Does anyone have any recommendations on a good indoor trainer that will not break the bank? I know there are plenty of them out there and they can range from around $100 up to $300-400. I would like to use my RAGBRAI bike to train on and during the Iowa winters this seems like the best option to me. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!
Getting a trainer is a terrific way to get a head-start on training for RAGBRAI. For a starting trainer, don’t go nuts, as the more basic 100-200 dollar trainers will serve you well. There are basically two kinds on the market: magnetic and fluid. Mag trainers have set resistance levels (usually 3 or 4), so the resistance stays pretty constant. Fluid trainers are a little more like the road in that the faster you go, the harder it gets to pedal. Everyone has a favourite; there’s really no right or wrong in picking one over the other. (Just in case a purist reads this…I’m purposely leaving out rollers. Overkill, methinks).
Performance Bike (www.performancebike.com)has a pretty decent magnetic trainer called the Travel Trac Comp Mag + Trainer for about 120 dollars. I have an older version of it; it’s survived better than 8 years of indoor riding, so in my experience it’s held up well. Provides a very decent workout, too. They have a fluid version of trainer available for a few more dollars.