The five benefits of using a smart trainer to improve your cycling.
There are many benefits associated with smart trainers, from beating bad weather to achieving specific training goals when you’re short on time. The idea of working indoors is no longer excruciatingly dull, thanks to the advent of smart turbo trainers and third-party interactive apps.
So what is a smart trainer?
Once connected to a third-party app, smart trainers can control the trainer’s resistance and replicate hills, headwinds and drafting effects inside a virtual world.
These apps guide riders through power-based interval workouts with the resistance automatically adjusted to ensure you’re riding at the correct power.
What are the two main types of smart trainers?
There are two different variations of smart trainers, wheel-on and direct drive.
Direct Drive Trainers
Direct drive trainers require you to remove the rear wheel and connect your bike to the trainer via a standard cassette. There are numerous advantages to purchasing a direct driver.
Outside of the obvious one, a lack of wear on your lovely rear tyre, they also tend to be quieter and offer a more realistic, road-like ride feel. They are also usually much more feature-rich and accurate in power measurement than wheel-on trainers.
Wheel-on Smart Trainers
Wheel-on smart trainers function similar to classic trainers – you clamp the rear axle into a support while your rear wheel rests on a roller drum. This drum is connected to a resistance unit that communicates with your chosen hardware and app to control the resistance you feel through the wheel.
These are typically far lighter than direct drive trainers but can cause wear on your tyres (though trainer tyers are available to mitigate the issue).
Why should I use a smart trainer?
There are numerous reasons why an individual would consider purchasing a smart trainer. Many of us don’t particularly enjoy getting wet or cold, which is why indoor smart trainers are a perfect option for the cold winter months. In addition, as the winter months creep in and you live in dense cities, training indoors can be much safer – if you’re doing hard intervals to exhaustion or training in a time-trial position out on the open roads, you need to be careful of traffic.