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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I bought my bike in late Fall, I have only ridden outside a few times. I primarily use a stationary bike at the gym although I am considering buying a trainer. How can I compare the effort put forth on the gym bike to what I will experience on the road or for that matter on a trainer.
 

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WoW<br>
there are certainly those more versed in biking than I. That being said I have never seen anyone get a great workout from the stationary bike.
 

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I ride a stationary bike, either the more bike-like "upright" one or the more comfy "recumbent" one, two or three times a week through the winter - less often in the summer. There are certainly differences in which muscles get used but I believe I get a good cardio workout and build general muscles that I can later tune for use on the bike - when the weather is more conducive. I keep the RPMs high (100+) and tend to do "Hill" programs that have intervals of hard work. I'll typically do 45 minutes sessions at levels 14, 15 or 16 (out of the 20) on the bikes at my gym. YMMV.
 

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that's been my experience exactly!!<br><br>
I've used my new bike a bit but not as much as I would have wanted. Just being patient and using the gym exercise bikes until Spring.<br><br>
pedalling quickly for a long time is what makes a bike go quick. so; pedalling good. not pedalling bad. if an ex bike is your option (and it's all I've got, midweek) that's that. define great work-out. if you're building a base and you want your heart beating in zone 2 for an hour while pedalling then it's job-done, isn't it?<br><br>
as for comparing the ex bike to outside, i don't bother: the machine will tell me 35KM for an hour, which is +20mph, but I cannot do that on the roads outside because of traffic and road surfaces and hills. So inside I just do cadences +100 and make that the focus outside too (although 90-100 is more realistic outside when 100+ is easier inside).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My workouts are similar to LRR. I ususally go between 35-40 minutes with varying resistance. However, it is tough for me to go 10 miles at 18-19 mph. My question is how will this translate outdoors. I realize that hills make a difference, I assume there will be little traffic at races. I was wondering if the coasting effect of the bike outdoors leads to less energy expenditure than the stationary bike.
 

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I'd guess it might be different for everybody and for any given day, because of bike set-up, wind resistance, different course having different hills and road surfaces. not sure - sorry. probably no right or wrong answer.
 

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A lot of people are slackers.<br><br>
Back when I was a triathlete, I would do two weekly workouts on the stationary bike, then a road ride on the weekend. The gym workouts were for strength, mostly high resistance intervals, and the weekend ride was tempo style. Very effective.<br><br>
You can get a great workout on the stationary bike as long as you don't slack off and just spin away. You want to get off the machine feeling at least as tired as when you get off the bike after a similar duration ride. Preferably more tired.
 

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if you say so..<br>
I've tried both bikes at level 20/ hills for 45 min. (research) I wasn't slacking. Both I got off feeling that my leg muscles where more relaxed after the spin.<br>
I see many many people ride them everyday. I've only ever seen one guy who works hard enough to call it even working and he'll admit it's more about just getting his h.r. up for a half hour. Not that he feels worked.<br>
I've also seen other triathletes come in to work out muscles after a race or long, hard training ride. Akin to your recovery run.<br>
I have a real hard time believing either Bannon or LRR get a honest to goodness workout out of the stationary bike? <img alt="confused.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/confused.gif"> Seriously guys?
 

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why is it so hard to imagine? are they already freakishly strong?<br><br>
if the bike (stationary or not) has a power meter, and you set interval targets for power output, then that's a work-out isn't it?<br><br>
and you can increase what output you can achieve over-time. ?? am I missing something??
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Melistic do you think you can get a workout on a trainer? I think the bike experts here certainly do. I agree that many people are just spinning at low resistance but if you crank the resistance up the muscle work should simulate riding outdoors. Similarly running on a treadmill works as a substitute for outdoor running. It does not take into account weather, hills, asphalt but I am sure I can get a good worout on the treadmill. I do not necessarily equate treadmill workouts with outdoor running. I think a 7:30 mile on the treadmill is probably 7:40-5 on the road. Hence the question Is there any way I can know my fitness level using the stationary bike due to my inexperience on the road. I want to have clue as what to expect in April when the weather is warm enough to get outside.
 

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Just my personal opinion....While a stationary bike is a 'workout', I would consider a trainer a much more cycling specific work out. The main reason is in addition to working out leg muscles and getting cardio, you are putting more time into your actual biking position and hence actual leg muscles/pedal stroke.<br><br>
When I was training for an IM last year and putting many hours on the trainer in addition to out side I had to go on a buisiness trip and was forced to go to the gym to get in my cycling workout. I quit after only 30 minutes because while I was getting a 'leg' workout, it was so different from my actual pedal stroke that I felt I was better just missing that one workout.<br><br>
I guess thats a long way of saying I dont think a stationary bike translates that well to riding outside and would invest in a trainer....
 

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Totally agree with this. You get out of anything what you put in, including work on a stationary bike. This is also why I try to preach quality on the Trainer if you go that route. You honestly do not need to be spending inordinate amount of time spinning mindlessly away, but if you do workouts with quality (see Jr's posts for examples or ask and I'll shed light), you'll get strong AND fast. And the same is true for stationary or any other peice of equipment.<br><br>
With that said, if you're number one goal is to kick ass all across the land, get yourself a Trainer and do core workouts there. If your goal is to stay in shape, keep the waist trim, and perhaps get faster -- but not in a crazy sort of way -- you're doing just fine.
 

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Hmmm...on the bikes at my gym, level 20 hill workout is insanely hard. No way I could do it for 45 minutes. At my strongest, I could do maybe level 17 for 30 minutes, then a steady spin at level 12 or so for another 30 minutes. And would be POURING sweat less than halfway through the hill portion. I'm no elite cyclist, but I'm no slacker, either. So somehow the bikes at your gym must be set to a much lower resistance than the ones at my gym. That or I'm wimpier than I though...<img alt="uhoh2.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/uhoh2.gif">
 

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I don't think it compares to a ride outside but I can get a good workout on a stationary bike. Most of my indoor rides are done on my trainer which has a completely different "feel" to the stationary.
 

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When people refer to "junk miles" do they mean that that particular workout won't make you faster or improve yourself as a triathlete?<br><br>
Because I do agree with that but does that mean you get nothing out of it? Isn't it good for your overall health and cardio condition if you get your heartrate up for an extended period of time?<br><br>
I don't go out and kill myself on the trainer or spin bikes at the gym but because of the weather, or the necessity of childcare (when I need to take kids to the gym cause i have no other options) I can't ride outside all the time. This weekend I needed to get a long ride in. It was 22 degrees here. Hopped on the spin bikes for 90 minutes. Tried keeping cadence at 90 or above. Every 5 minutes I spent one minute of either increased cadence, single leg drills, or riding out of the saddle. I was sweating like crazy and my legs were wobbly when I was done. Was that junk miles??
 

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Yeah....<br><br>
What makes "junk miles" (whether on the bike or while running) JUNK?<br><br>
Is it the lack of focus/goal?<br>
Is it the pace?<br>
Is it the lack of variety?
 

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Not in my book. To me, junk miles are the rides that I don't even consider to be a ride. Like when I "ride around" with DD6. Or if I were to ride down to the store and back with the neighbor. Something I could do in jeans and get off the bike feeling like I never got on. Pointless in terms of training.<br><br>
Also, easy rides (or runs) done on a day that <i>should</i> be a rest day.
 

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I'd say you can definitely get a good workout on a trainer! The trainer and the 'gym bike' don't really compare and it's a worthy investment if you have the money/ space.<br><br>
I honestly have no idea how your stationary bike would compare to outdoor riding. As with treadmill miles, I imagine that it does. ? If you have ever spent a couple weeks running on the treadmill you'll feel like you are moving in slow motion on the road. I imagine that you'll feel that way on your bike when you take off in April. My best advice while your thinking on a trainer, would be to do the best you can to move the upright bike into your best possible 'road bike' fit which I'm not sure (I'd have to look at it) may throw your back/hips out of plumb. And I don't think you can get the handlebars down, so if you are training on it, you'll have to add in <span style="text-decoration:underline;">additional</span> core work so that you can handle the change in position come April.<br>
I have no idea what you do in addition...but interchanging w/ the elliptical/ stepper/spin class/ mountain climber, heck even a pump class will help to build/maintain the strength/endurance you'll need.<br><br>
Yes Pete, they are freakishly strong~ it may technically be a workout. But if they feel they are getting a workout~ more importantly if you feel that you are getting a workout... I'm not saying I've never been wrong. Just that I don't think I am.
 

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melistic: no worries. your stationary bikes probably don't have as tough resistance options as the ones at my gym.
 
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