Tuesday 2nd March 2021
Indoor Cycling and Staying Fit in A Pandemic
As Winter continues to loom over Britain, it’s likely that many cyclists have already been getting back on the bike. Not only are we still facing lower temperatures and shorter days, but there is also a lot to consider when cycling outdoors due to COVID-19.
Is It Safe To Cycle Outdoors?
This is a difficult question to answer. The UK government has set up rules to help guide the British public and keep everyone safe. As we are still in lockdown, the guidelines are even more strict when it comes to outdoor exercising. Even after lockdown ends, there is still risk in meeting in groups for exercise.
For anyone who is more at risk, any outdoor activity could be harmful and opens the door to exposure to the virus. This does sadly include cycling. Though it is harder to spread the virus outdoors, you can still be exposed particularly if you are in a highly-populated area, with friends or in outdoor exercise groups. Particularly with cycling, there is a lot more heavy breathing and other factors that could make it easier to spread the virus. This is why cycling in groups is still discouraged by the government.
But this doesn’t mean that you cannot still train and keep up your own fitness regime. Cycling on your own is permitted throughout the UK as a form of exercise. But, if you are looking for other options for training and getting back on the bike, we got you covered.
Indoor cycling has taken the world by storm, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And even though outdoor cycling is wonderful, it can have its drawbacks. Some of the reasons to consider indoor cycling include convenience, time-efficiency, not being dependant on weather, and no cleanup! This is why so many cyclists have started looking into indoor cycling, and the truth is that you will have plenty of chances to use it in the future, even after life begins to go back to normal.
Choosing Your Indoor Trainer
Deciding on what kind of trainer you will want to use, it a great first step. There are a few different types of indoor trainers, including rollers, turbo trainer, smart trainer or static bike.
Turbo trainers are probably one of the more popular options for cyclists, as the prices can range from low to high depending on the complexity and features you want. This means that if you want something cheap and easy, or more advanced with extra whistles and bells, you will be able to find a turbo trainer that suits your needs.
Turbo trainers work with a bike that fits onto the trainer with a skewer through the rear axle. The back wheel rests against a cylinder so when you pedal, the wheel spins. It’s worth noting that turbo trainers can wear out racing tyres more than other trainers, so it could be worth switching up your tyres to sturdier ones.
Smart trainers tend to fall into the mid-range category and upwards. One type you can find is a direct-drive smart trainer. These trainers have a cassette attached, and by removing the rear wheel you can then hook the chain onto the cassette and then a skewer goes through the rear dropouts/thru-axle and the trainer. The main benefits of this trainer are that you do not have to worry about the wear and tear of your rear tyre, and these trainers also tend to be significantly quieter.
Rollers work by having your bike standing on two free-spinning cylinders so that once you start pedalling, the cylinders will rotate. Rollers tend to be pretty good at mimicking the feeling of the ground moving beneath your wheels. There is also nothing holding the bike up which can give a more natural feeling, considering that you will need to keep up the momentum of pedalling to keep your bike upright.
An indoor bike is a bit more pricey but if you want to really splurge on your indoor setup, getting a high-tech smart bike could be a good option. These bikes are solely designed for indoor cycle training and aren’t just like any other bikes you would find in your local gym. They are much more advanced and will give you the ability to measure your pedal stroke, have full control of resistance, monitor your power output, check your heart rate and much more.
Finding A Good Workout
One of the benefits of indoor cycling is the flexibility of choosing your workouts. There are so many free or reasonably priced resources and videos online to choose from. Whether you prefer just listening to music or going for a full-out targeted training session, the possibilities are endless.
There are also various virtual training options that you could also try. Cycling apps like Zwift and Rouvy are brilliant examples of keeping your workouts interesting and upbeat. Zwift, in particular, opens up the door to virtual cycling, whether that’s free-riding around or partaking in more structured workouts and training plans.
If you are up for something a little bit different, one of our favourite training videos currently, comes from This Cycling Life, where we can learn about more cognitive exercise. The keynote speaker, Jamie Anderson, explains the neuroscience of brain health and how aerobic exercise can help improve our cognitive performance. Unlike apps like Zwift or Rouvy, stationary biking can be combined with some work tasks, which would not only achieve productivity but will boost physical and mental well-being. Definitely worth checking out!
About Reynolds Technology
At Reynolds, we’re proud to create products for cyclists and companies worldwide. Our brand is recognised and trusted, and for well over a century, our products have been at the forefront of cycling design and engineering. We have been extremely fortunate to help manufacturers and cyclists all over the world continually push the boundaries of performance. Innovation remains our driving force to ensure we keep cycling manufacturers and their riders at the front of the peloton.