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The Noob’s Guide to Cycling: Tips for Riding Your Bike on an Indoor Trainer


November 2020

7. Trainers are getting pretty hi-tech nowadays. It’s all good, but that gadgetry isn’t necessary for maintaining fitness through the winter. A good old-fashioned $200 turbo will do the trick (I prefer the CycleOps Magneto, myself… a little pricier at $250, but the progressive resistance is AWESOME). Smart trainers are great, but a dummy will do just fine.

6. Winter sucks for cycling unless you have a fat bike and enjoy slow speeds, being cold, and falling from time to time. Use the time away from traffic to your benefit. Spin easy before the first of the year to keep your legs moving, and enjoy some downtime. Then, ride hard in the late winter to build strength for spring… Trainer time is great for building leg strength and/or cadence. If you’ve always been a masher and want to train yourself to spin more, now is the time.

5. Use old, retired bibs/shorts on the trainer. The threadbare stuff that shows off WAY too much is for the trainer. Save the good shorts for outdoors. And, for the love of God and all that is Holy, keep the threadbare stuff indoors! Nobody wants to draft behind your butt crack.

4. Use a fan or sweat it out. I’m either hard-core, or stupid; I choose to sweat it out.

3. Zwift, FulGaz, Rouvy, old race footage on YouTube, or a good old-fashioned movie (like John Wick)… however you want to entertain yourself, whatever makes the pedals go ’round a little easier… do what makes you happy. I’m a movie guy. Star Wars, my Bose Surround Sound 5.1 system and my trainer makes me 😊. You don’t need Zwift. Zwift/FulGaz/Royvy are tools, certainly, but they’re not a necessity.

2. Never leave your bike sweat catching towel/thong strapped to, or laying on/over the headset of your bike. The sweat will weep into the headset and rot everything out. Trust me on this. ¡Es no bueno!

1. Never use the good rear wheel on the turbo trainer… the trainer is not for your ultra-posh lightweight ceramic bearing wheel… use the ugliest, heaviest, alloy-est wheel you’ve got, with a tire that has a season or two on it. Always save the good stuff for the road.


  1. No idea how you do it without a fan. I only need to look at my turbo and I start sweating!

  2. […] The Noob’s Guide to Cycling: Tips for Riding Your Bike on an Indoor Trainer […]

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