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Turbo trainer or not
19

iloverock · 17/02/2021 21:06

I can't decide whether to get one or not.
Have you got one? How often do you use it?
Do you prefer it to biking on road?

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Covidcorvid · 17/02/2021 21:10

I have a dumb turbo. I hate it. Bored, bored, bored. Even with zwift. Fucking hard work even with the clicker down low. I’m thinking about trying it with Les Mills trip at the weekend.

Let’s just say I’ve carried on cycling nearly every day outside, even when it’s been -4 and snowing. I’ve sold my dedicated turbo bike as dh moaned about it being a permanent fixture in the dining room and I have no shed space. So now to use it I’d have to bring a road bike in from a shed and it’s all a load of hassle.

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iloverock · 17/02/2021 21:17

Thanks. I have a treadmill that I barely use so I'm worried it will just be another thing that doesn't get used.
I'm not that confident on the road so thought maybe it would be good alternative

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Toomuchleopard · 17/02/2021 21:28

I only use mine for bad weather and when I can’t get out in daylight. I tend to do about half an hour in the morning before work (so dark outside). I find it pretty hard work and really boring ( I use Zwift) so can’t bring myself to do more than about 30 mins. There’s so way I would choose to do it over riding outside if it was an option. I know loads of people however who do use them a lot more and do long distances etc.

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TheLongRider · 17/02/2021 22:29

I use TrainerRoad with a dumb Turbo. It's too damn easy to cheat on Zwift. I hate turbo training and I'm usually out doing at least one 200km ride per month.

We're on lockdown for exercise over here (ROI) and the weather is shite so I'm using the turbo training plan to keep me motivated. I've done a ramp test and I'm working from a fairly low FTP. The last time I used the turbo was three years ago as structured Training over a winter and Spring before ultra-distance riding.

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noodlmcdoodl · 18/02/2021 10:08

I’ve got a smart trainer - tacx neo t and absolutely LOVE it. I’ve clocked up over 1,000 miles on it since I bought it (early Jan). I use it with Zwift. I am a very dedicated cyclist though. I’m using it to do my base training (so long steady rides from 2 - 4 hours in length) in anticipation I’m going to be able to race at some point this year. I bought it because of the weather (icy roads).

I use it 5 or 6 times a week. When it’s been safe to road ride (not icy!) I’ve used my smart trainer instead!! It’s largely because I get a higher quality ride as I’m not having to slow for roundabouts/ junctions etc.

I also own a dumb trainer and set of rollers. I’ve used both extensively in the past. BUT. Only for specific training sessions set by my coach at the time and all as part of my fitness programme for racing. I thoroughly enjoyed them. I would struggle with boredom to just sit and aimlessly turn the peddles. I found the dumb trainer particularly dull as it is fixed solid so no movement. Obviously it’s great for doing efforts! I much preferred the rollers as they give a more real road like feel as you have to stay upright. However with both (despite very well fitted bikes, wearing quality shorts and using anti-chafe cream) after about an hour I suffer from sore skin, flap mash (😂) and pressure build up. I don’t get that on the road time trialling (so I’m in a fixed position turning the peddles). Best of all this isn’t a problem on my smart trainer. I would think this is because it ‘sways’ as I ride, hence happily knocking out 4 hour endurance rides with no issue.

I used the rollers a lot when I was home alone during DS’s nap time, it was a good way of getting some decent exercise in.

I’ve become utterly addicted to Zwift. It’s a brilliant platform for any level of cyclist. It has progressive training plans available for any level of cyclist from beginner to serious racer. You can just ‘free ride’ exploring the various routes. You can join a group ride or race. I’ve not joined a group ride or raced yet. What I love is collecting points and badges. The more you ride the more points you earn which allow you to progress up through different levels. Badges are aren’t by completing the routes (which vary in difficulty) or achieving particular things eg logging a ride of 100km or more. The points you earn can be spent on upgrading the bike and kit your avatar uses. Anyway. I find it all highly addictive and it’s really motivated me to complete a block of training I’d usually do outdoors which would be soul destroyingly boring indoors.

I’ve used Zwift on rollers and a dumb trainer (with a power meter, HRM, cadence and speed sensor) and it was boring! The speed of your avatar is adjusted accordingly as the gradient increases/ decreases but you are still peddling at the same resistance. Where Zwift really comes into it’s own is with a smart trainer as it works with the trainer, adjusting the resistance. So you hit a climb and the resistance increases. Hit a descent and the resistance decreases. It makes it so much more fun and immersive.

It really depends what you want to use a turbo for and what your budget is. I knew splashing out on the Tacx Neo and a Zwift subscription would be money well spent for me, as I knew I’d use it. Likewise when I bought my rollers years ago and prior to that dumb trainer, again, I knew I’d use them.

I much prefer cycling on the road of course! However for now my smart trainer is ‘better’ as it suits the type of training more than road riding I’m doing and it doesn’t matter how icy or windy it is. It’s very hilly here, the one flattish road is a busy A road, historically I’d have always used it for zone 2 though.

I hope this helps! Happy peddling.

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PlugUgly1980 · 18/02/2021 10:10

I use Zwift on a smart turbo and absolutely love it! I usually do an hour 3 or 4 times a week and longer on a weekend. I use the pre planned training sessions as I find they motivate me to try harder than just riding if that makes sense. I enjoy cycling outdoors but am not confident on my road bike, much prefer mountain bike, so for me my road bike and turbo stay set up indoors and therefore always ready to go and I use it early morning or on an evening once kids are in bed.

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noodlmcdoodl · 18/02/2021 10:22

I should add, I’m able to keep it setup in one room. I am able to turn the radiator off in that room, open the window wide and I have a fan on. I’d be much less inclined to use it in a warm room, or if I had to set it up each time (it actually takes minutes, but it’s one of those barriers which I could use to talk myself out of a session).

It might be worth exploring why you aren’t as confident on the road and working on tackling that. An indoor trainer is a good tool to have as a cyclist but no replacement. Think of all those gorgeous sunny summer days... you don’t want to miss out on those with a lack of confidence. Come over to ‘in the club’ then ‘cycling’ there’s a great thread on there where someone as said she wants to start road riding. There are all sorts of handy hints and tips of what she could do to ease in. We all started somewhere, I certainly had that wobbly lack of confidence phase, but easily overcame it. You would have no idea watching me ride or road race now!!

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iloverock · 18/02/2021 18:47

@noodlmcdoodl I'm trying to find the club but not having any luck. Have you a link

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iloverock · 18/02/2021 18:48

Thank you everyone for your comments.
I haven't really ridden a bike since I was a child and I didn't do much of it then.
I then decided it would be a good idea to enter a triathlon so bought a bike.
But I'm not confident and I don't really like the roads.

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noodlmcdoodl · 19/02/2021 16:45

@iloverock www.mumsnet.com/Talk/cycling

look at ‘road bike newbie’ it’s a brilliant thread. There are so many good ideas in there.

What don’t you like about the roads? Hills? Traffic? Cycling alone? I bet you could work round whatever the issue is that makes you not like road riding. Eg:

HILLS
Find a flatter route... or just learn to live them. They’ll hurt like hell initially but you’ll be amazed how fast they get easier.

TRAFFIC:
Pick quieter, smaller roads. There’s no harm or shame in driving (or catching a train) out to somewhere you can ride on quieter roads.
Learn to ride safely and confidently in traffic. Check out Bikeability. Lots of local councils Road Safety departments run confidence/ skills sessions. Buddy up with a friend who is a confident cyclist, go out with them and get them to talk through how they deal with junctions, road positioning, road furniture etc.

CYCLING ALONE
Have a look on the British Cycling website and look up Breeze rides. These are women’s only rides, led by women aimed at cyclists like you up to much more serious. There’ll be something there to cater for you. Certain brands like Specialized have ambassador schemes. Their brand ambassadors will lead rides aimed at women like you.

Sorry I appreciate I’ve hugely digressed as you just wanted a bit of turbo advice!! I just felt sad you’d be missing out on riding on those gorgeous sunny days, wind in your hair, sun on your face, loving life! There’s nothing more wonderful (clearly I’m biased, but hey 😉).

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LolaSmiles · 19/02/2021 16:48

I have Zwift on a smart turbo. It's set up permanently and is used by me and DH. He uses it more than me for training and I use it more to keep some exercise up.

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Eckhart · 19/02/2021 16:50

@iloverock

Thanks. I have a treadmill that I barely use so I'm worried it will just be another thing that doesn't get used.
I'm not that confident on the road so thought maybe it would be good alternative

What are the reasons behind you not using your treadmill? If they can be applied to other equipment (lazy/bored/too busy etc), they will be. But if you don't use it for a specific reason (say, the impact of running is bad for your back) then a bike may be better.
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PlugUgly1980 · 19/02/2021 20:46

I should add that I also have a treadmill and I use that (or run outdoors) 5-6 times a week in addition to the turbo, so for me motivation to exercise isn't an issue. I enjoy Zwift as a means of cross training and something to do indoors when the kids are in bed, hence why I use it set up all year round as I can use it at times when I otherwise wouldn't be able to leave the house.

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iloverock · 19/02/2021 20:47

@noodlmcdoodl so many questions Smile

I live quite rurally. Lots and lots of hills. I'm not sure what it is I don't like. I think a combination of traffic, it feels like a faff getting bike out, I prefer to run, but all of this is probably confidence.

I worry something will go wrong with bike, I'm worried I'm going to fall off, I'm worried I will have to get off and walk, I don't know how to change gear properly. I feel like a real amateur.
I have a friend I go out with and she's as bad as me Smile

My oh will also go out with me but I prefer going out with my mates.

Running seems so much easier, if I'm struggling I can just slow to a walk. It's not so easy on a bike.

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iloverock · 19/02/2021 20:49

@Eckhart I don't use my treadmill because I tend to go out with running club or friends. It's easier to run even when raining or it's dark etc.

I only ever used treadmill after I broke my ankle and it was far gentler

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noodlmcdoodl · 20/02/2021 11:13

@iloverockyeah sorry 🙈

If getting the bike out feels a faff - unless you have a dedicated corner/ room/ garage where you can keep the turbo setup all the time... turbo probably won’t work as it’ll also seem a faff to setup. When I do go out, I get everything ready the night before. So I lay my kit out (in order of putting on), pockets filled with snacks and pump. I bring my bike in, do tyre pressure, lube chain, tool bag attached, filled bottles on. Lights and computer charged and attached. Shoes and overshoes by bike. Breakfast pre-made. I can go from getting out of bed to starting my outdoor ride in 20 mins.

The other stuff all sounds easily fixable. When I first started - could I fix a puncture/ remove my wheel?! NO! I went through all the basic issues you can fix on the road and spent time focussing on resolving them indoors until I felt confident. It’s got me out of some sticky situations, I can tell you 😂 Where I live is also rural, many places I ride have no phone reception. So it’s particularly important I can change a tube, resolve a basic mechanical. Also if you keep your bike well maintained, the chances of a mechanical are slim anyway. I’d never leave the house without a multi tool, spare tube, tyre levers, spoke key, patches and pump. Look on GCN Chanel on YouTube. There’s loads of beginners guide films for all the basics. If you plan to turbo you’d kinda need to know anyway! You can still get a mechanical or flat indoors!! Likewise you’d need a well maintained bike.

Some clubs and organisations will run women’s only bike maintenance courses. My local council does. So does my club.

In terms of falling off, I guess we’ve all had that fear. I was quite scared initially, I couldn’t use the breaks properly (only used the back one!!!!)... I did a MTB skills course, it all transferred to road confidence. Yeah I’ve fallen off. It happens. But I put myself more at risk because I race. I just have an attitude of yeah, it’ll happen, it’s rare, there’s no point stressing about it. The tiny risk far outweighs the sheer joy I get. I’ve come off (when out alone) on one occasion broke a rib and another broke my shoulder. On both occasions after bending my rear mech back and bashing the hoods back in place, I carried on my way. On both occasions it bloody hurt the next day, adrenaline is a marvellous pain killer!! I’ve had numerous other crashes where I’ve just sustained minor bruising and road rash. I suppose I’m trying to say falling off really isn’t disastrous. More often then not you can carry on your way.

You’ll find lots of tutorials about smooth/ appropriate gear changing online. GCN again has one. Unless you’ve ridden since being a small child it’s not something you’d necessarily know how to do. It’s something we’ve all learnt. Although looking at some of the men I see out, some regular cyclists still haven’t learnt how!!

So what if a hills is so steep you can’t ride it?! Again we’ve probably all been there. It’ll be a tiny proportion of a ride though. You’ll get stronger quicker and it’ll cease to be a problem. Having said that if you have more suitable gearing it can eliminate it. I have a crazy cassette on my winter bike as I use it for commuting (lugging heavy laptop and paperwork over 16-20% gradients) and tow my 4 y/o DS. It looks stupid but I don’t care, as I can get up anything with the load.

It really does sound like a breeze ride would be ideal. The leader can help you with gear changing etc. I actually trained to be one. I did it (and everyone else did it) because we’re utterly passionate about getting women into regular cycling. That’s why the programme exists. It’s not about developing racers or endurance athletes, literally just helping others develop a love of cycling by helping overcome the barriers. Take a look: www.letsride.co.uk/breeze

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iloverock · 21/02/2021 10:53

Thank you for your advice and positivity.
I've thought about my issues around biking and I think a lot of it is lacking confidence and not knowing how to look after bike, fix it etc.
So been watching YouTube videos and going to find a maintenance course when they are back up and running.

I've bitten the bullet and bought a turbo trainer. Just waiting for the sensor to come so I will update.
I've also been out for a ride this morning but it was really hard, the gears don't seem to want to change properly. They are not very receptive. Now I don't know if this is because I'm crap or there is something wrong with bike.
Plan is to take it for service somewhere and start with that.
I'm a member of the local tri club but they are all amazing. I'm very slow (at everything) and don't want to go out with them because I'm so inexperienced. Which is a vicious circle. I won't improve unless I push myself but I don't want to go out with them because I'm not good enough.

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noodlmcdoodl · 25/02/2021 10:15

Ooo fab great news. Well the fitness improvements will be covered with the right kind of plan there, so you’ll be flying in no time. Turbo is definitely one of the most time efficient ways to make the most of every available second of training time.

If you can, get yourself booked onto some suitable Breeze rides which will be ‘allowed’ as soon as the outdoor rule of 6 comes back in. You could also look up who your local ride leaders are and contact one to see if they’d go out on their own with you (currently allowed) which I’m sure they would, it’s why they became involved with the scheme!! I’d jump at the chance to help someone out if they contacted me. I’ve actually been out with a few complete novice friends and work colleagues one-to-one over the years. If it’s any consolation, it took me a lot of riding with DP, then experienced friends before I was brave enough to ride with my cycling club. I was amazed I wasn’t the slowest, they were all friendly and always wait at the top of the climbs. You genuinely won’t be as ‘bad’ as you think you are!! Anyway ... Breeze riding will easily resolve the skill/ bike handling/ road position stuff... then you’ll be ready to test the water and go out with the club.

It’ll be the bike that needs a service - you aren’t crap 😃 Sounds like you might need new cables if you’re struggling to change - easily sorted by a mechanic. Find out where your tri-club mates take their bikes locally.

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iloverock · 25/02/2021 18:56

Thank you. I did my first ride on rouvy which I found really tough.
Going out on mountain bike on Saturday with the oh so looking forward to that.
I will definitely check out breeze rides. I've had look at website and it looks good.
Got bike serviced and he said nothing wrong with it but it's stiff and I need to be quite forceful. My ds has put loads of oil on it so hopefully it will be slightly better.

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