7 Trainers and Rollers We Love

From Bicycling.com


No matter what your training or indoor riding needs are, we have a recommendation for you.


A good trainer or set of rollers isn’t just for the when the weather forces us indoors—indoor riding can be great for the time-crunched cyclist, urban riders with limited route options, or anyone recovering from an injury. Even the most weather-hardened winter riders sometimes like to control the environment they’re riding in.

A trainer, which lifts the back wheel and fixes it in place, works by applying resistance to the wheel to create a ride-like feel. The least expensive options use a magnetic or fluid resistance, with higher-end models offering digital route simulations, phone connectivity, and power-specific workouts. Trainers are a great option for small spaces, new riders, or anyone who likes to zone out while riding indoors, because they’re really hard to fall off of.

Rollers, on the other hand, tend to require a little more concentration. Rollers consist of a set of cylinders attached to an external frame, and work like a treadmill for your bike—you simply get on and start riding. Because you’re free to move back and forth, and depend on your own balance to remain upright, it’s easier to have a mishap if you’re not paying attention. But rollers generally offer the most realistic-feeling ride.


Deciding on the best trainer for your needs can be a task more daunting than the actual hours you spend riding one. Here are some of our staff favorites, chosen for ease of use, features, and cost. And don’t forget, if you get really into it you might even end up earning a pro contract!


Wahoo Kickr Power Trainer

Recommended by: Selene Yeager, the Fit Chick Why she loves it: The accurate power meter and rock-solid base make it perfect for Zwift

For the cyclist who wants the ultimate in smart trainers with all of the bells and whistles, Wahoo’s Kickr Power Trainer is an excellent choice. Its weighted base is designed to feel rock solid even during the hardest of intervals, and it’s able to measure and handle up to 2,000 watts of power within 2 percent accuracy. The wheel-off design comes with an 11-speed Shimano/SRAM cassette and can be changed to accommodate most other types of bikes, both road and mountain. The Kickr is compatible with Zwift and other training software and it’s Bluetooth Smart, Ant+ and Ant+ FE-C ready. Additionally, it’s one of the quietest trainers available.


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20th Annual Tour de Palm Springs

Tim Esser had an idea on January 31, 1998. He would hold a bike event in Palm Springs that would allow local cyclist to ride 5, 15, 25 and 50 miles. 400 cyclists rode in the first event, known at that time as Spokes for Different Folks. Tim, however, being the guy that never goes only part way, decided to use the event as a launch pad for his own personal ride across America. It took him 30 days to cross the country from Palm Springs, California to Jacksonville, Florida. When it was all over Tim had survived his chase vehicle crashing and catching on fire, a fall that sprained his shoulder, rain in the valleys, snow in the mountains and tornadoes on the plains! But, he made it.

The first event raised $20,000 and was hailed as a great success by all who participated. Tim, along with his mother Fran, set up a not for profit organization called CVSPIN. Even though many cyclists may think that CVSPIN means to turn over their bicycle pedals as fast as possible in the Coachella Valley, it actually stands for Coachella Valley Serving People In Need. The first Tour de Palm Springs was held in 1999. The number of riders exceeded 1,000 and a 100 mile (century) ride was added. In 2001, the Coachella Valley Desert Business Association recognized the Tour de Palm Springs as the best event in the Valley. The competition included the Bob Hope PGA Tournament, the Dinah Shore LPGA Tournament, The Skins Game and the Tennis Masters Series.Every year the Tour de Palm Springs continues to attract more and more riders. The money generated has gone to help many organizations in the Coachella Valley. In 2015 over $179,000 was donated to 80 local charities that in their own special ways met the varied needs of the people in the Coachella Valley.


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Artist Paints Exquisite Miniature Landscapes Based on Bike Routes She’s Traveled

From MyModernMet.com


The habits and interests we establish when we’re younger often go on to influence our lives in powerful ways. When artist Dina Brodsky was eighteen years old, she discovered two passions that would become permanent fixtures in her life. “The first was painting,” she writes. “The second was long-distance bicycling.” In her series Cycling Guide to Lilliput, she demonstrates how the two work together to inform her exquisite miniature landscape artwork.

“Long distance cycling tours became my preferred form of travel, a way to gather ideas and information for the next year of painting,” Brodsky explains. “Specifically, I was drawn to miniature painting, studying first Islamic miniature art, then medieval manuscript illumination, combining that with the classical painting techniques I learned through the years.” Each of her small works encapsulates a memory she had while traveling, from moon-lit scenes to snowy roadways to reflecting ponds. Painted with an incredible realism, the circular life-like compositions allude to a larger story in which Brodsky guides the way.


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Cyclocross Nationals Gets Underway in Reno

From SoCalCycling.com


Thirty-six national titles are on the line Jan. 9-14 as the nations leading amateur and professional cyclocross racers descend on Reno, Nev. for the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships. National champions will be crowned in the junior, collegiate, U23, masters, and elite ranks.

Nearly 2,000 racers from across the U.S. will convene at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno for the championships. Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is managed by Washoe Countys Community Services Division: Regional Parks and Open Space. The Departments mission is to provide exceptional parks and open space, and recreational opportunities while preserving our natural, historical and cultural resources. For more information, visit www.washoecountyparks.com/.

Cyclocross is an exciting sport to witness and spectator vantage points are available close to the action all along the course. Riders complete multiple laps around the 3-kilometer course (3.3 km for elite riders on Sunday) in all weather conditions through asphalt, dirt, grass, and sand while encountering various obstacles that may require the riders to dismount their bicycles. The fan experience is enhanced at the start/finish area with live race announcing and an expo providing merchandise tents and a variety of mobile food vendors.

Competitions begin Tuesday, Jan. 9 and culminate on Sunday, Jan. 14 with the fan-favorite events which include Junior 17-18 Men, U23 and elite competitions for men and women.

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Research shows that exercise like cycling can reverse age-related heart damage

From Bicycling.com


Failed love affairs notwithstanding, time can take a real toll on your ticker. Sedentary middle-aged adults can end up with stiffening in the heart muscle, particularly the left ventricle (the chamber that pumps oxygen-rich blood to the body), raising the risk for heart failure. Masters athletes of the same age, by contrast, have large, compliant left ventricles similar to those of their younger peers.

Now, groundbreaking research shows that people can reverse age-related heart damage, but they need to make regular aerobic exercise—like cycling—a part of their daily lives before it’s too late.

In a recent study published in Circulation, cardiologists at UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources had 53 sedentary adults, ages 45-64, either perform a cardiovascular exercise program for two years or act as a control group, participating in yoga and balance training over the same period. After a gradual three-month buildup, the cardio group ultimately worked out four to five days a week and for 30 minutes at a time, including one high-intensity interval workout and one longer session.

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