Photo by Flo Karr on Unsplash
Cycling is a popular activity that’s become more in fashion over the last decade. Statistics show about 66 million Americans rode in 2017, a number that’s jumped by nearly 20 million since 2008. While some of these riders use their bike for pleasure of utilitarian purposes, there are several that use it for exercise and training purposes. This is a good thing, since there are a ton of benefits involved with using your bike in this manner. However, these benefits don’t have to be reserved for outdoor sessions when the weather’s good. Incorporating an indoor cycling regimen to your cycling training routine can keep you on the top of your game, regardless of what it looks like outside.
What Is Indoor Cycling?
Perhaps the best way to describe what indoor cycling is to define what it is not. Indoor cycling is not spinning, whose primary function is to just burn calories on a utilitarian get-up. Indoor cycling will deliver the opportunity to burn calories, of course, but it will also help cyclists maintain speed and endurance during the “off-season.”
This is accomplished by hopping on an indoor bike that’s designed to simulate real cycling situations while maintaining a stationary position. Doing so can not only help you keep up your speed and endurance, it can also be used to help you improve riding techniques. This improvement could conceivably help you improve your speed and endurance metrics.
What Bike to Use?
Obviously, the most important piece of equipment to a solid indoor cycling regimen is a bike. Like with anything involving cycling equipment, figuring out what bike to use takes some personal scrutiny.
The market has plenty of “bikes” that reproduce the feeling of being on a road. Some of these bikes look more like impersonal futuristic pieces of exercise equipment than actual cycles, while others are designed to look more like bikes. The latter designs tend to incorporate app-based or “smart” technology that can create advanced simulated riding experience.
Of course, the more sophisticated the simulated riding experience, the more expensive the rig will be. Some of the more advanced bikes may even require a monthly fee to use their apps or tech. This is something to be mindful of if you hit the fitness store on a tight budget.
Use Your Own Bike
If you’re technically inclined, you may want to consider converting a regular bike into an indoor training cycle. This doesn’t mean you have to deconstruct your own cycle – an old bike will do just nicely, as long as the back tire is removed.
What it does mean, though, is that you’ll have to buy pieces of equipment and accessories to properly simulate riding conditions. This could include gadgets like rollers to set your bike upon or wind simulators. These devices can cost a pretty penny – some may be more expenses than “smart” bikes – but some cyclist prefer this route because it tends to give more natural results.
Ultimately, how you set up an indoor cycling routine depends on your personal preference. The important thing is that you incorporate indoor cycling into your routine in some way. Doing so will keep you on top of your cycling game, regardless of what month is on the calendar.
Story submitted as special contribution by Sally Writes.