Trainer or Spinning Bike?

It’s the indoor season!

I don’t want you to miss out on all of that good focused training we can do inside while it dark and nasty outside.

As far as trainer (with your own bike) vs. indoor “spinning” bike, I still always choose putting my own bike on a trainer.

Robin Cycle Moles 2012-sm

My own bike on a trainer while I instruct Cycle Moles


  1. You earn every pedal stroke and your feet/legs are not being carried at all by momentum.
  2. They are cheaper than a good indoor bike
  3. You are on your own bike which should fit you well (no need to worry about adjustments)
  4. Some trainers now come with a “watts” calculator (but I’ve not tested any yet to see how easy that is to set up).  My favorite of all trainers is the Kurt Kinetic Fluid trainer – there are watts options for it.  I like the trainer because of the feel and rock solid warranty.  You pay a little more upfront, but it is worth it because they are so well made and come with a lifetime guarantee.

If you are set on buying an indoor bike, simple is better.

I do not recommend the bikes that rock or in any way move – mostly because that movement is artificial (you are not actually moving to gravitational pull like you are going around a corner).

The three indoor cycling bikes I love for their great features and durability are:

  • Keiser M3i with watts and ANT (there are some programs you can sync with – I haven’t yet figured out how to use “Ride Buddy” bweb-Robin-on-Keiser-croppedut I’ll let you know more when I do.).  The magnetic resistance is super smooth and I like the gear “shifter” that shows a number from 1 – 24 to indicate your “gear.”  This is easier than a random turn on a knob.  That’s the Keiser bike in the picture on the right – I love it!

  • CycleOps Pro 300 – is the original bike with a torque meter to measure real watts (same technology as the Power Tap for outdoor bikes).  It is chain driven to give more of an outdoor bike feel.
  • LeMond Revmaster (does not have watts) – I love the RevMaster because it has a universal adjustment so that you get just the right fit.  I do not recommend the “Tour de France” model with the programs…I’ve heard of nothin’ but trouble there and you have that weird movement of the bike.

If you are going to lay down the big bucks for an indoor bike,  I definitely recommend buying a commercial grade, super durable indoor bike.

I don’t like the “pre-programmed” bikes because you are not in control of the tension.  You need to be able to adjust it for your knees and needs!

Just follow a program like Power to Pedal and you’ll be on the way to better fitness!

Oh – and for Cycle Moles Power to Pedal you need an ipad or computer screen to watch them.  You can download or stream them.

When you buy the Power to Pedal package, you also get the bonus “Complete Guide to Indoor Cycling” which has 12 printed workouts for you.

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions!

~Coach Robin


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