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Old 01.10.2014, 18:09
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Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

I want to keep up my cycling fitness and general activity levels up over winter.

Experience tells me once the first snows hit Zurich, its just too cold to get out and cycle, even in my winter cycling gear if its 4 degree or below (wind chill, ice on rims, etc etc) I just cant do it.

Your experiences and advice are welcome on getting a bike trainer (the thing you attach a real bike to for riding indoors) versus an exercise bike. They are both expensive, so I want to go in eyes open...

If this has been covered before, please link to the thread (I couldn't find it).
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Old 01.10.2014, 18:48
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

You shouldn't let a few snow flakes put you off biking . . .
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Old 01.10.2014, 19:14
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

Winter biking here is called skiing. As is winter swimming, winter running and winter rollerblading.
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Old 01.10.2014, 21:10
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

http://vimeo.com/70253314
or
Turbo trainer ?
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Old 03.10.2014, 12:19
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

If you are serious enough with your cycling, I would suggest a good bike trainer. It'll let you "get the miles" on your regular bike keeping the exact same position / muscle workout, etc. Although a good exercise bike allows a lot of position adjustments, I have never been able to get the exact same position on any spinning bike at the gym. Just make sure you get a quiet bike trainer, especially for training after 10pm . Fluid resistance trainers are quite quiet. I have one and I have never gotten a complaint for it, whereas I once I got a complaint for closing my window shutters too loudly... :P

I find you can actually cycle seriously on the roads here around Zurich in the winter. Last winter, I rode all year round on my carbon race bike (not a winter training bike). It was a warm winter here last year, but usually with the exception of January I find I can normally ride comfortably even in the winter. The winters here on the whole aren't that wet, and they keep the roads quite clean (not a lot of salt or sand). My observation is you see a lot of road riders on carbon bikes here in the winter and not jumping onto "winter training bikes".

I hope this helps, just my 2 cents
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Old 03.10.2014, 13:21
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

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I find you can actually cycle seriously on the roads here around Zurich in the winter. Last winter, I rode all year round on my carbon race bike (not a winter training bike). It was a warm winter here last year, but usually with the exception of January I find I can normally ride comfortably even in the winter. The winters here on the whole aren't that wet, and they keep the roads quite clean (not a lot of salt or sand). My observation is you see a lot of road riders on carbon bikes here in the winter and not jumping onto "winter training bikes".

I hope this helps, just my 2 cents

Lat winter was exceptionally warm and un-snowy.

Generally, there's a "cold" period in November-December (so it's a good idea to put Winter tires on the car by the first November week), with a spring-like period around Christmas and then a very cold period in January - but usually with little snow.
Then, there's snow in February, but it's too warm for it to last very long...
March is usually very warm, only for April or even May to turn cold again.

Seasons aren't what they used to be ;-)
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Old 03.10.2014, 15:06
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

Would Lights and a cycle cross bike me an option.. Hit the trails for an hour of power in the evenings
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Old 07.10.2014, 21:48
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

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I want to keep up my cycling fitness and general activity levels up over winter.

Experience tells me once the first snows hit Zurich, its just too cold to get out and cycle, even in my winter cycling gear if its 4 degree or below (wind chill, ice on rims, etc etc) I just cant do it.

Your experiences and advice are welcome on getting a bike trainer (the thing you attach a real bike to for riding indoors) versus an exercise bike. They are both expensive, so I want to go in eyes open...

If this has been covered before, please link to the thread (I couldn't find it).
I'm in the same boat. Road.cc had this article just a few days ago:
http://road.cc/content/buyers-guide/...-turbo-trainer
I will get a trainer. Exercise bikes are not that good unless you are prepared to spend silly money.
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Old 07.10.2014, 22:32
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

I have a Cyclops Fluid 2 and it is excellent. I live in an apartment and itt is a little noisy when you are going for it so I worry about complaints from the flat below and if you use it indoors you get really sweaty so a rubber backed doormat under the bike and trainer help both reduce the noise and avoid sweating on the wood floors.

I just ordered a direct drive trainer for this winter in the hope it will be more compact and quieter still, once it arrives i will let you know if it is any good!
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Old 07.10.2014, 23:30
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

Thanks Kona and Skallywag. I followed the link and have read a few re views and product overviews now..have fallen in love with the interactive features offered on the high end bikes. To be able to virtually do tours of Mallorca and Alpine mountain passes and even familiar places around switzerland would definitely keep my interst and fun levels high. Which is part of the point.

Wrestling with price. Look forward to your direct drive review Skallywag!

Last edited by alemap; 07.10.2014 at 23:33. Reason: typo on name
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Old 08.10.2014, 00:02
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

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I want to keep up my cycling fitness and general activity levels up over winter.

Experience tells me once the first snows hit Zurich, its just too cold to get out and cycle, even in my winter cycling gear if its 4 degree or below (wind chill, ice on rims, etc etc) I just cant do it.

Your experiences and advice are welcome on getting a bike trainer (the thing you attach a real bike to for riding indoors) versus an exercise bike. They are both expensive, so I want to go in eyes open...

If this has been covered before, please link to the thread (I couldn't find it).
Let me quote the same question from another forum:
Q:Would appreciate some solid advice on whether or not to buy a turbo trainer - with winter being here - as i have a few national duathlons coming up and i dont feel like im getting out on my bike much in this weather. and if so which one to go for.
Cheers

A:My experience turbos are boring as f**k.. Spend it on some winter clothing!
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Old 09.10.2014, 15:38
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

My winter cycling alternative (other than snowboarding) is 6,000 lumens.
Riding at night is such a blast. More fun than riding during the day TBH.
I picked up some cheap Chinese cree lights from ebay. A flood light on the bars and a spot on the helmet. The biggest problem with these cheap Chinese lights isn't the light at all but the battery pack they come with so I got some Panasonic protected cell packs from ebay seller Hunk_Lee who has an outstanding reputation for his battery packs amongst the MTB community. The whole set up even with the battery upgrade was a little over 100chf. Brand name equivalent is around 600-800+chf. Very happy with the Chinese clones, as bright as my car lights.
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Old 09.10.2014, 15:49
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

Fat bikes anyone? they look ridiculous but loads of fun.
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Old 09.10.2014, 16:18
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

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Fat bikes anyone? they look ridiculous but loads of fun.
Maybe next year, this year I'm building a new enduro/AM rig.

Here are the lights I bought.
Flood/ bar light
http://www.ebay.com/itm/3X-CREE-XM-L...item3a8d7363f3

Spot/helmet light

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SKYRAY-Solar...item3cda476eb4

These come with U.S chargers so you will need a plug adapter or you can get an EU charger from Hunk_Lee for 10 bucks. I just use the US chargers with no problems.

Battery packs, which is a must IMO. You can use the cheap packs that come with the lights but most people agree that they do not last long so it's better and safer to upgrade immediately.

http://m.ebay.com/itm/A-Panasonic-NC...-/321192452789

Upgraded bar clamp. Had to get a longer screw and a thicker rubber o-ring from coop bau and hobby so it secures nice and snug. Much better than the rubber band clamp the lights come with.
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/c...t/rp-prod23533

For the helmet mount I just cut off the head band and used some gorilla tape (duct tape will work too) on an old helmet dedicated as my night helmet.
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Old 09.10.2014, 20:29
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

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Thanks Kona and Skallywag. I followed the link and have read a few re views and product overviews now..have fallen in love with the interactive features offered on the high end bikes. To be able to virtually do tours of Mallorca and Alpine mountain passes and even familiar places around switzerland would definitely keep my interst and fun levels high. Which is part of the point.

Wrestling with price. Look forward to your direct drive review Skallywag!
Sorry I forgot I posted here... I have the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine trainer and would personally recommend it, there's a newer version is out now. (http://www.wiggle.com/kurt-kinetic-road-machine-ii/) It's very quite for a trainer, I've never had a complaint from a neighbour.
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Old 21.06.2015, 17:55
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

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Your experiences and advice are welcome on getting a bike trainer (the thing you attach a real bike to for riding indoors) versus an exercise bike.
Exercise bikes and stationary trainers offer virtually identical health and exercise benefits, allowing for the same cardiovascular workout attainable on outdoor bicycles.

Whether using a trainer or an exercise bike, adjusting the seat so legs are nearly straight with just a slight bend in the knees when feet are on the pedals maximizes comfort.

it's been my experience that the dedicated exercise bike is the better choice. Especially one that has programmed/programmable resistance intervals.
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Old 21.06.2015, 22:32
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

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Exercise bikes and stationary trainers offer virtually identical health and exercise benefits, allowing for the same cardiovascular workout attainable on outdoor bicycles.

Whether using a trainer or an exercise bike, adjusting the seat so legs are nearly straight with just a slight bend in the knees when feet are on the pedals maximizes comfort.

it's been my experience that the dedicated exercise bike is the better choice. Especially one that has programmed/programmable resistance intervals.
CAVEAT TO THE ABOVE:
As long as the exercise bike allows you to adjust saddle position (fore/aft), same for the handlebar.
I exercise regularly when I can't bike (mountain bike, that is) and can tell you that I really feel pain in my knees if I use the Tecnogym stationary bikes at the gym. Reason (besides my bad left knee) is that the saddle position causes my knee to move over the front of my foot when the pedal is on the 3 o'clock position.
The optimal solution *if* one has spare room at home is to buy a proper trainer (rolls or the TacX variety with active resistance). At least you'll be training with a properly fitted bike (something you should do if you plan to be riding a lot and hard).
Pedal on!
Paul
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Old 22.06.2015, 19:08
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

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CAVEAT TO THE ABOVE:
As long as the exercise bike allows you to adjust saddle position (fore/aft), same for the handlebar.
I exercise regularly when I can't bike (mountain bike, that is) and can tell you that I really feel pain in my knees if I use the Tecnogym stationary bikes at the gym. Reason (besides my bad left knee) is that the saddle position causes my knee to move over the front of my foot when the pedal is on the 3 o'clock position.
Yeah, you're right! Since I have an recumbent exercise bike with a back seat supporting my lower back, so it's kinda comfortable for my workout.
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Old 23.06.2015, 14:34
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

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Yeah, you're right! Since I have an recumbent exercise bike with a back seat supporting my lower back, so it's kinda comfortable for my workout.
Aha - recumbent eh
That should help you keep them knees safe!
Enjoy in good health
Cheers
Paul
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Old 08.12.2015, 12:06
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Re: Winter cycling alternatives - Bike Trainer versus a good Exercise Bike?

Alright, I read a lot of reviews, asked everyone I know and finally bit the bullet and bought a Tacx Vortex Smart T2180.

Its hard to get a lot out of reviews, as its usually by someone who bought it, so its not comparative with what else is out there (although some people will compare their new trainer to their old outdated one), and is often tainted by a lack of objectivity, their first impressions, or a negative impression which might be unrepresentative.

Anyway, I have found a reviewer who stands out, he is called DC Rainmaker and is an IT guy who is also a very keen cyclist - extremely thorough and readable and comprehensive in his tests and reviews. He actually uses each piece of equipment before reviewing it, so it experience based. And unbiased.

For a very good overview of winter bike trainers, at all price points, see:
http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2015/11/2...endations.html

Apps. There is a sudden explosion of virtual reality apps now, as some like tacx have gone open source, and i found the choices boggling, but the top 3 - and each has free trial period - zwift, veloreality (vride) and kinomap.
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