Bike trainers, or as they are also known turbo trainers, are pieces of equipment that will further anyone’s fitness and strength on the bike and are the ultimate tool to improving at cycling. They are useful for weather such snow, rain and ice as they don’t let them impede your training and allow you to put down consistent efforts that aren’t slowed by corners, other road users or hills.
The best trainer types are fluid trainers, as they are the smoothest and quietest of the types of trainer, however this makes them the most expensive. The cheapest are wind trainers which are loud and not quite as smooth, though they can be just a fraction of the cost of a fluid trainer. In between these two are magnetic bike trainers, which are still loud, however not quite as much as fluid trainer, and are much less in terms of cost. In this article, we will review cheap bike trainer products for under $60, $100, $200, and $500.
Cheap Bike Trainer less than $60
Confidence Bike Trainer
The Confidence bike trainer allows you to turn your bike into an indoor training machine easily and quickly saving you time and allowing you to get your training done as efficiently as possible. It is a air trainer which is the cheapest of the types of trainer as it is the loudest type of trainer and has the least adjustment. This means the Confidence bike trainer is loud and does not feature much adjustment of resistance, though for its low price this is to be expected.
It is one of the quietest trainers for its price, and although it still isn’t very good to use when you have housemates it is still quiet enough to not disturb neighbors. It can fit bikes of any size wheel or frame so it is useful for any type of cyclists to use year round. It is foldable so can be easily stored and traveled around with so you can train on the go.
As the trainer is so cheap it is made from steel, which can be heavy, though offers the trainer a lot of stability and the weight makes it sturdy on its wide base, so there is little to no chance of tipping the trainer over while on it. This makes it ideal for sprinting and pedaling hard without making the unit unstable and making you feel unsafe.
- Wide feet so sturdy
- Very low price
- Foldable for easy storage
Cheap Bike Trainer less than $100
Schwinn Bike Trainer Review
The Schwinn bike trainer is made by the famous bike manufacturer Schwinn, famous for their reliability. This magnetic trainer sticks to the companies roots and is one of the sturdiest on the market and has a very heavy duty frame build. The feet are leveling meaning it is not possible to make the legs on this trainer not even, so it will always be sturdy when put out.
The trainer has 5 levels of resistance so is suitable for anyone of any strength or experience on the bike, and allows for as much customization as possible to how you want to ride and the aim of your training session. The sturdiness of the trainer also allows for any training type as it is almost impossible to tip this trainer off balance even while sprinting.
It does not have a quick release mechanism which means it can take some time to put the bike on the trainer and take it back off again, though this does mean that when the bike is put in it is very sturdy and won’t come lose. It is a magnetic trainer meaning it is not the loudest trainer on the market, though it is not the quietest by any means.
- 5 levels of resistance
- Very Sturdy
- No quick release
- Quite loud
Cheap Bike Trainer less than $200
CycleOps Mag Trainer Review
CycleOps are a large and reliable cycle trainer company that are famous for the quality for their products. The magnetic resistance is quiet for a magnetic trainer, even rivaling that of a fluid trainer which make little to no noise. The trainer has progressive resistance meaning that the harder you pedal, the more the resistance increases much like riding on the road, giving you a ride as close to the real thing as possible.
The roller is precision cut to unsure it wears your tires as slowly as possible and makes the least amount of noise as possible as your back wheel spins. The bike is installed using a quick release that makes installation and removal of the bike as quick and as efficient as possible. It also fits all types and sizes of bike so anyone can get an advantage from using it.
This trainer allows you to use it for long base miles and hard interval training whenever you want. This fitness is easily applied to the road as the trainer feels just like it in terms of resistance. It can take a while to get used to putting the bike into the trainer as the instructions that it comes with are not very good, though once you learn how to do this it is easy and hassle free.
- Quick release system
- Roller designed to reduce tyre wear
- Makes little noise for a magnetic trainer
- Comes with bad instructions
- Can be quite loud compared to some trainer types
Cheap Bike Trainer less than $500
Kinetic Rock’n’roll Trainer Review
The Kinetic Rock’n’roll trainer is a fluid trainer that has a unique frame design that allows the part attached to your bike to move slightly to recreate the movement of the bike when riding on the road. This swaying as you ride allows you to engage your core as you ride, strengthening your core and training your balance on the bike which is not a skill normally developed on a trainer. A stable core is important as it allows you hold your upper body steady when you are riding while tired and allows you to conserve energy.
Other than the slight rock designed into the trainer it is extremely stable. The trainer will not fall as it has such a wide base and so it is the best trainer available to do hard efforts and sprints on, as the normal rock of sprinting is build in to the trainer, and other than that it is safe and will not fall. The progressive resistance of the fluid trainer means the harder you push on the pedals, the more resistance that the trainer creates, creating a real road cycling feel.
As it is a fluid trainer, it makes little to no noise and this unit is designed to be as quiet and practical as possible. It can be used without worrying about disturbing neighbors and roommates. The fluid chamber in the trainer has 80 cooling fins that make sure the oil does not get to hot, so the resistance is always as high as you set it and is not changed by heating of the oil.
- Almost silent to ride
- Huge choice of resistance options
- Slight movement to recreate riding on the road
- Very Expensive
- Does not fold down for storage
The best type of trainer for you highly depends on your personal budget. If you have the money to spare then the Kinetic Rock’n’roll trainer is the best as it puts a new aspect of cycling into your training by engaging your core as you ride for balance. Obviously not everyone has this budget so this will not be an option for many cyclists, and for many would not be worth it. Beginners or an improver would be best with a cheaper trainer, not only as they would save money, but also because they would not need the features this trainer offers over just being able to train every day.
We hope that this guide allowed you to find a cheap bike trainer on a budget. Thanks for reading!