When it comes to getting a cardio workout, few things are as invigorating as cycling in the open air. The combination of breathing in fresh oxygen, pumping your leg muscles and giving your heart and lungs a good workout is exhilarating. There are times, though, when you want to get your cycle workout done without stepping out your front door. It could be that there’s cold weather outside or that you simply don’t have time to head out for a bike ride. At those times, you need the services of a stationary bike. In this article, I’ll reveal how you can convert your outdoor bike into a stationary bike to allow you to get a great workout all year long.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Options For Turning Your Bicycle Into A Stationary Bike
- 2 Making A DIY Bike Stand
- 3 Stationary Bike Safety – Checking The Set-Up
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5 Conclusion
Options For Turning Your Bicycle Into A Stationary Bike
There are two ways to turn your outdoor cycle into a stationary exercise bike:
- Invest in a bicycle roller
- Convert your own bicycle into a stationary bike
A bike roller, also called a bike trainer, is a stand that the rear tire of your bicycle fits into. It features a set of rollers. More advanced rollers will also feature a resistance system, usually in the form of fluid filled portions of the rollers to either increase or decrease the resistance level.
There are four types of bike trainers on the market:
Conventional rollers feature three sets of rollers. Two of them sit under the back wheel of your bicycle with the third under the front wheel. This type of roller system is not actually connected to the bicycle, which means that a high level of balance is required from the rider.
Resistance Bike Rollers
This is a variation of the conventional roller bike stands which incorporates built-in fan or magnetic resistance to provide more training options. Take a look at our review of the Best Elliptical Bike Combo Machines and pick the best one on the market.
A hybrid roller connects to the front wheel by way of a pair of forks, while the back wheel is not connected. This stationary exercise bike roller is popular with beginners as it is more stable and so requires less balance to operate.
Smart trainers are the most expensive option. They include several levels of cadence built into the center of the drum. They also pair with a Smartphone smart trainer app and have a control unit that fits to the handlebars.
Making A DIY Bike Stand
Creating your own DIY stationary bike stand is not as difficult as it may seem. Here is a simple how to guide to make your own stationary stand.
- Cut a piece of timber that is 1 inch by 6 inches to a length of 11 inches
- Cut four 1 inch by 4 inch pieces of timber to a length of 20 inches
- Cut two 1 inch by 6 inch pieces of timber to be 20 inches long
- With the leftover wood cut 8 corner triangles
- Sand down all of your pieces of timber
- Mark the center of the 1 x 6s. Now draw a circle around the mark and cut it out
- Get the 11 inch piece and nail a 1 x 4 piece to the middle of it, and do the same on the other side
- Hammer the two 1 x 6s onto the sides, with the holes at the ends
- Nail the 1 x 4s to the sides to add support
- Nail in the triangles to add extra support
You now have a bicycle stand that you can slip your rear wheel into to provide you with a perfectly functional indoor trainer.
Stationary Bike Safety – Checking The Set-Up
The key to getting the best and safest use out of a bike roller is to get the right stationary bike setup. Inside the frame of a roller there are three drums. Two of them are connected by a belt while the third rolls independently. To accommodate the size of your bicycle, you need to adjust the distance between the two back and the front roller so that the wheels are positioned properly.
The correct positioning will see the front wheel sitting on the front roller so that the front axle is just behind the top of the roller. The back trainer tire should sit evenly between the second and third rollers. This will provide you with a smooth, stable biking experience.
If you are looking for the best fitness equipment, read our post about Underbed Treadmills to get the best fitness kit and take your fitness regime to the next level.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can turn your bike into a stationary exercise bicycle either by purchasing an indoor bike trainer or by making your own DIY bike stand. Bike rollers vary quite a lot in cost from less than a hundred dollars to around $1400 for a top of the line smart roller riding experience.
Yes, you can use your bicycle for indoor cycling. It will require that you make use of a bought or home-made roller to turn your bicycle into an indoor bike. When you are finished using it you simply detach the bicycle from it and it can be used as a normal outdoor bike again.
A stationary bike may be better than a regular road bike, depending on what is most important to you. The benefits of a stationary bike are that they are more convenient, can be used in any type of weather and provide a more controlled, consistent form of exercise. However, a road bicycle will work more muscles, is not as boring as cycling on the same spot all the time, can be multi purpose and allows you to experience the great outdoors.
You can turn your bike into a stationary bike without a trainer by making a simple DIY stationary bike trainer. Check out the video and guide in this article for a simple 11 step breakdown of exactly how to do it, whether you have a mountain bike or a road bike.
The key difference between a spin bike and an exercise bike is that a spin bike is more designed for high intensity exercise. It has a heavier frame to suit cycling in a standing position and going harder than you can on a regular bicycle. It is bigger and higher than an exercise bike. While many exercise bikes are foldable, a spin bike will not fold.
If you’ve got a mountain bike that you love to use, you don’t have to go out and buy a whole new indoor bike to get in your workout when the weather is bad. By investing in your own bike roller, or making your own you will be able to use your bike all year round.