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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:16 pm 
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Posts: 839
I just started doing indoor cycle training. Usually I do an hour before work on my CycleOps Jet fluid trainer but today I did a hard 2 hour session instead of my usual 3 hour ride in the Surrey Hills. 2 hours on the trainer certainly feels as beneficial as 3 hours on the road.

I have heard it is but it would be great to hear what you guys on the forum think. Any comments would be much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:48 pm 
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Posts: 4700
Location: Canada
The trainer certainly has it's role. Here in Canada, it is often too cold, icy or just plain dangerous to ride outdoors in the winter. The problem with the trainer is that I usually can't concentrate long enough to do the equivalent of a 4-hour road ride. Accordingly, the number of hours (and kJ) falls.

One of the great things about the trainer is it is consistent. I prefer the trainer for doing testing and certain intervals for that reason.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:26 pm 
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I used to use a trainer 4 times a week . I made huge gains on the trainer but when applied to riding on the road the gains did not have any real impact. Its great for your fitness but most gains on the road will be made on the road, not from the trainer . It's just not the same.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:34 pm 
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2.5 hours on the bike yesterday, 820 cals on the gym bike in 53 mins this am. I'm not normally at this level until April.I blame Campag.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:49 pm 
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sawyou wrote:
I used to use a trainer 4 times a week . I made huge gains on the trainer but when applied to riding on the road the gains did not have any real impact. Its great for your fitness but most gains on the road will be made on the road, not from the trainer . It's just not the same.


you need to look at how you were "training" on the trainer

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:04 pm 
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Location: Atlanta, GA, US
I once went on an out-of-town assignment for about two months, and decided to take my bike and trainer with me. We were working around the clock seven days a week and I didn't get a chance to go out riding much, so I kept riding 45-60 minutes on the trainer each night. I did that for about one month straight, then had a day off so went out for a real ride and boy was I flying. I lived in Tampa Florida at that time which is very flat, and this project was in a part of Indiana with lots of rolling hills, but those hills (or the headwind) didn't seem to matter at all. Now, I am sure I would have seen similar benefits if I went out riding for an hour on the road every day. But to me, the trainer keeps one focused (if you can tolerate the boredom), in my case because I don't coast at all while I am on it and there is no traffic to get in the way while doing intervals.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:48 pm 
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Location: Hungary
I usually do a 2 hour ride on weekdays. It doesn't matter how hard I try to maintain a steady effort, it's impossible. It's up and down, traffic, street furniture, whatever. So the load varies a lot.
On the trainer it's much easier to keep a steady effort. One does not freewheel on a trainer.
My coach says that -at least for me- an 1.5 ratio applies. So if I have to ride 2 hours on a day, I can substitute it with 1:20 on the rollers.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:01 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles / Glendale, California
Now what about trainer vs. rollers (w/ resistance or free motion) ?
Is the ratio of effort the same?
Is the boredom induction the same?
Are the benefits there as well? Better or worse compared to a trainer?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:01 pm 
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Location: San Francisco, CA
Rollers are better for technique, while the trainer is better for aerobic fitness. But you need to make sure you're well ventilated or else you'll over-heat and that will limit the work you can do: so big fan, minimal dress. It's hard to do sustained Z4-Z5 on a trainer because of over-heating. One of the best racers I know (Kevin Metcalf) is a big fan of 20 minute Z3 intervals. They obvious work well for him.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:40 pm 
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prendrefeu wrote:
Now what about trainer vs. rollers (w/ resistance or free motion) ?
Imo rollers beat a trainer in every way except maximum sprint efforts which I don't do indoors anyway.They can provide every bit of resistance as a trainer, but rollers are more expensive.
Is the ratio of effort the same?
Rollers are more difficult
Is the boredom induction the same?
Yes.
Are the benefits there as well? Better or worse compared to a trainer?
Yes. More so since you're actually riding your bike, so you're getting the technique along with the workout. That isn't a big deal if you're only riding the trainer for a day or two, but some folks spend months at a time indoors. Some are concerned about riding off of the rollers during hard efforts, but I say how do you expect to ride shoulder to shoulder in a fast group if you can't even stay on the rollers when your heart rate gets up? Rollers will help with that.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:13 pm 
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one question remains - do you really want/need all that 'steady effort' and how does that translate into regular riding?

out on the road, no matter the conditions, you're exposed to factors that force you to put different amounts of power in order to maintain a certain speed - think of corners, potholes, wind etc. so, your body is 'more at work' than when you're riding on a trainer - in that case once you make it spinning, you just gotta keep it that way. even doing intervals doesn't really make your body work the way it does on the road does it

from my own experience, indoor training sure makes your muscles 'feel' stronger. makes your lungs keep busy and burn some calories which don't hurt either. but then again, after some extensive training i used to find tacx trainers lacking resistance, and felt like Petacchi walking into LBS asking for 48-56 chainrings (staff's faces - priceless). was i THAT stronger on the road? nope. to the contrary - my brain suggested i've got what it needs to rock, but my knees felt otherwise

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:35 am 
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^ "do you really want that steady effort?"

Yes, yes you do.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:22 am 
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Just my opinion, but I have spent a lot of time on windtrainers and rollers and it seems to me that they are NOWHERE NEAR as effective as real road riding.
(Yes, I have done intervals, steady-state, have a power meter, etc)

Indoors is just too excruciatingly boring and you simply can't get the same volume of fresh air, even with a high power fan and an open window. The adrenaline factor is never there either.

Windtrainers and rollers are only a poor substitute for real riding when you simply CAN'T get outdoors.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:42 am 
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^ Just my opinion... but you're not doing it right. And "fresh air"? Is your trainer location suffering from lack of oxygen in the air or something? :noidea:


And for those who constantly bitch about fitness over winter AND have a indoor velodrome near by and don't use it... you are all piss-weak. Track sessions are boss.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:20 am 
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Location: New York
Do you know the meaning of "boss"? :lol:

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