You’re a roadie. You love cycling because you enjoy going outside, discovering new places and riding with other riders. So why use a smart trainer?
Sure, some cyclists have a rain bike and enjoy riding when it’s wet outside. But let’s face it, most of us don’t. My friends like to joke that I must be made of sugar, because I act like I’m going to melt if I think it’s going to rain on a ride.
But it’s not just rain you might want to avoid. There’s also extreme heat or extreme cold. When it’s 105 outside, it can be dangerous to ride. And when the temperatures drop, it can be uncomfortably cold and you might have to worry about snow or ice on the ground.
Smart trainers let you get a ride in even in adverse weather conditions like these.
Depending on where you live, you might either need to put your bike in the car to get to the starting point of your ride, or it might take you 20 or 30 minutes to ride to your starting point. If you only have an hour to get in a specific workout, it might not be possible at all to do it outside.
But with a smart trainer, you can just jump on the trainer and complete your workout at home. Even better, you can literally program in the exact workout that you want to accomplish and the smart trainer will take you through it step by step so that you complete it properly, giving you feedback about your wattage and time spent with every part of the workout.
Ride at 2 a.m. on a Friday Night or at Rush Hour
Sure, it’s possible to ride in the dark. I have a very good light system and I often ride at 5:15 a.m. so I can get my workout in before I have to go to work. But it’s just plain smarter and safer to avoid riding on the roads during peak traffic times, or at times when cars do not expect you to be there or there are a higher percentage of drunk drivers.
Why risk it when you can ride your smart trainer instead?
With apps like Zwift or Rouvy, you can turn your smart trainer into a highly social online video game. Suddenly, riding the trainer isn’t an awful chore anymore. It’s fun! If you have a tablet, smart phone or a computer, you can sign up for these services in a matter of minutes and jump right into riding with other cyclists on their smart trainers around the world. Join them on a group ride, or enter a race and try to win it. See if you can set a KOM on one of the app courses. The possibilities are endless.
Did you know there’s even a CVR World Cup, with cash prizes? The payouts are substantial, too.
See and Track All Your Stats and Measure Improvement
Maybe you don’t have a power meter on your road bike. With a smart trainer, you can see and keep track of how much power you can generate on a bike, and see how many kilojoules of power you burned on a ride. You can also compare apples to apples with this ride compared to a previous trainer ride. You felt like you weren’t riding very well, but hey, look — you actually generated the same power as that ride from last week!
You’ll be able to see how your fitness is progressing in black and white.
You Really Do Ride Harder When You’re Chasing That Other Bike on the Screen
Riding alone on a regular trainer, it’s sometimes difficult to push yourself the same way that you can when you’re riding out on the road, with a group. But riding a smart trainer and using an app like Zwift allows you to bring the group dynamics right into your house. Pedaling along with someone on the screen next to you, trying to hold their pace feels just as real as when you’re doing it outside on the road, motivating you to put in harder efforts.
You Can Upload it to Strava
If you’re one of those obsessive “Strava or it didn’t happen” cyclists who can’t stand the thought of going on a ride that you didn’t record, there’s good news. Smart trainers and related apps will generally sync with Strava so that you can upload your workout and have a record or share it with all your followers. You’ve probably already noticed when other cyclists upload their Zwift or other smart trainer rides, and now you can join them.
What else did we miss? Why do you love using your smart trainer? Leave a comment and tell us so we can add even more reasons to the list.