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Excercise bike vs turbo trainer for novice?

themightywthemightyw Posts: 409
Hi folks

As a novice cyclist, who simply needs to get some winter miles under his belt before a london to paris next summer, is there much discernable benefit in using a turbo trainer over a decent exercise bike? I have a gym about 2 miles away, with decent resistance / exercise bikes but at a push I could splash out and get a turbo trainer - though I'm not convinced that the benefit is worth the cash at my basic level. Any thoughts on whether I just stick with the gym bikes for now? Is there any training that I'm not getting by using this route? Thanks



  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,513
    gym bikes are usually upright monstrosities with flat pedals and a seat designed to be comfortable to some of the fattest ar5es they might encounter.

    They might be ok if there is no other alternative, but if you are serious about spending time on a static trainer, then get a turbo or some rollers....
  • Decent exercise/spinning kind of bike will get you through the worst of winter. Turbo training for a novice with a summer goal will most probably just get boring and frustrating. If youre just starting up use the gym in a structured progressive way - do a bit more/bit harder each week, or add rowing machine, step machine etc. Get your heart fit first and get your head around trainiing regularly then it'll be spring and you can cycle outdoors!
  • Bill DBill D Posts: 62
    Everyone seems to have their own preference for this one: mine would be to use the gym bikes for my first winter, then get a turbo trainer for next winter if I felt like having one. At least going to the gym you'll meet other like minded people and you can call in for a pint on the way home if you're thirsty. :wink:
  • Thanks folks! I think I'm going to use the gym for now, then see if there are any cheap turbo bargains to be had in the new year (either people flogging unwanted presents early in teh new year or shops discounting for sales).

  • SlimbodsSlimbods Posts: 321
    They've three kinds of excersise bikes in my gym, recumbants which I don't touch, big comfy jobbies which I use to warm up/down and spin type bikes which seem better to replicate a road bike position but don't have all the fancy resistance, heartbeat monitors and level settings.
  • ProssPross Posts: 38,791
    I hate both but would say the turbo is the better option as you are riding in the position you will be on the road. I can never find a decent position on a gym bike. Also the height adjustments are generally in set increments so you can't even get your saddle set right.
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Worst thing about gym bike is the horrible pedals with the silly straps. A close second is the saddle (some of them look more like saddles meant for horses).

    Turbo for me as well, but you need to be pretty well motivated if you are to use them regularly.
    More problems but still living....
  • I did a London to Paris last year, and as I live in central London, much of my mid week training was done at the local David Lloyd club using the LifeFitness bikes or spinning classes. Not ideal but it worked for me and I survived the ride.
    It\'s not about where you are going, it's about what you leave behind.
  • If you can find a gym that's got Wattbikes and they let you attach your own pedals then that's perfect...brilliant bits of kit from what I've seen!
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Gorillaman wrote:
    If you can find a gym that's got Wattbikes and they let you attach your own pedals then that's perfect...brilliant bits of kit from what I've seen!

    Gyms with Watt bikes? :shock:
    More problems but still living....
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