On this page we will try to explain the differences between the various types of bicycle trainers? They operate in different ways with each aimed at helping your training indoors. In this article we will cover two key types, Bike Roller, more commonly known as ‘Rollers’ and Mechanical Resistance Bike Trainers.
Bike Roller Trainers
Roller Bike Trainers have a simple design. They consist of nothing more than a set of rollers that you ride your bike on top of. With rollers there is nothing to hold your bike vertical, so it is imperative for you to maintain your own balance. They are not for everyone, but like running on a treadmill once you get over the initial apprehension, they are fun to use. I suggest you have a friend with you for your first flight!
This picture illustrates a typical bike roller trainer. You can see the adjustable arm used to match the specification of your bike.
Shown here: Minoura Action Roller Advance Wide Bicycle Trainer
What are the Benefits of Roller Bike Trainers:
- Most would agree they offer the more realistic cycling experience because you need to use your sense of balance, as you would on the road
- They usually sit at the entry price level when compared with other indoor bicycle trainers you can buy.
- When you use one you shift your torso from side to side, recreating outdoor cycling
The Drawbacks of Roller Bike Trainers:
- It can take time to learn how to balance
- You need to use your gears to gain resistance as none is offered by the rollers
- Not suitable for mountain bikes as the rollers are designed for flat road bike tyres.
Mechanical Resistance Trainers
These are the second major type of indoor trainer. These use a variety of mechanisms to provide resistance to the motion of your wheels. They typically have a strong metal frame that holds the rear wheel in an upright position, overcoming the issue of balance found in bike rollers.
The resistance mechanism for these types of trainers come in three major sub groups. These are wind, magnetic, and fluid.
Shown here: Elite Real Power CT Indoor Bicycle Trainer
What are the benefits of Mechanical Bike Trainers:
- The frame holds your rear wheel in place, providing real balance. This stability makes it easy for you to concentrate on other things whilst riding.
- In comparison to rollers they are relatively small so don’t take up much storage space in your home or garage
What are the Drawbacks of Mechanical Bike Trainers:
- Compared to rollers they tend to cost more. There are a wide range of prices and levels of sophistication giving you a range of choice if you are willing to pay.
- With the rear wheel locked in place by the frame of the roller, you don’t get the realistic road feel movement you get on Roller Bike Trainers.
Other articles you might find useful:
- Things for you to Consider When Buying a Bike Stand Trainer
- Do I Need an Indoor Bicycle Trainer?
- What Is A Bicycle Trainer?
- Which Indoor Bicycle Trainer is best?
- What are the Different Types of Bicycle Trainer?
On this website we aim to provide you with useful bicycle trainer reviews allowing you to choose the best product that meets your needs and pocket.