Indoor cycling can be very tough, hot and sweaty. To make your training more bearable, you can enhance your training cave with some special accessories. Let’s take a look at what’s available.
#1 Fight the sweat
We all know that when you give it your all on your indoor trainer, perspiration is inevitable. And we’re not talking about a few drops, but sweat streaming down your body creating puddles on the floor. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could reduce and remove the moisture? Well, you probably already train with a towel to dry your body. Make sure this is a decent towel especially made for indoor training. This will absorb your sweat better than an average towel.
Furthermore, a sweat cover is very useful to protect your bike from corrosion caused by perspiration. Also, to keep your floor clean, use a training mat underneath your bike. This will intercept and absorb all the dripping sweat.
As you’re sweating buckets during your indoor training session, avoid drying out! Don’t forget to hydrate and make sure you have at least one drink bottle within reach, filled with water or a sports drink. The best and most natural place for your bottle is of course on your bike, so use an easy to use bottle cage holder.
#3 Keep it cool
Prevent overheating and exercise in a ventilated space. Open a window in your training cave or use a fan to cool you down. A fan, in particular, is recommended because the air flow will make you sweat less and let you perform better and longer.
#4 Focus on the screen
Most people like to sit in front of a screen when they train on an indoor trainer. Watching your favourite movies and series will make the time fly by. When you’re in for a more serious training session and use software like Zwift, Trainer Road or the Tacx Desktop app, you’ll also need a screen in front of you. A setup with a television screen, desktop or a laptop is for both kinds of users, not too difficult to arrange and can be easily installed on a desk or table. But when you use a tablet, this solution might be a bit inconvenient because of the smaller screen. In this case, a tablet holder is ideal. You can choose between a handlebar holder and a standing bracket. With the handlebar holder you place your tablet directly on your bike steer. If the extra space on your steer is limited, then the standing bracket is something for you. Simply place your tablet at a comfortable height and distance in front of your bike and off you go.
#5 Reduce noise
It can be very annoying when your indoor trainer makes some noise. To make it more silent there are a few options (read this article). When you train with a wheel-on trainer, most of the noise is produced by the rear tyre. Make sure you use a special trainer tyre and that it has the right tyre pressure (we advise 8 bar).
Furthermore, the vibrations that are produced during an indoor training can make some noise. This especially occurs when you train on a wooden floor because this will magnify the vibrations. When you use a trainer mat a lot of the vibrations will be absorbed and it will make your training a lot quieter.
#6 Measure your output
Nowadays, we all want to measure our effort while we train. Besides the traditional heart rate monitor, which is useful to keep an eye on your body activity, there are power meters, speed sensors and cadence sensors. Most direct drive trainers and some wheel-on trainers have these sensors built in. When this is not the case, you can buy them separately.
It’s important that all these sensors can communicate with ANT+ or Bluetooth so that your training software and apps can connect with them. Most bike trainers communicate with ANT+ or Bluetooth, so make sure your computer has an ANT+ or Bluetooth dongle.
To increase the stability of your bike, use a front wheel support. This will keep your front wheel steady in place and also raises it for a more natural cycling position. The trainer mat mentioned before is also helpful to make your trainer setup more stable and stops it moving around.
Last but not least: when you transport your bike trainer often, such as for a training camp or during holidays, then a trainer bag is very useful. It not only makes your trainer easier to carry, but it also protects it during storage and transport while minimising the risk of damage.
To sum it all up, we’ve made a list of the necessary accessories:
Cool down & hydrate