Best Bike Trainer Reviews 2018

Cycling is a great way to get a serious workout, but what do you do when winter rolls around? A reliable bike trainer can turn your bike into a stationary exercise cycle in no time. High-quality bike trainers are easy to set up, and mimic the resistance of the road so you get the true cycling experience. We've found 5 of the best bike trainer brands to get your home workout started.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Size
Materials
Weight
Extras
Our Top Choice
RAD Trainer 1112
RAD offers high-quality gear for intense activities such as cycling and kayaking. This trainer offers a quiet, stable ride for a great price.
Durable. Lightweight and foldable. Quiet magnet resistance. Extra-wide frame for stability.
Smaller range of resistance levels than more expensive trainers.
Magnetic
18.2 x 21.25 x 15.8"
Metal
17 pounds
Ultra Quiet
Best Value
Conquer Portable Magnetic Bike Trainer
Conquer specializes in indoor sports and fitness gear. This inexpensive magnetic trainer includes a riser block and quick release skewer so you can get started right away.
Inexpensive. Riser block. Sturdy mounting cups. Heavy-duty construction.
Only compatible with bikes that have quick release, though most bikes do.
Magnetic
8.6 x 19.1 x 22.8"
Metal
16.15 pounds
Included Riser Block
Kinetic Road Machine Bicycle Trainer
Kinetic produces high-end cycling gear for indoor and outdoor use. This fluid trainer is made to perfectly mimic the feel of the road beneath your wheels.
Advanced fluid system. Progressive, road-like resistance. Quiet. Very stable. Durable with a lifetime warranty. Can be paired with Kinetic inRide for smart power training.
On the expensive side, but well worth the difference – especially for seasoned cyclists.
Magnetic
23 x 9 x 23
Metal
27 pounds
Unconditional Lifetime Warranty
CycleOps Fluid2 Turbo Trainer
CycleOps is at the forefront of indoor cycling with trainers, indoor cycles and virtual cycling tech. This hyper-durable trainer offers one of the best road-like indoor rides.
Thick, durable frame. Lifetime warranty. Adjustable footpads. Quiet fluid resistance. Progressive resistance. Best-selling in the USA.
Pricey but worth the difference, particularly for expert cyclists.
Fluid
10.43 x 13.39 x 17.91"
16-Gauge Steel
20 pounds
Adjustable Footpads
FDW Indoor Trainer Stand – 5 Adjustable Resistance Settings
FDW creates a wide variety of products, from bike trainers to lounge chairs to acoustic guitars. This simple, best-selling trainer is ideal for beginner riders.
5 progressive resistance settings. Quiet design. Easy folding for storage and travel. Heavy-duty.
Not quite as reliable as higher-end models.
Magnetic
23.9 x 20.1 x 7.6
Steel
20.9 pounds
5 Resistance Levels

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Bike Trainer?

For every experienced cyclist, riding indoors can never compare to the excitement and fulfillment that comes with navigating those narrow terrains and pedaling up hills. However, when you’re facing the winter frost, riding outdoors becomes an unpleasant option. So, to maintain your training or exercise regime, you may have to find an indoor riding option. Instead of going for the costly, cumbersome exercise bikes that may not even give you the real-life riding experience, you can purchase a bike trainer to imitate your cycling indoors.

Whether you’re training for an early-season championship or just trying to maintain your regular cycling routine, an indoor bike trainer will get you going regardless of the weather conditions. There are numerous types of bike trainers out there, and finding the right model may not be a piece of cake. Some smart trainers even allow users to simulate a virtual racing environment.

A good bike trainer should be foldable and storable under your bed or in a closet, without occupying much space. Once you’ve fixed your bike – whether it’s a mountain bike or a cruise bike – to the trainer, the rear wheel will be raised off the ground and allowed to freely interact with the trainer’s resistance mechanism. You’re then set to begin your ride as you monitor the mileage you regularly cover. Of course, with some models, you can adjust the resistance levels as you wish and have a road-like cycling experience.

It’s important to note that a trainer can wear out your wheels faster than the road. To alleviate this problem, it’s a good idea to purchase an extra smooth tire specifically for riding on your trainer. Additionally, you need a trainer with a quick-release bike wheel, a common feature with road bikes. Some models come with a quick-release skewer for connecting the back wheel to the trainer. For high-end mountain bikes, you may need a trainer with a thru axle for wheel attachment.

Having said that, it’s time to go through the various features to look for when shopping for a bike trainer, and then you can jump straight to our individual picks.
Price
A typical bike trainer seems to have all the basic mechanisms, but don’t be too quick to buy that. There’s a lot that goes into the design and construction of a bike trainer to ensure it’s steady and efficient. There are many cheap bike trainers out there but most of them aren’t built for quality service. The prices may be tempting but a cheap bike trainer probably won’t live up to your expectations. The lowest bike trainer in our price range costs about $55 and offers a great value for your money. High-end models with connectivity and better road-like feel will cost as much as $350, offering value and great quality.
Features
So, which bike trainer is right for you? There’s a wide range of choices when it comes to indoor bike trainers. Fluid and magnetic bike trainers have fairly simple mechanisms with a handlebar-mounted remote for varying the resistance. Other models can comply with your computer or track power to offer downloadable workout data.

Here are the critical features to look for:
  • Compatibility – Axle-attachment standards and bike trainer widths change every other year. You should be sure to check if the trainer you want to purchase offers various attachment options like thru-axle adapters or different freehub options for direct attachment trainers.
  • Storage – Some bike trainers come with folding legs for easier storage, and even some rollers can fold in half. Consider your available storage space and consider models that will fit without requiring extra space.
  • Noise – Almost every trainer generates some form of noise and vibrations which can irritate people around you. If you live in a building with shared walls, ceilings, or floors, pay attention to the noise level produced by your machine.
  • Stability – Cases of trainer crashes are rare, but that doesn’t mean they never happen. If you’re going to stretch your efforts in a bid to beat your PB, you’ll need a stable trainer in order to avoid accidents. In general, the broader the base, the better the stability. Some models even incorporate a leveling feature for uneven floors.
Construction and Design
Bike trainers come in different designs and styles. Pick a model based on your residence – whether an apartment or a home. Also consider your focus – some models excel at increasing resistance tolerance while others really pump up your pace. Here are the common types of bike trainers:
  • Wind Bike Trainers – These trainers are quite durable and are often lightweight and less expensive. As you press the pedal, it triggers the trainer fan to spin. The fan scoops the air, and thus progressively generates resistance as you cycle. The notable downside to this model is that it generates significant noise and may not be appropriate for an apartment dweller.
  • Magnetic Bike Trainers – A magnetic bike trainer has a magnetic flywheel that creates resistance as you ride. Some models have fixed resistance, requiring you to manually change gears to adjust difficult levels while other models offer progressive resistance. For an extensive, uninterrupted ride, consider models with a toggle switch or handle bar for adjusting resistance as you ride.
  • Fluid Bike Trainers – These trainers have a reputation for mimicking the best road-like feel as you ride. It comes with simulating inclines, and you can adjust resistance electronically as you ride. The construction incorporates a shell connected to a flywheel housing an impeller and fluid. The impeller turns and heats up the fluid, hence adding resistance to the pedals. These bikes are relatively quieter than the magnetic and wind models.
  • Bike Rollers – Bike rollers differ significantly from other bike trainer designs. The machine has three rolling drums and your bike rolls on top of these cylinders by rotating them. Since the machines are lengthier, they are less portable – hence rather inconvenient to travel with. You’ll basically use your core muscles to balance on the rollers as opposed to having your bike secured in one position. They are therefore perfect if you want a killer core. Note that this model is restricted to advanced riders but offers the best real-road riding experience.
Performance and Ease of Use
When choosing the right bike trainer, focus on your end goal. Do you want to strengthen your core, increase resistance, or enjoy a road-like riding experience? Decide on your targeted result and pick a model which best suits your style.

Smart trainers create different workout regimes. They can be either be magnetic, fluid, or direct-drive. They can link directly to your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer, enabling you to use an app to adjust resistance levels. You can also use smart trainer apps to track and store your workout stats to help you plan and achieve your goals. If you choose to incorporate virtual reality software, you can ride on an interactive course and simulate real-life riding on different terrains.

Consider also whether or not you need an articulating attachment. This feature allows you to stand up and lean your bike side to side, the same way you would when riding on the road. This can be helpful for maintaining core strength, or for a more accurate simulation of a road-like ride.

‌Finally, having a direct-to-frame attachment through the rear dropouts can be a useful feature on your bike trainer. The trainer typically replaces your bike’s rear wheel to provide a crisper and more efficient link between the bike and the trainer. You’ll no longer rely on friction to generate resistance, which by extension saves the tire life. Be sure to check if the direct attachment trainer will work with your axle standard or drivetrain before you make a purchase.

What is the Best Bike Trainer?

We looked at brands that are known for their durable athletic machines and equipment. We compared the price of each machine against customer satisfaction and how realistic a ride each trainer offers. We've focused both on budget models and high-end models so that beginners and more advanced cyclists both have a great option to choose from. With that insight, it’s time to dive into our top picks and grab yourself a model that suits your needs.
Our Top Choice
If you're looking for a convenient way to cycle at home, the RAD Magnetic Bike Trainer is for you. It has a super-portable and stable frame. For a higher-end experience and a wider range of resistance levels, check out the RAD Cycle Products MAX Gonzo Bike Trainer.
RAD Cycle Products Indoor Portable Magnetic Bicycle Trainer with Ultra Quiet Operation

RAD Bike Trainer 1112 – Original


Features
RAD Cycle and its partners at RAD Sports are dedicated to offering the very best gear for extreme sports. Its philosophy is that you shouldn't have to settle for second best – and at the same time, you shouldn't have to break the bank. RAD Cycle Products specializes in bike trainers, bike racks, hoists, air pumps and other cycling gear, so you're always prepared for a ride.

The RAD MAG bike trainer offers great value. You get a stable ride every time without having to spend hundreds more on an expert-level trainer. Let's see what makes the RAD MAG a good choice for your home gym:
  • State-of-the-art magnetic technology offers multiple resistance levels so you can simulate the road and increase difficulty over time
  • The magnetic resistance is extremely quiet, so you can easily listen to music or watch TV while you ride
  • The legs are separated for added riding stability
  • The MAG Trainer folds down in a tight, flat bundle for easy storage
  • The trainer itself is very lightweight, so it's easy to move around
  • The legs on this model are extra wide and made with ultra-durable material, making it even more stable
Customize your RAD MAG Bike Trainer with the original, pro blue or pro red colors.
Best Value
The Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer is highly portable and easy to set up, featuring a magnetic resistance wheel and a sturdy stand. For a higher-end model with more resistance options, check out the Conquer Pro Indoor Bicycle Trainer.
Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer – Portable, Extra-Wide Heavy Duty Construction, Riser Block Included

Conquer Bike Trainer – Turbo Trainer


Features
Conquer gear makes it easy to get exercise and have fun indoors with products such as bike trainers, climbing machines and its 2-in-1 stair climber and treadmill. Conquer also has outdoor gear, such as badminton and ping pong nets and paddles.

This bike stand is great for getting in a quick ride when the weather is poor or it's the middle of winter. Let's take a closer look to see what makes it a convenient choice:
  • Wide, heavy-duty construction makes this bike trainer stable even during an intense ride
  • Sturdy mounting cups keep you from slipping around on hard floors
  • Progressive magnetic resistance gives you some pushback so you can get an intense workout
  • This trainer is compatible with bikes that are 26" or 27" and 700c bikes
  • Unlike most other bike trainers, this model comes with an included front wheel riser and rear wheel release skewer
The Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 Fluid Trainer is a top-of-the-line trainer offering an unmatched road-like experience and stability. For a complete fitness experience combined with your ride, try the Kinetic Smart Fluid Trainer with inRide Sensor for real-time training data through your smartphone.
Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 Fluid Trainer

Kinetic Bike Trainer T-2200 – Turbo Trainer


Features
Kinetic began its journey as a manufacturer for another bike trainer company. It specialized in creating highly durable frames. With such a strong grasp of the industry and a surplus of high-quality tubing, Kinetic decided to go into business for itself and created the first affordable on-trainer power computer. With an ongoing commitment to high-end tech and the true road experience, Kinetic has continued to expand.

This Road Machine is one of Kinetic's flagship trainers. It's been upgraded from past versions to create an even smoother, quieter ride. Let's take a closer look:
  • The fluid design offers a more true cycling experience, according to most seasoned cyclists
  • Progressive resistance levels keep workouts intense and replicate the outdoor biking feel
  • Kinetic really knows its framing, and so the lifetime warranty is no surprise. This trainer is extremely stable, reliable and durable
  • You can pair this trainer with Kinetic's inRide Watt Meter for power training
  • It comes fully assembled so you can start training right away
This bike trainer is available on its own or with one of the following accessories: a floor mat, a rear release skewer, or a front-wheel riser.
The CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer is built for expert cyclists looking for a true riding experience indoors. For a more budget-friendly option from the experts, check out the CycleOps Mag Adjustable Cycling Trainer.
CycleOps Fluid2 Indoor Trainer with Rugged Steel, Non-Rust Construction & Adjustable Footpads

CycleOps Bike Trainer 9904-Parent – Cycling Trainer


Features
CycleOps believes anyone can improve and progress with the right equipment – and they can even have a ton of fun along the way. It backs up that philosophy with high-end indoor cycling options that truly excel. They even have virtual training where you can "cycle" along virtual routes through your smart devices and ride along with others. But that's just one example of CycleOps taking indoor training to the next level.

This trainer is a top-of-the-line model, featuring a highly durable construction and incremental resistance. Let's see how this trainer reliably recreates the feeling of cycling down a road in the great outdoors:
  • The fluid training system makes for a smooth, quiet ride
  • Progressive resistance means you don't have to think too hard while training, but you can easily work hard to push through a good workout
  • Rugged 2" round 16-gauge steel makes for a long-lasting frame that stays durable for years and years – which is probably why CycleOps is confident enough to offer a lifetime warranty
  • The footpads are adjustable so you can get a stable ride on a variety of surfaces
This top-notch trainer is available on its own or with one of the following accessories: a floor mat, a rear release skewer, or a front-wheel riser.
The FDW Magnet Powered Bike Trainer is a great way for beginners to get their cycling done indoors. It features a heavy-duty frame and 5 distinct resistance settings. For a less expensive version with similar features, try the FDW Indoor Bicycle Trainer Exercise Stand.
FDW Magnet Steel Bike Exercise Trainer Stand

FDW Indoor Trainer FDW-M8


Features
FDW may create an eclectic variety of products, but it excels in quality across the board while providing great prices. Some of its products include baby playpens, bicycle racks, musical instruments, light bulbs, outdoor furniture and more.

This bike trainer features 5 levels of resistance that automatically increase as your speed increases. This mimics the difficulty you'd find on the road and makes it easy to get a serious workout. The frame itself is strong and easy to fold for storage. You can use this trainer with road and mountain bikes with a 26-28" or 700c wheel. The magnetic design also makes very little noise, so you can easily watch TV or listen to music while you ride.

Get the Best Bike Trainer of 2018!

Look for high-quality construction so you won't have to deal with unexpected breakdowns or technical difficulties when you're trying to get a ride on your bike trainer. Long-time cyclists swear by higher-end trainers because of the road-like feel they provide, so consider how much that matters to you. Hopefully, you found the best bike trainer you’ve been looking for. These brands have a wide range of options for you.

Our Top Choice
RAD Trainer 1112
Best Value
Conquer Portable Magnetic Bike Trainer
Kinetic Road Machine Bicycle Trainer
CycleOps Fluid2 Turbo Trainer
FDW Indoor Trainer Stand – 5 Adjustable Resistance Settings