I've Never Cycled Before - Is Turbo Training For Me?
With autumn very much upon us, it brings with it the chill of winter and the longer hours of darkness. For most cyclists, this spells the start of turbo trainer season. But if you’re not a seasoned cyclist, what is a turbo trainer and why should you use one?
Back To Basics:
Simply put, a turbo trainer (TT) is an attachment for a bicycle that lets you ride the bike while stationary (and indoors). Although heavy, they’re relatively compact and they connect to your bike via the rear wheel, or in place of your rear wheel. Once you’re set up, you can jump on and get riding immediately.
When starting out with a TT, it’s important to know what sort of bike you have (road, hybrid, mountain) and therefore what type of trainer will suit your needs. Because of the external and internal wiring and cabling, you’d have to check with the manufacturer if it’s possible to turbo train with an electric bike.
Direct drive and wheel-on turbo trainers are the most popular types on the market. This is because they are more powerful and can be used with training software such as the virtual indoor cycling platform Zwift.
Direct drive trainers require you to remove your rear wheel so you can attach the bike onto the turbo via the swingarm. These are the most powerful, the quietest, and usually the most expensive types of TTs. If you’re not used to removing your rear wheel, it can be fiddly at first but if you’re not planning on cycling outside much in the winter, you won’t need to dismantle this set-up often.
Wheel-on turbo trainers are easier to set-up because you simply place the rear wheel in the allocated slot. When you cycle, your wheel pushes against the roller and creates resistance. Most people tend to use a training tyre for these types, so their normal wheels don’t wear out.
Here at Turbo Trainer Hire we rent out both direct drive and wheel-on trainers. Feel free to get in touch for any questions about which TT you should choose to suit you and your bike.
What’s The Difference Between A Turbo Trainer And A Peloton?
As we’ve just discussed, a turbo trainer is an attachment for your bicycle so you can ride it indoors. It’s great for fitness and for bike training when it’s too cold or dark outside, or you just don’t have enough time to go for a ride outdoors. Check out our pros and cons of turbo training here.
People who turbo train tend to be a member of the Zwift community - the digital platform where you virtually ride with other people, enter races, explore digital landscapes, interact with other riders and keep track of your training data*.
A Peloton is a smart exercise bike with a touchscreen tablet attached to it. Similar to a spin bike, you clip in your shoes (or cleats) and start riding. Via a monthly subscription, you can use the Peloton app which opens up a world of fitness classes and live leaderboards.
The Peloton bike is aimed more at the fitness class market, whereas a turbo trainer is aimed more at cyclists - an indoor tool to help cyclists train for the outdoors.
Both are relatively expensive to buy outright; a decent TT costs anything from about £400 to £2,000. A Peloton starts at £1,345 for just the bike, with a £39 monthly subscription to access the classes and full fitness content.
Why Should I Hire A Turbo Trainer?
Whether you want try a turbo before you invest your hard-earned cash, you’re visiting the UK for a short period and want to keep training, or you’ve signed up for a race next summer and think “OH MY GOSH I NEED TO GET TRAINING”, then hiring with us is the best solution!
We have a range of trainers and we can guide you through the process, from which one to hire, to how to set it up at home. We offer a flexible hiring period, from 2 weeks to 12 weeks, with options to extend and even purchase at the end of the rental period.
Check out our full range here.
*Smart trackers such as power metres and heart rate monitors are required to connect to Zwift in order to monitor training data.