Indoor trainers have revolutionized the biking and fitness industry. Not too many years ago your options for indoor bike training were either a pair of rollers that you had to balance on or a fluid trainer that increased resistance with speed. These two options gave the rider resistance and a real ride like feel but... that’s it! Today’s indoor training options include trainers that can change resistance with virtual hills on your phone and a bike that also tilts up and down to simulate climbing and descending. Instructor led workouts, training plans, and competitions are also a possibility and you can even virtually ride with your favorite bike buddies all without leaving your home. For some, indoor riding has replaced outdoor riding all together due to the increased safety and simplicity.
Indoor training options do still exist though. A wheel on trainer is a simple way to take your existing bike and get rolling. The trainer has a roller that spins with your rear bike wheel and can provide resistance. This is a great solution if you have more than one bike rider in your home or you like to be able to quickly remove your bike and go for a ride.
For a more precise indoor riding experience consider a wheel off, or direct drive, bike trainer. These are units that replace your rear wheel and cassette entirely giving you a more direct and quieter connection to the trainer experience. There is an increase in cost but the benefits of less noise are very nice.
Finally, you have the complete indoor training bike. These are typically very adjustable bike simulators and also have built in features like gear changing and tilting with hills and already include all the sensors you might need. If you want to keep your bikes off the trainer, don’t even have a bike, or have multiple people who want to train, these make a great option.