wahoo smart trainers offer cyclists the option of riding in standard or ERG mode. When using standard mode, for example, you’ll want to change gears just like you would outdoors.
However, when you are doing a structured workout on a platform like SYSTM, it is much easier to put the trainer in ERG mode. This then automatically changes the resistance so that you can focus only on the session and be sure that you are producing precisely the right amount of power.
How to configure a smart home trainer?
It varies slightly between different makes and models, but you can find a guide on how to set up Wahoo units. here.
How often should you maintain a home trainer?
Wahoo indoor trainers are designed so that you do not need any maintenance other than lubricating your chain and replacing your chain / cassette. As you normally would.
Can you use a trainer without a quick release?
Yes. All Wahoo smart home trainers support 142/148 thru axles. These are included in the box as standard for the KICKR and KICKR CORE and can be purchased separately as an adapter kit with the KICKR SNAP.
Are titanium skewers worth it?
To ride on a trainer, there are no real advantages. For riding outdoors, however, you will gain weight.