Best Bike Trainers 2021: Transform your Indoor Bicycle With a Stationary Fluid/Magnetic Stand

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We have put together a comprehensive guide on bike trainers and detail some of the best indoor bike trainers available. Whether you enjoy mountain biking or prefer to hit the roads, there is a bike trainer that will keep you in peak shape all winter long.

In a hurry? The test winner after 9 hours of research:

editors pick
YAHEETECH Premium Steel Bike Indoor Trainer Stand

YAHEETECH Premium Steel Bike Indoor Trainer Stand

Why is it better?

  • Designed for bikes with quick-release axles
  • Low-noise magnetic turbo
  • Protective levelness-adjustable feet caps

88/100
our score


researched sources

6

Researched sources

reviews considered

250

REviews considered

hours researched

9

hours researching

products compared

13

products compared

Last Updated: January 21, 2021

By Max Shumpert: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding indoor bike trainers available for those who are interested in exercising at home. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best indoor bike trainer currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
YAHEETECH Premium Steel Bike Indoor Trainer Stand
Rating: 88/100View Latest Deal →Read Full Review
KINETIC ROCK AND ROLL SMART BIKE TRAINER
Rating: 85/100View Latest Deal →Read Full Review
SPORTNEER FLUID BIKE TRAINER
Rating: 83/100View Latest Deal →Read Full Review
ALPCOUR FLUID BIKE TRAINER STAND
Rating: 81/100View Latest Deal →Read Full Review
UNISKY INDOOR BIKE TRAINER STAND
Rating: 79/100View Latest Deal →Read Full Review

Our Recommendations

You should be able to choose a new bike trainer with confidence now that we have given you extensive information on these devices.

If you are unsure of where to start in your search for the ideal product for your need, you can start with our recommendations below.

These are our favorite options. You may want to add them to your shopping cart depending on your preferences:

Best Fluid Bike Trainer

If you are looking for a unit that is quiet, provides a broad range of resistance options, and has the best road feel of any style, then the fluid bike trainer is for you.

Different models come with a wide array of options and features. This is the most popular type of stationary trainer on the market.

Here are a few of our top picks for fluid bike trainers:

1. YAHEETECH Premium Steel Bike Indoor Trainer Stand

YAHEETECH Premium Steel Bike  Indoor Trainer Stand

YAHEETECH Premium Steel Bike Indoor Trainer Stand


  • Designed for bikes with quick-release axles
  • Low-noise magnetic turbo
  • Protective levelness-adjustable feet caps

If you like to work out but the weather does not go according to your wish then, opt for YAHEETECH's Premium Steel Bike Bicycle Indoor Exercise Bike Trainer Stand.

The bike is designed with a high-quality corrosion-resistant magnet alloy roller along with a coated high carbon steel stand.
The bike can easily support the user's weight up to 264.6lb.

It is a sturdy mounting system with a fast-release skewer for the back wheel and front wheel support for maximum stability and safety.
The design is easy to fold and store in compact places, it is very lightweight and can be carried anywhere.

The stand works a smooth operation due to a low-noise turbo magnet. It offers you a quiet workout session. It has 4 non-slip caps that prevent the trainer from scratching or destroying the floor during a workout.

NOTE: We recommend you use the trainer stand on the carpet to reduce the noise if you are using a mountain or a road bike.

2. Kinetic by Kurt Rock and Roll Control Bike Trainers

Kinetic by Kurt Rock And Roll Control Bike Trainers

Kinetic by Kurt Rock And Roll Control Bike Trainers


  • Bikes with a rear thru-axle will require a Kinetic Triaxle thru-axle adapter for use on any trainer.
  • Max slope: 10% | Max resistance: 1800 Watts at 30 mph.
  • Ant+ and Bluetooth compatible.

Good with essentially all bicycles. It will require a back through pivot for Kinetic Triaxle through hub connector for use on any coach . The max slope of 10% and  the resistance of 1800watts at 30mph. 

Riders can interface with an extensive rundown of preparing prospects on account of the Bluetooth sensor innovation included in this gadget.

 It has Ant+ and Bluetooth similarities. On the off chance that you have a Bluetooth-associated tablet, PC, or tablet, you can utilize apps like Zwift, TrainerRoad, and Kinetic Fit to increase your exercise.

You needn't bother with some other additional applications. The licensed casing structure of the Rock and Roll offers an agreeable fixed ride since it gives a cycling-explicit center exercise and gives less wear on the rider by permitting the bicycle to move as it would out and about.

Active's protected liquid obstruction unit offers smooth, dynamic, calm opposition.

We love the Rock and Roll Smart Bike Trainer since it so intently imitates the sentiment of truly riding out and about. You can stand up while riding it and feel the to and fro influencing movements you would make while riding outside.

Likewise, it is anything but difficult to pop your bicycle on and be on your way in less than a moment. Rock and Roll Smart Bike accompanies a free half year membership for the Kinetic fit power training application. 

We suggest utilizing a preparation tire when riding this in light of the fact that the roller will in general get fantastically hot and could dissolve a customary tire. In any case, generally speaking it merits the moderately significant expense tag.

3. Sportneer Fluid Bike Trainer

Sportneer Fluid Bike Trainer

Sportneer Fluid Bike Trainer Stand


  •  Smooth silent spinning.
  • Heavy-duty stainless steel frame that maximizes durability

If you are just starting out and don’t have a lot to spend, then the  Sportneer fluid Bicycle Trainer is the top bike trainer for the money. It can fits bikes between 26-29 inches and is compatible with 700c bikes Using progressive fluid resistance unit, this affordable device increases its resistance the faster you pedal to create a true road-like feel.

For quiet, inexpensive, and smooth performance, the internal disc of the Sportneer fluid Bicycle trainer spins in a fluid. And, the external pound flywheel allows for efficient and smooth pedaling action.

This device comes with a rear quick release skewer for proper bike fit whether you are training on a mountain or road bike.

When you are putting in the extra effort for interval training, the wide, stable base keeps you in place. This model comes completely assembled so set up is easy. And, when you are done using it for the day, it folds up compactly for transport or storage.

We like this fluid trainer because it is durable and stable. The unit folds up for easy storage in case you live in a small apartment. We also love the skewer for the rear wheel. And, the noise level allows you to watch television or listen to podcasts while riding.

The only downside with choosing the Sportneer fluid Bicycle is that it doesn’t come with a riser block for the front wheel, but you can find decent riser blocks online for under $$. For its price, you would have a hard time finding a better fluid unit than this Travel Trac model.

4. Alpcour Fluid Bike Trainer Stand

Alpcour Fluid Bike Trainer Stand – Portable Stainless Steel Indoor Trainer w/ Fluid Flywheel, Noise Reduction, Progressive Resistance, Dual-Lock System – Stationary Exercise...
  • MAKE THE SWITCH TO STATIONARY! – Fluid Bike Stand Converts Any Mountain or Road Bike Into a Stable, Smooth-Riding Indoor Stationary Bicycle for...
  • NEAR SILENT FLUID TECHNOLOGY – High-Quality Flywheel Mechanism Creates Drag Against Back Tire to Replicate Real Cycling Experience – Built-In...
  • POWERFUL PROGRESSIVE RESISTANCE – Impeller Spins Inside the Wheel’s Liquid & Heats Up to Increase Resistance as You Pedal Faster, So the...

With the Alpcour Fluid bike trainer stand, you can enjoy your workout sessions indoors despite any weather conditions. The stand is very elegant equipment that is attached to your back tire to create a fluid mechanism for the flywheel.

The Alpcour Bike stand has fixed-resistance and roller for extreme balance and the stand offers ultimate control along with progressive friction for faster pedaling.

The stand is built with consistent stability and a solid metal frame, this makes it the most ideal choice for kids and heavy adults.
The bottom of the stand is coated with rubber for an anti-slipping workout. The stand can rests easily on hardwood, carpet, tile, and also on any other flooring.

The wheel in the front of your bike is supported due to the riser block. The stand works smoothly and quietly for every skill level cyclist. This portable stand can be carried everywhere and offers a very ideal solutions for many riders.

The stand is also cooperative with all-mountain and road bikes. With all these features, this bike stand helps you to stimulate the intensity of a real outdoor riding experience.

The stand has an advanced magnetic resistance unit that lets the users enjoy the spin performance with a low amount of friction and increasing the life of the tube and tires.

Best Magnetic Bike Trainer

If you are looking for a device that has adjustable resistance, runs quieter than the wind trainers, and that doesn’t break the bank, then magnetic trainers may be the best alternative for you. Plus, newer electromagnetic models come with a large array of options and features.

Here is our top picks for magnetic bike trainers:

UNISKY Bike Trainer Stand Indoor Exercise Bicycle

Unisky Bike Trainer Stand Indoor Exercise Magnetic Bicycle Training Stand Stationery Cycling Trainer for Mountain & Road Bike
  • DOUBLE LOCK SYSTEM: The two knobs on the left and right of the stationary bike trainer construct the dual locking system, making it easily to...
  • STEADY, STABLE AND FIRM: The indoor exercise bike trainer is designed with dual-support structure. The wide frame and front wheel riser block...
  • SMOOTH IN SPIN: When riding a bike at home, a smooth bike exercise trainer is definitely necessary. Bike trainer with noise reduction resistance...

The UNISKY Bike trainer delivers great pleasure and experience to make riders around the world.
You get a double lock system with 2 knobs on the left and 2 knobs on the right to easily lock your bike in one place.

The bike trainer is very steady and firm with a dual support structure. The wide frame and riser front wheel keep the wobbling away and maintains the balance of the bike and rider.

The base is very steady and has flexible anti-slip rubber feet that can be fitted on any floor in various conditions. Due to this it prevents excessive movements and offers stability on the surface.

When you are riding indoor, a smooth and good quality bike trainer is definitely needed. This UNISKY trainer stand is designed with low noise resistant wheels to make your cycling more virtual and silent.

However, if you feel the noise is loud, it can be from the materials and the treat of the bikes you use.

The bike trainer is very easy to assemble and can be folded easily. You can carry the trainer with you or store it in any place at your home.

The UNISKY bike indoor training stand is compatible with every type of bike, whether it is a road bike or mountain bike with 26to 28 inches or 700cc wheels.

So get your bike inside and start with your workout with this bike trainer stand.

What Is a Bike Trainer?

Basically, a bike trainer turns your road bike into a stationary bike.

This device achieves this goal by clamping onto the rear axle and pressing a resistance roller against your rear tire so you can ride without going anywhere.

Bike Trainer Parts

There are essentially four parts to a bike trainer:

  • The Frame – Bike trainer frames are generally made of rugged steel.
  • The Clamp – This keeps the bike securely in place. You may need a special skewer to clamp into the frame.
  • The Roller(s) – Roller trainers have multiple rollers, but most other styles have one roller that presses up against the rear wheel.
  • Resistance – When the pedals are turned, there needs to be a mechanism for providing resistance. This mechanism is different for different styles of trainers. Many models have a broad range of adjustable resistance settings.

There are plenty of additional features that any bike trainer could come with. For instance, a popular add-on is a front-wheel riser that keeps your bike level while you ride.

Types of Bike Trainers

Bike trainers fall into one of four categories: magnetic, fluid, rollers, and wind.

Magnet, fluid, and wind trainers all get their names from the type of resistance they use. On the other hand, rollers use an entirely different system. Here is a more in-depth description of each type:

Magnetic

On the back of magnetic bicycle trainers, there is a magnetic flywheel.

This device creates a magnetic pull that causes resistance on the rear wheel of your bicycle. You can make the bike more difficult or easier to ride by adjusting the resistance.

Magetic Type of Bike Trainer

If you plan on riding your bike while making phone calls or watching television, then the magnetic trainer is perfect for you since it is practically silent to operate. The downfall of this option is that the trainer is prone to break when you add too much resistance.

Fluid

Of the many styles of virtual bike trainers, the fluid models are the most complex.

Due to their complexity, they tend to break a lot more often than the other options we list. The fluid trainer is like the magnetic trainers in some ways, except that it uses liquid resistance chambers to create friction.

best fluid bike trainer

One of the biggest pros to using a fluid smart trainer is that the resistance to the rear wheel increases progressively as you start to pedal faster and faster. Many cyclists using a bike trainer want it to feel like they are on the road, and fluid trainers are probably the closest to achieving that.

The biggest con of the fluid trainer is that over long periods of time they start to expand as they get hot from friction, and this can lead to the fluid leaking.

Rollers

Of the trainer styles listed, rollers are the oldest.

With this style, the bike freely sits inside a frame on three precisions drums that turn as you pedal.

roller bike trainer

Resistance comes from fluid, wind, or magnetic add-on elements. Or, it can come from the rollers themselves. For instance, more resistance comes from smaller diameter drums.

The biggest drawback of rollers is that they take some practice getting used to. At first, you may slide off. Also, the range of resistance is not the best. On the plus side, rollers are great for improving your form, and for some workouts, elite cyclists swear by them.

Wind

The wind trainer is typically the best affordable bike trainer. The resistance of these devices is created by the cyclist powering a fan that blows air onto the rear wheel.

Wind bicycle smart trainers are less likely to break than some of the more complex trainers, they offer a relatively road-like ride, and they are cost-effective because they are fairly primitive in their design.

There are two main drawbacks to using wind trainers. The resistance of this style of trainer is not as high as many hardcore cyclists would like because the wheel’s resistance is only created by wind. Also, this device tends to be incredibly noisy.

How to Use a Bike Trainer

When first learning how to use a smart trainer, it may look intimidating. However, with a little practice, you can pop your bike on quickly.

All you have to do is replace the rear axle skewer of your bicycle with the one provided when you choose a magnetic, fluid, or wind model. Then, lift the bike into place. Clamp the flywheel against the tire after you have turned the clamp tight against the skewer.

Since the smart trainer keeps your rear tire from touching the floor, your bike will be at an unnatural angle. For many elite cyclists, this is unacceptable. Fortunately, there are riser blocks you can use to level out the bike by lifting your wheel in the front off the ground as well.

The process is even simpler when you choose a roller bike smart trainer. You simply place your bike’s wheels on the appropriate drum, hop on your bike, and pedal away. It will take a little time to get used to the rollers.

No matter the model you choose, the entire process should take less than a minute to complete once you have done it a few times. Of course, you should be sure to read the owner’s manual for instructions specific to your trainer.

Why Should You Choose Your Bike Trainer Carefully

There are many reasons why you need to carefully pick your bike trainer.

First of all, the best stationary bike trainers each have their own pros and cons. For instance, wind trainers might be inexpensive, but they are a lot louder than magnetic and fluid trainers. This will not due in a small apartment.

Another reason you need to be careful as you are shopping for the best virtual bike trainer for your needs is that trainers do not always fit all bike types and sizes. Most trainers were designed to handle a wide selection of wheel sizes, but make sure your bike will fit the smart trainers you are looking at.

Your trainer has the potential to last you for the remainder of your indoor riding life. Certain brands are celebrated for their durability. Others might get you through one season. If you would like something that will last you far into the future, make sure you choose a model with a lifetime warranty.

Not all manufacturers are there for you after the sale. Sure, they may offer a short-term limited warranty, but when you try to get in touch with their customer service for any questions, you can’t get anyone on the line. Make sure the manufacturer has a strong track record.

Indoor Trainers

We already mentioned that noise is a concern when you live in a small apartment, but you also need to pay attention to space concerns. Many units fold up to take up relatively little room. If this is important to you, look for this feature when choosing the best bike resistance trainer.

Smart features are all the rage with today’s best rated indoor bike smart trainers. But, for many beginners, it doesn’t make sense to fork out the extra cash for features you are not going to use.

The last reason why you need to choose your stationary trainer stand carefully is that different trainers have different feels. If you would like your trainer to mimic the feel of the road as closely as possible, then you may want to pay extra for one of the high-end models.

What to Pay Attention to When Choosing Your Bike Trainer

Since there is so much variability in the different types of trainers, you should not just go out and buy any old model. Instead, there are several important aspects you should consider when choosing your bike trainer:

Compatibility

Check whether the trainer you are interested in offers different attachment options since axle attachment widths and standards seem to change on an almost yearly basis. There are often different freehub alternatives for direct-attachment trainers, or you might find thru-axle adaptors.

Stability

Though rollers have a bit of a learning curve and are more prone to crashes, it is relatively rare for you to crash on your trainer. But, when you are going cross-eyed trying to achieve a new personal record, you are more susceptible to crashing.

Stability for Bike Trainers

For the most part, you will be more stable when you choose a trainer with a wide base. There are several models that have bases of up to three-feet wide or more. If you plan on going hard for intense workouts, you might consider a trainer with a base that expands for maximum stability.

Another part of stability is keeping your bike level. Some trainers have a leveling feature for uneven surfaces. Other models simply come with a front-wheel riser that keeps your bike approximately level.

Adjustability

As you pedal on trails or roads, the resistance rarely remains constant. As such, you may want a trainer that also features adjustable resistance. This is achieved in a variety of ways depending on the style and model of the trainer.

Fluid trainers automatically ramp up the resistance as you increase the speed of your pedaling. On the other hand, you can manually adjust the resistance on magnetic trainers on the unit itself or by using a shifter that is attached to the device by a cord.

Ride Performance

Do you want your workout to feel just like you are out on the road or trails? Well, trainers are not able to mimic the wind in your face or the bumps on a trail, but some styles of trainers come incredibly close to achieving the same resistance feel.

If this is important to you, then your best option will probably be a fluid trainer since the fluid inside of the flywheel of these smart trainers gets thicker and provides more resistance as you go faster and heat up the fluid.

Noise

Unlike your outdoor cycling rides where you can sometimes chat with people along the way or you can silently take in the beautiful scenery, indoor biking is generally less appealing and more boring due to its stationary nature.

Most indoor cyclists turn to their stereo or television to keep their mind occupied. If the noise level of your trainer is too high, you will have difficulty hearing anything. Therefore, if you want to keep the noise down, it makes sense to splurge on a stand that is quieter, such as a fluid trainer.

You can also ensure your ride is quieter by installing a special smooth training wheel.

Storage

As mentioned above, if you have a small living space, you will want a trainer with a small footprint. Look for models that fold in half or that have legs that fold in. Also, since you will likely be moving your trainer around a lot to put it in storage, you may want a lightweight, aluminum model.

The easy-to-store models tend to cost more than the larger alternatives. So, if you have plenty of room, then there is no need to pay extra for the foldable feature.

Ease of use

Before buying your indoor bike trainer, you must consider how easy it will be to mount and remove the bike from the trainer. If it takes a lot of muscle and jimmying to get your bike loose, you’ll likely lose your patience quickly. Plus, you could damage your wheel’s spokes.

Reviews can tell you if this is a known issue or not.

Magnetic vs Fluid Bike Trainer

Wind and roller-style bike trainers have their benefits, but magnetic and fluid bike trainers are much more popular because of their ability to mimic the natural riding experience and their many features.

However, they do have plenty of differences that will guide your decision on which style to go with.

With magnetic trainers, drag is achieved on the bike wheel using adjustable magnetic resistance. A flywheel serves direct drive mechanism of this type of trainer. The flywheel has rotating magnets that create a set amount of resistance when engaged.

You must either change the resistance via a handlebar-mounted cable attached to the trainer or get off the bike to select the new level directly on the trainer. You generally get a smoother ride from the mid- to high-priced magnetic models.

On the other hand, the flywheel mechanism of fluid bike trainers creates resistance through an impeller spinning inside a fluid located in the flywheel. As the temperature of the fluid increases, it gets thicker. Therefore, when you pedal faster, you get more resistance.

Fluid Type of Bike Trainer

One of the early problems with fluid smart trainers was that the seals of the flywheel would break and fluids would leak out. But, this problem has been addressed by newer models, such as the ones we list above.

Magnetic units are slightly more dependable and simpler than their fluid counterparts. They are also cheaper. If you are a beginner who just wants to log miles, the magnetic models should be good enough.

On the other hand, fluid devices are the best quiet bike trainers. Also, thanks to their progressive resistance, they come closer to capturing the road-like feel. And, as you increase your fitness level, it becomes tougher for you to overpower the unit thanks to the progressive resistance.

Common FAQs

What are the best bike trainers?

  • YAHEETECH Premium Steel Bike Indoor Trainer Stand
  • Kinetic by Kurt Rock and Roll Control Bike Trainers 
  • Sportneer Fluid Bike Trainer
  • Alpcour Fluid Bike Trainer Stand
  • UNISKY Bike Trainer Stand Indoor Exercise Bicycle
  • Which is a better fluid or magnetic bike trainer?

    If you are looking for a less expensive bike trainer then go for a magnetic trainer. The ride offered by the fluid trainers is more like a road bike feels than that of a magnetic trainer.

     

    Are bike trainers worth it?

    Indoor cycling can be much more efficient if you have severe weather conditions or don't have enough time to ride your bike. You can easily set up your trainer stand and spend your time cycling.

     

    Do I need a smart bike trainer?

    Actually, no. You don't need a smart trainer to ride your bike. A smart trainer transfers your power and can change the resistance so that you feel virtual hills. Instead, you can use a standard classic trainer with a speed sensor.

     

    Are magnetic bike trainers any good?

    Magnetic bike trainer stand is less expensive, however, they can often limit you with the range and less variance in the workout. You can outgrow this issue if you have developed resistance and become a great cyclist.

    Can you put any bike on a trainer?

    Yes, you can use any bike on a trainer stand. Many trainers are compatible with mountain bikes with 29 inches tires as well. However, a bike with less aggressive tread is more welcomed.

     

    Can you change gears on a bike trainer?

    Magnetic trainers are quiet and low in price. Even a standard trainer can be adjusted for changing the resistance by shifting gears. Some trainers are also computerized to accelerate the main race and race conditions.

     

    Do you really need a trainer tire?

    No, you do not need a trainer specific tire to ride your bike. However, they are available for only $30 and can last for a long time. They are much quieter and do not leave any dust on the floor.

     

    Conclusion

    If you’ve read our entire guide, you know that we can’t make a blanket statement about what is the best bike trainer

    It all depends on your situation, but we can confidently say that the models mentioned above are of the highest quality.

    For the most part, when it comes to bike trainers, you get what you pay for. If you are relatively new to trainers, you might consider starting with a more affordable option, and as you become more of a buff, you can upgrade to one of the better, more expensive models.

    If you have tried a trainer and have not enjoyed the experience, you probably have not found the right one for you. When you choose a model, take the time to do the research on it, and ensure it meets your needs.

    Happy cycling!

    editors pick
    CycleOps Fluid Trainer

    CycleOps Fluid 2

    Why is it better?

    • Broad resistance range
    • Comes with a mat
    • Accommodates tires between 26” and 29”

    88/100
    our score


    Last update on 2021-01-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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