Best Bike Trainers [Review] in 2021
written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol
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Planning to get into indoor training and not sure where to start?
I know the feeling.
A good bike ride can make your day, but with unpredictable weather or brisk cold, icy winds and roads it can be tricky. Lucky for you with the bike trainers I have selected for you today you can bring that enduring, fun ride to the comfort of your own home.
Whether it’s raining outside, just snowed or just too dark and dangerous to cycle I have found you an alternative so you don’t miss out.
However, finding bike trainers can be a tedious and sometimes tricky job at the best of times, some may not be the right fit for your bike or just not be the right fit for you.
No need to panic, I have good news!
To make things easier for you, I have only selected the very best bike trainers that you can buy– some even have technological features that can help you measure your progress at home. This will be sure to keep you on track until you can eventually get your hands on the real thing.
Here’s something I found when using a bike trainer: your endurance and performance will massively improve when the spring months come around and when you get hold of the real thing again, you can push the boundaries like no other.
Whether you’re here to get fit, get into cycling or because the weather is restricting your riding then I have everything you need.
We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:
Best Indoor Bike Trainers
Tacx Flux S Smart Trainer
Top Choice Item
Looking to track your performance so you’re ready for when you can get back on the road or trails?
The Tacx Flux S direct drive is a brilliant smart trainer and will be your indoor training best friend, it was made to help you sweat while cycling and boost endurance.
Wait! Let me explain:
You can measure your data to within 3% accuracy, so when you eventually get hold and tackle the real thing you’ll be ready– no one should have to stop cycling because of the weather and you no longer have to anymore.
I live in Chicago and when the winter hits it definitely affects my cycling but I took a chance on this bike trainer and it is my best friend and gets me through the winter months without having to build up my cycling in the spring again.
This trainer even has an extra quiet operation that allows you to ride like a beast without disturbing the whole house! This trainer can even be paired with apps like Zwift and Tacx so you can push the boundaries and climb the leaderboards without leaving the house.
This bike trainer is ready to sprint– the large footprint and balance ensure maximum stability up to 1500 watts, you’ll be unstoppable!
Can measure data within 3% accuracy
Has extra quiet operation so you can push the boundaries without disturbing the whole house
Maximum stability up to 1500 watts
Can be paired with Zwift and Tacx to push the boundaries
Can be quite pricey for some but definitely worth it
Latest deal: Tacx Flux S Smart Trainer
Saris Fluid 2 Trainer
Best Value Item
Saris, also known as CycleOps is one of the best bike trainers loved by cyclists all over the world, and one of the best sellers in the United States.
The Fluid 2 Indoor Trainer will get you off the treacherous roads and trails in the winter but won’t compromise the fun you have on the road! This bad boy will make indoor cycling more enjoyable, enduring while lasting a long time.
I know what you’re thinking, the price can be quite intimidating at first, I know.
But for how much and how long this bike trainer will last you it is definitely worth dropping a few extra bucks. It will keep you safe while making you feel like you never missed out on anything when you begin riding again in the spring.
Now wait I must tell you:
Fluid 2 has a fluid resistance mechanism that will make you feel no different from the road! It also makes less noise than your standard trainer so you can push the boundaries without noise complaints from other family members– we all know this feeling.
This trainer will give you as close to the real experience as it gets, if you close your eyes you may actually feel like you’re on the road, it will allow you to ride like a dream. It has gear shifts to change resistance levels to fit your preference.
So throw away your boring trainers and take a chance on this beauty– you’ll love it.
Gear shifts to change resistance
It makes little or no noise
Fluid resistance mechanisms to mimic real riding
It is a bit expensive
Latest deal: SARIS FLUID 2 TRAINER
Sportneer Bike Trainer
Prime Picked Item
Do you have an awkward surface and struggling to find a bike trainer that will give you ultimate stability even on uneven flooring? Well, Sportneer geared up and ready for the job with the adjustable anti-slip rubber feet that will even the most uneven flooring.
You can push the boundaries while being as quiet as a mouse with this trainer– the smooth, seamless design and noise reduction resistance wheel will allow you to feel the burn without too much noise. (This trainer is best for road bikes if you want complete silence)
This trainer even has 6 resistance settings so you can train and build your endurance over the winter months and be ready to tackle the real thing the following spring. The bar-mounted remote provides a wide range of resistance to mimic all riding conditions.
Now, here’s the kicker:
A trainer is brilliant for the winter but some can be a pain to remove when you’re ready to head back outside, lucky for you Sportneer is super easy to release, just press down the lever clamp and remove– it’s that simple!
You don’t need to spend a fortune to get out of the horrid weather and still be able to train (here’s a tip: if you want some added scenery put this bad boy by the window– you can enjoy rain and snow without the consequences, or even just watch a busy city go by)
Let’s push ourselves this winter, you’ll absolutely Sportneer for the price point!
6 resistance settings to simulate all riding conditions
Has anti-slip feet that will even out uneven floors
It is compatible with many different types of bikes
Affordable option that is still good quality
Loud if used with mountain bike
Latest deal: Sportneer Bike Trainer
Tacx Neo 2T Smart Direct Drive Trainer
I cannot wait to tell you about this one! Another Tacx product but the Tacx Neo 2T Smart Trainer is very different from the Flux S. This is an exceptionally silent, accurate, and powerful smart direct drive trainer that raises the boundaries for indoor riding.
The Neo 2T has features that you won’t find in an ordinary bike trainer, had a power cut? No problem! The Neo 2T can generate its own electricity without external power so nothing will be stopping you now!
The improved design and revamped components allow you to have an immersive experience while the wider pedal stroke analysis compatibility allows for ultimate comfort and performance while remaining super quiet– how great is that??
This is the quietest and realistic direct drive trainer you can find!
The stillness results in a nearly silent trainer which allows power and cadence accuracy within 1%! While the updated motor design allows for the enhanced ride, so you can feel the climbs and feel the acceleration of descents without leaving your house!
I’m not even finished!
The dynamic inertia compensates for weight and other factors so you can guarantee you have the smoothest and most road-like feel ride with the sensation of other road surfaces.
This bike trainer is unstoppable, when you get back on the road you will be pushing boundaries you never realized existed before!
Silent trainer that allows power and cadence accuracy within 1%
Can be used even without power
Gives you the realest ride, even simulates climbs, descents and different riding surfaces
Gives ultimate comfort and power
Latest deal: Tacx Neo 2T Smart Direct Drive Trainers
Elite Direto Smart Turbo Trainer
If you’re looking for an Elite model that will bring the feeling and endurance of riding outdoors without having to leave? Well, let me tell you more about the Direto, it will give the best performance using wireless technology in the comfort of your own home.
The Bluetooth and ANT+ FE-C connectivity allow the trainer to transmit your workout information right to your phone or tablet using apps like Zwift, TrainerRoad, or My E-Training so you can immerse deeply into your workouts.
The Direto direct drive trainers are also super lightweight and the flywheel is so powerful so you the most out of your ride while mimicking the experience of being on the road.
It can even incline up to 14% so you can stay focused and build on your climbs all while the huge 1400 watts allow you to ride up to 40km/h– crazy I know.
But wait, I’m not finished:
It is also super easy to mount and dismount so you can get your legs pumping quick;y, pushing the boundaries that you never realized existed. This can also be set up with Shimano 9, 10, and 11-speed cassettes to help boost familiarity while you ride.
Direto will be your new best friend and get you through the tough winter months, you’ll love it!
Bluetooth and ANT+ FE-C connectivity
Able to incline up to 14%
Power up to 1400 Watts
Can be used with Shimano 9, 10, and 11 cassettes
None so far
Latest deal: Elite Direto Smart Turbo Trainer
Saris H3 Smart Direct Drive Trainer
When it comes to indoor bike trainers we all deserve quiet and the Saris H3 is so quiet that the only sound you’ll be hearing is the sound of your drivetrain and raised pulse during an intense ride.
This drivetrain gives a sound of 59 decibels at 20mph, making it 5x quieter than the previous generations, you won’t believe it while you’re riding!
The Saris H3 offers both reliability and durability and will last you years without even batting an eyelid!
With meticulously calibrated components that offer power, speed, and cadence with the precision-balanced flywheel that can handle a whopping 2000 watts and 20% climbing grade.
You may be asking, can it get better than this? You bet it can my friend!
This indoor bike trainer was tested to withstand the most intense training and the internal cooling system will keep the electromagnetic resistance system working and accurate long after your legs have given in.
If you’re looking for performance, endurance and reliability then this trainer is a must have!
Can last up to 2000 watts
Mimic climbs up to 20%
Reliable and durable trainer
None so far
Latest deal: Saris H3 Smart Direct Drive Trainer
Kinetic Rock and Roll Smart 2 Trainer
Kinetic Rock brings the fun of outdoor riding to the comfort of your own home, with the most immersive static training experience.
Kinetic uses Bluetooth FTMS, ANT, and ANT +FE-C wireless connectivity and virtual ride app compatibility so you can stay connected every session and track your progress.
It is equipped with the Ride 3 power session technology that sends your riding data straight to apps like Kinetic Fit, Zwift, and Trainer Road that simulate the intensity of the virtual routes without having to leave the house.
But that’s not all:
Kinetic Rock and Roll Smart trainer has a large flywheel to mimic a real road feel while the precision resistance unit ensures you get the possible workout.
It can be used for both mountain and road bikes with up to 29-inch wheels, this trainer will turn a once boring room into one that’s a brilliant workout room. Pair this with a tablet or phone and you will have the complete team.
You don’t always need a power source earlier which means you can ride anytime! Overall you cannot beat what you get from this indoor trainer.
Bluetooth FTMS, ANT, and ANT +FE-C wireless connectivity
Gives a real road feel
Can be used on both mountain and road bikes
Some have found it is not completely Smart
Latest deal: Kinetic Rock and Roll Smart 2 Trainer
Best Indoor Bike Trainers Buyers Guide
Bike trainers are excellent tools for keeping fit. The icing on the cake is that you get to exercise in the comfort of your home.
Whether you want to get out of the treacherous rain, don’t want to tackle the unpredictable ice and snow, and don’t want to stop cycling in the winter months altogether buying a bike trainer is probably your best option.
Not only do they help keep you fit and healthy but they also help boost your endurance, some even come with technological features that mimic road surfaces and riding conditions– even climbs and descents!
You will also find you can track your performance if it can be connected to apps, so you can set goals along the way.
I love to put my bike and trainer in front of the window and watch the world go by while I push the boundaries, I have actually found finding a good bike trainer has actually helped improve my performance when I can finally get back on my bike on the road.
But what should I be looking for in a bike trainer?
Well, that’s exactly what I’m here to guide you through, let’s jump into everything you need to know, shall we?
Let’s get to the basics: what are the benefits of buying a bike trainer?
We all know that there are many benefits of using a bike trainer, even if it means getting out of the cold. It has been a growing trend in the past couple of years as they become smarter and smarter– there are some serious health benefits and not to mention being able to cycle in the comfort of your own home without having to use an exercise bike.
But what else? Well let me tell you more:
They provide a better workout: If you love cycling indoors but hate the cold weather then indoor bike trainers are probably the best option. They allow you to use your own bike that you use on the road or trail and even simulate the feel of being on the road or trail. It also allows you to exercise your muscles gently and safely, without any accidents that may happen outdoors.
They’re convenient: Bike trainers are super convenient as they allow you to use them anytime in the comfort of your own home. You can cycle in both day and night and don’t have to worry about the weather being an issue. You can ride for however long at whatever time suits you, this is especially perfect for the winter months.
They’re time-efficient: The days of you having to plan your cycling trips are behind you, you don’t even need to wear any special gear or pack any items, it’s as easy as pie! Just hop on when you feel like exercising and you’re all sorted– it’s that simple!
They don’t take up a lot of space: Unlike other fitness equipment like exercise bikes, bike trainers require little space making it brilliant if you live in a small apartment or don’t have a lot of space to put your bike.
They’re great for cardio fitness – The other benefit of having a bike trainer is that it boosts your cardiovascular health. This is because cycling involves your lungs, heart, and blood vessels. It also enhances the circulation of blood in the body.
They build strength: Indoor cycling using a trainer is another brilliant way to build muscle and build your endurance before you hit the road, whether you’re a beginner or just become out of the loop with cycling, using a trainer is a brilliant way to get back on track. It will strengthen your bones and muscles gently while improving mobility.
What to look out for before buying an indoor bike trainer:
Stability: When buying a bike trainer your top factor to consider should be stability, especially if you have wooden floors. Crashes and falling off your bike while using a bike trainer isn’t uncommon while doing intense training. I have found that bike trainers with both grips at the bottom and wide legs are crucial for stability.
The best thing to do is check out the base of your trainer, how wide is it? is it stable enough even while riding intensely. If it’s not stable it can lead to wobbling and that will definitely make us panic!
Trainers like Sportneer have components that help level out uneven surfaces to make them smooth and stable.
Noise factor: Now you may find that using a wind resistance trainer is much cheaper than the rest but they tend to be much noisier. If you live with other people or just want to work out in the quiet I would recommend investing in fluid trainers (however these can be more expensive).
Smart trainers have got much quieter over the years, so you may find you can get a good balance between noise and affordability. This is important to consider this before you click buy as it will allow you to workout in peace– without complaints from family and housemates.
Compatibility – The attachment options of your bike is very important. You need to make sure your bike trainer is compatible with your bike, nowadays trainers are very flexible and versatile so they can fit in with many brands but it is always good to check before you go to buy.
Resistance: Resistance is the amount of power output you will get out of the trainer before it maxes out. If you are just starting out I would recommend looking for entry-level bike trainers. If you are looking to build your endurance or if you’re a more advanced rider then getting a trainer should be an investment.
The price can be quite daunting but if you’re looking to be using it often then I would recommend pushing a little out of your budget to get a better trainer– it’s definitely worth the investment if it will last you a long time. For example, if you can get up to 1000 watts of power I would go for the more advanced 1500 watt trainers.
Durability: Along with resistance you should always look for durability, how long will this indoor bike trainer last before it packs in? I would recommend spending that little extra to ensure your trainer lasts longer as it may save you having to buy a new one after a year or two.
Some bike trainers require virtually no maintenance and these are the best ones to go for, less hassle, fewer problems.
Technology: Nowadays you get more and more technology with a bike trainer, they’re no longer a clamp you can use with your bike. Some trainers are built-in with a power meter so you can interact with workouts and track your progress. Some even have features that mimic road surfaces, riding conditions, even climbs, and descents!
You can get the same endurance and exercise from tackling the trails and hills without having to deal with treacherous weather or accidents. I love these features as I miss the feeling of getting out on the road or trail during the winter months, this is the next best thing!!
Portability: You should also consider how easy can you mount and discount your bike on this trainer, whether you’re just wanting to use it on an off rainy day or the whole of the winter months, then finding a trainer that is easy to set up is so important.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should I ride my bike trainer?
If you want to get the best results in your workouts, you should always aim to have at least 3 sessions every week, but it all depends on preference. If you want an easy endurance ride 30 minutes may be plenty but if you’re looking for intense training then you can ride for around 2 hours! Usually, you should fall between the 60-90 minute gap to get the most out of your workout.
Are bike trainers good for exercise?
As compared to other indoor exercise equipment, bike trainers are the best. They are easy to use and they also do not require a lot of space. They provide high-quality aerobic exercise for you if you put the work in, whether you want to improve fitness, endurance, or train during the winter months, an indoor bike trainer is the best option for you!
Do bike trainers damage your bike?
When used correctly, bike trainers are very safe for your bike. However, they also contribute to the wear and tear of your bike components. You should also be careful when buying to ensure that you have purchased a top-quality bike trainer like those we have reviewed.
If your trainer is compatible with your bike and is of good quality you shouldn’t have any issues!
What is better a Fluid or Magnetic Bike Trainer? Magnetic and fluid bike trainers may look very similar but in terms of speed, they are very much different.
Magnetic bike trainers use a magnetic flywheel to provide resistance when engaged. Through rotating a dial on the wheel fly hub you can adjust the resistance, in some cases, you can do this through cables connected to your handlebar.
However fluid trainers have an inner chamber that has fluid that thickens as you pick up speed. The power increase for a fluid trainer is much smoother and more gradual. This makes it a better simulation and road feel– they’re also quieter too.
Magnetic trainers are often cheaper but they are not as closely simulated in comparison to the fluid trainers therefore it may be worth spending an extra buck to get the better one– especially if you want to put in some serious miles.
What Is a Smart Trainer? A smart trainer electronically controls resistance, it can communicate wirelessly and track your progress using a train app. The popularity of party apps like Zwift makes bike trainers smarter and smarter.
However smart trainers are often much more expensive than other options but the benefits often outweigh the costs, you can track your progress and set goals for yourself right at your fingertips.
With so many bike trainers to choose from it can be tricky to find the right one for you, whether you’re on a budget or just a new rider not sure where to begin I would recommend investing in a good bike trainer that you won’t quickly outgrow but will work for your level.
For the more advanced riders looking to get out of the unpredictable winter weather I would recommend investing, although the price may appear daunting it is definitely worth it in the long run. I use mine every winter and I’ll never look back!
I can guarantee that whatever you decide to choose today you will not be disappointed, I have selected the most stable, enduring trainers while considering noise as a factor and these are all super quiet– no moans or complaints.
Let’s get out of the rain but continue to push the limits in the comfort of your own home so when spring comes around we will all be ready!
Content Manager at Pedallers
Alex is a cycling expert at and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.