How to Convert a Bicycle to an Indoor Exercise Stand

Written by ryan long
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How to Convert a Bicycle to an Indoor Exercise Stand
Though bikes belong outdoors, using a trainer or rollers in the winter months can help bicyclists keep their conditioning and form. (bicycle image by Chepko Danil from

Whether it's the gloomy drizzle of spring or the cold, dark and ice of winter, many bicyclists may find themselves in need of a way to keep up with training while staying indoors out of the elements. There are two simple ways to convert a conventional bicycle to a stationary bicycle: a bike trainer or a roller. Both strategies allow the bicycle to be made roadworthy quickly in case the weather clears up just in time for a quick ride outdoors.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Decide between the three major types of bike trainers -- wind, turbo or magnetic -- based on your ability. The wind trainer will transfer the power of pedalling to a fan and can be noisy. Mount the bike on a trainer and you can adjust your resistance and remain stationary, or spend the big bucks to get the magnetic system and ride in silence so you can hear your favourite radio show while training.

  2. 2

    Purchase the trainer or roller from a local bike store or over the Internet. Assembly may be required for either system. It is best to try these systems in the store if possible to determine which is right for you. Using rollers does not offer the same stability as using a trainer and is not for everyone.

  3. 3

    Secure the bicycle frame into the frame of the trainer and tighten the trainer's clamps to ensure that your bicycle is set and sturdy.

  4. 4

    Mount the back wheel securely into the trainer. Remove the front wheel and mount the front fork in the trainer.

  5. 5

    Rollers usually do not require assembly but do require substantial balance as there is no frame to support the bicycle. Place one roller beneath the back wheel and another under the front wheel. When getting started, set the rollers up in a doorway so there is ample area on both sides to support yourself if you begin to fall.

Tips and warnings

  • If using rollers, it helps to stay in a higher gear at first and to look up while pedalling.

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