Best Bike Trainers In 2021
In this guide we’ll take a look at the best bike trainers you can buy in 2021 and answer lots of common questions around trainers so you can find the right model. Read on to get started with our favorite models, or use the navigation buttons to jump to a specific section so you can learn more about how to choose.
What are the best bike trainers?
Here are some of our favorite bike trainers across several different categories. Whether you want to train like a pro or you’re just looking for a good way to stay active year round, you’ll find something great.
Best smart trainers
These smart trainers offer the best performance and adjust resistance as you ride through wirelessly connecting to training apps like Zwift. Our favorite smart trainers are direct drive, meaning that the trainer takes the place of your rear wheel, allowing you to gain maximum accuracy and power. If you're serious about indoor cycling, these models are the way to go.
Best smart bikes (bike simulators)
These smart bikes are all-in-one stationary units that provide the ultimate indoor training experience. They can often replicate real world riding situations that other trainers can't, and they have tons of configuration options so you can dial in your workouts to be highly efficient.
Best classic bike trainers
These simple, affordable bike trainer stands are perfect for riders looking for a great price on a product that gets the job done. These models are lightweight, portable, and easy to use.
Best bike roller trainers
Roller trainers are portable and affordable and let you keep your bike in one piece and work on your balance as well as your fitness. If you want something something bombproof and simple, these rollers are great buys.
Ready to learn more about bike trainers?
Now that you've seen some of our favorite models, read on to get more information about how bike trainers work, why athletes love them, different types, top models, and common questions.
What is a bike trainer?
A bike trainer is a device that allows you to ride your bike indoors. There are many different kinds, which we explain in detail below, but they all let you keep the pedals turning from the comfort of your own home.
What is a smart trainer?
A smart trainer is an electronic bike trainer that wirelessly connects to other devices in order to measure ride data, integrate with apps like Zwift, and automatically adjust resistance in accordance with selected workouts.
Is a bike trainer worth it?
Trainers are great for lots of reasons, and there are models for everyone from casual riders to professional cyclists. Here are 7 reasons why bike trainers are a worthwhile investment:
- You can avoid winter slumps and ride year round.
- You can train more efficiently with workouts that might be impossible to replicate where you live.
- You can avoid congested roads and ride in peace.
- You can get a great ride in regardless of rain, wind, smoke, or snow.
- You can go digital and turn training into a fun game with apps like Zwift.
- You can compete against other riders all over the world right from home.
- You can multitask and ride while you watch your favorite shows.
What are the different types of bike trainers?
There are a few different types of trainers that you can choose from. Each one has its pros and cons, so read up and see which type suits you best.
Best bike trainer brands
Bike trainer accessories
Here are some of the top bike trainer accessories that you should consider picking up.
Bike trainer FAQs
Which bike trainer should I buy?
We recommend you find a model that’s a good balance between your cycling goals and your budget. If you want to make the most out of your workouts, you can’t beat having a smart trainer. But if you’re just looking to stay in shape, a regular trainer stand or roller might be all you need.
What should I look for in a smart trainer?
When shopping for a smart trainer, first check if it's compatible with your bike. Check out the max resistance (measured in watts) as well as the accuracy error margin. You'll want to make sure it has the proper connectivity you need to run the apps you want, and note any features dedicated to realistic ride quality.
Do bike trainers fit all bikes?
Bike trainers will fit most road and gravel bikes and certain mountain bikes, but each model has its own specific compatibility specs, so you'll definitely want to take the time to familiarize yourself with the details of the model you're shopping for.
What bike trainers do the pros use?
Lots of pro cyclists use direct drive smart trainers so they can pedal their own bikes (instead of a stationary bike) indoors while being able to train with dynamic workouts that can simulate a wide range of riding situations.
Is a magnetic or fluid trainer better?
Both magnetic and fluid trainers are good options, but we tend to favor fluid bike trainers, as they are typically less noisy and can increase the resistance simply by pedaling harder, whereas you need to adjust tension manually on a magnetic trainer.
What's the best wahoo trainer?
If you're after a smart trainer, we love the Wahoo KICKR CORE, because of its reasonable price point and killer features.
Do you need a smart trainer for Zwift?
While it's certainly easier to use Zwift with a smart trainer, you can still use the app with a classic bike trainer as long as you have a power meter or a bluetooth/ANT + speed and cadence sensor.
Which bike trainer should I buy for Zwift?
Zwift is a really cool app with lots of great features that make indoor cycling a blast. If you want to take full advantage of the app and avoid compatibility issues, buying a smart trainer is the way to go. We love the Wahoo smart trainers listed above, but any smart trainer will be perfect.