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An introduction to the world of stationary bike stands

When that weather starts getting rough, it does get harder to motivate yourself to get out on your bike for a training session. I mean, who wants to get soaking wet, or chilled to the bone on a cold December morning, when they could be cozily sat at home, sat snugly in a favorite armchair…

Well, that’s where bike trainer stands (also commonly known as a stationary bike stand) come in; ranging in price and quality, they are the perfect solution (and sooo easy to set up) for those of us who want to maintain our cycling over the colder months but just don’t fancy that weather.

07Fluid2bikeAs a serious cyclist, I’ve been hunting down and testing various models over the last year or two, and after getting asked by friends almost non-stop for opinions and advice, decided to setup this site to help them – and you too.

I’ve compiled some great tips for those of you cycling fans, plus reviews of many of the major bike trainer stands I’ve come across. Everything you need is all pretty much here…

I’ve purchased a number of models, including the very classy Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, and the recently revamped CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer, and tested countless others. The reviews are all here for you to check out; all you need to decide is which one fits your budget and your training model.

To get started, I’d highly recommend taking a look at the five BEST trainer stands to consider buying in 2017 (a quick overview of which you can see below); this is the perfect guide to the very best value models out there today, and you can’t go wrong if you choose any one of the five trainers on the list.

In addition, I created a buying comparison table, which lists nearly all the major models out there (and there are quite a few) which provides a great and easy to analyze summary of each trainer, from its weight to its rating on Amazon. It really should help you out if you’re stuck at looking at through the many options available today – and there are lots out there today (we’ve seen an influx of cheap bike stands recently, some of which are great value, some really not worth spending your hard earned cash on).


THREE things you have to know before buying a stationary bike stand…

Before you start browsing for the trainer that best suits your purposes, we have to point out that there are three factors you must take into consideration when choosing a trainer; these three factors will have a definite impact on the bike trainer stand you choose.

1. Your Goal — Are you recovering from injury? Losing weight? Planning to stay fit for the Spring cycling season? There’s typically a stationary bike stand ideal for your purposes; check out our introduction to the different types on the market.

2. Your Time — How often will you be squeezing in a training session? If you’re looking to clock some serious mileage, then it might be worth considering one of the more high-end models. If it’s a once a week hobby, then you could probably get away with a more budget-friendly trainer (depending, of course, on what exactly that once a week session entails…).

3. Your Budget — Just how much are you willing to spend on a bike stand? After considering the first two point, it’s time you put a number to that budget!

Top 3 features to take into consideration when buying a stationary bike stand

Stationary bike stands come with a variety of features, but these three are the ones you really have to start with; if the trainer you choose meets your requirements for the three features, you’re on to a winner!

1. Resistance — Check the available levels of resistance in the trainer that you’re interested in; some trainers are fluid-based resistance trainers which are known to be quieter, others are magnetic-based or wind-based.

2. Noise — Look for stationary bike stands that produce minimal noise; if you live in an apartment block, for example, a wind trainer isn’t the option that will maintain good relations with your neighbors!

3. Safety Features & Design — Check out the safety features and overall design of the trainers on your shortlist, as we mentioned, each trainer comes with its own special design and features…

The BEST trainers to consider buying in 2017

There are a number of great trainers to consider buying in 2017 (we’ll be updating this list every year), and any of the stationary bike stands we’ve listed here will do an amazing job in keeping you fit and happy through the winter months!

From the super realistic ride the Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roll Trainer gives, to the revamped and rather superb CycleOps Fluid 2, to the very budget-friendly (and bestseller) Magnet Steel Trainer, there are some great options to consider. And since we’ve done all the research and testing, you don’t have to do any more hunting down – it’s all in the list!

The BEST stationary bike stands of 2017!

Coming soon: Our complete guide to the must-have accessories for your training sessions, plus a FAQ section, which should answer any of the questions you might have in regards to buying a bike trainer stand.

Getting Started

How do I insert the rear skewer into my bike’s rear wheel?

how to insert the rear skewer

It’s a question many of you have asked, and a question many of you will continue to ask! But that’s OK, that’s what we’re here for, to help you get started with your indoor trainer! Installing the rear skewer into your rear wheel sounds a lot trickier than it actually is. Most decent trainers come with their own skewer, mainly ...

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Quick and easy maintenance tips for your stationary bike trainer

Maintaining Bike Trainer

Great job on buying that stationary bike trainer! Now all you need to do is keep it well maintained – that is, if you want it to last more than the coming few months! Your new bike trainer is of course, superb for keeping you fit and perfect for your cardiovascular upkeep. But yes, you also have to worry about the ...

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Latest Reviews

THREE of the BEST magnetic bike trainers out there!

There are some great magnetic trainers out there, and for those of you not convinced by the typically pricier fluid trainers (such as the always impressive CycleOps Fluid 2 or the Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller), we’ve done the digging and come up with the THREE best magnetic trainers your wallet and your training sessions are going to enjoy…

The fully adjustable Blackburn Tech Mag 6

Blackburn Tech Mag 6 reviewIf you want an indoor trainer that gives you power workouts during those quiet winter mornings / evenings without disturbing others in your house, the Blackburn Tech Mag 6 is a great option.

It works smoothly and quietly to give you a powerful workout through six different resistance settings that you can conveniently adjust with a bar-mounted remote. It is decently sturdy and durable, and is light enough and easy enough to setup to ensure it comes along with you for your pre-race warm-up routines.

The Blackburn Tech Mag 6 is a high performance indoor trainer that even professional cyclists can rely on to deliver power workouts through its magnetic resistance unit that creates progressive power curves.

You can easily adjust the six-position magnetic resistance with a remote lever that can be mounted conveniently on your handlebars. The strong tubular steel frame with adjustable swing-out legs makes leveling easy (and they are also collapsible, which makes it perfect for storing away), even in rough or uneven surfaces, while the rear skewer can be mounted through a taper on the cones, which ensures a tight and solid fit on both ends of the skewer assembly.

Purchase of the trainer includes a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. The smooth and almost noiseless performance makes it ideal for those winter indoor workouts, and the progressive resistance will suit the training requirements of both beginners and professionals. A very decent mag trainer!

Click HERE for our full review of the Blackburn Tech Mag

The classic CycleOps Magneto Indoor Trainer

CycleOps Magneto TrainerWhether you’re a beginner or a professional, the CycleOps Magneto Indoor Trainer will make you a stronger cyclist – and you will definitely appreciate the range of workouts you can get from this trainer, particularly during the winter months when outdoor rides become almost impossible.

The superior technology of this mag trainer allows you to adjust resistance curves to get the inertia that is appropriate for your riding skills and strength. Whatever resistance level you choose, you will get a smooth ride that almost perfectly mimics outdoor rides. And despite the small rocking movements that you will experience when you push the intensity at higher resistance levels, the frame is pretty darned stable and sturdy!

The CycleOps Magneto trainer has four distinct power curves; from the Easy setting that is suitable for warm-ups, to the Mountain setting that will test your stamina for steep climbs. You can also use the Road setting to get a good simulation of real outdoor rides, while the Interval setting will allow you to experience the sharp difference between low and high speeds. Because of these options, you can implement a comprehensive training program using the trainer to prepare you for the more serious challenges of bike tours and races.

The frame also has a wide, stable base that is equipped with a one-sided installation that allows quick setup and removal of the bike. You can fold it for transport or storage with the resistance unit locked in place.

The CycleOps Magneto trainer is a bargain – even if it is a little pricey (at around $250). The quality of training it provides and its versatility is enough compensation for that price, trust us on that one!

Click HERE for our full review of the CycleOps Magneto

Budget friendly goodness from the Graber Mag Indoor Trainer

Graber Indoor TrainerThe Graber Mag trainer will give you a great workout on those days when riding outdoors is impossible, or even a quick workout when you are on a tight schedule. Though it will probably not give you as much power as the pricier models we listed above, the highest resistance setting out of the five levels is sufficient for most cyclists who are trying to improve muscle strength and stamina for long rides.

The trainer has five levels of magnetic resistance generated by a unit that is similar to those installed by CycleOps, except for the PVC rollers. You can use it with mountain and road bikes with wheel sizes of 26”, 27” and 700c. It is easy to set up because all you have to do is mount your bike using a quick release rear axle, as per almost every trainer these days.

It gives a smooth and relatively quiet ride that almost simulates outdoor rides through the progressive resistance. The frame is sturdy and has leveling feet that provide maximum stability to the mounted bike and rider. You can also fold the frame down to store easily under your bed or in the closet.

The Graber Mag trainer is a great investment for budget conscious cyclists who are after a decent trainer that will give a decent workout. Unless you’re a professional aiming for maximum power (in which case you’ll need something like this), you won’t need to fork out for pricier models to maintain your cycling strength over the winter months – and for just over $100 the Graber Mag is yours! A very decent value trainer if ever there was one!

Click HERE for our full review of the Graber Mag trainer

One heck of a quality fluid trainer – the CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer

Cycleops Fluid 2 Trainer

OK, so can I talk to you about indoor bike trainers and the noise levels associated with them? Because let’s face it, that’s one of the biggest factors for many in deciding what trainer to buy – and definitely one of the most popular questions we’re asked: Just how noisy is that xxx trainer…?

Why do they always need to be so loud? I love training indoors – especially when the weather outside is too cold or wet to get my daily miles in – but the biggest problem I know that many of you have with most indoor trainers is that they sound like you are riding next to a jet turbine. I mention this because I finally purchased the CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer after testing it out at friends. And what instantly hit me when I first climbed on the trainer was how quiet it is, especially compared with many other indoor trainers on the market today.

Apparently, those clever designers at CycleOps were able to provide this type of super-quiet ride by improving the position of the sealed-cartridge. It practically eliminated most of the noise.

Though I should point out at this stage that ANY trainer you ride with regular mountain bike tires is going to sound close to a Boeing 737. From experience, change your rear tire to a training slick, which you can get your hands on almost everywhere. Your ears, or those of your neighbors and dear ones, will thank me later…

Now, for some cyclists this may not be a big deal. But I spend a lot of time – I mean, a LOT – of time in the saddle during the off-season and it’s usually in front of the television or listening to music on my iPod. And knowing I don’t have to worry about excessive noise levels is one heck of a deciding factor for me.

Check out the best deals for this CycleOps trainer right HERE!

What convinced us about the CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer?

Fluid 2 trainer reviewOK, so the CycleOps Fluid 2 isn’t just about noise levels – and here is where I’ll point out some of the other benefits that convinced me to buy this trainer.

First, it gives a realistic ride. And before you ask “How can riding a bike indoors on an indoor trainer in the middle of your living room be realistic?”, I’ll hit you with my answer – when you are riding your bike out on the road and you accelerate from a standing still position, you have to overcome the inertia of your own weight in order to get to cruising speed. With many of the cheapo stationary bike trainers, you can reach your desired speed without breaking sweat. But with the CycleOps Fluid 2, the resistance is replicated, creating a more realistic riding experience.

This is important for a lot of reasons: it helps build up and maintain your quads, hamstring and other leg muscles you will need in live cycling conditions. Plus, it reduces the “culture shock” when you transition from indoor training to outdoor riding once the weather finally improves in your area.

The Fluid 2 achieves this realism by including a 2.75 pound flywheel, the weight of which has to be overcome every time you accelerate. In addition, the flywheel is precision balanced, so it helps prevent premature wear patterns and also keeps your steering forks from wobbling as you train.

The cost of the CycleOps Fluid 2 is generally in the $275 to $325 range, which some cyclists may consider to be a little higher than they would expect to pay for a stationary bike trainer. But when you consider that the Fluid 2 comes with a lifetime warranty – not to mention a remarkably knowledgeable and helpful customer service department (my friend had to call them for help in assembling his model) – that price is something of a bargain.

And you don’t really have to worry about the Fluid 2’s frame creaking or bending while you are training because it’s made out of 2-inch round 16 gauge steel. It also includes adjustable foot pads, which are helpful if you have uneven wood floors in your apartment, like I do!

Another neat feature I liked is the quick load cam lever that allows you to snap your bike in and out of the trainer quickly and conveniently, all while maintaining the same resistance level. That helps alleviate the hassle of having to set up your trainer every time you want to use it. You can just kick the Fluid 2 out of the way until you are ready to ride again.

Some terrific technical specs

As I mentioned above, I was impressed with  quite a few things about the CycleOps Fluid 2, but the specifications were also something to take note of. Here are a few of the major tech features:

  • PowerTuned for a terrific road-like experience (PowerTuned means the internal resistance curve was tested and configured by CycleOps unique PowerTap technology)
  • The fluid resistance unit gives a great, quiet ride, with noise levels measured at 20 mph at 64-68 decibels.
  • One of the industry’s biggest flywheels, which allows an improved road-like feel.
  • A CycleOps-unique patented fan design keeps the trainer performing for longer, and better.
  • Unique adjustable feet on the trainer legs ensure you can adjust the stand on uneven surfaces.
  • A spring loaded, bolt-action lever ensures easy placement every time you want to attach your bike.
  • An excellent alloy roller that reduces the wear and tear on your tires.
  • An easy to turn yellow clutch knob which you can turn for the maximum roller to tire tension in each session.
  • Compatible with 650b, 700c, 26″, 27″ and 29″ wheels, for both road bikes and mountain bikes that have a quick release skewer.
  • The new version of the Fluid 2 is compatible with the CycleOps virtual training feature, well worth checking out.

Things I didn’t like about the CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer

Although I didn’t experience it first-hand, what with some experience of setting up various trainers, my friend told me that the assembly was a little confusing and that he had to call the customer service line for help. But he added they were friendly and patient and he was able to get his set up within just a few minutes once they explained what he was doing wrong. Apparently, it also comes with a DVD, which he said he didn’t find until after he already had his snapped together.

So, how much bang do you get for your buck?

It’s definitely not the cheapest trainer stand in the industry (coming in at around $275-325), but this stand oozes quality. I’ve enjoyed a good few hours on this baby, and have been won over. I’m also hoping to look into the virtual training side of things as this really appeals, especially with the inevitable boredom of repeated sessions over the months I’m training indoors. It’s also a great alternative to the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine (reviewed here), which is priced similarly.

I recommend the Fluid 2 heartily; it also easily makes our list of the best stationary bike trainers to buy in 2017.


OK, so can I talk to you about indoor bike trainers and the noise levels associated with them? Because let's face it, that's one of the biggest factors for many in deciding what trainer to buy - and definitely one of the most popular questions we're asked: Just how noisy is…


Value for money


An excellent fluid trainer from one of the industry's leading manufacturers. Highly recommended.

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