You love bike riding for cardio, but the weather doesn't always cooperate by providing you with clear skies and not too hot, not too cold temperatures. The solution: wind-trainers and magnetic bike trainers. They're handy stands that allow you to hook up the rear tire on your bike so you can exercise indoors. These bike stands do more than just convert your road or mountain bike into a stationary bike; they also provide adjustable resistance so you can simulate your favorite outdoor course. Hooking one up to your bike only takes a few minutes, and then you're ready to ride.
Open the stand and set it on the floor. An open stand resembles a tripod with the resistance bar upon which your rear tire rests on one side, with the two support legs on the other.
Place the stand on the floor in the location you want your bike.
Unscrew the rods running through the hinge at the apex of the stand. You need to slip your rear tire's cog between them, so draw them out enough to provide the space, but don't unscrew them all the way.
Position your back tire so that it's sitting on the resistance bar of the stand, with the wheel's cog between the two support rods. Placing the end of one rod into the cog will help keep the bike in place as you work.
Screw the rods back in, making sure that each is in place in each side of the cog. You should alternate sides as you do this so that your bike remains centered on the resistance bar and doesn't get pushed to one side or the other.
Tighten the rods as much as you can. You can test how securely you've been able to tighten them by lightly moving the bike from side to side. Get assistance from someone stronger than yourself if you are unable to screw them in tight enough to affix the bike firmly in place.
Attach the resistance control to your bike handle by undoing the screw on the bottom and opening the hinge. Clamp the hinge around your bike handle and refasten the screw securely so that the controller doesn't slip.
Lift up your bike's front tire and slide the riser under it.
- The riser for the front tire doesn't typically come with the bike stand and isn't vital for indoor cycling. It does make indoor cycling more comfortable, though, as it brings the front of your bike even with the suspended rear wheel.
- Instead of screw-in rods, some stands have spring-loaded levers that manipulate the rods that fit in the wheel cogs. These install quicker, but some don't have the secure hold that the screw-type rods do. If you opt for a stand with a lever, try it out before buying it to ensure it provides sufficient support and hold.
- You may want to use an old bike for indoor training and keep your newer one for riding outdoors. Placing a bike on a wind or magnetic trainer puts a lot of pressure on the frame and could impair it in ways that would affect how it handles if you want to take it back out on the road.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.