Indoor training can be just as fun as cycling outdoors. It can also get quite as physically challenging – during these times, it’s good to make your training cave a little more “comfortable”. Let’s take a look at the top 5 accessories that can help improve your workouts.
1. TRAINER MAT
Out of all the accessories, we think that the trainer mat is one of the most essential. This mat serves multiple functions:
- Reduces vibrations on the trainer
- Prevents marks or damage to flooring
- Keeps sweat off the floor
- Keeps trainer noise down
It’s amazing how such a simple accessory can improve and make your workouts more pleasurable.
Even indoor training can get quite intense and tiring – ensuring proper hydration will keep you cool and prevent bonking out or cramps. depending on the type of training and intensity you would want to fit at least 2 bottle cages and bottles on your bike. Keep sipping on your bottle every 10-15 minutes to ensure optimal performance. If you’re at home racing or on an endurance ride then you may want to consider a hydration solution such as Fast&Up. This will replenish your body with salts and minerals that you will lose when on a particularly intensive ride.
3. RISER RING
Most trainers will keep your rear wheel substantially off the ground, to level things out (especially if looking at a screen) you may want to look at getting yourself a rider ring. This instrument will basically give your bike more stability and level it out with the rear wheel. When going hard or sprinting all-out on a trainer the additional support up front definitely helps.
4. SWEAT GUARD
Indoor training is fun and can be equally as tiring if not more tiring than riding outside. Since your indoors, ventilation isn’t as good as it is riding outdoors – eventually, you’re going to be dripping in sweat and all that sweat is going to pool down from your body onto your bike frame and the floor. Ever so often you’re going to find white salty patches on your bike frame and the floor (trainer mat helps here). Trust us you don’t want sweat to settle on your bike for long – it could potentially cause rusting over time on your handlebar/stem bolts.
Keep things clean with a sweat guard – additionally, some sweat guards also feature a phone holder so you can look at how hard you’re working out during the workout itself.
5. MEASURE YOUR WORKOUT
Spinning away pointlessly on your trainer isn’t of best use. Make the most out of your trainer workouts with the help of speed/cadence and power meters. Most trainers these days provide all this data and more without any additional sensors but if your trainer doesn’t then it’s worth considering. Knowing all this data will help you set goals and help keep the motivation high – you’re going to push yourself harder and eventually become a better and stronger/faster rider.
Another great investment would be a Heartrate monitor that will help improve your training workouts. By viewing your heartrate alongside other stats (power/cadence) you will know when to power through and when to recover for the best results.
Most sensors these days communicate with your smart devices or PCs/ laptops through either ANT+ or Bluetooth. Incase your sensors aren’t Bluetooth compatible you’re going to need an ANT+ dongle to help your PC/laptop communicate with your sensors and trainer.
OTHER ACCESSORIES TO CONSIDER
TOWELS – Nobody likes sweat getting in the way of your workouts – it can be quite annoying to have to constantly keep wiping sweat off your face when you’re going hard at it. Less ventilated spaces indoors will definitely leave you sweating quite a bit. Keep a towel handy next to you so that you can reach out for it whenever required.
PORTABLE DESK – At most times you’re going to be using a laptop or a screen of some sort in front of you. We’d recommend using a small portable table that you can adjust for height and keep in front of your trainer – helps you focus better on what you’re looking at on the screen.
DEDICATED FAN – Something to consider especially during the summers. Indoor training doesn’t allow for much ventilation – a strong and quiet fan that can direct some air towards you will help keep you cool when you’re pushing it. An overhead fan will do too but it helps to have something more directed towards you.
TRAINER BAG – A good item to have around if you move around with your trainer often. It’s also useful for those who don’t have too much space around at home and would like to store their trainers when not in use. A decent amount of padding in most trainer bags will keep them safe from minor knocks in case you decide to travel with it.
Trainer accessories help improve the whole indoor trainer ride experience by improving comfort, convince and even performance in some cases. We’ve covered the essentials for most indoor requirements – do let us know if you think we’ve missed out on something.
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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING
I’m an avid mountain biker and I like riding fast and flowy singletrack. As I keep riding, I continuously work on honing my riding skills. I like to ride whenever possible, especially with friends. I also like to influence folk into getting to ride more often.
Working on bicycles has also been a keen interest of mine for quite some time.
DISCIPLINE: Mountain biking and Road biking
CURRENT BIKE: Merida One Twenty 9.600 & Specialized Allez Elite DSW
DREAM BIKE: Santa Cruz 5010