If you are seriously into biking and you want to be able to warm up before a race or warm up before going out on a fun ride then a bike trainer is likely high on your priority list. Bike trainer’s come in all shapes and sizes and it is very important to make sure that you get one that you can use and adjust both easily and efficiently so that you can get the maximum amount of practicing time in and spend the least amount of time messing around with your bike trainer. In order to help you find yourself a good bike trainer we have come up with a bike guide to help inform you about the importance of different aspects of a bike trainer as well as a top ten list of our picks for the best bike trainer’s on the market to give you examples as to what qualifies as good quality and the kinds of unique designs and features that you might find.
One of the most important aspects of any bike trainer is how easily you can transport the device. Especially if you are doing races all over the place you are going to want to have something that is compact and you are going to want to have something relatively durable so that it can stand prolonged use. Depending on the bike stand that you buy, you will notice that some of them are easier to fold up than other ones and you should also pay attention to the method that the bike trainer uses to fold up as this is often a part of the bike trainer that can succumb to damage over time. Due to the fact most bike trainers are made out of steel or another hard metal, it is important to make sure that they aren’t rubbing against valuable parts of your car such as your leather interior as it can be very easily scratched or damaged if you aren’t careful.
Bike Trainer Comparison Chart
Not only is the speed of the setup important, but it is also important to make sure that you choose a bike trainer that is actually capable of holding your wheel size within the compounds of the device. Generally, you will find that bike trainers have a range of sizes that they are capable of working with and some kind of a knob adjustment method or remote adjustment method that you can use in order to tune the bike trainer so that it is of the proper size for your wheel.
One thing you will notice with a lot of bikes on the market is that they do come with accessories or extra package options that you can purchase some of these options include: a mat, a riser block as well as a skewer. A riser block is used to hold your wheel stable off of the ground so that you can have a sturdy bike riding experience. A mat helps to keep you on even terrain and makes it so that your bike and stand don’t get dirty while you practice. Finally, a skewer is used to help your rear wheel stay straight and keeps you from having an accidental topple over when you are training hard on your bike trainer.
No matter the bike trainer that you buy, you are going to want to have one that has an adjustable level of resistance. It doesn’t matter too much as to how the bike trainer changes the resistance level as just some methods are more convenient than others. Just make sure that you check this out and make sure that it is a good fit for how much you plan on using the device as especially during a warm-up before a race you don’t want to tire yourself out beforehand.
Especially if you like to listen to music during your warm-up sessions, the loudness of the bike trainer may actually be a make or break deal for you. Not only can a loud bike trainer be annoying to you, but it can also be annoying to other riders and people around you which is important to keep in mind if you are going to be using the bike trainer before races and events. It is important to note that the company itself may not tell the customer how noisy the unit is so you may have to do some research into people who have bought the unit and see what kind of an experience they had with it.
Fluid Trainer vs Non-Fluid Trainer
The first thing and probably the main thing that you are going to notice between a fluid trainer and a non-fluid trainer is the price difference between these two items. A fluid trainer is going to be much more expensive than a Non-fluid trainer and there are a couple good reasons for this price difference. The first reason is that the fluid version of this device is more expensive to manufacture and requires more intricate, delicate parts in its design. In terms of the design of these two different devices, you will notice that a fluid bike trainer feels more natural than a magnetic one and will feel much smoother when you are riding. One thing to note is that a fluid trainer does slow down much faster and a magnetic trainer generally wins in this aspect of things as it allows the rider to glide for a much longer period of time than a fluid trainer allows.
Remote/ Adjustment Method
Each bike trainer will have its own way of adjusting the level of resistance that the bike trainer is capable of. Many bike trainers will incorporate some kind of a remote that you can attach to your handlebars which allows you to change the resistance level without getting off of your bike. Generally speaking, if you buy a fluid trainer, the adjustment method will actually be the shifters on your bike and you can downshift and up shift as you need to in order to increase and decrease the difficulty of your riding.
One thing that you will notice if you look at a bunch of different bike trainers is that each of them have their own stability control method. When you are pedaling along at a fast speed, the last thing that you want to happen is to have your bike tip over on you and you end up hurting yourself. It is important to make sure that the unit comes with a good riser block or that you spend the money in order to purchase one so that you don’t fall off and hurt yourself. Even with a riser block it is still possible to fall off of your bike and so it is never a bad idea to look for a bike trainer that has extra legs for support or that offers extra wide bars or grips on the bottom of the unit in order to help protect you against falling off of your bike and hurting yourself in the process.
Bike Trainer Reviews
This bike trainer is a magnetic bike trainer with a fair amount of nice details built into its design all for a very low price tag as far as bike trainers go. This trainer comes in a sleek but stylish black painted design and comes with five built-in internal resistance settings. The trainer doesn’t make a lot of noise which is quite nice considering it is a magnetic trainer. This trainer is an easy to fold design which allows you to be able to transport the device as you need. The steel frame that this device is built out of is quite durable and therefore the device should be good for years to come. This unit is designed so that the magnet system provides increased resistance as your speed increases which helps to simulate hills and other difficult areas of track that you may encounter.
- Cheap price tag on the unit appeals to a broad audience
- Easy to transport thanks to fast and easy folding feature
- As speed increases, resistance also increases simulating difficult terrain
- Low noise for a magnetic bike trainer
- Five resistance settings built into the design that you can choose from
- Fits bikes with 26 or 27-inch wheels as well as a 700c wheel. Wheel size can be adjusted via a knob on the unit
- Doesn’t come with any accessories
- Could have a bit wider legs or extra legs for support
This is another nice magnetic bike trainer that is available for a low budget range. This trainer is available in an eye appealing orange and white color. The trainer is made out of steel in order to offer long-term durability and it also has an easy to fold mechanism built into its design in order to allow you to be able to easily transport the item as you need. This device uses mounting cups in its design which allow you to get grip on the ground and therefore more stability when you are riding which is a very nice addition at this low budget range. This bike trainer is compatible with 26 inch, 27 inch as well as 700c bikes. Amazingly even at this low price range, you do actually get a front wheel riser block included with your purchase.
- Fits wheels that are 26 inches, 27 inches and 700c
- Built-in cups on the unit for added stability while you are riding at higher speeds
- Comes with a front wheel riser block
- Very low budget bike trainer
- Easy to fold mechanism makes transporting the device easy
- Changes gears and difficulty level along with your bike for a more natural feeling
- Bike will coast for awhile when you stop pedaling
- Can be kind of noisy
If you are looking to get yourself an averagely priced magnetic bike trainer then this could very well be a unit that you may be interested in. This unit comes in a bright orange design and comes with an extra wide frame in order to offer the user extra stability when traveling at a high speed. This unit is capable of folding down quite quickly which is great for warming up before a race or general use when you need to warm up in different areas. This unit has mounting cups which help to give it extra grip and also assist in providing a more stable ride for the user. With your purchase, you will get a front wheel riser block which is a very nice thing to have for stability reasons. The unit is compatible with bikes that have 26 inch, 27 inch and 700c wheels which is what most bikes are compatible with this price range. You will find that there is a single adjustment easy to use magnetic resistance device on the unit which also offers progressive resistance meaning that you will have to pedal through more resistance as your speed increases.
- Average price range is affordable for most people
- Can be folded down easily in order to be moved around
- Mounting cups on the unit as well as a wide frame are used in the design to add durability
- Capable of fitting 26-inch, 27-inch and 700c wheels
- Progressive resistance helps to simulate tougher terrain
- Eye appealing orange design
- Comes with a front wheel riser block
- No options to get a mat or a skewer with the unit
If you want to get yourself a relatively cheap magnetic bike trainer but you want something a little personalized then this may be a good option for you. This bike trainer comes in three different color options which is not something that you see too often. The design itself is lightweight and comes in a silver, blue, or red color. One thing that you will notice right away when using this unit is just how quiet it is; this is extremely quiet as far as magnetic units go which is a nice addition for this low price range. This unit can be folded down with ease in order to be transported and it is lighter than many other bike trainers on the market making this task a bit easier for you to handle. When riding this unit you will notice that you are quite stable and this is largely thanks to a sturdy frame and a design that was built to have wide legs. The legs are actually separated on this unit unlike many of the other bike trainers on the market; this unique feature allows the unit to absorb shocks more easily and will keep you more stable as a result.
- Three different color options that you can choose from
- Very quiet magnet is nice for peace and quiet
- Very portable design as it is extremely easy to fold and unfold the unit as you need
- Wide separated legs and a sturdy frame allow for great stability when riding at a fast pace
- Low price tag makes this unit affordable to most
- No accessories included with the unit
This unit is available for a low to medium price range and it does come in a black as well as a white design that you can choose from. The unit has a nice 850-gram flywheel as well as a riser block that is used to keep you more stable when you are riding the unit. The resistance on this unit can be changed to be anywhere from seven different levels of resistance in order to give you lots of options to choose from so that you can ride comfortably or choose to push yourself if you choose to do so. This design does incorporate a nice large base on the bottom of the unit to help with stability as well.
- Comes in black or white to suit your personal preferences
- Comes with a riser block to help keep you stable
- There are seven resistance levels on the unit
- Large base on the unit offers pretty good stability
- Assembly of the unit can be a challenge
This fluid bike trainer is definitely a more expensive unit. If you are willing to spend the extra money, then this does have some very nice options as well as a very nice design that might appeal to you. With the purchase of this unit, you have the option of adding a mat, a riser block or a skewer into your purchase so that you can have all of the equipment that you need in order to ride properly and securely. The trainer itself is actually built out of recycled materials and is built to be durable and rust proof. The unit is made of two-inch round 16 gauge steel which is much stronger than you need so that you don’t have to worry about the unit falling apart while you are riding on it. One nice thing about this unit is that rather than having a bar across the bottom that is unmovable, this unit has foot pads which are adjustable so that you can ride on virtually any surface of your choosing so long as you adjust the unit to be flat. The best thing about this unit is that the manufacturer stands behind this product and provides a lifetime warranty on it which can really give you some peace of mind about spending the extra money in order to buy this unit.
- Made out of high-grade steel which makes for a very durable design
- Adjustable footpads on the bottom of this unit allow you to be able to ride wherever you want
- Lifetime warranty on the product to give you some peace of mind
- Option of coming with a skewer, a mat or a riser block in order to suit your needs
- Made out of 100 percent recycled materials and on top of that it is also a rustproof design
- Very quiet unit when riding, even at a high speed
- High price tag will definitely be out of reach for some people
This is another high-end bike trainer that incorporates a nice fluid design. This bike trainer is available in green and has the option of coming with a mat, a rear skewer as well as a riser ring in order to suit all of your riding needs. One nice thing about this unit is that it actually comes fully assembled when it arrives so that you don’t have to struggle following instructions trying to piece it together. There are large grip pads on each of the legs of this unit in order to offer optimal stability, another thing you will notice is that the legs aren’t attached in order to offer the user better shock absorbance and a smoother ride overall. One very nice thing about this unit is that it is designed to be a universal trainer. This bike trainer can actually be used on bikes that have anything from a 22 inch to a 29-inch wheel and is actually capable of fitting most mountain bike wheels as well. The technology in this unit exceeds most of the other bike trainers on the market and you can actually get an app and sync your training progress onto your phone in order to read your speeds at different resistance levels. To give you some peace of mind since this unit does have quite a high price tag, you will get a lifetime warranty on the unit with your purchase.
- This unit has the option of coming with a mat, a riser ring as well as a rear skewer to suit your riding needs/ wants
- Comes fully assembled so that you don’t have to mess around following instructions
- Can be paired with an app to track your training progress
- Very smooth and quiet ride
- The frame can fit bike wheels that are 22 inches to 29 inches
- Can fit most mountain bikes
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Powder coated steel for durability and protection against the elements
- Rubber feet on the unit for added support and stability
- Price tag could definitely be too high for some
- Could definitely be a bit of a learning curve to figure out the progress tracking technology incorporated into the design
If you are looking to get yourself a high-end magnetic trainer because you want to stay away from fluid trainers then this could definitely be a good option for you. There are several unique features in the design of this bike trainer that help it to stand out amongst its cheaper magnetic trainer alternatives. For one thing, this trainer actually has adjustable height options built into its design so that you can set yourself at a height where you are as comfortable and as stable as possible when you are riding. The design allows you to attach your bike at a fairly fast speed and it also allows you to have a smooth ride once you get the unit in motion. The design offers a remote that you can attach to your handlebars in order to control the resistance of the unit. You will be able to choose between any of the six resistance options available which will easily allow you to train harder or lighten up your training and train at an easy pace if you desire a bit of a break or a warm-up before a race. Since this unit is a bit of a higher price tag you will also get a limited lifetime warranty with your purchase which can help to give you some peace of mind with spending this kind of money on a unit.
- Adjustable height options on the unit allow you to be in a more stable, secure position
- Six different resistant options to choose from to increase or decrease difficulty as you need
- Easy attachment and detachment of the bike
- Remote attaches to your handlebars so that you can change the resistance of the unit as you need
- Limited lifetime warranty to give you some peace of mind
- Price tag is high for a magnetic bike trainer
- Can still be fairly loud
Here’s an excellent option that not only caught our attention but happens to be Amazon’s choice for an indoor bike trainer stand. While most stands are quite decent and will do the trick, for a fraction of the price you can pick up the Sportneer (sounds inexpensive, am I right?). You’ll get a wide base and 5 adjustable rubber feet, all of which add to the stability and integrity of the unit. Though it’s one of the less expensive units on our list, it happens to be one of the quieter units we’ve reviewed. The resistance wheel is smooth as opposed to knurled (like many are) so your tire can grip it better. This one is engineered to grip AND to be quiet.
6 remote control resistance settings offer diversity in your training and it fits any mountain or road bike with a 26″ – 28″ or 700c wheel. It also folds away to just 22″x18″x6″ for storage.
IMPORTANT: We like this trainer because of the price point and for the best “deal” for casual users. If you’re serious about your training, it would probably be a good idea to consider the upgraded version of the Sportneer (fluid trainer) which receives REALLY good user feedback from Amazon. You can see it HERE, or check out the ad attached to this review just below this paragraph.
- You can choose your own level of resistance on this unit to suit your personal needs/ wants
- Wide frame with cups for extra stability and support
- Works with 26-28 inch wheels and 700c wheels by turning a knob
- Quiet unit as far as magnetic bike trainers go
- No brand name
- Less than stellar customer service
This last magnetic bike trainer is one of the cheapest most basic trainers available in the marketplace but it gets amazing ratings from confirmed, satisfied customers everywhere! One of the bragging points of this machine is that it offers one of the best resistance systems to maximize resistance for training while at the same time it reduces friction on your tires (which is a good thing to prolong your tire’s life). Usually, you can’t have one advantage without another disadvantage, but this system blends the best of both worlds. It features 6 levels of resistance and a convenient handlebar-mounted cable controller which lets you choose your level of incline to simulate road level conditions.
Amazingly this unit comes with a front block riser and can fit bikes with a 26-inch and a 27-inch wheel size as well as a 700c. The frame of this unit is quite wide which allows you to be able to travel at fast speeds on your bike all while remaining stable and secure. The unit is made out of steel which does increase the durability of the unit and it is coated in black paint which should help increase the longevity of the unit as well. Anti-slip rubber pads are included and this unit promises to be steady even if the floor is not – no matter the material from hardwood to shag carpet!
No tools are needed to assemble it either!
- The low price tag will be very appealing to some people
- Remote shifter makes it easy to change inclines
- The stable wide base even at high speeds
- Quiet Operation (or is it???)
- Front-wheel riser block included with your purchase
- Made out of steel
- This unit can be fairly loud (even though the promise is that it’s QUIET)
- Poor instructions for assembly and use
- 28-inch tires maximum
Final Thoughts & Recommendations
By no means is it easy to pick out a bike trainer with the many brands available on the market; always keep in mind how often you are going to be using the device as well as your financial situation when deciding which unit you should purchase. Hopefully after reading the buying guide as well as the list of our picks for the top ten bike trainers on the market you now have a better idea as to the options that are available to you and the benefits and features that are available for different types of bike trainers. Good luck in your search and hope you find yourself something that suits your needs! Happy biking!