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Cycle trainers

Discussion in 'Sports Arena' started by NotAGolf, 14 Mar 2010.

  1. NotAGolf

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Oct 2005

    Posts: 2,474

    Location: Moving...

    Hi all. Anyone use cycle trainers at home? Think that's the right term for them, here's what I mean if that's not the right term:


    Was thinking about buying one as I don't enjoy doing cardio at the gym, and quite often I don't have time to go for a ride as I have to drive somewhere to go for a ride as the road (yes there's just one!) is horrible and there are very few paths.

    I want to do some more cardio work and I enjoy cycling on the weekend so I thought this well help improve my leg power and fitness, and be fairly easy as I can just stick it in my room.

    Couple of questions about them:

    - Do they work for mountain bikes or are they only for road bikes? I'm looking to get a road bike but currently only have a mountain bike.
    - How easy are they to attach/detach from the frame as it wont be on there permanently and I will have to take it off fairly regularly.
    - Are the cheap (~£100, like the one linked above) trainers any good? I.e are they stupidly loud/don't provide enough resistance/only one level of resistance etc. Can't really afford anything more than the bottom range ones.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. SDK^


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,148

    I was going to get a Turbo Trainer last year but in the end decided against it.
    Some guys at work use them and say it gets incredibly boring spinning on them at home. You'll need space to use it, a fan to keep you cool and live with people who don't mind the pedal/hub/TT noise you'll generate.

    My advice would be to get out on real roads and trails, especially as the clocks go forward soon and the weather is getting warmer.
  3. Wryel

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Mar 2005

    Posts: 1,663

    I've never used one but I've heard that unless you use them with slick/semi-slick tyres they make a lot of noise. I seem to remember that cheaper ones without a weight on the back stop instantly instead of gradually as if you were on the road.
  4. YorkshirePadd26

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 28 Feb 2007

    Posts: 1,522

    Location: York

    I've just bought the Cycle Ops Fluid 2 trainer, and yeah if using an MTB you need a slick tyre as its too loud and vibrates even with a semi slick mtb tyre such as a Panaracer Mach ss.

    I did 1 hour on it yesterday and maintained about 180 heart rate on average for the hour, I've not calibrated my computer for the wheel size but It said I did about 11.8 miles and averaged about 13.8mph which seams too slow to me but as I said its not calibrated and its cheap ass chinese cycle computer with heart rate monitor build in so its probably way out.

    Its a lot harder to cycle on this one than I'd have thought but it will be good in the long run. Wireless headphone hooked up to the telly or radio seams to keep me going so far.

    I work nights so I only tend to get a few hours to myself through out the day on my work days and I believe it will get a lot more use than a gym sub. I also plan to use it when on early so about 05.00 in the morning depending on how quiet it is with a slick.

    My plan is to use it for 1-1.5 hours per session and 5 days a week or more if i can fit it in, I'm mainly wanting to improve my stamina/endurance and climbing and weight loss would also come as an added benefit.

    I'll do a full wright up with photos at some point today, after i've slept.

    Got mine for £169 wich is pretty good as there susposed to retail @ £230ish
  5. Shoei

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Dec 2003

    Posts: 2,452

    Location: Heysham, Lancs

    I used one but only when i couldnt get out on the road to cycle. Had a training plan that had road and turbo sessions.
    About an hour was all i could stand to do on the turbo and that was with the aid of an ipod and lots of high bpm dance music to keep me going.
    Done right, turbo sessions can work brilliantly, done wrong, you'll end up getting bored and wanting to lob the thing in the bin.

    10-15mins warm up, then intervals then 10-15mins cool down.

    My worst session for pain was 10min warm up, 5 mins at high rpm(115 or there abouts) in a low gear, followed by 5 mins at low rpm(75-80) in a high gear. 4 each of those and then a 10 min cool down. The last low rpm session my thighs would be screaming.

    You really need to get the HRM sorted, i used to try and keep round Zone 4 or 145-157bpm for me.

    May as well post these up, you'll need to find what the Zones equate to for your self.

    Session 1 - Aerobic base builder 1 (Turbo)
    This session will work on making your slow twitch muscle fibres more efficient, making sure you get more blood to the working muscles and therefore making it easier for you to neutralise the effects of lactic acid. It is quality base work and will give you a strong foundation to work on for next year.

    After warming up for 10 minutes you should ride for 5 minutes at mid to high Z3 at 90-95rpm. At the end of this you should have a look at the speed you are riding at. Raise the speed by 1mph and hold it for 1 minute, then ease back down to the original speed and hold this for 4 more minutes before repeating the process to make a 45 minute block of work in total.

    Initial – 5 minutes mid to high Z3 then 1 minute at this speed plus 1mph and 4 minutes at the original speed repeated for 40 minutes
    Progression 1 - 5 minutes mid to high Z3 then 2 minutes at this speed plus 1mph and 3 minutes at the original speed repeated for 40 minutes
    Progression 2 - 5 minutes mid to high Z3 then 3 minutes at this speed plus 1mph and 2 minutes at the original speed for repeated for 40 minutes

    All sessions should be followed with a 5 minute cool down.

    Session 2 - Aerobic base builder 2 (Turbo)
    This is similar to Session 2 but at a lower intensity. It is not the most exciting of sessions but it is effective and essential if you want to build a strong aerobic base.

    After a short 10 minute warm up you should ride for a continuous period alternating between 5 minutes on the tops on low gears at 105rpm (or there about’s) and 5 minutes on the drops on big gears at 75-80rpm. You should initially use you HRM to keep the effort mid to high Z3 / Borg 14, for the 1st 10 minutes and you should then ignore HR and aim to hold the speed that you are riding at on your bike computer.

    Initial – 30 minutes of continuous work
    Progression 1 – 40 minutes of continuous work
    Progression 2 – 50 minutes of continuous work

    Session 3 - Functional threshold power at extremes of cadence (Turbo)
    This session will push the envelope of your cycling window and make you more efficient at your optimum cadence and raise your threshold into the bargain. It requires control at the start of the session and maximum concentration towards the end of the session because this is when your muscles are tired and the benefits of the session are really reaped.

    Warm-up well for between 10 and 15 minutes then perform 4 x 8 minute intervals with 5 minute rolling recoveries between each one. Have a piece of paper and a pen handy so you can record your average speed / power for each one.

    For the first two intervals you will need a HRM to keep your heat rate high Z3 to mid zone 4 / Borg 15. Interval 1 should be performed at a cadence higher than 110 rpm, or as high as you can manage. This will feel pretty tough despite the relatively low heart rate.

    For interval two engage a gear that gives you a cadence of around 75 RPM (or as per the previous session you can use the resistance on the turbo to achieve this). This will feel tough but almost pleasant compared to the high cadence intervals.

    You can now throw your HRM away and ride to power. For interval 3 use the same gear as interval 1 and try and generate the same average speed as interval 1. For interval 4 use the same gear as interval 2 and try and generate the same average speed as interval 2.

    As your legs tire this session gets harder and harder which is why it is important to not start too hard.

    Initial – 4 x 8 minutes with 5 minute recoveries
    Progression 1 – 4 x 9 minutes with 4 minute recoveries
    Progression 2 – 4 x 10 minutes with 3 minute recoveries

    Session 4 - Cruise intervals (Turbo)
    These intervals will gradually raise the power you can hold at your aerobic threshold. Aerobic threshold can be seen as the prop which hold up the fitness clothes line. Without it everything sags in the middle.

    After warming up thoroughly for 15 minutes perform an interval of 5 minutes at 90-95rpm, while staying ultra still in the upper body, on the drops. You should ride at high Z4 to low z5 (169-174) (Borg 16-17) but don’t start too quick – give your HR about 2 minutes to get into the zone. Always remember that HR lags effort.

    At the end of the interval you should not your average speed for the intervals and then hold this for all subsequent intervals, regardless of what your HR does. This session will get harder and harder as it progresses.

    Initial – 7 x 3 minute intervals with 3 minute rolling recoveries.
    Progression 1 – 6 x 4 minute intervals with 3 minute rolling recoveries
    Progression 2 – 5 x 6 minute intervals with 2 minute rolling recoveries
  6. YorkshirePadd26

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 28 Feb 2007

    Posts: 1,522

    Location: York

    Chears for that shoei write up looks good I'll have to give it a go.
    What sort of computer do you use ?
  7. Shoei

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Dec 2003

    Posts: 2,452

    Location: Heysham, Lancs

    I was using a Specialized Speedzone for speed and rpm since its got a rear wheel pickup for speed, ideal for when using a turbo and for HRM used to use a Polar CS200. Had 2 timers on the CS200 so great for intervals plus was easy to set Heart rate zones.

    I was "ramp tested" before i was given the above training plan. I have a road version of the above training plan if any one would like me to post it up.
    Based around riding 3-4 days a week plus sunday easy ride.