The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
keyboardmonkey
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby keyboardmonkey » 3 Jan 2021, 8:45am

Boring_Username wrote:
keyboardmonkey wrote:I have a ‘dumb’ trainer - a CycleOps Fluid 2.

I’ll leave the positives until the end, but here is a list of the negative factors that, for me, make it tiresome to use...

Set up time: I have a spare wheel with a cassette and turbo tyre; swap wheel; drag out turbo (and level it), sweat towel thingy, front wheel raiser;


Or - buy a 1990s rigid MTB as a turbo bike for £50 and eliminate all that


Hmm. I know you mean well, but the idea of sourcing a secondhand bike that fits me during a pandemic that has brought about a scarcity and premium price for such bikes motivates me less than the thought of getting out the turbo. (I’ve also got seven bikes kicking about so I think I’d struggle getting another one past the wife.)

Apart from the benefit to legs and lungs of using a turbo I had looked to the turbo to help with conditioning my body for when I go on actual bike rides. Specifically, stretching out on the drops - or even hoods. Pre-Covid I might have gone for three to five weeks between bike rides, and although my legs mainly coped I found the by then unfamiliar position of being on a road bike left me with aching shoulders and upper body generally. (Maybe that’s a bike fit thing. Dunno.)

But the 20 minute turbo time means that’s not much use for conditioning as it’s over too soon. Hey ho.

I think as others have said if you’re a gym bunny you’ll be okay on a turbo - smart or dumb - but if like me (and the OP by the sound of it) you don’t get out your yoga mat and your free weights continue to gather dust then you’re unlikely to thrive when using an indoor trainer.

I suppose the allure of cycling around Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, with cafe stops in normal times, beautiful countryside & wildlife, and catching up with friends is so removed from the experience of twiddling for less than half an hour in the kitchen that it simply doesn’t compare. Apart from walking I do no other regular exercise; effectively I get my fitness as a by-product of the pleasure cycling outdoors brings. A turbo gives me no pleasure.

drossall
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby drossall » 3 Jan 2021, 9:44am

rfryer wrote:
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.

It's Zwift and the like that make the difference. You can use them with dumb trainers.

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TrevA
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby TrevA » 3 Jan 2021, 10:03am

One of the problems you will find is the continuing lack of availability of low to mid range turbo trainers - both wheel on and wheel off. A quick look at Wiggle shows no availability for wheel on trainers, and the cheaper wheel off trainers are all out of stock too.
A cart horse trapped in the body of a man.
http://www.jogler2009.blogspot.com

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Syd
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The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby Syd » 3 Jan 2021, 11:06am

TrevA wrote:One of the problems you will find is the continuing lack of availability of low to mid range turbo trainers - both wheel on and wheel off. A quick look at Wiggle shows no availability for wheel on trainers, and the cheaper wheel off trainers are all out of stock too.

I replaced my wheel on trainer with a direct drive one in early 2020.

Same unit now is at least 33% more expensive from those who claim to have it in stock. Amazon have one in stock at 85% more!

Sellers market at the moment unfortunately.
Last edited by Syd on 3 Jan 2021, 11:06am, edited 1 time in total.

Tangled Metal
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby Tangled Metal » 3 Jan 2021, 11:18am

Same with all fitness equipment. I'm looking at concept two rower, long waiting list. Argos out of most fitness stock and available items dropping daily. Three days ago 68 different items in stock somewhere, now 57 or less by today.

Brompton bikes you're lucky if you get a non electric one before the boys get them for selling on at a profit.

Now reddit fitness pages have stock threads so people can get early alerts of stock. Crazy times.

A1anP
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby A1anP » 3 Jan 2021, 2:00pm

As a turbo user myself, here's my answers...

How often do you use it?

At this time of year, masybe 3-5 times per week

For how long?

About 1 hour at a time, but very occasionally quite a bit longer. Longest was about 5.5 hours.

Why?

As a substitute for real riding. Not so much for the fitness aspect, though it does help.

Do you only do it in the winter when you can't cycle.
In summer (spring, autumn, winter) do you cycle nearly every day?

I keep my Zwift subscription live all year round, and will use it in summer if the weather is poor, as it is quite a bit.

Is the turbo trainer a last resort to enable you to keep up the usual mileage you ride during better weather and longer days?

No, I keep my real world mileage and virtual mileage separate on two separate Strava accounts. Last year, the two were almost exactly equal. Before that, I'd do much more real life than virtual miles.

Is it something you bought to get fit to go cycling in the future?

Not really, it is mostly to relieve the frustration that I feel when I haven't been able to get out for a real world cycle for a while. However, back in the days when we would go for cycling holidays, in the days leading up to the trip, I would use the turbo to make sure I felt fit enough to tackle the odd small mountain or two.

Are you just a Zwift bunny?

Well, since I use Zwift in preference to all the other turbo apps, then I suppose I am. If it wasn't for Zwift, I think I might use my turbo about as much as I did in the years before it came along - maybe 3 or 4 times a year. It was just so tedious. Luckily, Zwift gives you plenty to look at and think about as you pedal along.

Finally, does anyone look remotely like the Zwift (and other products) riders in the TV ads?
Complete with the big screen TV or tablet etc.

Well not me for sure. I use a desktop PC and my bike is facing a 28" monitor sitting on the window sill. It's a permanent setup, which is essential. I wouldn't bother if I had to set the whole thing up from scratch each time.
Going upwards at 45 degrees...

hamster
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby hamster » 4 Jan 2021, 8:05am

amaferanga wrote:Those claiming its too boring on a turbo trainer should try Zwift.


Possibly, but for me I hate any form of indoor exercise. It's the wind, the air, the changing scenery etc. that makes it worth doing.

I sold my trainer after discovering I would rather ride in the dark and the rain rather than whirr away on the thing. Instead I do a lot of night off-road miles in the winter. I do come back looking like a swamp thing.

Different strokes for different folks.

djnotts
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby djnotts » 4 Jan 2021, 8:26am

Lack of holidays because of covid has meant that last year my highest annual mileage (6526) for 10 years, despite ever worsening copd. Great majority outdoors but maybe 14 days when I have resorted to a very basic turbo.
I am able to set it up outside but sheltered. Usually because of weather but also if other commitments (usually, like today, involving hospital appointments) mean my invariable 1 hour on it easily fitted in the day.
Motivation is that I lose what little fitness I have very quickly. Walking would do, but a few miles to anywhere nice!
Having achieved 144 days consecutive cycling earlier in the year I now feel it's more difficult not to exercise than to do so!
I have heavy metal in my ear phones, ups the pace.
Count 1 hour as 10 miles!
Real miles better, but needs must.

drossall
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby drossall » 4 Jan 2021, 1:32pm

djnotts wrote:I am able to set it up outside but sheltered. Usually because of weather but also if other commitments (usually, like today, involving hospital appointments) mean my invariable 1 hour on it easily fitted in the day.

Yes agreed, it's easier to fit in an hour (or a bit less or more) on a trainer than to go out - especially if rumours of a return to a one-hour limit on exercise away from home prove true. The trouble is not letting it become an excuse never to go out!

And I also have to set up my trainer outside. It works well, even in current weather, as long as it's not raining, and is a lot cheaper than needing fans.

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Audax67
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby Audax67 » 4 Jan 2021, 2:07pm

My view of turbo trainers: all of the pain and none of the pleasure. I do have one, with my old Audax bike set up on it, but I haven't used it since our first lockdown. I did quite a bit back then, "riding" in my workshop with the window onto the garden open and some decent music on the lo-fi. Now, though, it's too cold in the workshop (~4°C) and I don't want even my old bike hobnobbing with the washing-machine & dryer in the cellar. Damp air's not good for leather saddles.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

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Mick F
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby Mick F » 4 Jan 2021, 3:38pm

HMS Argyll, my last ship, had a "cycle machine" deep down the decks in a rather boring compartment.
(For anyone interested, it was the Sonar 162 compartment. The 162 was a system for searching the sea bottom.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Argyll_(F231)

This was 1994 and I had planned a JOGLE when the ship was due in at the Clyde Submarine Base. I was due leave as well.
We were at sea for WEEKS, so the only way I could keep my cycling fitness up, was to go down and ride the infernal machine for two or three hours every evening.

These days, if I need to ride a "machine", I would ride a bike on rollers.
Real bike, real riding, and real concentration to stay on and balanced. You need to keep going, or you'll fall off! :lol:

Turbos, cycle machines, pedalling equipment .......... are all boring and mindless, so you need to watch telly or somesuch for sanity. I didn't have that luxury on HMS Argyll.

Ride your precious bike on a set of rollers, and you need to concentrate!
Mick F. Cornwall

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Syd
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby Syd » 4 Jan 2021, 3:55pm

I had a nasty break (displaced distal radius fracture) a few years ago, 11 weeks before doing a planned L2P ride. It required manipulation back into place and three Kirschner wires out in place whilst it healed.

The turbo was my only option to keep my fitness up so spent many an hour on it. 3 weeks before I was due to depart the physio cleared me to go out riding again. The very next day was a make or break ride, the Manchester - Chester- Manchester sportive, at 105 miles.

Thankfully the turbo work had helped and I finished giving me the knowledge L2P was still on.

drossall
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby drossall » 4 Jan 2021, 8:16pm

Mick F wrote:HMS Argyll, my last ship, had a "cycle machine" deep down the decks in a rather boring compartment.

Was it connected as a generator to the ship's electrical systems?

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Mick F
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby Mick F » 5 Jan 2021, 4:16pm

drossall wrote:
Mick F wrote:HMS Argyll, my last ship, had a "cycle machine" deep down the decks in a rather boring compartment.

Was it connected as a generator to the ship's electrical systems?
No, and more's the pity! :D

The machine was a "bike" insomuch it had a saddle, handle-bars, and pedals. Only had one wheel at the back though, and a stand thingy at the front. There was a big turnable knob on the handle-bars that increased or decreased the retardation of a disc brake on the rear wheel. I varied the friction up and down, so it sort of simulated hills and undulations ............... and to keep me entertained.

Boring in the extreme, but it served a purpose to keep my legs in tune with pedalling.

I keep diaries. Nothing special, just notes. Looking at the 1994 diary ..........

We sailed to USA via Bermuda 22 Feb 94 and were due away for 50days. Arrived Bermuda 4th March.
Obviously, I took Mercian with me! :D

This is me and Mercian at Bermuda Dockyard 6th March 1994 self portrait camera on timer sitting on a bollard.
Bermuda Dockyard.jpg


Left Bermuda on the 12th March 1994 for Cape Canaveral until the 15th and then to Nassau, Bahamas. No photo of me there. :wink:
Whilst in the Bahamas, we sailed to Andros Island ........ actually off the island doing weapon alignment trials at AUTEC.
Atlantic Undersea Trials and Evaluation Centre.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_ ... ion_Center

Left there back for Nassau, and home to Devonport 4th April 1994. We could have called in at Bermuda on the way back, but there's no notes in my diary if we did. Spot of leave, then back at work 25th April and sailed again on the 27th and home again Friday 14th May and at sea again Monday 16th arrived at Faslane Clyde Submarine Base Friday 27th May.

Stayed overnight with friends in Helensburgh and was taken the following morning - me, Mercian, and trailer, to Glasgow Queen Street station for the train to Inverness and thence to Wick.
The rest is history! :D
Mick F. Cornwall

ossie
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Re: The psychology behind using a turbo trainer

Postby ossie » 5 Jan 2021, 6:42pm

I use a dumb turbo (old Tacx ) simply for turning the legs over when the weathers bad. Its a permanent set up in the garage with one of the road bikes on it.

I have a small Tv screen in front of me with a google chrome dongle and do 45/ 60 minute you tube turbo sessions (there's plenty on there) whilst listening to some music. I have a HRM connected to an old phone on the handlebars.

Despite all of this and using it every winter for the last decade, I still find the thought of it soul destroying, real pit in the stomach soul destroying although after ten minutes I kind of get into it.

I thought of going down the smart turbo route and Zwift but there has been a massive shortage of smart turbos since March. I also worry about their long term reliability.