Best Turbo Trainer Accessories | A Cyclist’s Recommendations
The pain cave is a tough place for any cyclist. Throughout winter and sometimes even summer, we find ourselves grinding through miles and miles of indoor cycling on turbo trainers or spin bikes. They are not easy miles, and being stationary and lacking in scenery does make every second last longer and longer. Anything we can do to make indoor training easier mentally and physically we do.
I have been using turbo trainers and riding indoors for years now doing structured workouts, and when I first started with that wheel on a fluid turbo trainer in my kitchen many years ago, I didn’t realize how much easier I could make it. In this article, we will talk about some of the best technology on the market to improve those indoor cycling turbo training sessions. These accessories will not only make your indoor training easier but will also enhance the quality of what you are doing.
How do we improve a Turbo Trainer Indoor Training Session?
I am a firm believer that there are many ways to improve a turbo training session and make a bike turbo trainer quieter. The first thing I started doing to improve my turbo training was to make it much more interactive, the second was to make it easier, and the last thing was to make it more enjoyable. In this article, we are going to be speaking about indoor trainer accessories we can use to do this, such as;
- Fans and Cooling
- Climbing Simulators
- Rocker Plates
- Mats and Noise Reduction
- Sweat Towels and Catchers
- Turbo Trainer Utility Tables
All recommendations come very highly rated, not just from us but a massive community of indoor cyclists worldwide. We will give you the pros and cons of each, and then if you wish to purchase, follow the links. Let’s look at some of the best indoor trainer accessories.
Fans and Cooling
When it comes to training indoor many cyclists, make the error of not keeping cool enough. Your body uses a tremendous amount of energy regulating its temperature, and you be surprised when training only just over 20-25% of energy goes to powering the bike. The majority is body maintenance and the body’s processes. Using a Fan not only cools the body, it actually forces air into the body to help supply the muscles with oxygen. Do an FTP test with and without one if you ever want to know how beneficial a fan is.
Lasko 20″ High Velocity Wall Mount Fan
When I started looking for a fan for my home setup, I found myself going through the list of turbo trainer fans that were actually just rebranded desk fans. This, in my opinion, just wasn’t powerful enough for my needs, so I started researching small industrial fans and came across the Lasko 20″.
It’s a great looking fan with a tremendous amount of power behind it. You will literally be holding on to your bars to stay on the bike. Though if you wanted it a bit less aggressive, you have three different speed settings to choose from. Not only do you get a significant amount of power from it, but you also get some great options of where to put it. I personally started with mine on the floor and then, using the provided wall mount bracket, mounted it in front of me on the wall. It’s straightforward, and this reflects in its low price. It doesn’t have a remote like other fans, but it does a fantastic job.
- Wall or Floor Mount
- Color Options
- No Remote
- Large in size
The Lasko 20″ fan is a fantastic tool for indoor cycling, but it is essentially a basic industrial fan. It’s worth every penny and will definitely improve your riding experience.
If you had asked me a few years ago would I buy a climbing simulation for an indoor cycling setup, I probably would have said no chance. After trying one at a cycling industry show, the penny dropped, and I understood why there was so much hype about these. They are a tremendous amount of fun and make the experience so much more enjoyable, and when it comes to finally getting out on the roads, it’s just epic, and you feel much more comfortable being out the saddle on inclines.
Wahoo KICKR Climb Indoor Gradient Simulator
As many of you know already, Wahoo is one of the leading brands we look for when it comes to buying an indoor smart trainer. When they released the KICKR Climb, many people said why, and then after trying it, they just bought one. They are incredibly fun, jumping on Zwift, and not only do you have the ERG controlling the resistance but the KICKR Climb replicating the hills.
It gives the trainer such an interactive feel as it can incline you up to 20% and decline you all the way down to -10%. You are going to get a sense that you are climbing, and also, you are going to start using all those core muscles to control the position. It cost as much as an entry level direct drive turbo trainer, so it’s not the cheapest thing available, but it completely changed my smart trainer for the better.
- Changes ride
- You use more muscles
- Looks great
- High Price
I rate the KICKR climb. It is a lot of fun to use and honestly adds a new element to training on programs such as Zwift trainer platform. It is expensive, but it is more fun for someone who spends a fair amount of time on the turbo. It’s a great way of bringing all your computer technology to your trainer setup.
When we ride our turbo, to get the most out of using it, we need to be replicating riding outdoors as much as we can. I first came across a Rocker Plate on a youtube video and wasn’t entirely sure what to make of it and the benefits it would give. After doing some research, I thought it would be a healthy investment. A Rocker Plate lets you simulate the lean of the bike from side to side. This means when climbing and pulling the bike from left to right, you can feel the movement and the lean. This is a fantastic feeling, and I completely understand why people rave about them so much.
Lifeline Rocker Turbo Plate
Lifeline is a range made by Wiggle, who distribute many products within cycling. You can tell they have put a lot into rocker plate as it’s the most popular on the market. It’s compatible with the majority of Turbo trainers on the market and offers a 13 deg left and right lean. It’s made of plywood with rubber sheeting on top. It sits about 10cm off the floor, which means you have to be cautious about getting on and off.
The feel it gives the bike is incredible, and it does feel like you’re out on the road but instead your indoor riding. It provides the natural movement of riding a bike and not just hammering into pedals like you usually would on a turbo trainer. Another thing I found with the plate is it actually made the bike much quieter because it could absorb some of the noise. The final thing I have to say is the core workout this gives you while riding is epic.
- Changes ride by giving you lean
- You use more core muscles
- Looks great
- Low Price
- Great preparation for outdoor riding
- The bike sits 10cm off the floor
I usually wouldn’t be inclined to buy something like this, but honestly, it does add so much value to the indoor experience. I highly rate it for the price and what it gives you and is well worth adding to your indoor training gear.
Mats and Noise Reduction
When they first get a Turbo Trainer, many cyclists cannot believe the noise they make. Looking back, I couldn’t either they do sound like a jet taking off. Something that I have seen too many times is the fact people try and soundproof the room when the noise mainly comes from the vibration. To get your turbo trainer or indoor cycling setup quieter, you need to remove the vibration. Using a mat is an excellent way of doing this. PS we’re not talking a yoga mat here.
SuperMats Heavy Duty Equipment Mat
The superman is one of the best value for money upgrades you can get for your turbo trainer. Let’s start with the protection element. The mat will stop any movement on the floor where your turbo trainer is and prevent any floor marking under it. Alongside this, it will also catch the sweat from when you are training, stopping it from corroding the floor below you.
The next thing we need to talk about is the noise reduction element because the mat is so thick it takes a lot of the vibration out of the turbo trainer and drastically reduces the noise. No longer will your neighbors be upset, and no longer will you require noise cancelling headphones just for an hour’s training.
- Price is very cheap
- Protects your floor
- Looks great
- Noise Reduction
- It takes up more floor space
This is not a yoga mat for sure. The SuperMats Heavy-duty cycling mat is an excellent piece to add to your pain cave. It adds protection and makes it quieter for such a low cost, great for improving the experience cycling indoors.
Sweat Towels and Catchers
Sweat is a nasty thing. If you have done an entire winter training season indoor and then taken off your bar tape, you will know the difference it can make. It has an unbelievable ability to corrode through metal and destroy bearings. Bikes on turbo trainers require cleaning even though they are not going outdoors. There is a way of avoiding getting your bike too sweaty, and this is by using either a sweat towel or a sweat catcher.
Tacx Sweat Guard
Tacx, alongside Wahoo, are industry leaders in indoor training, and they make some incredible indoor cycling products that are built to last. The Sweat cover they have produced is an excellent example of this. It’s a simple design that attaches to your handlebars and seat post and stretches across under you as a rider.
In this position, it can catch the sweat and protect it from falling onto the bike and rusting through your components. It also looks epic and is a great place to drop a sweat towel and top. It’s made of a microfibre absorbent material that will soak up everything nice and easy. It will need a wash every so often, and this can be done in the machine with ease.
Price is very cheap
Protects your bike
Keeps exercise equipment clean
Does need washing every so often
Having a sweat catching will be really valuable to your bike and indoor set up well worth the money. Protect your bike and your floor.
Turbo Trainer Utility Tables
The majority of us, when we get on the turbo, find ourselves using a tablet, smartphone, or laptop. Finding a place to put these is vital, and you can come into issues if they get too far away, like your Bluetooth dropping out because you’re too far away, and it has to reconnect, and you start losing valuable data. You can also find the issue in that if you were to use a regular cabinet, you would struggle to reach the controls as the bike’s front wheel puts you too far away. Having it on a specialist table wrapped around the bike makes such a difference.
Lifeline Trainer Table
The Lifeline trainer table has been featured in our best indoor cycling turbo trainer desks. Not only does it accommodate the wheel at the front and wraps around the bike perfectly, but it also takes barely any space. This is perfect for anyone who has a limited training space. It makes it very easy to reach all of the controls on a tablet or laptop and even makes a great place for snacks and supplies for the longer rides.
What I liked about this turbo trainer table was just the simplicity of it. It’s well designed, looks terrific, and is very easy to assemble and use. It makes you feel really involved with your training and keeps you next to everything you need. The price of it is excellent, and it packs away very quickly too.
- Price is great
- Keeps everything you need nice and close
- Looks great
- Easy to store and assemble
- Does take up more floor space when training
I feel with a lot of products, simplicity is key. Lifeline is very good at this, and it shows with this turbo trainer table. It’s simple. It works and makes you feel immersed in your training.
Tips for Turbo Training
Keep Hydrated, Full, and on top of your nutrients
It’s really easy to forget to stay on top of your hydration and not eat enough. It’s one of the most common things I see when I’m riding with other people. If you fall behind on your body’s requirements, then you will bonk, and before you know, it will be calling a taxi. It’s the same with riding indoors, you may not be on the bike as long, but you’re are burning through calories and sweating a considerable amount in a shorter space of time.
A widespread phrase I hear is to eat before you’re hungry and drink before you’re thirsty. This is fantastic advice, and you should never forget it. The next thing that you need to think about is making sure you have enough nutrients. A common practice of many cyclists is to put electrolytes in your water and also have energy gels. Cycling burns a lot of calories. Make sure you’re getting enough in for the training you are doing.
When you start to get heavily into cycling, it’s really easy to make a daily habit of jumping on the turbo or going out. This typically leads to overtraining, and your body struggles to recover. It means you can keep training and not progress towards your goals.
Making sure you have a couple of rest days a week will go a long way. It will help prevent injuries, and it will keep you focused on your goals, and also it will keep you excited to get on the bike. As a Personal Trainer, one of the most common things I come across in new clients is overtraining.
Keep on top of your equipment
Although turbo trainers are indoor and not exposed to the elements and you do your riding inside, they still suffer from a lot of wear and tear over the time you use them. It’s good practice to make sure everything is clean, your chain is effectively oiled, and everything is nice and tight, and there are no knocks or bangs while you are riding.
I have heard some nightmare stories of people not maintaining their pain cave setups, and they slip a chain or the turbo breaks, and they end up hurting themselves. Keep on top of it, and you will be absolutely fine.
Turbo training can be challenging enough without making it harder for yourself. Having some accessories can completely change the experience and make the hour or two of your riding be much more comfortable and fly by much quicker and make your training much more effective.