Home Bicycle Training - possible/desirable with a Dutch-style upright?
November 19, 2014 6:51 AM   Subscribe

I belong to the gym next to my apartment building, which costs me $70/month. All I do there is use their stationary bicycles, and occasionally I have to wait for one to become free. I like to use it for 90 minutes per session, 4 times a week. It occurs to me that I could quit my gym if I could find a way to get that kind of - mindless, no need to pay attention to the traffic, worry about dressing for cold weather, or think about where I'm going - exercise at home using my current bicycle.

I have a PUBLIC J7 bicycle that I love. Would it be too heavy to stay upright on a home trainer/stand? Would such a set-up make a lot of noise for my downstairs neighbors? I'd use it between 7-9pm on weeknights or during the late morning or afternoon on weekends. Could you recommend a brand/model? Thank you!
posted by pammeke to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I imagine something like this would do the job
posted by pharm at 6:57 AM on November 19, 2014

Do remember that you're not paying for the equipment as much as the social constraint that ensures that once you've entered the gym you can't not get on for a period of time. (mention this as one whose bike downstairs is just sitting there inert at the moment)
posted by sammyo at 7:01 AM on November 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I've never put an upright on a trainer, so there may be complications there I don't know about, but I'd be pretty surprised if the weight were an issue -- I know lots of bigger triathletes (self included) who use a trainer, and at least personally I suspect my additional flab is heavier than the difference in weight between a road bike and a city bike.

Noise-wise, I have my bike on a fluid resistance trainer (Kinetic Road Machine) which is relatively quiet (I checked in with my downstairs neighbor after I got it and he said he couldn't hear it, but that was a newer building, so YMMV). The guy at my local bike shop did warn me that the wind/air resistance trainers are pretty loud.
posted by dorque at 7:12 AM on November 19, 2014

Best answer: I borrowed my mom's cheap home trainer/stand thing (I didn't even know what the term was until I read this thread) thinking I could put my Electra 7D (upon which I sit completely upright) on it during the winter in the living room when it was too cold and windy to go up and down the boardwalk. I used it for 10 seconds and stopped because it was far too noisy and my downstairs neighbor would (rightfully) murder me. I don't recall the model, it probably cost no more than $30 and the bicycle's rear wheel sat on a metal rotating wheel that had variable resistance. The sound of the tire against the metal was quite loud and could be felt through the floor throughout the apartment.

Maybe the ones other people have are better, but you're probably going to have to avoid cheap ones if you're worried about your neighbors (thank you!).
posted by Brian Puccio at 7:35 AM on November 19, 2014

Best answer: The Kurt Kinetic is an excellent trainer. Fluid and air trainers feel more realistic than magnetic trainers. Fluid are also a bit quieter.

You probably have a lot of air moving over you in your gym and don't realize it. You build up a lot of heat cycling, and that heat is carried away by you moving through the air. Get a fan.

Trainers also eat tires. Literally. You'll notice a lot of black dust on your floor. That used to be your rear tire. Consider investing in a tire made specifically for trainers (less dust, lasts longer, a little quieter).

You can also use a riser block to elevate your front wheel so that your bike is level. They work great. I used a physics textbook, which worked ok, but would sometimes walk a bit, causing me to have to stop and re-position it.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:50 AM on November 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

If you have a bike that you love, don't put it on a stationary trainer. Or if you do, be really damn careful to keep your bike clean. You sweat a lot on a stationary trainer, sweat is corrosive, and it will drip all over your bike.

I used to have a stationary trainer, which was great for recuperating from an injury. I set it up with a beater frame and by the time I wound up getting rid of it, the frame was trashed. I actually did not have the problem of tire-chewing that spikeleemajortimdickandharryconnickjrmints mentions.
posted by adamrice at 10:48 AM on November 19, 2014

Best answer: I just started riding a Cycleops Fluid 2 (which I love) in my heated garage so noise isn't an issue for me, but I could see how the loud whirring could cause vibration or sound issues with a downstairs neighbor. It might be worthwhile testing one out beforehand. I can't really speak to whether an upright bike would be a problem (that's a beautiful bike btw), but I can't see how it would unless your seated position might cause you numbness or other discomfort. And I sweat a lot when on my trainer. Not only might frame corrosion be an issue, but I'd also be concerned about the effects on your carpet or floor.
posted by slogger at 12:47 PM on November 19, 2014

I think nearly any trainer would be a good start, but as a guy who rides indoors in the winter, I strongly suggest getting the biggest fan you can find and pointing it directly at your torso. Also keep in mind that trainers wear down tires much faster than actual outdoor riding.
posted by Wild_Eep at 2:11 PM on November 19, 2014

Response by poster: Thank you all! As I've seen many OPs say before: I wanted to mark these all "best answers" - all were very helpful. A friend is giving me his (not much used) rollers to try out, another friend has offered to loan me his fluid trainer (which he thinks will work with my bike despite the lack of quick-release rear wheel), and I'll hold off on quitting my gym membership until I get a sense of whether I 1) can do this without troubling my neighbors, 2) will do this regularly & at reasonable length without the gym being there, and 3) am able to get the workout I need at home without killing my bike or my floors. Or flying off the rollers into a wall.

Again - many thanks!!
posted by pammeke at 9:45 AM on November 20, 2014

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