How else would you picture a bike ride on a Sunday evening if not outdoors? While it might be difficult to visualize, indoor biking is fairly common – albeit not entirely similar to outdoor bicycling. Your armamentarium might be the same (the bike), but learning how to ride a bike indoors is a lot more exercise-related than outdoor biking.
Riding a bike indoors over outdoors might not sound conventional to many people, but there are several reasons why people choose to peddle away within the comfort of their own homes over the outdoors:
- Weatherproof circumstances
- No fear of dirt, pollution, or chemicals to rust your bike
- Time-saving, and
- Efficient for working out
There are three common variations of the standard outdoor bike for indoor biking. These are; the turbo trainer, rollers, and smart bikes.
Biking indoors isn’t a foreign concept in the fitness world. In fact, many trainers would recommend setting up a dedicated indoor biking station for core workouts, to improve stamina, training purposes, etc.
Here’s all you need to know on riding your bike indoors.
How to Ride Your Bike Indoors
The question is: How to use your bike indoors? The answer is simple: with the right equipment, space, and training regimen. Learning how to ride a bicycle indoors used to be the last resort for athletes who were either injured or the weather didn’t permit riding their bikes outside.
Today, trainers and athletes alike would vouch for indoor biking just as much as they would for outdoor biking.
Here are a few fast facts before we get started:
- Indoor biking is to build stamina and workout
- Turbo trainers, rollers, and smart bikes are all considerably different than one another
- As such, the three aforementioned indoor bikes serve varied purposes
- Riding a bike indoors requires a dedicated space and additional equipment
- There are modifications, such as; music, 3D, etc some people use to make their indoor cycling experience more fun
Selecting the Right Equipment
If you want to learn how to ride a bicycle indoors, you need to start by familiarizing yourself with the equipment:
- Floor mat
- Water bottle
- Riser blocks (to stimulate incline like biking)
For the actual cycling bit, you have three options:
- Turbo trainers
- Smart bikes
Trainers and rollers are fairly more common than smart bikes (also known as static exercise bikes). All three of these bikes vary based on resistance and accessories for a smoother, well-adjusted experience.
As the name implies, a trainer is used by people who aren’t entirely experienced when it comes to indoor biking. Whereas a roller requires a great deal of precision and balance. If you’re just starting, a turbo trainer makes for an ideal indoor cycling experience with clamps on the trainer for stable and safe indoor biking.
A roller, on the other hand, requires a lot more experience. Your bike is literally on several metal drums and you’re required to keep your balance while pedaling. They’re understandably more difficult and require more practice. However, rollers have the advantage of keeping bikers in shape and at the top of their game to maintain focus, balance, and coordination at all times.
Smart or static bikes are fairly newer innovations. Direct-driver smart trainers are usually priced around mid-range. Smart bikes are ideal if you’re learning how to ride a bike indoors – they have a cassette that attaches to the trainer.
The cassette allows the rear wheel to be removed and hooked onto the chain which turns the cassette. To put it simply, with a smart or static bike you won’t have to worry about wearing out the rear tire. Instead, you could simply pop the wheel back into place when you’re riding the bike outside.
Setting Up Your Indoor Cycling Space
If you’re thinking of ways to ride my bike indoors after you’ve purchased a bicycle, the next thing to look for is cycling space. This is the tricky part because when you’re outside, the entire world is your space. Inside, however, you’re confined to whatever your walls can give you.
In this case, you’ll have to set up your indoor cycling space in a way that doesn’t disrupt your living space. Look for rooms or garage spaces where there’s enough space for your bike to easily mount along with additional accessories if needed. For example; TVs, music systems, mats, etc.
You could just as easily incorporate an indoor cycling space into your already existing home gym space. How to use your bike indoors isn’t as tricky of a question as people make it out to be. It’s literally meant to be convenient.
Find Your Rhythm
Last, but not least you need to find your rhythm while cycling indoors. As mentioned, indoor cycling is more exercise-related than outdoor cycling and therefore the indoor cycling space is also usually dedicated to working out.
However, this isn’t entirely the case. You could just as easily modify it to ride your bike indoors for pleasure and fun. For example; have a TV attached, have a surround sound system, etc.
If you’re dedicating your space for working out, here are a few considerations over riding a bike indoors:
- Find indoor cycling routines
- Start slow, build your stamina and work your way up from there
- Cycle in intervals, take water breaks in between
- Understand where you need work and strive to achieve your fitness goals
The idea of riding a bike indoors seems like a new one, but it isn’t. In recent times, indoor cycling has gained speed (quite literally) as a fun, easy, and efficient way to stay in shape or train for upcoming events.
There are three indoor cycling variations of bikes; turbo trainers, rollers, and smart bikes. Turbo trainers are standard bikes, rollers are advanced indoor bikes, and smart bikes can be alternated for both indoor and outdoor use.
Besides having your bike ready, you also need to dedicate a space for indoor cycling as well as trying to find the perfect rhythm while getting into riding your bike indoors. This includes setting up your music, finding a workout that suits you, etc.