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Stationary bike vs. on the road

966 Views 24 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  LeftRightRepeat
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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Here's an interesting interview with one of Ontario's top riders, this guy can do 30 mph for a 40K time triail, so he's certainly solid...<br><br>
MH: Have you changed your training over the years as you've got older? Have you had to do more to stay just as fit? Is it true you train in running shoes during the week?<br><br>
DF: I've done a lot less hours and more intensity. And yes, up until very recently Merrill Collins (Darko's teammate, co-worker and fellow cyclist) and I wore running shoes on the Monark exercise bikes. So each day we'd have a few clients, then around lunch we'd jump on the bikes for an hour hard training session. And on top of that we'd ride the Midweeks or time trials. I did just recently get a bike that I can thread on pedals but to be perfectly honest - and people laugh when I say this - there's some merit in using the running shoes on the bike.<br><br>
In fact, just before I left for Tobago I actually went back to my running shoes for the training during the week. See, when you use clipless pedals you pull up on the pedals - but with running shoes you can't - so it makes you way smoother. Using the running shoes at high intensity taught me how to put an even amount of force on the pedals. Also, if your feet aren't attached to the pedals you lift your foot - so in some weird, warped way it actually betters your mechanics.<br><br>
You know, when it comes to this stuff - my attitude is that guys are anal about set-ups. Your body doesn't know about all these nuances when you train - it knows when your heart is going 185bpm. On these Monarks I'm using 165 cranks! And I've never been fitter - so don't tell me you have to be in the perfect position to get your heart up.
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pedal hard and fast, right?<br><br>
okay we've cracked biking. what shall we do next?
Thanks for all the answers. I feel more comfortable in believing that if I push hard on the stationary I will see results on the road. Having said that I think I will also get a trainer. Not that I am planning on kicking ass all over the country. If I could kick any ass here in MA that would suffice. What I really will use it for is getting used to my bike and the convenience of working out at home.
Now you're talking. Of course you'll see results on the road by pushing hard on the stationary bike. That there is no question. What we're talking about is rather what is better for you to use in getting faster on the roads. Both will net positive results. One may yeild more -- and many hear as well as elsewhere think a Trainer will do just that -- while the other may be, in the right environment, just as well.<br><br>
So if you're getting a good workout and feel the strength building, and if you enjoy it, which in my mind is the number one focus, then you're on the right path.<br><br>
We all have our preference, and there is no right or wrong, but there may be a more efficient way to get fast... though sometimes efficiency does not trumph convenience or the boredom factor and other things.<br><br>
Me, I'm a Trainer guy and would see it no other way unless the convenience of a stationary gym bike fit my routine better. But it doesn't, so I don't need the excitement of the gym and other people working out to help motivate me -- it helps! but I don't need it. Someday that might change.<br><br>
If you have extra money, get a Trainer. It will do you good if you use it like you do the gym bike.<br><br>
Good luck.
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I'm way too far from being an expert to try to make any worthwhile objective physiological comparison and, frankly, I'm not real interested in trying to hard to defend what I do. I do it 'cuz I enjoy it.<br><br>
But I know this. I most often spin at lunchtime on the days I've run in the morning - like today. I breathe hard, my legs burn, my heart rate gets into the 130's, and I leave a puddle on either side of the machine. I could alternatively sit at my desk over my lunch hour surfing running forums... I think I get a better workout on the stationary bike.
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