If you are stuck with the option of staying indoors but still want to get the much-needed training or workout from cycling, then you might be looking at getting a bike trainer, which converts your existing bike into an indoor exercise tool. Which is the best bike trainer? There are several types out there depending on your requirements. You might want to get a wind trainer (also known as resistance trainer), or a magnetic trainer if you are a beginner or simply need a basic model for warm-ups. For practice on your pedal stroke, you can consider rollers, the oldest indoor bike trainer model, and (some say) the most reliable one. But if you are taking indoor cycling more seriously and intend to get structured workouts out of it, then a fluid or smart trainer will be the best bike trainer for you.
What To Pay Attention To When Choosing The Best Bike Trainer
Types of Indoor Bicycle Trainers
Rollers are the oldest type of indoor bike trainers. The bike sits freely atop a trainer stand consisting of three cylindrical rollers built into a frame. The rollers turn as you pedal. Resistance is provided by reducing the roller diameter.
- Magnetic Bike Trainers
A magnetic or “mag” trainer is an indoor bicycle trainer that uses a magnetic flywheel to provide the necessary progressive resistance.
- Fluid Bike Trainers
Fluid trainers are also based around a magnetic flywheel, except a fluid cycle trainer adds chambers of viscous fluid (liquid silicon) to allow adjustment of the progressive resistance.
This type of indoor bike trainer makes use of a fan powered by the pedaling cyclist. These bike stands can be noisy, plus the amount of air resistance produced by each pedal stroke is limited.
The resistance in this bike trainer is produced by pressure plates contacting the rear tire of the cycle. It is also silent, and the resistance can be adjusted. The only problem is the wear and tear on these indoor training units can result in mechanical failure under intense use.
- Interactive (Smart) Trainer
A smart trainer communicates with other devices, downloading an indoor cycling training program to computer apps or phone-based apps that automatically adjust resistance when synced to an online training platform.
- Direct Drive
Some indoor stationary bike trainers offer a direct attachment to the rear dropouts wherein the cycle trainer replaces the rear wheel. This provides a crisper, more efficient connection between the bike and the trainer because it doesn’t rely on tire friction to produce resistance.
Not a trainer attachment: a full-size indoor bicycle (with heavy-duty flywheels) to offer power feedback. Many have built-in data management systems.
Features to Consider When Shopping for the Best Bike Trainer
Axle attachment standards and widths of commercial bikes change often. Check whether a trainer you’re interested in offers different attachment options such as thru-axle adaptors and different freehub options.
Some trainers have folding legs for easier storage (some rollers fold in half as well). That can add modest amounts to the expense.
All trainers make noise and produce vibrations. If you live in a building with shared walls or floor/ceilings, pay attention to how much noise and vibration a trainer produces. An important budget point: some newer trainers are becoming very quiet and might be worth the additional expense.
Trainer crashes are rare, but they do happen. Usually the broader the base of the bike trainer stand, the more stable it will be. Some trainers have a built-in leveling feature for uneven surfaces.
Just because you’re not a professional triathlete training for a race (or even if you’re not an athlete at all), if you’re interested in a stationary bike or bicycle trainer you still need enough info to choose the best bike trainer for the money. To help you choose the best affordable bike trainer, we have compiled a list of the bestselling bike trainers available. Note: We have listed the best bike trainers only, and NOT the bike itself. That should be purchased separately.
1. MAG F2 Trainer by Forza
- Quiet and smooth magnetic resistance
- Wide range resistance curve with 6 settings and a bar-mounted remote
- Boxed and tubular aluminum frame with adjustable height
This bike trainer uses a magnetic flywheel that provides a smooth step by step resistance. The Forza is an indoor trainer that has made it to a lot of top bike stands for bestselling review lists. Let me tell you what is so special about it. To start with, the F2 is less expensive than a trainer that are comparables. Many training enthusiasts use the F2 equipment to help them work up a sweat in the winter months or whenever they are not able to ride outdoors.
Another great feature the F2 has is the progressive magnetic resistance that is adjustable, which gives you the freedom to choose how easy or difficult your workout is going to be. The heavy-duty frame ensures riders won’t fall off their trainers.
It doesn’t make a difference how intense your exercise is or how much weight you put on the F2 the Mag trainer can handle it.
This indoor mag trainer has quick-release skewers to help you assemble and disassemble it quickly, in addition to attaching your bike with ease. It comes in various colors, so if you are lucky, you can get it in your favorite color. Most training equipment is black, so it is good to have one piece in your training room that brings a little brightness. This bike exercise stand folds to allow for storage even in limited space. Do not worry if you have a small apartment; the Sunlite magnetic resistance trainer will not be any trouble. It is also convenient for when you want to travel as it fits well in your trunk.
2. 2015 Bike Lane Pro Indoor Bike Trainer
- ►STATE OF THE ART - As soon as you begin to pedal, the ultra QUIET internal magnet creates resistance. You can easily...
- ►EXTREMELY PORTABLE - The PRO Trainer is extremely light and it can be folded down like an ironing board for travel...
- ►MAXIMUM STABILITY - One of the most robust and sturdy stands on the market. Extra wide legs and a sturdy frame makes...
The magnetic bike trainer by Bike Lane is an easy-to-set-up model. The Pro edition has been designed with cutting-edge technology and includes a mountable resistance controller, which will allow you to select up to seven levels of resistance. This gives you more control over your workout. For a more natural pedal feel, the design also includes a steel flywheel. You will also be given a riser block as part of the package. The framework is broad, giving you a smooth ride with minimum noise interference. However, it has been reported to be a tad unstable so you might want to avoid this model if your main purpose is for physiotherapy without assistance from a caregiver. Of course, this also varies depending on the model of your bike. So if you do decide to purchase this model, follow the instructions or refer to the web if the directions are insufficient.
3. Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer
- Heavy duty construction w/ extra wide frame for stability - folds quickly
- Sturdy mounting cups reduce slippage (quick release included)
- Single adjustment, progressive magnetic resistance
One of the best bike trainers, the Conquer is also a magnetic resistance model that works with 26-inch, 27-inch, or 700c bikes. It is, however, only compatible with bikes that have quick-release wheels at the back. On the more affordable range, you can easily set it up with the front wheel riser block and axle, which come along with the trainer itself. This is great because most trainers available would require you to purchase these separately. For storage and travel, it is compact and quick to fold up; but, when fully erected, it consists of a heavy duty and wide frame for stability. However, unlike the previous model, it only allows for one adjustment, solely relying on the magnetic resistance for progression, which means you do not have full control over the power. Since you will be working indoors, please be aware that this model may not be as quiet as it should be, but can be manageable. This bike trainer by Conquer is suitable for cyclists in the beginner and intermediate stages and is one of the best budget indoor bike trainers.
4. CycleOps Fluid2 Indoor Trainer
This good, solid unit by CycleOps is the first fluid bike trainer on this list. Unlike magnetic resistance bike trainers, the hydraulic fluid provides a more realistic road feel. It is also considerably more expensive, so it is not for the faint-hearted. Preferred by the more extreme and hardcore cyclists, it comes with a lifetime warranty from the company. But if you are just a beginner who is certain of embracing this lifestyle, you can, by all means, start with this model as it is designed for all levels. It is compatible with common road and mountain bike frames and is built with 100% recyclable, non-rusting components. With the patented precision-balanced flywheel, you can easily customize each ride; the resistance can only be adjusted once you get off the bike, but you can use the gears on the actual bike to control resistance while cycling. This model is quieter compared to other types of bike trainers. Stable with adjustable footpads, you can use it on a variety of surfaces. A steel quick-release skewer is included in the package. If it is cold where you are from, kindly note that it may take some time for the fluid to heat up and provide you with the resistance you need. Instructions are not comprehensive so if you are not familiar with how bikes work, you may need to look for additional assistance over the web.
5. Elite Qubo Fluid Trainer
- Fluid resistance produces progressive resistance that increases as your wheel speed increases, so the faster you ride,...
- Generates a greater range of resistance from low to high, especially at high speeds
- Increased range of leaning area and optimal bike+athlete center-of-mass in relation to the frame improves stability and...
This is another fluid trainer, this time by Elite. It boasts to be a quiet, powerful and easy unit. The Qubo frame is quick and easy to set up with no calibration needed. Same can be said with getting your bike in and out of the trainer with the Fast Fixing system. However, it does not have a resistance setting. To achieve higher resistance, you will need to pedal faster, and vice versa. It may not be as sturdy as the other models higher on this list, but its affordability makes it worth the shot. The package also includes a riser block as well as a sweat net.
6. FDW-M8 Magnet Steel Bike Trainer
- ✿『EASY TO ASSEMBLE』 Our bike trainer with only a small amount of spare parts. According to our instructions, you...
- ✿『FIVE RESISTANCE SETTING』 Our bike trainer can adjust to five resistance levels. When you reach one level, you...
- ✿『EASY TO CARRY AND STORE』 It doesn't take up much space to carry and place our bike trainer. You can fold it up...
Whether you own a road or mountain bike with 26-inch, 27-inch, or 700c tires, you will find that this affordable bike trainer by FDW will most likely be compatible. Just use the adjustable knob for a precise fit by tweaking it according to the size of your tires. It is simple to set up, and provides five internal resistance settings, which you can toggle with right from the handlebars; combined with the inbuilt magnetic resistance, the M8 model gives you the control for a better power workout. The low noise it makes will not interfere with any audio you have on at that time, nor will it disturb anyone within hearing range. Despite its heavy duty steel frame, it is easy to fold up when there is a need for storage and travel. The M8 bike trainer is ideal if you are a beginner or a casual rider who does not require a lot of standing or heavy sprinting. Kindly note that the package will not include a climbing block, should you require one.
7. Gavin Indoor Bike Trainer
- Heavy duty construction w/ extra wide frame for stability - folds quickly
- Sturdy mounting cups reduce...
If you want a budget-friendly way to break into riding a bike again before traveling outside on unsteady terrains, then the bright orange 530-TRAINER may just be the one for you. It is very similar to the Conquer model in terms of specification, but not as cheap. This bike trainer only allows single adjustment and you will need to depend on the manual progression that comes with magnetic resistance models. It is compatible with most 26-inch, 27-inch, or 700c bikes. It also comes with a front wheel riser block. It has been designed with stability in mind, evident with the heavy duty construction and very broad frame, as well as with sturdy mounting cups to prevent the whole framework from slipping. It is quite easy and straightforward to assemble, and when in use, it has been reported to be fairly quiet.
8. Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 Smart Trainer
If you are looking for an indoor workout solution, you might need to cancel your gym membership if you are getting the Kinetic Road Machine; it is one of the most expensive bike trainers on this list and comes with a lifetime warranty. It has both the functions of a fluid and smart bike trainer, which you means you get to experience high resistance curve, perfect for professional cyclists looking for the experience of biking into the headwind, as well as access to real power training via Kinetic’s inRide Watt Meter accessory coupled with the mobile Fit app (or Zwift). To put it simply, the power meter can retrieve information like power, speed, calories burned, and cadence while working out. This model accommodates most types of bikes and has actually been designed to be the most durable and ergonomic in the market; it is 100% leak-proof with an effective cooling system. With the sturdy construction of all Kinetic Road trainers, you can most definitely go for this model if you are looking for a long-term investment. It does come fully assembled; simply fold out the legs, replace the rear wheel skewer, and you are ready to go. Despite this 2.0 version being quieter than the original, you might still need to get a noise-canceling headset if the noise bothers you. Kindly note that it does not come with a front wheel riser, should you require one.
9. Gotobuy Premium Indoor Bike Trainer
- Protective levelness-adjustable feet caps: This magnet turbo trainer is secured by four non-slip feet caps, which...
- Space saver: The foldable design render this magnetic bike trainer rather simple to store without occupying much space...
- Solid construction: Constructed of quality magnet, corrosion-resistant alloy roller, and powder coated high carbon steel...
Constructed with premium steel, this black unit by Gotobuy consists of a heavy duty frame and is quite similar to the Yaheetech model. Despite the construction, it is also simple to put away because it has a foldable framework. You can now convert your bike into an indoor cycling trainer and have the ability to take your workout equipment around with you as it is convenient to do so. It can accommodate almost any type of bikes with 26-inch, 700c, or wheel diameter between these tire sizes. It is an affordable option; however, you may have to spend on a noise-cancelling device as it does not run as quiet as the higher-end models on this list. Like the Yaheetech model, it also has a safety feature that provides stability to the narrow frame as well as the option to adjust the height to five positions.
10. Ohuhu Indoor Bike Trainer
- Quiet [very low noise]and smooth magnetic resistance - Provides progressive magnetic resistance increases as the speed...
- Flexible internal resistance settings [no fixed levels]- Allows you to slowly increase/decrease resistance levels. Now...
- An adjustable bar-mounted remote allows you to effortlessly control the bike’s resistance from your handlebar.
Even with high-intensity workouts, the sturdy, extra wide frame of the fairly quiet Ohuhu magnetic bike trainer allows a solid performance every time. It also comes with rubber feet for extra stability. With a micro-adjust knob, you can fit most 26- to 27-inch, or 700c tires on this model. An adjustable remote with flexible internal resistance setting gives you the option to gradually increase or decrease the bike’s resistance from the handlebars. That means you can now adjust the resistance, without any fixed levels, according to your physical condition. The package also comes with a quick disassembling tool and front wheel block. The framework is easily collapsible for convenient storage and transportation. However, bear in mind that you will need to study the instructions carefully to set it up, but once you get the concept, it is quite straightforward to assemble.
11. Travel Trac Comp Fluid Bicycle Trainer
- Fluid resistance produces progressive resistance for a smooth, quiet, road-like feel
- External flywheel facilitates smooth and efficient pedaling action
- Wide, stable base provides solid performance during hard efforts
Another fluid bike trainer on this list, the Travel Trac model utilizes fluid resistance that makes your bike progressively harder to pedal as you go faster. This makes the workout more challenging as it simulates a realistic road feel. It accommodates just about all road and mountain bikes. Like the CycleOps unit, it is generally quieter and smooth compared to magnetic bike trainers because the internal disc spins in a fluid. With a wide, stable base for hard efforts, it does not move around easily. And it folds up efficiently for storage and transportation. The easy setup with almost no assembly required also comes with a quick release skewer to properly secure your bike. However, this fluid resistance unit is also on the expensive side.
12. Health Line Magnetic Turbo Trainer
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The special feature of this bike trainer by Health Line is the magnetic resistance with eight levels for adjustable resistance and speed. The steel framework provides a safe, stable structure to work out on, and is designed with a heat dissipation fan. It boasts compatibility with almost any road, mountain and hybrid bikes with tire sizes 26- to 28-inches and 700c. The height can be adjusted according to your requirement. It is recommended by the manufacturer that for a smooth and quiet riding experience, it is best that a training tire is to be used. Otherwise, a fair amount of noise may be expected. The package should also include a quick release skewer and front wheel block.
13. Yaheetech Premium Bike Trainer
- Max. Load Capacity: 265 lb / 120 kg; Suitable for 26'' to 28'' and 700C wheels;Unfolded overall dimension: 21.5 x 23.8 x...
- Protective levelness-adjustable feet caps: This magnet turbo trainer is secured by four non-slip feet caps, to prevent...
- Smooth operation: This low-noise magnetic turbo gives you a quiet exercise environment. Please note that the...
This affordable magnetic best bike trainers by Yaheetech is easy to assemble. With a super simple foldable design, it is great for saving space when storing or traveling. It is designed to fit bikes with 26-inch, 700c, or wheel diameter between those measurements. Although it does not have an extra wide frame, it has special safety features that prevent the structure from tipping over; simply push the safety lock in. You can also adjust the height to five different positions for a more comfortable ride. However, it can be quite noisy when in use, so have your headset handy to block out any disturbances. The manual seems to also be a direct translation from another language; so, it is best to refer to online sources like websites and YouTube for a better understanding of the setup.
14. Nashbar Reduced Radius Rollers
As mentioned earlier, rollers are one of the earliest indoor best bike trainers models. You need to get a feel for the balance to keep the bike steady, and will require more focus when you first start cycling. Some say that the experience is comparable to riding on ice, but it does make your sense of balance better for real terrain. It is great for increasing core strength and improving bike handling skills with all the balancing work. With nine settings to accommodate most wheelbase, it has been designed with CNC-machined aluminum drums, and polyurethane connecting belt for long-term use. The frame also has three sets of plastic fitted feet carefully constructed to protect most floor finishes. Although it is not foldable, it is of a simpler and lighter construction, which makes storage easy. It is also much quieter compared to its newer counterparts. It comes fully-assembled. This basic design is still one of the best value indoor bike trainers around.
15. Tacx Vortex Smart Ergotrainer
- 8 permanent-magnets & 8 controllable electro magnets
- Virtual speed outside brake range
- Integrated 2 kg flywheel
At around half a grand, this is the most expensive bike trainer on this list. It is one of the high-end smart models out there, with an even sleeker design. It can be paired with a smart trainer like Zwift via Bluetooth or cable for an effective workout. It also allows for challenging road surface simulation, like on gravel and cobblestone, through the smart trainer. As there are no physical transmissions, unlike the other types of bike trainers, it can run quietly. Although the specifications indicate that the maximum resistance rate is up to 950 watts, it has been reported that it may not reach the maximum power. The base of the unit is not as wide and stable as it should be, so may not be suitable for hard or standing efforts. When setting it up, it can be tricky to get your road and mountain bikes bolted to the frame. The manual is also not that comprehensive, and you may need to refer to the online source that is more informative.
Last update on 2021-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API