What Is A Magnetic Trainer?
A Magnetic Trainer is just one of the many choices that you have when looking for an indoor bicycle trainer. Basically when you've made the decision to ride indoors, you want a bike trainer which will most closely emulate the type of ride that you get outdoors (minus the rain, wind, and traffic). So what you end up finding out is that you have the choice of a wind trainer, magnetic trainer, and a fluid trainer. Throw on top of that a roller trainer if you truly want to practice balance and a rim drive trainer if you will be using your mountain bike on a bicycle trainer. Ok... lets back up a bit. In general, a bike trainer is a device that holds the forks of your front wheel while the rear tire sits on a roller. As you begin to pedal, the rear tire moves in conjunction with the roller. As you pedal harder or change the gears on your bicycle, resistance increases and you can get one heck of a workout.
You will soon find out that as in anything, there are ranges in quality, features, and price. As the price moves up, some bicycle trainers have resistance that can be changed at the back of the trainer (requiring you to hop off the bicycle if you want to change resistance) while some other bike trainers have a remote handlebar feature which lets you change resistance while you are on your bike. How cool is that?
Lets take a look at the different types of bike trainers.
Wind Trainer - Inexpensive. Does the job. May be noisy because it uses a fan to provide resistance. You pedal and change your gears to increase resistance and the fan gets louder.
Magnetic Trainer - Middle of the road price. Does a better job. Less noisy. Different resistance levels depending on model. Great trainer for the majority of cyclists looking to get in shape or stay in shape during inclement weather.
Fluid Trainer - Price increases. Top of the line. More options. Even less noise. Some may leak. Best resistance levels of all bike trainers.
Rim Drive Trainer - A perfect option for mountain bike riders who don't want to change out their rear tire from a knobby tire to a slick tire.
Roller Trainer - Allows you to work on form, holding a straight line, and balance. Some offer wind resistance add-ons. Can be dangerous if you have not ridden one before or are not paying attention.
To get a basic understanding of the different types of bike trainers, I highly recommend checking out this video.
The great thing about technology is that it brings about vast improvements in nearly everything.
The cycling industry is no exception and indoor bicycle trainers are now light years ahead of what they were like just a few years ago. From very affordable wind trainers to magnetic trainers under $60, the price range of these bike trainers puts them in reach of most cycling enthusiasts. I'm often asked why I choose a magnetic trainer over the other types of bike trainers on the market. For me it has ease of setup, plenty of models to choose from, combines a good amount of resistance, and is priced within reach of most weekend warrior cyclists.
Want to ramp up your riding? Then take it a step further and look at some of the fluid trainers. You can now ride the same indoor bike trainer that the USA Cycling Team trains with. The Kurt Kinetic Road Machine is one of the best bicycle trainers on the market at its price when it comes to a fluid trainer. Want more of a realistic road ride? Check out a roller trainer.
The bottom line is that if you want to spend under $60 or well over $2000, you can stay in great shape during the off-season by riding an indoor bicycle trainer and you'll be able to hop on that bike trainer when the weather outside just won't cooperate. Sound good? Then start by checking out a few of the bike trainers shown further on down the page.
Magnetic Trainer At The Right Price
My personal choice when it comes to a magnetic trainer is the Bell Motivator Mag. Just take a look at the amount of reviews. This bike trainer is the #1 ranked bike trainer on Amazon as of the fall of 2011.
Make sure to compare manufacturers, models, features, price, and reviews before making any purchasing decision. And if your research matches mine, you will be riding a magnetic trainer the next time the weather turns sour.