Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
De Sisti
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Re: Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

Postby De Sisti » 28 Dec 2019, 9:26pm

I bought an emotion set of rollers a few years ago (for a lot less than they cost now and without
the forkstand/power meter stuff)
. It has 3 resistance settings. Dead easy to ride on. Should use
it more though.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFQdLLKxiww
Last edited by De Sisti on 29 Dec 2019, 8:11am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mick F
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Re: Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

Postby Mick F » 28 Dec 2019, 9:43pm

Rollers.

Used them over a few years, but it's boring generally. Tend to do ten or fifteen minutes at a time adding up to an hour. Better than nothing eh?
I bought a cheapo wireless speedo (etc) from Lidl and used that to check my speed. Before that, I had a Garmin 705 with all the gizmos - speed/cadence and HR strap - and you could set it to "indoors" to switch off the GPS.

These days, I just pedal in a high gear and sort of know when I'm doing a steady 20mph for an hour.
That'll do me ............ but it's boring.

As for riding them, that is another subject!
Difficult if you have a "sporty" bike and easy if you have a relaxed geometry bike.

I've tried it with a variety of bikes from the Raleigh Chopper to Mrs Mick F's Mixte.
Mercian was difficult but I managed it and it's easy for me now but cannot ride rollers no hands with it as it's so twitchy.
The Moulton is almost impossible due to drag due to the small wheels not being suitable for the roller diameters or distance between the rear roller pair.
RSW16 was impossible due to drag and not getting up to sufficient speed.

Best way of learning to ride rollers, is to set them up in a doorway. Use your shoulders to help keep you on the straight and narrow.
Mick F. Cornwall

Grandad
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Re: Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

Postby Grandad » 29 Dec 2019, 1:34am

Back in the '50s a French lady put on a roller display during a meeting at the Herne Hill track. In addition to the usual removal of the handlebars she somehow removed her tracksuit bottoms and then put them back on. :o

A1anP
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Re: Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

Postby A1anP » 29 Dec 2019, 9:24am

I'm going to fess up to being a regular turbo trainer user...

As to why, there are a couple of main reasons/motivations:

1. As a replacement for real riding when the weather outside is too unpleasant or dangerous for real life cycling. So that means I'm not necessarily pushing hard like I imagine they do in a spin class, but watching the scenery and other cyclists go by (on Zwift).

2. As a form of exercise to burn off a few extra calories.

Other supplementary reasons can be to ease back into cycling after an injury and also to improve fitness, following a training plan. However, the latter makes it a lot less fun, so I don't do that very often.

Before discovering Zwift, I would probably only use the turbo trainer a few times a year. Zwift adds in the extra elements of interest to keep me going, so a typical session lasts an hour. To my mind, that replaces a two hour ride in real life, as you keep pedalling the whole hour and often ride that little bit harder.

I have a turbo set up in an alcove permanently and use it maybe 3-4 times a week in winter and maybe 1-2 times a month in summer. This year I've done about 1800 virtual miles on the thing, and this being my 5th winter on Zwift, I arrived at the milestone of wearing out my first trainer tyre.

My setup is about as cheap as possible, using a dumb Tacx Satori Smart (actually non-smart) trainer, which cost about £160 at the time. Now a smart wheel-on trainer will cost around £200, and a direct drive version anything from £500 to over £1000.

I run Zwift on a Windows 10 desktop PC and view on a 28 inch monitor. That's an extra cost if you don't have any devices already that are capapble of running the software. That can be anything from a phone or tablet to a laptop or PC/Mac.

The dedicated bike is an old one that would otherwise be gathering dust. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, just with a comfy seat and functioning drivetrain.

The final thing is the Zwift subscription which is £12 per month. Other apps are cheaper, but don't hold my attention as well. I did use BigRingVR for a few months at the start of the year, which in addition to various real life videos from cycle routes around the world, allows you to record your own rides and then relive them as you pedal.

So to sum up, it works for me and many others, but not everyone "gets it". My wife doesn't get anything from it, and only goes on a few times a year when cabin fever really sets in, and then only for 20-30 minutes at most.
Going upwards at 45 degrees...

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Mick F
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Re: Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

Postby Mick F » 29 Dec 2019, 9:47am

A bit off topic, but a bit valid too.

I often walk past one place in Plymouth and you can see through the windows at folk walking on treadmills. I'm walking briskly to the shops and back, why aren't they?

I understand completely regarding cycle trainers and rollers and the convenience of doing it undercover when the weather is rubbish. I can even understand walking on a treadmill or even jogging on one when the weather is rubbish, but when it's perfectly dry and nice outside, why do it in a gym? Why not get some fresh air in your lungs?
Mick F. Cornwall

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Audax67
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Re: Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

Postby Audax67 » 29 Dec 2019, 11:14am

I set up two bikes on turbos in the cellar about a month back. So far I've done 20 whole minutes on one and the missus 50.

Turbo: all the pain and none of the pleasure.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

fastpedaller
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Re: Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

Postby fastpedaller » 29 Dec 2019, 12:05pm

Mick F wrote:A bit off topic, but a bit valid too.

I often walk past one place in Plymouth and you can see through the windows at folk walking on treadmills. I'm walking briskly to the shops and back, why aren't they?

I understand completely regarding cycle trainers and rollers and the convenience of doing it undercover when the weather is rubbish. I can even understand walking on a treadmill or even jogging on one when the weather is rubbish, but when it's perfectly dry and nice outside, why do it in a gym? Why not get some fresh air in your lungs?


'cos they've paid for membership :lol:

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horizon
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Re: Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

Postby horizon » 29 Dec 2019, 12:05pm

A1anP wrote:So to sum up, it works for me and many others, but not everyone "gets it". My wife doesn't get anything from it, and only goes on a few times a year when cabin fever really sets in, and then only for 20-30 minutes at most.


I view turbo trainers and exercise bikes the same way as I view e-bikes: they are overall a thoroughly bad thing for very sound reasons, many given above. :P OTOH, like e-bikes, they are ideal in certain situations (if not lots of situations) for certain people (if not lots of people) which rather undermines my generalisation. :roll: :)

My only question though at the moment is: is there a correlation between people who use turbo trainers/exercise bikes and people who have dish washers?
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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Re: Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

Postby PH » 29 Dec 2019, 12:36pm

Mick F wrote:I understand completely regarding cycle trainers and rollers and the convenience of doing it undercover when the weather is rubbish. I can even understand walking on a treadmill or even jogging on one when the weather is rubbish, but when it's perfectly dry and nice outside, why do it in a gym? Why not get some fresh air in your lungs?

It depends what you're trying to achieve, however long I spend on a treadmill it's not going to get me to the shops. Though if I wanted to train for a specific purpose it's well established that a dedicated training plan which will include both on road and stationary equipment will be more beneficial. I've done a few Wattbike spin classes at the Derby velodrome, toughest 30 min pedalling I've ever done, and two sessions a week for six weeks improved both my cycling and general fitness. I'll probably sign up and do it again. Horses for courses and all that.

A1anP
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Re: Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

Postby A1anP » 29 Dec 2019, 4:56pm

Horizon - yes I do have a dishwasher. But before you get carried away with your theory, so did my mother in law, and she never sat on a turbo trainer in her life :D

Well, today the temperature was 10 degrees C, so instead of sneaking an hour on the turbo, I went out on my road bike for that hour instead.

Good points:
* Some welcome fresh air (only my 3rd outing on the bike this month :oops: )
* I got to try out some new wheels and brake pads
* Feeling manly for braving the elements, if only for an hour 8)

Bad points:
* Blooming hard going, due to 40+mph wind, which I'd normally avoid
* Hitting a pothole at 35 mph, ejecting my water bottle and making me stop at the bottom of a deep hollow to pick it up
* Getting my nice bike all dirty :lol:
Going upwards at 45 degrees...

De Sisti
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Re: Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

Postby De Sisti » 29 Dec 2019, 6:19pm

horizon wrote:My only question though at the moment is: is there a correlation between people who use turbo trainers/exercise bikes and people who have dish washers?

Why would there be?

whoof
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Re: Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

Postby whoof » 29 Dec 2019, 7:49pm

De Sisti wrote:
horizon wrote:My only question though at the moment is: is there a correlation between people who use turbo trainers/exercise bikes and people who have dish washers?

Why would there be?

Because people with dish washers don't wash their dishes outside!

Brucey
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Re: Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

Postby Brucey » 29 Dec 2019, 8:08pm

clearly there is a market for a pedal powered dishwasher...?

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 29 Dec 2019, 8:10pm

Hi,
Mick F wrote:Rollers.
Best way of learning to ride rollers, is to set them up in a doorway. Use your shoulders to help keep you on the straight and narrow.

So similar to riding a Unicycle :)
Turbo trainers are a tool, effective but need persistence if you intend to get the most out of them.
I have had mine 20 years and worth the £200 I paid for it.
Yes you have to be a meat head to show results.
If you are not wincing after five minutes, screaming after ten and crying at 15 then you are probably best go for a walk :P
Of course you can just spin if you want, but as said the resistance is 360 degrees so its not like any bike ride, you can easily get lured into a false sense of euphoria.............for five minutes at least :lol:

Spin machine, I have one just £10 probably abandoned, its another game and 100% resistance too, inertia, I suspect it is much like a fixed gear just don't try easing off too quick, maybe better suited to a true spinner. ( I have not used mine more than once because the pedal spacing is not very symmetric, needs fixing)
My turbo has an integral real time- speed, distance, calories, watts, time, you can set a time or a distance, dial up your required gradient %.
I get on with a bottle and a fan or two, then press the start button and hang on for dear life :lol:
Look at time boring, count the miles boring, only doing intervals or changing gear for more resistance breaks the monotony :(
Many years of practice so I am disciplined enough to finish the hour I normally do.
Only thing to stop me was a burst grand prix.........twice.........just using what I had :)
And the latest notching ticking of what must be a dry rotor bearing after twenty years of use.
Just lately I added my sat nav with HRM + speed and cadence sensor, and laps so I do 10 minute intervals on different gears and try to maintain constant speed with different cadence, 71 -78 something like that.
The turbo I have also simulates road real time riding on speed level, as it has a progressive resistance, just try keeping above 23 mph on gradient for an hour, my limit.

On a slightly different note, my tread mill is a real torture machine, it has pre programmed speed and gradient courses, once set you have to hold on or get off :P
I find that an evening of 40 minutes up to 10% gradient, and 6-8 mph running intervals for 25% of the time, perks me up for a good training ride next morning.

When I fell off on black ice after I could walk again without crutches I found both the treadmill and turbo invaluable.
Used the right way a turbo enable's one to set the dial to achieve any level of training that suits your current exercise program, at one end high intensity for strength and cardio, the other end recuperating / loosening up when the weather is atrocious.
I have been forced into night time dark training on the bike, my last outing a fall dropping into a pothole :(

Summer time as said on the bike, happy days........are coming we are past the shortest day :)
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
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ChrisButch
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Re: Turbo trainers - how much use do you get?

Postby ChrisButch » 29 Dec 2019, 8:57pm

I've found that the best way to deal with the boredom, without having to spend a fortune on smart machines, zwift etc, is to set up a Kindle in front of the bars (I use a music stand) and read. I worked my way through a good chunk of the lesser-known Trollope novels that way. A couple of chapters just right for an hour on the turbo.