Gear

Tech Podcast: Indispensable gear for riding indoors

Riding indoors doesn't have to be a tedious affair, especially when you have the right clothing and accessories to make it comfortable.

You have the bike and you have the trainer. What else do you need to make riding indoors effective, fun, and comfortable? Editorial director Ben Delaney and tech editor Dan Cavallari have the answers on this week’s episode.

As it turns out, when you make indoor trainer sessions comfortable, it becomes less of an arduous process to convince yourself to get on the trainer regularly. For Ben, that means piling on the clothes – sweatshirt, winter hat, gloves — before the ride starts in his cold garage. But Dan takes a different tack. (Who wears a full kit on a trainer ride? This guy.)

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Clothing aside, riding indoors can be a more pleasant experience with the right accessories. Of course, Zwift has become synonymous with riding indoors, and both Ben and Dan have found the virtual world to be a core component to indoor riding success. But things like heart rate monitors (both Ben and Dan love forearm units rather than chest units for riding indoors), a sturdy table, and even the right extension cords and power strips can make all the difference.

If you’re the kind to set up your trainer in the family living room, another key component for indoor success is the trainer mat. Sweat and other human grossness drips everywhere on a trainer ride, so perhaps it’s best to protect the hardwood floors or the family room carpet.

That, of course, leads to the ultimate accessory for riding indoors: space to leave your trainer setup, well, set up. It’s far easier to convince yourself to hop on the trainer if everything is already set up and waiting for you. Pulling the trainer out from behind the couch, lugging your bike in from the cold garage, and setting everything up before each ride can be enough to keep you from pedaling entirely.

What does your setup look like for indoor rides? What do you wear, and what do you eat during longer sessions? How similar does your indoor riding look to your outdoor riding? If you’ve got tips, tricks, and suggestions, we’d love to hear from you. Reach out to tech editor Dan Cavallari via email, Instagram, or Twitter.