What are the benefits of indoor cycling?
There are as many different ways to ride indoors as there are different types of cyclists. The options are endless: rollers, wheel-on trainer, wheel-off trainer, smart trainer, smart bike,studio spin bike. There are pros and cons for each, and you’re likely to find evangelists for each type, but all these options have two things in common: You’re riding a bike inside, and you’re not going anywhere. Let’s take a look at reasons you might want an indoor bike and the benefits to indoor cycling.
Why buy an indoor bike?
- Wheel-on and wheel-off trainers both require using your bike, and setting it up on the trainer. This takes time and effort, and usually ends with at least a bit of grease on your hands (or worse, your couch). Using an outdoor bike for your indoor riding also adds wear and tear to your bike components, so you’ll find yourself replacing tires, cassettes and chains more often. But with a dedicated indoor bike like the StagesBike SB20 smart bike or the SC2 Plus you can hop on and ride without worrying about any of that. No need to bring your dirty bike inside to get it set up. You just pick the 3rd party app or riding platform of your choice, and get your training done. Bonus: next time you want to ride outdoors, your bike is read to go….no need to pull it off the trainer and install wheels.
Adjust between riders
Adjustability is a huge benefit on the StagesBike SB20 and all Stages Studio bikes. With micro-adjust saddle fore/aft adjustment and handlebar reach/stack with laser-etched sizing scales, adjustable brake hoods and crank arm settings ranging from 165mm to 175mm, you can tune the StagesBike to precisely replicate the fit and feel of your favorite bike and get the most out of your indoor miles for each rider in your house. If you have multiple riders in your home, you can even purchase an additional seat post for quick and easy saddle swaps.
Fit it in your schedule
Fitting a bike ride in during daylight hours during winter months can be especially tough. Add in the time demands of work and family, and time can quickly slip away. Having an indoor bike gives you the flexibility to train before the sun is up, or after the kids have gone to bed without worrying about safety, weather, or charging your lights. It’s always ready to go at a moment’s notice.
If everyday were 70 and sunny, it’s safe to say most folks would choose riding outdoors over riding indoors. However, when it is snowing, or raining, or gusting wind, riding indoors becomes the much more appealing option. Having an indoor bike means you don’t have to miss a training day in those crucial base-building winter months, you just move your workout indoors.
The emergence of 3rd party riding apps like Zwift, The Sufferfest, Rouvy, RGT, TrainerRoad, Peloton, etc have made riding indoors like playing a video game. The added social aspect of meeting a group of virtual friends and giving “Ride Ons” and earning PowerUps add an element of fun to riding indoors that never existed before.
While all trainers have come a long way in the noise department, a bike on a trainer is still considerably louder than a Stages indoor bike. If you’re riding in an apartment or while others are sleeping nearby, your neighbors will thank you for choosing the ultra-quiet options.
What are the benefits of indoor cycling?
Quality over Quantity
Indoor training can take a bit more out of you compared to riding outdoors, physically and mentally. Physiologically speaking there is little to no "down-time" on the trainer. While outdoors it's not uncommon to spend 10-15% of a ride coasting at 0 rpm, and most importantly, at 0 watts, riding indoors there really isn't any coasting. Though the StagesBike does freewheel, allowing you to coast downhill in Zwift, one hour indoors usually equals one hour pedaling. So even though you may only be riding for one hour, there is room for a lot more quality. There are no stop signs, no stop lights, no intersections, traffic or downhills. Which means more and more focus on the actual workout at hand.
Indoors you have much more control over your environment. If the workout calls for a set heart rate or set power zone, it is much easier to stick to that throughout the entire workout. There aren’t any downhill rests that lower your heart rate out of the zone, or steep hills that spike your power temporarily through the roof. You can control resistance using trainer control or the 3rd party app of your choice. Control the volume of your favorite playlists, control temperature with your favorite fan, or easily shed layers.
Improve Cycling Specific Skills and Strengths
Every indoor ride should have a specific purpose. FTP, Threshold, Strength, Cadence, Pedaling Efficiency are some of the many areas you can focus on. Workouts should have set targets for intervals (durations/intensities) and keep the intervals short and engaging. This will help time pass quicker, and will keep you engaged in the process, not to mention maximize your potential for improvement. Use the time on the indoor bike to focus on pedaling skills work. One-legged drills, over gear/low cadence drills, and fast cadence drills should be a regular part of your indoor rides. This will help make the time pass faster and gives your workout added purpose and value.
Click here for 5 workouts to help you love your trainer