Wide resistance range that reacts to exerciser input. Impressively quiet. Comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. Noise level at 20 mph is between 68 and 72 decibels.
No riser included. Some complaints about the quality of assembly instructions.
Fits bicycles 26 inches and above. Despite its simple design, the heavy-duty frame is profoundly solid. Ideal for casual cyclists that bike for up to 25 miles a day. Much-loved orange and white color scheme.
Mixed feelings on the magnetic resistance. Rather loud operation.
Offers impressive features for a low-end price that includes eight resistance settings and easy-to-assemble design. Supports up to 350 pounds. Fits bikes with wheels between 26 and 28 inches.
Can be a bit noisy.
Made with stainless steel components. Frame sets up and folds down in seconds and comes with a carry case. Has an extra-wide base for stability. Offers six levels of resistance for full-throttle training.
Some consumers felt the trainer operated much more loudly than expected.
Designed for bikes with quick release rear axles. Fits bikes between 26 and 28 inches as well as 700C bikes. Seven magnetic resistance levels simulate varied road conditions. Comes with anti-slip mat. Folds for easy storage.
Isn't as visually appealing as others on our shortlist.
When the weather turns cold or rainy, hitting the streets for a bike ride isn’t always the best idea. That’s when a bike trainer comes in handy. A trainer stabilizes your bike, so you can ride it inside when you can’t head outdoors. They’re compact and portable, too, which means you can easily fit a trainer in your home — or take it with you when you travel.
But while a trainer may seem like a simple device, choosing the right one can be tricky. How do you decide on the best bike trainer for you? Just ask us! At BestReviews, we don’t accept products or perks from manufacturers, so you can trust that our recommendations are honest and unbiased. We conduct field and expert research and interview real-life customers to give you the information you need to make educated shopping decisions.
If you’re ready to buy a biker trainer, take a look at the product list above for our top five picks. For more on selecting a bike trainer, including the different types, what features to look for, and how much you should pay, read on.
With a bike trainer, you’ll be able to keep up your bike riding all year, no matter how cold, snowy, or rainy it is.
If you exercise during rush hour or other busy times of day, you don’t have to worry about braving traffic or stoplights with a bike trainer.
A bike trainer makes it easy to exercise whenever you have a free moment at home, so you don’t have to run to the gym or go for a bike ride after dark.
Bike trainers allow for interval training, or alternating low- and high-intensity periods of exercise, for maximum fat burning.
With a wind trainer, your pedaling powers a fan to create resistance. For greater resistance, you pedal faster or increase the bike’s gear. Wind trainers are very durable and also inexpensive.
They can be loud, don’t offer adjustable resistance, and can’t provide a real road feel, however.
Magnetic trainers use a magnetic flywheel to adjust resistance.
Some higher-tech trainers use electromagnetic resistance, which you can adjust via an app or remote.
On the downside, they aren’t as durable as other types of bike trainers.
Fluid trainers are similar to magnetic trainers, but they contain a fluid chamber for added resistance. As a result, they have a variety of resistance options.
They can be expensive, though, and aren’t especially durable.
With rollers, you ride your bike on the rollers instead of locking the back wheel into a trainer. This gives a realistic road feel.
Rollers are ideal for improving your balance and form, and they typically come with a budget-friendly price tag.
However, they don’t offer any resistance, and it can be tricky to learn how to use them.
Choosing a stable bike trainer is the best way to avoid any accidents or injuries. In general, the wider the trainer’s base, the more stable it will be. Some trainers also offer a leveling feature, which makes them more stable on an uneven floor or surface.
Bike trainers are compact, so they’re usually easy to store. If storage space is an issue, look for a trainer that has folding legs or folds in half.
For the best results, match a bike trainer’s type to your fitness needs and goals.
If you want the most realistic riding experience, fluid trainers or rollers are the best option.
Rollers are particularly good if your goal is to improve your balance and form.
Beginners do better with wind or magnetic trainers because the bike is balanced for you.
For those on a budget, wind trainers, magnetic trainers, and rollers are the most inexpensive types.
Every bike trainer will make some noise because of the vibrations, but some models are louder than others.
Wind trainers tend to be very noisy, while magnetic and fluid trainers are quieter, making them ideal for apartment dwellers or people with roommates.
With wind, magnetic, and fluid trainers, your bike attaches to the trainer, which holds it in place. Most trainers feature a stationary attachment that doesn’t offer side-to-side motion.
However, some trainers use an articulating attachment, so the bike can pivot on the trainer’s base. This type of attachment allows you to lean the bike side to side as you would on a real road.
Some trainers attach directly to the bike’s frame at the rear dropouts, so the trainer replaces the bike’s back wheel. This type of attachment doesn’t use friction from the tires for resistance, which protects your tires from wear and tear.
Keep in mind that direct-attachment trainers may not be compatible with axle standards or drivetrains.
These trainers keep track of your fitness data, such as miles logged and speed. You’ll pay more for a smart trainer, however.
Set up your bike trainer in a cool area of your home, such as the basement or garage, so you don’t overheat while you’re riding.
Try to eat within three to four hours of using your bike trainer to ensure you have enough energy for maximum performance.
You can work up a serious sweat on a bike trainer. Make sure you have plenty of water and towels on hand.
Don’t jump on your bike trainer and immediately ride at max effort. Start off with five minutes of moderate riding to warm up your body for the more intense intervals.
Vary your bike trainer workout. A simple drill is four minutes of maximum intensity, followed by two minutes of moderate intensity, in repetition.
It’s a good idea to include a five-minute cool down at the end of your bike trainer workout to slow your heart rate.
It’s easy to go overboard with bike training. Give your body a day off to ensure it has time to recover.
Bike trainers are available at a variety of price points depending on the type and the features they offer. But in general, you can expect to pay between $30 and $600.
For wind and magnetic trainers, you’ll usually pay between $30 and $100.
For roller trainers, expect to pay between $90 and $200.
For fluid trainers, you’ll usually pay between $150 and $350.
Q. Do I have to assemble a bike trainer?
A. Some bike trainers come fully assembled, so you can use them right out of the box. Other models require assembly, but it’s usually a simple process. Most bike trainers take less than five minutes to put together.
Q. What’s the difference between trainers and rollers?
A. Both allow you to ride your bike in a stationary position indoors. Rollers have nothing to hold the bike upright, so you have to balance on the bike like you do when riding outdoors. That’s why rollers provide such a realistic riding experience. Trainers, on the other hand, are stands that hold your bike upright, so you don’t have to balance yourself.
Q. How do I know if my bike will fit a specific trainer?
A. Measuring your bike’s wheels is the best way to tell if it will fit a specific trainer. Most trainers will fit 26” wheels. Many will also accommodate up to 29” wheels, but you should check the product specifications to be certain. If you have 20” or 24” wheels, you may need to purchase a wheel adapter to ensure that they fit securely.
BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.