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Riding on road vs Riding Turbo Trainer

jkmr1jkmr1 Posts: 6
Hi Guys,
New to the forums and looking to seek your opinions/facts re trainer efforts vs road efforts.
Had to do my longest session ever on the trainer today due to rubbish weather. It's been raining for the last week in Brisbane which is very unusual.
Normaly on a Sunday would do a 100km solo ride encompasing about 1400mtrs of climbing. Average speed is usually in the region of 28-30kmh depending on wind/how i feel ect. Average heart rate would be about 145-150 bpm.
Today rode 2hrs on the Trainer (most ever). Average speed 35kmh, average HR 155bpm. It felt far harder to do this than the 100km road ride. Obviously on the road you are varying your effort due to terain and have recovery opportunities on descents. Plus of course far greater mental stimulation! On the trainer the effort was constant. No recovery, no pauses, just continually turning the pedals at varying cadences endeavoring to keep my HR as constant as possible.
The question is... does 2hrs on the trainer equate to a longer time duration on the road? For instance, effort (based on average HR) being equall is there perhaps a generally excepted ratio of say perhaps 2:3?? (Assuming that the terain is not dead flat and there is zero wind. As i guess that would be equall to the trainer?)

Toughts, insight, facts and opinions much appreciated.


  • Alex_Simmons/RSTAlex_Simmons/RST Posts: 4,161
    Mentally, it might seem that way but physiologically, not really.

    Indeed, it is highly probable, unless you are well adapted to it and have good cooling, that your power on the trainer will be lower than riding outdoors.

    Provided of course you are talking about time actually putting effort in while on the road and not slacking off, which tends to happen a bit with slight descents etc.

    Only way to compare is with power really.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    My power on the trainer for any given perceived effort is less on the trainer than the road but I have yet to have the common sense to buy a fan!
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    edited May 2009
    Road bike.

    19 mph avg over 1 hour on a trainer - easy
    19 mph avg over 1 hour on the track - easy
    19 mph avg over 1 hour on the Road - Loop - with - 850-950 ft climbing, 15 mph winds, constant road surface changes (many poor surfaces), bumping and banging over potholes/defects etc, rythmn disturbed regularly - much harder than the above two - hypothetical example, as a "typical/common" road scenario.

    Doesn't answer the question - just another perspective.

    All imho.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    That's why power is the best measure for training.
  • nmcgannnmcgann Posts: 1,780
    NapoleonD wrote:
    My power on the trainer for any given perceived effort is less on the trainer than the road but I have yet to have the common sense to buy a fan!

    I'd find the turbo unusable without a big fan - I have a pedestal fan a couple of feet away blowing right in my face. I still sweat buckets tho', but it makes it doable. :wink:

    "Because the cycling is pain. The cycling is soul crushing pain."
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    It does get a bit messy when you're sweating like a glassblower's ar5e...
  • jkmr1jkmr1 Posts: 6
    Thanks for your thoughts. I do have a fan set up also. Plus I set the trainer up in front of the Air con so overheating is not the issue. I think the main thing that perhaps IMO makes it seem harder is the lack of variation and the unrelenting effort of continuously turning the pedals. I guess the only definitive proof would come via the use of a power meter. From what I am reading it would appear that training with power can yield significant benifits. (no doubt this is a subject that would polarise opinions) Seems like the perfect reason to aquire one. Now I just need to convince my wife just how important an answer to this question is, and just how great my NEED is! :wink: Don't fancy my chances!
    Thanks again.
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