The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
amaferanga
Posts: 256
Joined: 31 Oct 2008, 7:03pm

Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby amaferanga » 2 Jan 2021, 6:26am

drossall wrote:
amaferanga wrote:I've cycled more this year than I have done for several years (since I moved to Greater Manchester and found out how crap the cycling is around here).

Whereabouts? As an exile down south, there's loads of brilliant riding around Manchester.


Near Bolton. There's isolated bits of good, but the behaviour of drivers and the amount of traffic everywhere has driven me off the roads for leisure. I only cycle around here to commute and for shopping, etc. Those are only just tolerable.

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Syd
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby Syd » 2 Jan 2021, 7:47am

I have a spare bike set up on a smart, direct drive, turbo on the upstairs landing where it ha become a permanent feature.

An Apple TV cast Zwift, via a video projector, to the wall coming up the stairs creating a 96” screen. I also have an Amazon Echo playing an appropriate sound track via Bluetooth to recessed speakers in the ceiling.

Finally two large fans, one either side of the bike, keep me cool.

I use the setup regularly and find it quite immersive for a couple of hours. I don’t do my usual longer rides, of say 100 miles, on it but a couple of hours at a higher intensity is a good workout.

I also find the virtual racing and time trials fun.

amediasatex
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Location: Sunny Devon! just East of the Moor

Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby amediasatex » 2 Jan 2021, 8:29am

I’m one of those that simply can’t bring myself to use an indoor trainer.

I’ve not got anything against those that do and a LOT of my clubmates have been very active on Zwift since lockdown and it’s done their fitness a world of good.

The problem for me is that I enjoy riding my bike, as in the physical feelings that go with it, the pull of gravity, g-force of turns, the balancing, turning/piloting the bike, as well as environmental factors like the changes in temp, wind, smells, sights and sounds etc. And I simply can’t replicate it in a static bike even with simulated input like Zwift.

In situations where I can’t go for a bike ride I invariably end up choosing an alternative form of exercise instead.

I guess the only way you’ll know if it will work for you is to give it a go, and try it long enough to both get into the swing of it, but also long enough to see if the novelty wears off or not, plenty end up retiring the trainer after a few weeks after finding it’s not for them, but equally others will find it a great supplement to their outdoor cycling.

drossall
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Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby drossall » 2 Jan 2021, 9:17am

amediasatex wrote:The problem for me is that I enjoy riding my bike, as in the physical feelings that go with it, the pull of gravity, g-force of turns, the balancing, turning/piloting the bike, as well as environmental factors like the changes in temp, wind, smells, sights and sounds etc. And I simply can’t replicate it in a static bike even with simulated input like Zwift.

My wife saw me enjoying Zwift, and bought me an Elite Sterzo Smart for Christmas. So now I can steer, which ticks one off your list. But in reality I agree with you. I don't even want the virtual world to become a substitute for real riding in real countryside, and I need to put more effort into going out, at a time when it's so easy just to stay on the patio.

Phileas
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Location: Bristol

Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby Phileas » 2 Jan 2021, 9:31am

I used to own a stationary cycle. It was only an old fashioned Tunturi flywheel type, but apart from the tedium, I found it almost impossible to raise my heart rate to the levels I easily attain when cycling up hill on a real road.

Mind you, the tedium was nothing compared to that when using a rowing machine. :roll:

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Syd
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby Syd » 2 Jan 2021, 9:39am

Phileas wrote:I used to own a stationary cycle. It was only an old fashioned Tunturi flywheel type, but apart from the tedium, I found it almost impossible to raise my heart rate to the levels I easily attain when cycling up hill on a real road.

Mind you, the tedium was nothing compared to that when using a rowing machine. :roll:

My smart trainer can simulate slopes up to 20% and cope with 2500w. A mere mortal like me comes nowhere close to that maximum power but it certainly gets the heart rate up.

drossall
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Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby drossall » 2 Jan 2021, 10:16am

I seem to get my heart rate up more successfully on a static trainer than out on the road. That may explain my so-called time-trialling career...

Can't be long before home trainers start simulating road surfaces and so on. At present, riding off-road on Zwift is remarkably like riding on-road, but a bit slower.

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cyclemad
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby cyclemad » 2 Jan 2021, 10:31am

without my turbo trainer I think I would have gone mad during lockdowns....Not wanting to risk a fall or accident and end up in hospital during the lockdowns I spent hours in the garage or in the garden on ZWIFT....

Its also a great thing to have for those really bad weather days too. I have a TACX Vortex Smart version and I can't fault it.

Tangled Metal
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby Tangled Metal » 2 Jan 2021, 12:00pm

We bought a turbo a few years back. It's the cheapest true smart turbo from Tacx and I got be a great deal from Halfords. It's been stashed away around the house wherever we could stick it out of the way. My bikes were 700 wheeled but my partner's 26" no good for both of us plus using it in the kitchen simply didn't work for us. Plus I couldn't get the smart part n fully working. Simply would not do it.

This year we'll be moving house to one with a driveway and long garage. We're using it as a gym and utility room. My old road bike isn't roadworthy but it's safe for use on a turbo. That'll do me as it'll be permanently set up. When the tyre wears out I'll m get a turbo tyre. It'll be used with a concept 2 rower we'll be getting and my partner will be getting a free X trainer that was in the house family bought recently, real pro gym quality.

Motivation? You've got it or you haven't. If it works for you it's because you've got motivation or it just clicks with you. If you see benefits immediately I reckon that helps.

I used to go to the gym a lot and my regular 45 minutes static bike workout felt great but I wasn't improving my fitness. Instructor moved me to a stepper which she said was second only to the rower for quality of CV workout. Boy did I suffer but I got fitter very very quickly. Motivation? I did 125 floors as quickly as possible, recorded the time and finished the second half of another 125 floors trying to beat the time of the first half. Then I'd record the final time. Next time I was on it I halved the full time and tried to beat it then beat the first half again? Each run beating the one before if I could? It's about progression. You need to see that to understand it's benefits. Motivation through results I guess.

I do virtually no exercise now other than walking the dog and a little manual activity at work (lifting heavy items). I feel that effect deeply but I haven't got motivation to use home fixed weights because b it's not set up for it. The permanently set up home gym will help me greatly . It's about removing barriers to exercise physically to remove the barriers in my mind.

I have no real clue about psychology of exercise I only know I have a barrier in my mind to get out and do it. My current bout of inactivity has lowered my fitness to a point that I need a shake up that spending a lot on lot will do. I hate wasting money more than my lack of motivation if you like. A £900 rower, a £600 weights set up etc will break down my barriers.

As to the op I can only say to find a place to permanently set up a bike on a turbo. Set things up so it's easy to simply get your gym/turbo clothes on and go for it. Look up routines and training plans. Set up for progression. Monitor and record successes. Basically set up for success in your turbo and record it when it happens? For me that is the best motivation outside of the fear of wasting my money.

Forget static bike. Nowhere near as effective as other options. Even turbo is a lot better. Before getting a static bike consider a rower like concept 2. Cross training. Btw competitive rowers actually make great cyclists but not the other way around. Rowing training is similar to cycling being able high performance endurance but the skill for rowing adds more to it. Read an article by a rowing coach in iirc cycle.cc or cycle magazine online. Very interesting indeed.

Why did Wiggins fail as a rower but many world champion rowers prove their worth in the velodrome even becoming cycling world champions? Consider rowing instead of turbo perhaps??

LittleGreyCat
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby LittleGreyCat » 2 Jan 2021, 4:01pm

Paulatic wrote:
LittleGreyCat wrote:I do walk nearly every day, but not to the extent where it would dramatically improve my fitness

Are you sure?
I’ve ended up doing a lot of walking last year averaging around 5 ml a day last month. I head for a hill around three days a week. Usually around 500’ ascent and walk it briskly without stopping. Heart rate rises and leg muscles can burn feeling like a workout.
When I used to try the turbo I could never motivate myself to work hard enough to even break out into a sweat.


Yes, I am sure.

I walk between 2 and 4 miles on the flat but at a relaxed pace because I am enjoying the ambience and also looking at stunning views and snooping after wildlife.

Also, flat, flat, flat.

Which is exactly why I said it wasn't to the extent that it would dramatically improve my fitness.
Given that I've been doing it for years.

In the past I have walked a 4 mile course with the target of completing it in under an hour, which did raise my fitness.
However, boring after a while.
Also, route is crammed with others and in this environment I prefer to avoid people where possible.

Knees and legs generally are knackered so I can't run any more.

LittleGreyCat
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby LittleGreyCat » 2 Jan 2021, 5:01pm

Thanks to all so far.
Just the kind of input I was after.

I am not keen on the static trainers because although I used to enjoy a short thrash in the gym, I did a 24 hour static cycle challenge the other year and I couldn't get comfortable on the thing.
Nothing like a real bike or real riding position.

I do have a "spare" bike - an old Dawes Galaxy which has been waiting forever for me to finish rebuilding the bearings and stuff on the rear wheel.
This would be an obvious candidate for a proper turbo trainer.
Although not for a "wheel on" one at the moment.

The cost of a "smart" trainer generally seems to be over £500 which is a big chunk of money.
However if it saw some use then it could be worth it.
I doubt if there is much on eBay at the moment as we seem to be in peak demand.

Tangled Metal
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby Tangled Metal » 2 Jan 2021, 7:05pm

There's a Tacx one for sub£300 for a wheel on smart turbo. I've got it back when it was something like £130. It could be a Halfords only one though which was where I got mine. In comparisons it was rated as the best, cheap turbo and the cheapest smart turbo available at the time. It has Bluetooth connection to be zwift and other apps as well as the taxc own app. The app controls the resistance but you can change the gears if needed. In its simplest mode you can use the Tacx app to manually adjust the resistance or IIRC use various b programmes they offer.

rmurphy195
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Location: South Birmingham

Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby rmurphy195 » 2 Jan 2021, 10:51pm

Bought mine afew weeks ago. Long term its for winter use - gone are the days when I felt confident about riding on roads with ise patches, or cycle paths ditto, and I got fed up of cleaning the salty bike off after every ride!

Short term - I recenty had to self-isolate prior to a catract op, and am (for at least another week!) restricted to light exercise after the op - deffo no cycling! So at present about 10 - 15 mins / day gentle "pedalling", sat bolt upright on the bike/trainer in the garage, radio on and reading a book. Initially it was about a half hour per day,pedalling a bit harder.

Motivation - keeping a light exercise regime regardless of weather, travel restrictions or health restrictions.

Books - a couple of chapters or so of Leon McCarron "The Road Headed West", or one of Francis Priors excellent books, or a chapter or two of a novel, currently Ken Follet's "the Evening and the Morning". Anything absorbing really.
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and thinning white (formerly grey) hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

belgiangoth
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby belgiangoth » 2 Jan 2021, 11:03pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:If I was motivated to exercise every day there are things like Yoga and weights, or just sit ups and press ups.
However I don't do these which suggests lack of motivation.
...
Asking those with a turbo trainer for a general view.
How often do you use it?
For how long?
Why?


TBF part of the draw of cycling (to me) is not whether I (lack) the motivation, but a question of time and opportunity. If I commute to work I cycle, if I don't then the bike sits in the hall unless I wake up early to take my son out for a ride.

The turbo has none of the value of cycling. It is a good workstand for a recumbent though and is useful for developing laidback legs to the point that you can actually cycle them.

Turbo mindset is very much like gym mindset - and like any indoor gym it needs space and time.
If I had a baby elephant, it would point out that there is no evidence for planing. Then it would eat all my bananas.

rfryer
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby rfryer » 3 Jan 2021, 8:30am

belgiangoth wrote:Turbo mindset is very much like gym mindset - and like any indoor gym it needs space and time.

I'd say this is true for non-smart turbo trainers. However, I don't think it is always the case for modern smart trainers. I say this as a regular Zwift user, who in the past has failed to keep up training programs on a dumb trainer, and has let several gym memberships lapse.