10 Reasons Why Cycling Indoors is Better Than Cycling Outdoors
Cycling is a fantastic sport that is evolving rapidly and always has done. Every couple of years, the market changes, and we see new riding styles, bikes, and incredible technology. About seven years ago, cycling really changed. We started getting some amazing technology that completely changed riding indoors. Zwift was born, shortly followed by Peloton and many other indoor cycling applications, and well many of us turned to train indoors instead of outdoors. People couldn’t get enough of their indoor bike trainers, and the indoor cycling workouts were in full swing for many.
Sometimes we feel like we’re giving in by cycling indoors instead of outdoors when this just isn’t the case. Many cyclists don’t see the advantages of training indoors, and we believe many people could drastically improve their performance and experience by cycling indoors on a regular basis. We want to tell you all the amazing things about indoor cycling in this article.
One: Indoor Cycling is Safer
One very appealing thing about cycling indoors is the safety aspect. As roads get busier, it is more dangerous to be outside. We are seeing a significant increase in road traffic, and close calls have become more frequent. Some of us are lucky enough not to live in areas which are not cities or too busy, but others can’t, but if where you live doesn’t have a good cycling infrastructure, there is an aspect of danger.
Two: Cycling Indoor is More Structured
When you ride your stationary bike and start indoor training, you get a much better structure than riding outdoors. It can be challenging to do sessions like intervals and power training on the road because of interruptions. Indoor cycling, you can entirely focus on the task at hand and not have to worry about traffic lights, cars, inclines, declines, and even headwinds. This is going to give you a much better training structure.
Three: Cheaper To Ride a Bike Indoors
Indoor and outdoor cycling is not the cheapest sports you can choose, but they are completely worth the money as the benefits of cycling for health alone are priceless. Indoor cycling typically can be more affordable than outdoor cycling. Although with indoor cycling you have to buy a turbo trainer and bike, riding outdoor there are also a lot of other expenses to think about, such as;
- Tires and Tubes
- Extra Clothing like jackets
- Coffee and Food Outside
- Helmets and Safety gear
- Bike Lighting
Outdoor cycling, overall, I do believe, requires much more maintenance and equipment than indoor cycling. I appreciate that you have some extra costs to ride indoors, but overall I think indoor cycling is cheaper than using your bike outdoors.
Four: Quicker to Ride Your Bike at Home
Many cyclists take to sports like running because they are short on time and find getting ready for outdoor riding takes too long. Checking your bike is ready to go, making sure you have all your spares, digging your kit out of the cupboard, and even preparing your food and water.
With an indoor cycling class, you tend not to need as much time. It is as simple as just jumping on the bike and going. Typically many people who work 9-5 wouldn’t get on the bike before work as they haven’t got the time for all the preparation. Having indoor cycling bikes at our disposal eliminates a lot of this, and we can literally just jump on and start our training session
Five: Spinning is not Weather Dependant
Outdoor cycling hugely depends on the weather, and you have to pick your days wisely to make sure that you get the most out of it and enjoy it. It’s not ideal when you work all week when it’s sunny then you come to the weekend, and it’s raining. At least with an indoor trainer, you don’t need to worry about the weather. You also find that it means you can train much harder on your stationary bike in winter, ready for summer to go outdoor cycling.
Six: Indoor Cycling Burns Extra Calories
Indoor training isn’t like outdoor training. With indoor training, you tend never to stop pedaling. This is because you don’t need to stop for traffic lights or become out geared on descents. This isn’t just excellent for training, but it also does burn more calories because you are working harder overall. When you train indoors, you get the most challenging workouts, and you can make it so much harder for yourself.
Seven: Focus on Technique and Bike Fit
Cycling on an indoor bike is beneficial as it gives us time to focus on our technique. This means we can optimize our pedal stroke to be the best it can be and get essentially free power. What many of us do on stationary bikes is not only just focus on technique but our fit. Having a better bike fit does help us pedal much more efficiently, and being on an indoor trainer, we can fine tune this.
Eight: Cycling Indoors is Better for Power Training
When we train indoors, typically, most of us will have a smart trainer or power-pedals. What’s impressive about a smart trainer is that it has a power function often known as a power meter. A power meter is a device that we call a strain gauge, and this can measure the force being applied to the pedal at any given time.
Using this technology, we can go to indoor cycling classes knowing precisely the amount of effort we need to be giving for optimum performance when training. This is incredible when it comes to intervals and power testing. A fantastic feature many indoor cycling setups have is Auto Resistance and ERG mode, and this is where the resistance can change automatically for you while you ride. You just pick the spin class you want, and it will automatically follow the workout for you. All you need to do is pedal, and it makes all the adjustments for you and always has you in the right gear.
Nine: The Mental Benefits of Cycling Indoors
When you’re out on the road, it’s easy to become distracted and just cycle without really thinking about nothing else apart from what’s in front of you. It mentally becomes more challenging when it comes to indoor training and cycling classes, where you have to focus on the workload. Time goes much slower on the turbo trainer compared to outdoors. I feel an indoor cycling class is an incredible way to create mental toughness and train your mindset to endure bigger challenges and give you a mental boost.
Ten: You can Catch up on Your Favourite Shows
You can literally just sit on the bike and watch TV during indoor training. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you have a long session planned and you see a film on Netflix you want to watch, you can. When I train indoors, I feel like I’m not missing out on watching the shows everyone is talking about at work because I have the time to watch them and train.
There’s nothing like riding in the great outdoors, all the fresh air, and those social group rides, but there are many advantages to riding indoors. We believe a mix of them both is the most efficient way to train with some core strength thrown in.