Beginner trainer advice

Home Page California Triathlon Discussion Beginner trainer advice

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Facebook Profile photo Sara Clifford Randolph 2 weeks ago.

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  • #3886
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    Kari George
    • Total Posts: 6

      Good morning everyone!

      I’m sharing this deal from Performance for an entry bike trainer:

      It’s a basic fluid trainer for $100. Thom advised me that it was a good deal and a good way to get into indoor trainers. He also asked that I post some of the questions I asked him so others could weigh in:

      1. Do I need a power meter or any other tech to get started with this?
      2. Should I get a spare back wheel so I don’t wear out my nice bike tires?
      (as an aside, does anyone have an extra one lying around that I could use/have?)
      3. Would this spare tire need to be the same size as my current tires?
      4. Since this is my first trainer, what type of workouts should I do on it?
      5. What else should I know as I get into this, and eventually plan to get more sophisticated trainers?

      Thanks for weighing in!


    • #3891
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      Kim Degen
      • Total Posts: 135

        Great deal and questions, Kari!

        1. You only need your trainer and bike to get started. Everything else is just extra. For example, if you want to use Zwift then a speed/cadence sensor is needed or the more expensive power meter option.

        2. If you will only use the trainer once in a while then using your normal setup is fine. However if you plan to use your trainer a lot then either plan on purchasing new tires more often or spend extra and go the spare tire option. I eventually did the spare tire option but it can be a couple hundred dollars if you can’t find a wheel from a friend.

        3. Yes. Same size wheel/tire and cassette would be best.

        4. Any of the workouts on the website. 🙂 Sixty minutes with a good warm up, then intervals and then a good cool down is a great way to get your ride on.

        5. A fan and towel are extremely important. If no fan, then setup near a window because riding indoors is hot and the amount of sweat you will produce is crazy. To help protect the bike, let your towel hang across your handlebars and stem too.

      • #3916
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        Sara Clifford Randolph
        • Total Posts: 77

          Kim already provided some great input on the trainer and power meter but I’ll add a few things:

          I used the same basic trainer for 5 years. I do the majority of my riding indoors and the basic trainer worked out great for me. I never changed the tire from road to trainer but did notice extra wear on the tire from the trainer. I just checked the tire before riding outside. I also like to use old racing tires/tubes on my trainer since they are perfectly good tires/tubes.

          For the first 2 years, I didn’t use a power meter, then I added the power meter to my bike. And just last year, I got a smart trainer. I also have a Zwift account but find that sometimes it’s just quicker to hop on the trainer for my session without the features of a fancy trainer.

          I think that if you have some extra cash to invest, it would be better to invest in a power meter than a smart trainer. The power meter gives you some measurable data points when you add interval training to your workouts. Heart Rate works too but a power meter is a little better in my opinion. If you add the power meter to your bike – then you can use it on your rides outside and during a race.

          I agree with the towel over the bike and I have a little TV out by my trainer for the extra long sessions 🙂 I also put a little shelf in front of my bike to hold extra water bottles.

          I published a few trainer workouts in my last Chapter newsletter:
          5 x (1 min zone 4-5, 1 min easy).
          5x(2 min zone 4, 1 min easy).
          5x(5 min zone 3, 1 min easy).
          3x (10 min zone 3, 5 min easy).

          ​These are all great intervals to do on the bike and the number of reps can be changed based on the amount of time you have to workout. You can also do these intervals on the road. Be sure to include at least 5-10 minutes of zone 1 warm up and cool down prior to your workout.

          ​You can also add a little brick run at the end of one of these intervals if you have a little extra time.

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