Best Bike Trainers for Indoor Training

Last updated: February 12, 2020
Best Overall
Quiet, Smooth and Durable
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Best Budget
Folds Quickly and Sturdy
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Best Portable
Fits Both Road and Mountain Bikes
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Best with Noise Reduction
Stable on All Types of Surfaces
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Best Weight Support
Made of Carbon Steel and Durable
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Your guide

Whether you’re a long-time bike rider or a newbie, sometimes it’s just too cold outside for you to take your bike out for a spin. As an alternative, you could always up your fitness game without stepping a foot outside the house. That is exactly the situation when a bike trainer comes in handy! Not only do bike trainers allow you to work out literally anywhere, but it also makes biking an all-around-the-year activity.

Generally speaking, there are many brands and models of bike trainers out there that are sufficient for a full workout. Of course, the more expensive models have more options, so it’s basically up to you and how much of a hit your wallet can take.

In the past few years, bike trainers have evolved to include all the features one normally would need. So, where do you start looking for the best bike trainer for you? We know how overwhelming it can be, so we’ve done our research and rounded up our top 5 picks covering all the important features.

model using a bike trainer

Whether you’re prioritizing a reasonable budget, noise reduction, weight support, or portability, you’ll find your trainer here. Each trainer has different compatibility options and resistance settings – all you have to do is choose your combination of preferred factors and bike trainer type and you’re good to go! Also, check out our guide on how to set up a bike trainer.

Bike Trainers: Top 5 Picks

All the bike trainers we’ve come across have their pros on cons and it really depends on your priorities. We’ve gathered a sort of beginner’s guide for you so you don’t get lost in all the choices. First, you need to know the types of bike trainers you’ll come across:

  • A wind trainer provides resistance through your bike’s back wheel, and the harder you pedal, the more the resistance increases.
  • A magnetic trainer uses magnets to provide a fixed resistance, however, you need to shift gears on the trainer or adjust the settings on your bike in order to increase resistance.
  • A fluid trainer uses a substance inside the machine – usually silicon – to provide increased resistance as you pedal faster.
  • A roller trainer is usually more popular with professional bikers because it’s a bit tricky – you’ll need to balance your bike on three cylinders which turn as you pedal, increasing resistance.
  • A flywheel trainer provides the ultimate biking experience as heavy-duty machines that provide you with data on your performance. They’re realistic, offer unlimited resistance, and are unfortunately quite expensive.

Similarly, here’s a shortlist of questions you need to ask yourself when you’re shopping:

  • What’s your budget? First and foremost, know your budget. Because this will help determine the category and brand of the trainer you’re looking for.
  • What noise level are you willing to tolerate? For example, some trainer types are louder than others, such as wind trainers.
  • How much storage space do you have? For example, do you need your trainer to fold up? Do you need it to be portable?
  • How accessible do you need the trainer to be? Some are easier to get off and on with no hassle.
  • Do you need your trainer to be adjustable for varied workouts? Some riders prefer to just hop on the bike and cycle, and others prefer to change up the routine every now and then.

In all cases, be sure to follow the instructions manual always. Otherwise, happy hunting! 

1. Best Overall - Kinetic Road Machine

Specifications:

  • Frame: Fits wheels from 22” to 29”
  • Weight: 28 lbs
  • Material: Powder-coated steel and aluminum
  • Resistance type: Fluid

Key Features:

  • Ergonomic touchpoints
  • Precise and progressive resistance
  • Pairs with Kinetic inRide Power Meter for power training
  • Stable frame and durable
  • Quiet
  • Leak-proof
  • Has a 6.25 lbs flywheel for a smooth ride feel
  • Fluid resistance replicates outdoor rides

Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 Fluid Trainer Review 

When we came across the Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 Fluid Trainer, we knew this was the one. Hands down, fluid bike trainers are the best in the market. They motivate you when you can’t bike outside, and any cyclist knows how important this experience is, especially if it doesn’t cost much.

First, we’d be remiss to not mention Kurt Kinetic, a company that has been manufacturing these trainers and has built a great household name for itself in the process. When you’re buying one of their products, you can rest assured that you’ll be happy with it.

Now, the Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 Fluid Trainer comes fully assembled, which is greatly beneficial to those who don’t have the time or patience to put it together.

Kinetic trainer frames are usually super sturdy, made out of tig welded, powder-coated steel – and this one is especially spacious for comfortable pedaling. It comes with a lifetime warranty, but either way, it’s quite durable.

As a fluid trainer, when you increase your pedaling, the resistance also increases as the fluid container turns. Progressive resistance mirrors outdoor pedaling, adding a bit of thrill to your experience.

The best part is that none of the fluid leaks since it uses a patented magnetic coupler. Its resistance unit is quite impressive, using a large 6.25-pound flywheel with a large tire roller – which brings us to our only downside: it’s impossible to tighten the roller with the tire.

Other than that, the Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 Fluid Trainer has ergonomic touchpoints, with its knobs and feet coated with rubber for an enhanced grip.

Easy to carry and transport at 28 pounds as well, it can be folded and stored anywhere from your car to your home. It produces an ideal level of noise, ranging from 60 to 70 decibels, so you don’t have to worry if you’re trying to keep quiet.

Here’s the bottom line: the Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 Fluid Trainer is worth every penny you’ll spend on it. Built from strong materials, this trainer is durable, wide, and sturdy, and you can be sure that you’ll be using it for a long time.

Sealed to prevent leakage, it’s fluid resistance nature mimics an outdoor biking experience, but a much quieter one! With many positive reviews out there, it’s well-acknowledged that this bike trainer offers a great exercise stand at an excellent price.

Pros
  • Sturdy and made out of durable materials
  • Arrives fully assembled for a hassle-free experience
  • Wide frame for comfortable sprinting 
  • No fluid leak
  • Has ergonomic touchpoints
  • Easy to transport and store
  • Super quiet 
  • Compatible with almost all bikes 
Cons
  • No clear instructions on roller tightening
  • Tire slips 
  • inRide sensor is not super reliable 

2. Best Budget - Conquer Bike Trainer

Specifications:

  • Frame: Fits 26” or 27” wheels
  • Weight: 16 lbs
  • Material: Hi-ten steel
  • Resistance type: Magnetic

Key Features:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to fold for storage
  • Front-wheel riser block included to help level bike
  • Extra-wide frame
  • Stable
  • Rear-wheel skewer included
  • Progressive magnetic resistance

Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer Portable Exercise Bicycle Magnetic Stand Review 

This indoor bike trainer will help you conquer your cycling goals. The Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer Portable Exercise Bicycle Magnetic Stand uses magnetic resistance to offer a smooth ride for bikers and is made of heavy-duty construction steel for stability.

Weighing 16 pounds and compatible with 26” and 27” wheels, it allows you to carry out your workout without risking any slips or falls.

No biker wants to spend time assembling before their workout, so this trainer comes fully assembled and ready to use. It’s also easy to carry and fold up for storage, as well as making it easy to transport if you want to take with you on a trip.

One of its awesome features is the adjustable progressive resistance using the flywheel’s magnets, which create drag through the bike’s back wheel. To adjust, all you need to do is either shift your bike gears or completely dismount your bike and adjust to your pleasure.

One of the big positives of the Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer is that it has reliable mountain cups with a quick-release mechanism, further stabilizing the experience along with the sturdy frame of the trainer. There’s an included front-wheel Riser Block which helps in leveling the bike, so the last thing on your mind should be an unstable experience.

Unfortunately, it’s not the quietest of bike trainers. That being said, you can easily combat that by adding a training mat underneath, but keep in mind that noise may echo indoors. Our only other downsides here are that it’s not the best at mimicking an outdoor experience, cannot fit bikes with wide tires, and there’s no quick-release option.

In terms of value for money though, the Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer Portable Exercise Bicycle Magnetic Stand provides way more pros than cons.

Our verdict is that if you’re on a budget, you should definitely go for this bike trainer. Simple to set up and with adjustable resistance, it’ll help you develop your core strength and stamina at a reasonable price.

Its excellent design is sturdy and durable, making it a product that can withstand heavy use. This trainer checks all the boxes (except maybe the noise one), but trust us, it’s worth it. But if you’re more into exercise bikes, check out our guide on that, or maybe even Peloton bike review.

Pros
  • Reasonable price
  • Quick-release system, allowing easy mounting and dismounting
  • Allows for core strength training
  • Durable and sturdy frame
  • Sturdy mountain cup
  • Front-wheel riser block designed for stability
  • Easy to transport and folds quickly
Cons
  • Cannot be used with bikes that do not allow for quick release 
  • Does not have the option of tension adjustment 
  • Cannot fit bikes with wide tires 

3. Best Portable - 1113 RAD Max Racer

Specifications:

  • Frame: Fits 26” to 28” wheels
  • Weight: 15 lbs
  • Resistance type: Magnetic

Key Features:

  • Compact and easily folds for portability
  • Contains anti-slip pad
  • Compatible with most wheel sizes
  • Provides a quiet experience

1113 RAD Cycle Products Max Racer Review

We all have our aspirations to make working out a daily part of our schedule, but sometimes the day is so packed we end up brushing it off. This is when a portable bike trainer would come in handy – you wouldn’t have to compromise on your workout at all, you’d just need to bring your bike along with you!

Our favorite portable bike trainer currently in the market is the 1113 RAD Cycle Products Max Racer. With a smart and sturdy design, this trainer delivers on performance, price, and features.

First, it utilizes a state of the art progressive magnetic resistance system, which increases as your speed increases, up to seven levels. It also ensures safety to its users through the anti-slip pad at the front so the bike is both level and secure.

Easy to set up and transport, it fits both road and mountain bikes with wheels anywhere between 26 – 28 inches and offers a quick-release mechanism for your bike. For a quiet ride, the 113 RAD Cycle Products Max Racer has a wide base design with extra stability, and it’s relatively easy to customize your workout through gear changes.

We believe that while it’s a great purchase, the trainer could include more features in general, given that the features it currently has are a little basic. We’ll also mention that mountain bikes, in particular, make more noise than road bikes, but that can be dealt with through a training mat placed underneath or a semi-slick tire.

Once you understand and adapt to the downsides of the product, you really understand its value. It truly does help you keep up with your workout routine in the winter, especially if you live in a cold state.

Resistance control is a great feature and will be very useful as you advance in terms of your workout. Additionally, you’ll be able to multitask – read or even watch TV because the noise is tolerable.

All in all, for what it offers, the 113 RAD Cycle Products Max Racer is at a great price. It has just slightly fewer features than the Pro, but it still serves its function perfectly.

A sturdy and strong build keeps you stable throughout the workout, and the anti-slip pad should not be overlooked. It will withstand heavy use and is recommended for anyone looking for an inexpensive bike trainer that also happens to be portable.

Pros
  • Folds up and easy to store and transport
  • Includes front wheel for leveling
  • Quiet
  • Easy to set up and assemble
  • Strong magnetic resistance
  • Fits both road bikes and mountain bikes
Cons
  • Can use additional features overall
  • There’s a chance for its bearing to break

4. Best With Noise Reduction - Sportneer

Specifications:

  • Frame: Fits wheels from 26” to 28”
  • Weight: 18.7 lbs
  • Resistance type: Magnetic

Key Features:

  • Unshakeable balance on any surface
  • Six resistance settings
  • Noise reduction wheel for smooth spinning
  • Easy to mount and dismount the bike

Sportneer Bike Trainer Stand Steel  Review 

Silky smooth training has become very much possible with this bike trainer. The Sportneer Bike Trainer Stand is specially designed to accommodate for a noiseless workout. It actually has a noise reduction wheel included to ensure that there’s no noise – so if you live with roommates and are looking for some peace and quiet, this one’s for you.

The wheel works by reducing the generated noise by the rear spinning wheel, eliminating the need to blast music as you cycle – although that’s never a bad idea. It has a sleek design and looks premium, even though it’s not very expensive.

In terms of features, the Sportneer Bike Trainer Stand has five adjustable rubber feet for anti-slip and stability purposes, and its wide base design and low build allows for security on any type of surface.

Now, while the experience is more or less stable if the floor is uneven you might experience a bit of wobbling. We also highly suggest that you use a road bike rather than a mountain bike for further noise reduction.

This trainer is also able to mirror all cycling conditions due to its extensive, wide-range resistance settings using a bar-mounted remote. If you use its press-down lever clamp, you’ll also be able to mount and dismount your bike super easily. It has great compatibility options, fitting wheels from 26 to 28 inches.

The verdict? The Sportneer Bike Trainer Stand is an extremely reliable, super quiet bike trainer that offers great service for its price. It’s solid, easy to assemble, and looks premium, which is everything you’d want in an affordable bike trainer.

Not to mention, it’s also very quiet and specially designed with a noise reduction wheel, with six resistance settings for a completely customizable workout experience.

Pros
  • Easy to mount and release bike
  • Easy to assemble
  • Six resistance levels for a customized workout
  • Very quiet
  • Stable and sturdy build 
  • Compatible with most road and mountain bikes
  • Great customer service 
Cons
  • There will be noise if the floor is uneven 

5. Best Weight Support - FDW Trainer

Specifications:

  • Weight: 19.8 lbs
  • Frame: Fits 26” to 27” wheels
  • Weight support: 300 lbs
  • Material: High-quality carbon steel
  • Resistance type: Magnetic

Key Features:

  • Five gear resistance settings
  • Slip-preventing design
  • Made out of high-quality material
  • Designed for noise reduction
  • Collapsible design
  • Easy to assemble and operate

FDW Bike Trainer Stand Review 

If you’re looking for a bike trainer that supports a heavyweight and does the job – the FDW Bike Trainer Stand is probably the perfect trainer for you. FDW is a company that specializes in the production of bike trainers, so they know what they’re doing. It has a sturdy, steel frame that keeps your riding stable and guarantees up to 300 pounds in weight.

Depending on how you set up your bike, you can have a completely tailored workout by adjusting the resistance between five settings. In the first level, you’ll feel like you’re flat on the ground. Bump it up to three levels, it’ll feel like riding on the sand – and if you’re super confident in your abilities, go for the fifth level, where you’ll feel like you’re climbing a slope.

While simple to set up, the FDW Bike Trainer Stand has a wide range of features. Its riding table is made out of high-quality steel, and you can reduce the noise level while using a riding platform. The best part is that when you’re not using it, you can store it anywhere because it doesn’t occupy much space; in the yard, in the balcony, or even the trunk of your car!

Beginners tend to love this bike trainer. It’s reasonably priced and has a fantastic range of resistance. After checking its contenders in the market, we settled on the FDW Bike Trainer Stand because of its features and reliability in weight support. It’s really quiet (noise up to 60 decibels only), and it is easy to assemble and operate.

The only negative is that while it provides for a stable experience, users have claimed that it is not the most durable bike trainer out there. So while it does give you a good experience, it may not be able to last for more than a few years.

Overall, if you need the extra weight support, we definitely recommend the FDW Bike Trainer Stand. Durable, high performance, and stable – this one’s got it all at a reasonable price!

Pros
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Easy to set up and install
  • Wide range of resistance settings (up to five)
  • Extremely stable and sturdy
Cons
  • Riding off the seat creates a bit of instability
  • Not the most durable trainer out there 

Bike Trainers: Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Buy a Bike Trainer?

It depends on what your preference is for a biking experience. Some people prefer biking outdoors, but others don’t mind indoor biking as long as they’re preoccupied. If you’re not sure whether you’re going to use it much, you can always opt for a cheap foldable one that you can store easily in case you need to. Learn about the bike trainer types in order to find one that is suitable for your needs rather than buying one that might be too challenging for you to use (and, therefore, a waste of your money).

Which Is the Most Expensive Type of Bike Trainer?

Definitely, you’ll find those fluid trainers are the most expensive. They offer progressive resistance and are quieter. The cheapest are wind trainers, but they are also the noisiest. Magnetics trainers are affordable, but at the same time, they offer a fixed resistance that some bikers might not find ideal. Alternatively, rollers are challenging to deal with because they require a refined pedal stroke for stability.

What’s the Best and Most Durable Material for a Bike Trainer Frame?

We recommend steel, which is also traditional and sturdier. Steel is followed by aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber. Carbon and titanium are corrosion-proof, which is a big advantage and means that the product will last a long time - but steel is super top-notch. It’s important to keep an eye out for the material of the trainer because you want to buy a trainer that lasts.

Can I Use My Mountain Bike on a Trainer or Does It Have to Be a Road Bike?

It really depends on the trainer you buy. Honestly, many are compatible with both bikes but they come with a disclaimer. For example, if you use your mountain bike you might be subjected to a more noisy experience than if you use your road bike.

This is due to the fact that mountain bikes tend to have knobbly tread on the wheels, but that’s easily fixable. You can choose to add a mat underneath the trainer to reduce the noise, or you can use a slick tire, which can somewhat eliminate the noise.

Best Bike Trainers for Indoor Training in 2020 — Bike Hacks