If you want to turn cycling into a year-round activity, but don’t live in a warm locale, chances are you’ll need an indoor bike trainer. For years cyclists equated training indoors with a cycling death sentence, but then apps like TrainerRoad, The Sufferfest and Zwift transformed these mind numbing indoor miles into an opportunity to ride the world’s best courses and compete against our virtual and real-life cycling friends.
With so many apps and trainers flooding the market, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. What trainers are compatible with which apps and do you need a smart trainer to use Zwift? And what exactly is a smart trainer? From magnetic to direct drive, here’s everything you need to know to get started with an indoor bike trainer.