If you own an indoor bike, you might want to invest in an indoor bike stand. While you might think this is just a way to store your bike, it’s actually much more than that.
What does an indoor bike stand do? You can cycle on your indoor bike, even on days when the weather is terrible outside, by ensuring you have an indoor bike stand.
Is it really worth purchasing one of these items, though? Here’s everything you need to know about indoor bike stands.
Types Of Indoor Bike Stands
There are many different types of indoor bike stands from which to choose. Let’s take a look at them and what they have to offer.
Fluid Bike Stand
This stand creates resistance when you cycle via its magnetic flywheel. It also makes use of a fluid chamber.
The faster and harder you pedal, the hotter the fluid in the chamber of the stand becomes so that you’ll feel like you’re really getting a good workout on your bike.
What’s useful about this is that fluid bike stands/trainers allow you to achieve a more realistic feeling of resistance. Fluid bike stands do cost a bit more than other types of indoor bike stands, but they’re so reliable that they’re worth the splurge.
While there have been some reports of these stands leaking fluid, this is pretty rare.
Magnetic Bike Stand
Another popular type of bike trainer is the magnetic stand. Magnetic bike trainers are designed with magnetic flywheels that produce resistance.
They’re more affordable than fluid bike stands and are easy to set up as well as move around the home.
However, one of the things to bear in mind about this type of bike stand is that it can be noisier than what you’ll experience with a fluid trainer.
Therefore, it might not be practical if you live in a small home or apartment.
Roller Bike Stand
This type of bike stand works a little differently from other stationary bike trainers in that you don’t attach the bike to the trainer. Instead, you cycle on your bike on rollers. The bike will be perched on top of the rollers.
These stands are expensive but function very well. However, they require you to have a good balance on your bike, so they might not be ideal for beginners and people who want to improve their pedaling.
Wind Bike Stand
A wind trainer/stand makes use of a fan that works according to how much you pedal. When you pedal faster on your bike, more resistance will be produced by the trainer.
However, note that this kind of stand can be noisy. There’s also a finite amount of resistance that it can produce, so a wind trainer might not be the best choice for you if you want to train indoors.
What Are the Benefits of an Indoor Bike Stand?
There are many advantages to setting up and using a bike stand or trainer. Let’s explore some of the biggest reasons why this is worth purchasing.
- A bike stand allows you to maintain your cycling sessions even when the weather’s freezing cold or it’s raining outside.
- It enables you to work out after dark, without worrying about your safety when cycling at night.
- It can save you money on accessories. You won’t need a bicycle helmet or rear lights for your bike when cycling indoors. This also makes it really convenient to hop onto your bike whenever you feel like cycling without having to prepare for the trip.
- If you’ve recently experienced an injury, using a bike stand can help you ease back into a cycling routine without the risk of injuring yourself outside or on the road.
- It makes it easier to multitask. When you cycle indoors with the use of a bike trainer or stand, you can do other activities at the same time, such as watching TV or making calls. You can also watch exercise or fitness classes, such as by live streaming them on your device, during your workout session to prevent the cycling from being boring.
- It prevents you from making two bike purchases. A bike stand effectively prevents you from having to purchase a stationary bike to use indoors as it turns your road bike into an indoor bike.
Can You Just Leave Your Indoor Bike on the Trainer/Stand?
It might make sense to simply leave your bike on the stand when you’re not cycling on it. This is generally safe to do, so you don’t have to worry about it damaging your bike.
But it’s important to make sure that you’ve installed the bike properly on the stand so that its rear axle is accommodated properly.
In fact, keeping your bike on the stand when it’s not in use has some great benefits. It prevents you from damaging or dropping the bike every time you have to remove it from the stand or put it back on the stand.
It’s also a great way of achieving easy and convenient bike storage.
How Much Space Do You Need for a Bike Stand?
When setting up a bike stand in your home, it’s worth having some extra space around it. This makes it easy to move around it.
It’s also good to have a bit of space for other cycling accessories you might need, such as your fans and towels so that they’re within easy reach for you when you’re on your indoor bike.
Ideally, it’s a good idea to set up your indoor bike stand so that you have a space that’s approximately four feet wide and eight feet long, and that’s the minimum amount of space required.
So, this is approximately the size of a twin bed. This will ensure there’s enough space in your home for the trainer and any other cycling accessories that you need.
How To Set Up Your Indoor Bike Stand
You should always check the user manual and installation guide that comes with your indoor bike stand before assembling it, as these can vary a bit from one type of bike stand to another.
Here are some general tips you should know about the installation process:
- Unfold the trainer’s legs. Most trainers come with fold-out legs. Unfold these and set the trainer down where you want it. As we already mentioned, make sure that you are putting the bike stand in an area of the home where it has enough space.
- Take a moment to examine the trainer. Note that most trainers or stands will have axles that secure the bike in place and both are adjustable so you can achieve the perfect fit. You’ll also see that the trainer has an adjustable height mechanism on its legs. Finally, the resistance unit will allow you to make adjustments to the tension placed on the rear tire.
- Remove the skewer from your bike and put it aside. Use the one that came with the trainer as this prevents you from damaging your bike’s one and the trainer skewer will just fit better.
- Pick up the bike and place it inside the trainer. You want the wheel to be placed between the trainer’s legs.
- Carefully slide the bike until you can ensure that the rear tire is in the center of the resistance roller or drum of the trainer. Now you can tighten the adjustment knobs on the sides of the trainer. Do one at a time. Note that some bike trainers or stands come with bolt actions that make use of a lever so you can position the bike securely.
- Tighten the resistance on the trainer so that the drum or roller is making contact with the bike tire. You want it to be nice and snug.
- If you can still turn the bike’s tire against the drum of the trainer, then you know that it’s too loose. You should tighten it a bit more to secure the tire!
- Check that the rear tire of the bike is making contact with the floor. If it isn’t and there’s a gap between the floor and tire, you will need to adjust the legs of the trainer so that they are shorter to accommodate the bike’s height.
- You might need a riser block for the front wheel of the bike so that the bike will be level.
- Once you have installed the bike stand, shake the bike a bit to ensure that it’s solid and secure. You might have to make some adjustments to the trainer’s legs again to get the bike to be as secure as possible.
DIY Indoor Bike Stand
Can you make your own DIY indoor bike stand? There are many online tutorials that enable you to make your own bike stand instead of buying one.
However, you will require a good amount of DIY skills and you’ll have to source quite a few materials in order to make the axle shafts and bearing supports. There’s also this easy-to-understand YouTube video on how to build your own basic DIY bike stand.
This bike stand is made out of wood, so you’ll need wood pieces, bolts with nuts, washers, deck screws, BMX stunt pegs, a drill, a saw, wrenches, and a clamp.
However, it’s important to bear in mind when making your own DIY bike stand that you won’t get the extra accessories that you would when purchasing a bike stand online or in a shop, such as the extra skewer and the convenience of having a ready-to-use trainer.
You also might not be able to adjust the DIY trainer once you’ve constructed it. This is problematic because the trainers you purchase will enable you to adjust their legs so that your bike is in the best position.
This is also important should you buy a different bike in the future.
Finally, it’s worth considering the materials you’re using to make the DIY bike stand. These might not stand up to lots of wear and tear.
When you engage in DIY projects such as this one, make sure you know what you’re doing (that’s where having a decent level of skill comes in handy) otherwise you could damage your bike or fall off the bike and hurt yourself.
Is a bike riser really necessary?
Placing a riser underneath the bike’s front wheel can help to keep the bike level. While it’s not always necessary if your bike’s not level that will create problems for you.
You might find that the bike’s lower end will cause you to put more pressure on your hands and arms while you cycle.
Does a bike stand wear out your bike’s tires?
A bike stand is generally safe for your bike, but over time it will wear out your bike’s tires faster than if you use the bike on the road.
You can prevent this by using bicycle trainer tires that are designed for use with trainers as they can handle the pressure put on them.
If you want to start training indoors with your road bike, you need to get your hands on a bike stand or trainer. In this article, we’ve looked at the different types of bike trainers and why they’re worth purchasing.
We’ve also featured the information you need to know to install your bike trainer at home as well as tips to bear in mind should you wish to make your own DIY bike stand.
Last Updated on July 28, 2023 by Danijel Cakalic