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Best Indoor Bike Trainers 2021 - Bicycling

If you don't want to give up training despite the gym being closed, lack of partner, pandemic restraints, or lack of motivation to face the bad weather outside, an indoor bike trainer will allow you to get the most out of every ride by replicating outdoor conditions at home while getting in shape and saving time on taking your gear out crossing the city or claiming hills.

All products featured on Men Objects are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Best Indoor Bike Trainers

Amazon's Best Budget Trainer

Sportneer Steel Bike Bicycle Exercise Trainer (Friction trainer)

$101.99 | Buy now

Built with a wide base and low stance for unshakable balance. Features 5 adjustable antislip rubber feet to even out any uneven flooring. EASY BIKE RELEASE: Ready to head outside? Just hit the press-down lever clamp to easily release and remove your ride. Front-wheel riser block and rear quick-release lever are included for quick installation.

Best Value Trainer

Saris CycleOps Fluid 2 (Fluid resistant)

$299.99 | Buy now

Quiet & Consistent. The CycleOps Fluid2 is the best-selling trainer in the USA. Made in the USA with 100% recyclable, non-rusting materials. Works with Zwift. Rugged 2" round 16-gauge steel frame: Tested to the combined weight (rider and bike) of 300 pounds.

Best Direct Drive Trainer

Unisky (Direct drive)

$399.00 | Buy now

The indoor exercise fluid bike trainer is designed with wide base and low posture. The wide frame and front wheel block keep it away from wobbling and reach unshakable balance. The steady base and adjustable anti-slip rubber feet fits for uneven floor in different conditions, preventing movement for stability on any surface.

Best Smart Trainer

Tacx NEO 2 Smart Trainer

$1,499.00+ (10 speed 11/28 Cassette) | Buy now

The pinnacle of indoor bike training, the Tacx NEO Smart, is made even better. On top of immersive features like Road feel, Dynamic Inertia, and Descent simulation, this direct drive also features Pedal stroke analysis. It is without question the most silent, realistic, and accurate bike trainer available.

Best Overall Trainer

ELITE Suito Pack (INteractive Direct Drive trainer)

$919.99 | Buy now

Slope simulation 15% | Accurate measurement 2.5% | Power output 1900w

Totally interactive home trainers that replicate rugged terrain or training power levels, using ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart protocols to communicate via Elite or third-party app/software (Zwift, TrainerRoad, etc.). Powerful, solid, and quiet, Suito is an interactive home trainer designed to offer you an easy, realistic, and accurate indoor bike training experience. It comes totally pre-assembled out of the box, as it features a pre-installed Shimano® 105 (or equivalent) 11-speed cassette.

Key Factors to Consider when Shopping for an Indoor Bike Trainer

  • Friction trainers

They work by placing a small rubberized wheel against the rear of your bicycle’s back tire--the resistance is either magnetic or fluid-based depending on what you prefer as well as how much money you want to spend. The weight difference between these two models means that they are typically lighter than other types of trainers which makes them more portable while also being less accurate when it comes to speed control/measuring due in part because there isn't any direct drive.

  • Direct drive trainers

With a direct drive trainer, the rear wheel is removed and replaced with what looks like an upside-down bicycle frame that attaches to your front forks, which then act as spokes on this new "wheel". The chain of your biking mechanism connects directly into gears within the stationary unit in order to power them both efficiently so you can get working out inside without having to worry about being outside or too far from home! Very expensive, these smart bike trainers offer connectivity to a mobile device so you can enjoy your favorite app for selecting a proper workout.

  • Fluid trainers

A fluid bike trainer is a great option if you want to maximize the resistance of your workout. The inner chamber contains liquid that creates more tuning resistance options, making it possible for you to adjust and increase or decrease the degree of difficulty inside the flywheel as needed depending on what type of day-to-day training schedule that best suits your needs! Several models do come equipped with Bluetooth or ANT+ connectivity. For those without such features, keep in mind you can always alleviate this inconvenience by adding a few accessories such as the Garmin Bike Speed Sensor 2 and Cadence Sensor 2 Bundle or this Garmin Edge 130 Plus Bundle.

How Loud are Indoor Bike trainers?

The cheaper bike trainers tend to be noisier, yes. But vibration and acoustic transmission are the main factors to deal with. The floor will shake when you pedal due to the vibrations that are emitted from your indoor bike trainer. While a concrete slap is generally an asset for a solid structure, it does have an airborne sound weakness and may not provide the level of noise reduction desired by most home/condo owners. This is why you'll want to use the basement or some soundproofing room because the bike trainer makes some noise in the air that projects to other surrounding rooms.

If your budget doesn't allow you to invest in a high-end bike trainer, then you might find that the cheaper models below $200 tend to be noisier indeed. So all of those living in an apartment or condo building, you won't be making any friends if you use one of those at sunrise or late after sunset. However, there are some alternatives in terms of indoor bike trainer accessories you can purchase to make your bike trainer work quieter such as cushion floor tiles, carpet, and foam exercise mats. You can double stack the tiles or the mats under the bike trainer as they come in detachable pieces, also very useful for the other exercises afterward.

Indoor Bike Trainer Accessories To Reduce Floor Vibrations

  • Amazon Basics Foam Interlocking Exercise Gym Floor Mat Tiles - Pack of 6, 24 x 24 x .5 Inches: $30.35+ | Buy now

  • TRX Training Mat: $24.99 | Buy now

  • Sorbus Wood Grain Floor Mats Foam Interlocking: $44.99 | Buy now

Do Indoor Bike Trainers Damage your Bike?

To a very light and moderate extend, If you don't wipe out your bike nor clean it once in a while after an intense and sweaty workout, then yes, for the faint of heart, we can give them a reason on claiming that heavy indoor training may cause wheel strain and sweat corrosion.

I just spent 4 months training indoor with a wheel-on trainer which did wear my back tire up to a flat and it only cost me $25 to replace.

Indoor Bike Trainer Accessories to Prevent Bike Damage

If you ask me if I worry about over tearing my bike indoors for the 3 hrs/week of training I spend, no. You can get a trainer tire made to be used indoor like below in blue, or If you are an advanced cyclist accustomed to riding over 4 hours a week, then you can always buy a spare rear wheel in advance to prevent such wear.

  1. Bike Front Wheel Riser Block Sturdy Plastic and Quick Release Rear Wheel Bike Tire Stabilizer: $12.99 | Buy here

  2. Tacx Trainer Tire: $39.99 - $53 | Buy here

  3. Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Home Trainer Fold Tire: $35 to $60 | Buy here

  4. Wheel Master Rear Bicycle Wheel $42.95 | Buy here

Which Indoor Bike Trainer Is Best?

The best indoor bike trainers are quiet, reliable, and easy to set up. Our top pick is the ELITE Suito Pack which has been designed with durability and reliability in mind while offering a smooth ride experience that's comparable to riding on pavement.

PROS: The Suito works straight out the box on zwift. Easy setup and it comes with a $50 cassette on already. This is a high-end trainer and well deserved.

CONS: Connection to the SWIFT may fail at times but the Elite app "My E-Training" seems more stable.

Indoor Bike Trainer Workouts

Some of the smart bike trainers we have listed already do come with a free membership to their indoor workout apps.

In conclusion, this is one of the most appreciate indoor training toys that I've discovered early on when we got hit by the Covid-19 gym restrictions. I was able to turn a negative situation into a positive fat-burning workout routine to complement my jogging and long walks. I find indoor bike trainers to be one of the best alternatives to expensive stationary bikes and to avoid nasty weather.

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Products featured on Men Objects are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.