We're always looking for ideas for things to post here that are helpful to our average customers. So, when we got this question by e-mail from one of our actual customers, this post practically wrote itself!
I bought my bike at your Medina store a couple years ago. I don't ride at all once it gets cold. I'm wondering about the racks to put a bike on to ride it indoors. Do you have these racks? If you do or if you don't, do you recommend for or against any of them? Do you know a good place to get one if you don't carry them? Most importantly, if I put my bike on it, will it be bad for my bike in any way? I have a women's Giant; I don't know the model; I think it's a touring-type bike. Thanks very much!
Thanks for your inquiry. The devices that you are inquiring about are referred to as "trainers." Yes, we do carry them, and by all means, yes, we do recommend them! We mainly carry four models:
Blackburn Trakstand Mag ($159.99)
Blackburn Trakstand Ultra ($299.99)
CycleOps Magneto ($269.99)
CycleOps Fluid2 ($329.99)
You are welcome to stop into any of our stores, and we'd be glad to set one of them up on a bike for you to try out. There are really only two minor issues to consider as far as the effect they have on your bike. First, they hold your bike in place by clamping onto the rear axle's quick release skewer, and if you leave your original skewer on the bike, it may not fit properly. But, the trainers come with their own quick release skewer, which is easy to swap onto your bike.
Second, the resistance roller part of the trainer rolls against your rear tire, which can cause the tire to wear down prematurely. What many people do is replace their rear tire with a cheap "trainer-only" tire to use for the winter. We can recommend a suitable tire for you, and can do the tire swap for you as well for a nominal charge.
I hope this information has been helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reply.
Thank you very much, you have been very helpful! Thanks for sending the links so I could compare the products. I've seen cheap trainers that are just like a single piece of wood or plastic with a groove, that you set the wheel in. Are these not good for the bike or for training?
I'm not sure that I understand what you are talking about, unless you're referring to the block that you put under your front wheel. This is helpful to make your bike sit level while on the trainer, since the trainer raises the back wheel a couple of inches up off of the floor. We sell one of these, too; it's called a Riser Block, and it's another product by CycleOps.
Actually, a telephone book or encyclopedia work almost as well, but in the digital age, who keeps those around anymore? ;) But the advantage of the riser block over a book is that the groove helps keep your front wheel and handlebar stable, so it won't move side-to-side as you're pedaling on the trainer.