Besides a bike and a trainer or rollers, you’re going to want a few key things when you post up in the pain cave
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the print edition of Bicycling.
Have trainer, will ride—but the ride will be way more enjoyable with a few accessories. Make sure to integrate these pieces of equipment into your indoor riding to ensure a fun, efficient session with minimal cleanup and noise. (Follow these muscle-busting indoor workouts to maximize your training time!)
Concrete, tile, and hardwood provide the best stability for a trainer, and are easier to clean. Next best thing: thinner carpet with a small mat.
If you share walls or ceiling/floor with neighbors, put a dense rubber pad (an industrial floor mat or even two old yoga mats) under the trainer to reduce vibration and noise.
With some trainers, you’ll need a riser under the front wheel to keep your bike level. A dedicated trainer block is best, and generally inexpensive. A stack of books also works, but is less stable.
A good fan is essential to reproduce the convective cooling you get riding outside. Set it up in front of you to mimic the breeze.
If you’re using an app, you’ll need to position a screen where you can view and maybe reach it. Some companies make handlebar mounts for tablets. A collapsible music stand is another option. For apps like Zwift and Kinomap, connect your laptop to a TV with an HDMI cable for a full viewing experience, and put the laptop on a desk or stand next to your bike. (Companies like Wahoo make dedicated trainer desks.)
Lay one lengthwise underneath your bike to catch sweat that might damage indoor flooring. A hand towel draped along your bike’s top tube helps protect it, but you risk it falling into your crankset. Several companies (including Tacx, CycleOps, and Kurt Kinetic) make sweatguards that securely attach to the seatpost and handlebar.