You can transform your regular street bicycle or mountain bike into a stationary exercise bike with the purchase of a few necessary components. A handy solution for this type of project is a stand called a "bike trainer." A bike trainer is designed to prop up your bike and give resistance to the rear wheel while you pedal. Similar to this is the bicycle roller system, a set of cylinders that spin like a treadmill under the bike while you pedal. Unlike bike trainers, rollers are unsecured requiring the rider to keep balance. Each option requires no physical changes to the bike itself and preserves the feel of riding a bicycle outdoors while in your home.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Bike Trainer stand
- Allen wrench
- Basic metric wrench set
- Roller system
Secure an area in your home that will safely accommodate you and your bike.
Align the left axle of your wheel with the greater part of the cone on the left side of the trainer. If your wheel hubs are the quick release type, position the quick release lever on the axle vertically, fitting the axle directly into the cone.
Engage the quick release rod on the right side of the trainer to secure the placement of the wheel. The wheel should be in the centre of the resistance cam apparatus. If the wheel is off centre, use the adjustable lock ring on the trainer cone to make corrections.
Pull the cam and wheel into contact by adjusting the lever beneath the cam apparatus to the engaged position.
Mount the bike and start training.
Secure a space that will safely accommodate you and your bike. The ideal area will be close to a wall or couch on one side, with a safe clearing on the other so risk of injury is minimised during a fall.
Set the bike directly on top of the rollers. Place the rear wheel on the pair of cylinders and the front wheel on the single cylinder.
Mount the bike. This requires a difficult balancing act as there is no wheel securing apparatus for a true roller system. Use the leverage of the wall or couch to your side to push yourself onto the bicycle seat. Make sure to apply sufficient weight to keep the rear wheel placed solidly on the cylinder pair.
Start pedalling while holding on to your leverage point for balance with one hand, the other hand on the handle bars. Continue pedalling until you build up enough rpm for the bike to stabilise on the rollers.
Let go of your leverage point once the swerving action of the front tire has stopped and quickly move your free hand to the handlebars to join its other. At this point try and keep your cadence, or spinning, at an even pace so that you can successfully ride the rollers without swerving off due to erratic pedalling.
Tips and warnings
- The classification of trainers breaks down into three basic types. Wind Resistance trainers are beginner level, somewhat noisy and generally the least expensive. Magnetic and Fluid trainers are both quieter and expensive in comparison. Online orders will generally require some minor assembly right out of the box. Your local bike shop will have trainers assembled and ready to ride the day of purchase.
- The risk of a fall or possible injury from training with rollers is elevated in comparison to a bike trainer.
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