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If you live in the northern hemisphere you’ll notice that you can’t quite manage those 2 hours after work in glorious evening sunshine! If you’re in the south you’ll be cramming as many miles in as you can in preparation for that early race before Christmas or to kick off big time just afterwards.

Both of these situations are ideal for a bit of organised and structured indoor training. No hassle of lighting or being interrupted when out and about on the road trying to do intervals. At the beginning of this season I did a programme of intervals and was amazed at how quickly I gained speed (always great when riding often with mates!).

For indoor training you have the choice of either a turbo trainer or a set of rollers. Both let you ride you bike indoors but they have different benefits and purposes.

“60 mins on the trainer is worth 90 mins on the road” is often banded about…

How true is this? With a turbo you have the ability to vary the training resistance as and when you like, on the road you’re constantly having to adjust to the terrain/wind/traffic. Rollers on the other hand tend not to have a resistance setting (other than your gears which even still don’t affect it that much) but they help you to hone your balance. While it might not seem important, hey if you can ride in a straight line it doesn’t matter right? Not really, as with any sport technique and efficiency of your movement are vital if you want to do well – look at every Pro rider and how at home they look on their bike. You could have the nicest, lightest bike out there with a power meter and the lot, if you’re position and motion are poor you’ll suffer in a race. Next time you catch a rider up just check how they look, do they look ‘fluid’ on a bike? Could you change something yourself to become a smoother rider?

A turbo will help you to develop your pedalling action plus get your bike set-up just right (think cleats, saddle height and saddle position. A set of rollers will do this also but with the added benefit of increasing your balancing skills and highlighting any bad habits you may have – track stands at traffic lights will be a walk in the park + no more scuffed Sidi’s!


Turbo Trainers:

Conveniently just arrived here at PBK is the new Limited Edition Tacx Satori ‘Stripes’ trainer. In this package is the turbo, a bag for transporting it around, a DVD disc to ride along with and a Skyliner/front wheel riser.

A stylish version with a new design of Tacx’s most popular cycletrainer.

Includes Skyliner, matching carrier bag and a Video Cycling movie of the Grossglockner. The Satori Stripes is offered in a limited edition at a very attractive price. This bag affords optimum protection in transit and is handy to store the trainer in when not in use.

The Grossglockner movie takes you along over one of the world’s most famous mountain passes. You cycle through pine forests, open moorland and extremely rugged mountain landscapes.

A high-level challenge.

Rollers:

I don’t want this to turn into a Tacx advert but I can’t pretend that our best selling set aren’t the Antares!

The distinctive blue rollers give them away from a mile away, the frame is easily adjusted and they don’t go wrong very often (our returns dept. tells me).

The Antares rollers are Tacx’s revolutionary contribution to the new found popularity of track racing.

Their design is state of the art; thanks to the conical rollers your ride will be extra stable. With the Antares you can now focus even more on your goals in training: improve your fitness and pedal stroke and reinforce your sense of equilibrium at the same time.

The major advantage is that you can ride freely, you have the feeling of riding outdoors. The Antares makes indoor cycling true to life with its position which is exactly as it would be on the road and on the track.

For the inside tip from Bobby Julich click here.

Accessories:

A Trainer Mat may prove useful if using on anything but a concrete floor. The vibrations and noise are dampened by a mat, it will also catch any sweat which falls.

A specific Trainer Tyre will let you run maximum contact pressure between bike and turbo without melting the rubber/slipping when putting big power down. They also run quieter.



Once you’ve got setup, found some good music and learnt how to ride rollers you’re away.

Google ‘interval sessions’ for some ideas/routines and you’ll soon increase your power and time you can spend at that power output. Great for putting the hammer down against your rivals or just getting over those hills easier and being able to enjoy the view more.

Though the well know quote “it doesn’t get easier, you just get faster” may soon be applicable to most of your rides!

Whether you need to gain some speed for the upcoming season or are planning on carrying your fitness through winter an indoor trainer can really help.

We would all like to say we ride whatever the weather but in reality we can’t/don’t/won’t! Having one of these in your garage or basement will allow you to focus solely on speed, performance and technique.

And if you’re setup looks anything like this show us!

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A hub of reviews, advice and news from the online road cycling experts at ProBikeKit.