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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Curious if anyone has had success training with a spin/stationary bike vs a trainer setup. I ask as I rip through components like crazy every winter due to just sitting and sweating on the bike on the trainer. A spin bike that is seemingly unbreakable sounds really tempting (especiallly if you can throw pedals with a power meter on them).. Any models people would recommend?
 

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Up In Smoke
Dirt Roadë
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I constantly wipe drips of sweat off my top tube and have a towel stretched across my bars for that reason. A good fan helps a lot as well. I don't know anyone who has used a spin bike but its another option and I don't see why it wouldn't work. I do know quite a few people who use an old road bike or pick up something cheap to keep on the trainer at all times. I guess peloton is the popular one.
 

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Dirty Old Man
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I picked this up on Craigslist for $500, added some Garmin Vector pedals and use it with Zwift. I don't worry about sweating all over it or wearing it out.
It does have obvious downsides however. It can't handle the kind of sprint power that a proper direct drive trainer can. It's hard to get over 600 watts with this machine, as that's about it's limit for resistance. It times out after an hour. This can be frustrating when you're in Zwift and pushing to maintain a pace only to have the bike drop into "cool down" mode. Otherwise it's not too big an ordeal to stop and reset it. Also, the seat is not as comfortable as a regular saddle either. Adjusting the resistance manually may be easier than with a standard trainer is it's just a button on the head unit, and the ergos are actually not bad for stationary spinning.
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I'm in the opposite position as you, as I've been considering picking up a cheap, used road bike and a smart trainer to replace my LifeCycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
After some research a used Keiser M3 would be ideal.. Swap the pedals out for my favero assiomas on my road bike once the snow starts and a saddle that's a bit more comfortable and I think that will do the trick pretty well..
 

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Curious if anyone has had success training with a spin/stationary bike vs a trainer setup. I ask as I rip through components like crazy every winter due to just sitting and sweating on the bike on the trainer. A spin bike that is seemingly unbreakable sounds really tempting (especiallly if you can throw pedals with a power meter on them).. Any models people would recommend?
No one serious about fitness gains uses a spin bike. I use my trainer 70% of the time during the summer and 95% of the time during the winter year round for the past 2 years logging 7-9 hours a week. I use the same bike inside and out (Spark RC 900) and have changed nothing but the chain due to wear, so I'm not sure what you're doing to your bike.

Get an industrial size fan or two for the trainer. It will not only improve your workouts but lesson the sweat factor. Use a towel during your workouts to wipe off your sweat and minimize dripping. After each workout wipe off the sweat on your bike. Once every week or two wipe the bike down with soap and water to include the chain and then lube afterwards.

Buying a cheap bike to live on the trainer is also an avenue that many use.
 

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There are stationary bikes that function just like a bike on a smart trainer: crank, pedals, saddle, handlebar, means of controlling resistance and measuring power. e.g. Tacx Neo, Wattbike Atom... Those are every bit as legit as a bike on a smart trainer. They are a lot more expensive than a trainer...but they include the bike part. It'd be nice to have one of these permanently set up. Of course with a trainer, you can put a old/cheap bike and leave it permanently set up too.

Basic traditional gym type spin bikes can work too. You control the resistance with the knob and use RPE and HR for your workout, just like in the olden days. In the real olden days there wasn't even HR, but people still got fast.

Personally, I'm using my backup road bike on a direct drive Cyclops Hammer smart trainer, the current version of which is the Saris H3.
 

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No one serious about fitness gains uses a spin bike. I use my trainer 70% of the time during the summer and 95% of the time during the winter year round for the past 2 years logging 7-9 hours a week. I use the same bike inside and out (Spark RC 900) and have changed nothing but the chain due to wear, so I'm not sure what you're doing to your bike.

Get an industrial size fan or two for the trainer. It will not only improve your workouts but lesson the sweat factor. Use a towel during your workouts to wipe off your sweat and minimize dripping. After each workout wipe off the sweat on your bike. Once every week or two wipe the bike down with soap and water to include the chain and then lube afterwards.

Buying a cheap bike to live on the trainer is also an avenue that many use.
Apart from my problem with trainers basically ruining the fun of riding a bike (outside) I find the energy consumption is obscene in the current age.

As you said, anyone training in a trainer in a serious manner, needs an industrial fan or a very powerful one, then you have the consumption of the trainer, tv, climate, computer, etc... Just the thought of me outputting 250W and wasting more than 1000W is soul breaking to me. Very similar to how oneself waste gas to get to the trail or gym to exercise, when a lot of the time you can ride or walk to it.
 

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A $20 box fan works more than adequately for me. Measures 0.65 A on high, 0.5 medium, 0.4 low, so not that horrendous. I virtually never run it on high so say 60W.

Surface Pro computer can't be much as it runs for hours on its internal battery.

I haven't measured the trainer but it's gotta be less than the 60W rating of its power supply.

So, the total isn't much...maybe 120-150W. Not too bad, but yes, it's a negative environmental impact, but probably not as much as the impact of the calories I burn.

Mtbing I'll drive 1hr, ride 2 hr, then drive back 1 hr. That's a bigger environmental impact I suspect.

Road riding I virtually always leave directly from home.
 

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I am Walt
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I find this to be an interesting post. Since getting into structured training 9 months ago, maintaining a training routine/program that can be (generally) conveniently executed has become important to me. I live in the Phoenix, AZ, area, so while I can ride outdoors year-round, the heat of summer requires concessions and careful planning. Additionally, I do not (will not) road ride, so executing specific workouts on my mountain bikes is a bit more challenging.

All that said, I have managed to do so, even through the heat of a Phoenix summer. But I need to have some minor surgery this week (related to a mountain bike crash), and will be off the bike for 4-5 weeks. To minimize the impact on my fitness/training, I wanted to set up an indoor training option to use after the stitches come out, and before I can ride outside. I thought about just using a spin bike at my local gym, which I have used for 1-hour-ish Z1 spins, but wanted a more convenient and less boring option, and one where I can actually use my own bike (Pivot LES), with it's familiar cockpit setup. I settled on a Wahoo Kickr, along with Zwift and/or Trainer Road. Never having used any of these (but having seen workouts posted by friends on Strava, etc), and never having ridden with a power meter (all my training has been HR based), I had no idea what to expect, or if I'd even like it.

All I can say is, WOW!! What a great way to not only pleasantly pass "trainer time", but to precisely execute specific and focused workouts. I am uncertain as to whether I'll land on Zwift or Trainer Road, as I like the workouts and data in TR, but like the engaging graphics and interface of Zwift, but both are great options. I had my wife try it with Zwift, on her bike, and she loved it, so we bought a 65" flat screen and set up a little "cycling studio" in a spare room. Even after I am recovered and back to riding outdoors, I plan on making this an integral part of my training, due to how precisely I can dial in specific workouts with power and the programs.

Here are a couple pics of the initial setup, with my wife's LES set up. Pardon the clutter, which we'll be adjusting. I've also got a cheap laptop table coming today from Amazon, to put whatever on next to the bike. We have a couple fans, but will add a cheap, powerful box fan or something.



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... That's a bigger environmental impact I suspect.
this one is talking (I'm fairly sure) from an efficiency standpoint. Your standard meatbag is ~20% efficient on a bike so to put out 250w on the trainer you'll also be throwing out another 1kw to warm up the room. My trainer room (also my "office") is ridiculously warmer than the rest of the basement after a good trainer session - even w/ the window open - door closed to keep the not really a morning person wife sleeping.
 

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Up In Smoke
Dirt Roadë
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I haven't seen the price tag on it yet but Wahoo just released the KICKR bike. Basically everything you need.

edit: apparently the KICKR bike retails for $3500
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
"No one serious about fitness gains uses a spin bike." … That's a little ridiculous... Most spin bikes can be set up with the same geo as whatever road/mtb you have and if you plan to sit on them all winter long you won't be ripping through chains/casettes every month as a result... If you have the geo dialed in along with the pedals and can confirm/hit the numbers you need why fuss about what it looks like?

Cheap bike + trainer is hardly a cheap solution
 

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Apart from my problem with trainers basically ruining the fun of riding a bike (outside) I find the energy consumption is obscene in the current age.

As you said, anyone training in a trainer in a serious manner, needs an industrial fan or a very powerful one, then you have the consumption of the trainer, tv, climate, computer, etc... Just the thought of me outputting 250W and wasting more than 1000W is soul breaking to me. Very similar to how oneself waste gas to get to the trail or gym to exercise, when a lot of the time you can ride or walk to it.
Never thought of this. I've also become more environmentally minded and try to use my cycling energy for positive use, mainly bike commuting. (I do 1-3 days a week all year round, depending on work schedule)

To the OP, I've taken more the winter cross training route for a few years now and really don't see much of a difference in performance.........as long as I keep my legs spinning 1 or 2 days a week (bike commute, rollers) and keep maintaining/building fitness via other activities (weightlifting, skiing, snowshoeing, yoga, etc.). With this method don't see the point of a spin bike.
 
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