Winter Trainer

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As the mercury drops and the chill in the air increases, it becomes difficult to put up with a morning bike ride routine. The comfort of a warm bed and pillow takes over the willpower to exercise and get out and ride.

Additional factors like low visibility due to fog and dam roads caused by mist also raise a safety issue for morning bike rides in the winter.

Here are a few tips that will help you stay in the groove all year long.

If you insist on riding out in the morning, check for tire options for both wet and dry surfaces, MTB riders won’t have to worry about this, but road bike riders will have to pay heed. It could turn out to be wise to swap out to wider tires on road bikes. When on slippery roads, endure that braking is applied in increments and that you do not jam the brakes at the first sight of trouble. Also use this as an opportunity to better your bike handling skills.

Add visibility to yourself and your ride. Head and tail lights, reflective vests and strips are available in plenty of options across a varied price range. Invest in these accessories and ride with confidence. If you are used to riding alone, consider joining a riding group and stay in a well formed bunch during your rides.

 

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For riders who prefer not to step out at all in the winters, stationary trainers can come as a boon. Trainers allow you to mount your bicycle onto a resistance platform and churn out your training routine from the comfort of the indoors. Now it is worthy to mention that trainers will come in handy mostly to road bikers. But with a little bit of research, you might be able to find wheel and tire options for trainer mounting of MTB as well.

When investing in a trainer, ask yourselves a few questions about how much time and training are you going to spend on it. The price range of trainers vary widely and can be narrowed down based on your exact usage. Trainers have basic mechanical systems using fans and weights or magnets to using fluid and thermodynamics to full size rollers to provide resistance at the rear wheel. Choosing the one that fits your needs will be made easy by consulting your local bike shop.

You will have to invest in a bicycle computer if you don’t already have one and will also need to hook it up to your rear wheel unlike the traditional front wheel installation in case you already own one. Adding power meters can be a great new tool to riders who are focused towards specific training goals and preparing for races.

In a brief hierarchy, wind trainers that use a fan are basic in design, next up would be trainers that provide resistance using magnets, followed by fluid trainers and finally what the pros use, a roller. Rollers are tricky to start using and require some bit of practice to avoid injury.

Another tip is that all trainers are noisy. Keep this in mind when choosing a spot at your home to set this up. Also, it will be wise to get a spare rear wheel meant only for trainer usage as tire wear is faster on trainers and it is not safe to use tires worn on trainers out on the real roads. There are specific tires made for this purpose, install these in a spare wheel and you are good to roll.

Share your winter rides or trainer ride images with us at editdeskcrank@procycle.in

 

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