Notes on Power Training and Indoor Trainers by a Mountain Biker and Runner

Indoor Trainers for Mountain Bikers.

I’ve never been a fan of indoor training. Either running or cycling. However since I started living in the “sunny” England I started training indoor as well to keep me in good shape over the winter.

I hated every form of indoor training until I tried some Power Training spinning classes. Power training is horrible but it is extremely effective and useful. You must have the right equipment and a very good instructor and then you will have a lot of fun (pain)… believe me, a lot!

Since the beginning of 2020 leading and training outdoor or spinning in groups have been challenging and difficult. I had to compromise and finally I decided to get a turbo trainer as I wanted flexibility (not being limited by spinning classes availability) and I wanted power training capabilities.

Notes on Indoor Trainers from a Mountain Biker and Runner

I will write a post on power training soon. Here, after more than 3000 km, I will share my experience, opinions and feelings for all the people that asked for an advice. Here I will put together all the advices, links, opinions and information I learn and discovered over time.

Training indoor (particularly power training) makes a huge difference on our riding endurance and strengths. After few months of training I consistently record personal bests when I ride outdoor. Overall I ride and run stronger and harder with a better feeling and confidence.

Cycling is also very useful to be a better runner. I recently attended a zoom session led by a strong ultra trail runners. I asked him about the importance of cycling (including indoor training) for running. He loved the question and he was really keen to stress the importance of cycling for his top world ranking level in running.

Advice 1: SPEND

First of all, if possible, do invest and do not go for budget options like rollers or entry level turbo trainers. There are certain features that will make the difference between keep going and giving up. The so call “ERG” mode is one of them. The capability for the turbo trainer to automatically change effort based on a complex training plan and based that to the specific FTP of the rider is pivotal. And if you are a mountain biker you don’t go for long and boring endurance cycling sessions. You need a lot of changes, you need slow RPM and a lot of torque.

Advice 2: Easy Set Up

My choice as a mountain biker was also not to use my outdoor MTB bike but have a dedicated bike on the trainer. I do mainly free-ride, enduro and all mountain and I prefer to keep my bikes and components safe and ready for the outdoor elements and challenges.

My Choice

Indoor Trainers for Mountain Bikers. The turbo trainer I decided to buy requires to mount the bike on the trainer itself removing the back wheel. There is a dedicated cassette I mounted on the trainer and that’s it. I bought an entry level triathlon/gravel bike and mount it on the trainer. More details on the set up soon. I frankly recommend this set up.

Here few articles I recommend to read to make your own choice.

Bike Radar: best Smart Trainers 2020

Best Bike Turbo Trainers

This post is still under review and editing. Apologies if it is not yet final.

In the meantime send me a message if you have any question.

Thanks for reading


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