There are a variety of different trainers to help you bike when the outdoor conditions are not desirable. The models and design vary based on the intensity level and experience you desire. Trainers typically consist of a frame, a clamp to hold the bike in place, and a roller that pushes up against the rear wheel. There are several types of trainers, a few of which are outlined below:

  • Wind Trainers - these units use a fan powered by the cyclist's leg power to provide resistance on the rear tire. When using these trainers, the amount of resistance increases with your speed, creating a realistic feeling of cycling on a road. The limitations to wind trainers are that they are noisier than other options and the amount of resistance can be limited.

  • Magnetic Trainers - these units use a magnetic flywheel to create resistance on the rear wheel. These units are nearly silent in operation. But the resistance is not progressive and has an upper limit.

  • Fluid Trainers - these trainers combine the magnetic flywheel with fluid resistance chambers. They also are nearly silent when in use. They operate similarly to magnetic trainers with added progressive resistance. These trainers are often said to have the most realistic feel, and offer the best resistance. The downside to these trainers is that they are the most expensive, and some can develop leaks after repeated use.

You can also train using bike rollers, but these require more skill. Rollers do not attach to the bike itself. You must balance and keep the bike in proper alignment to avoid tipping over. Rollers typically consist of three drums, two to support the back wheel and one to support the front wheel. Both the front and back wheels spin while using rollers, giving them a very road-like feel.

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