BIKE TRAINERS 101

Our 20 plus years in the industry have taught us that no cyclist is the same.

Some prefer traditional wheel-on trainers, others only ride rollers, some exclusively train on direct drive trainers, and many deeply appreciate the convenience of an indoor-only bike. From our best-selling Fluid² to our line of smart trainers to the game-changing MP1 Nfinity trainer platform, we've got your indoor training needs covered.


What is an Indoor Bike Trainer?

An indoor bicycle trainer is a training accessory that turns your bike into a stationary bicycle.

Shopping for a trainer isn't easy to begin with — especially if you don't even know what a trainer is in the first place. We get it and we're here to help.

Often times when someone hears the word "trainer" they may picture someone who sits in a gym counting repetitions of dumbbell curls or perhaps a pair of running shoes. And while these are certainly accurate descriptions, our trainers are a device that turns your bike into a year-round exercise machine.

By attaching to the back of your bike, our trainers let you ride your favorite bike without going anywhere. You're literally spinning your wheels — in a very good way. If you're looking for a full-on, all-wheels-in-motion type of experience then perhaps consider our bike rollers instead.

So if you are searching for a way to train indoors — without paying the monthly fee of a gym, while being able to workout in the privacy of your own home, while you watch TV shows or listen to whatever music you want — there's a good chance we've got something for you.

A clarifying point: indoor trainers may also be referred to as a turbo or a turbo trainer. So if you're in the market for a turbo trainer, you're in the right place. Welcome.

Related Post | Indoor Bike Trainers for Beginners: 5 Frequently Asked Questions

Getting started with a Saris indoor bicycle trainer

Which Bike Trainer is Right for Me?

When in the market for a new indoor bike trainer, the most important question to ask yourself is: what are my goals? If you don't have any specific goals in mind, then perhaps ask yourself what you're looking for in a trainer.

Maybe it's the ability to sit, spin and catch up on Netflix. Maybe you're training for a race or have specific workouts in mind. Maybe you want to join a group ride on a cycling app. Below is a quick rundown of our trainer line-up, including smart and basic trainers, and their best uses.

Smart Trainer: H3/ H2 / Hammer

  • Direct drive and flywheel create a ride performance that's as realistic as it is fun.
  • Unparalleled bicycle compatibility – can be used with nearly every bike around.
  • Provides power feedback within +/-2% accuracy.
  • Seamlessly connects and responds to indoor cycling apps.

Smart Trainer: M2 and Magnus

  • For the cyclist looking to ride with a wheel-on trainer and a wide variety of training apps.
  • Dual ANT+ and Bluetooth smart compatibility.
  • Provides power feedback within +/-5% accuracy.
  • Seamlessly connects and responds to indoor cycling apps.

Basic Trainer: Mag+ and Mag

  • Ideal for those who want to sit and spin.
  • The perfect substitute for the giant, front-fanned stationary bikes of past.
  • Mag+ and Mag come with five adjustable difficulty levels.

Basic Trainer: Fluid² and Fluid

  • The faster you pedal the harder it gets — just like real life.
  • The Fluid² is our most popular indoor bike trainer.
  • Is tough enough to handle any workout you throw at it.

Rollers

  • Quintessential for the track athlete — or any cyclist looking to improve stability.
  • Help riders of all kinds better their body dynamics.
  • Ideal for high cadence workouts and pre-race warm-ups.


Still can't decide?

Compare these trainers side-by-side with our indoor trainer comparison guide.
Of course you can always contact us or visit your local Saris dealer to find the trainer that's right for you.






What is meant by measuring power?

When we talk about measuring power output in the realm of cycling, we're talking about the amount of energy being used to power your ride. And just like the light bulbs in your house, cyclists use watts to measure power too. The higher the watts, the more power you're pumping through your pedals.

This measurement is a key training tool for many serious and amateur cyclists alike because you can compare apples to apples (or watts to watts) when you look at the numbers, unlike looking at your speed on a windy day compared to a calm day. Our line of smart trainers feature integrated power sensors for power accuracy.

Will my bike fit my indoor trainer?

Before we can answer that question, let's first start by figuring out the size of your wheel*.

Perhaps you've heard those bike guru's rattle off numbers that sound more like battleship coordinates than something that goes on your bike. Things like 700c, 650b, 29er, or 26" — all of which are wheel sizes and can be found on the outside of the tire itself.

Here's a quick shortcut of what your wheel size would likely be based on the type of bike you've got:


Type of Bicycle** Tire Size
Road, Triathlon, TT, Cyclocross, Gravel or Hybrid 27" or 700c
Mountain 26", 27.5", 29" or 650b

*confirm the size of your tire by looking at the outside tire wall

**to confirm specific bike compatibility for each bike trainer, look under "Specifications" on the product information page


Now going back to our first question of "will my bike fit my indoor trainer," the short answer is: probably. There are a couple of considerations to help you:

  • Does your bike have a quick release or Thru Axle?
  • For bikes with dropouts up to 148mm, with our Classic Series you will need to use our Thru Axle Adapter.
  • Our rollers are one-size-fits-all when it comes to wheel size.


What do I need to make it work?

There are four things you'll need before you can start your indoor training regimen:

  1. Your bicycle of choice.
  2. Your Saris indoor trainer of choice.
  3. The included quick release trainer skewer.
  4. A Saris trainer tire – or a low tread tire, like a tread-less racing tire.



Indoor Cycling Applications

No matter the time,weather or traffic, you can still get a great ride in with a indoor cycling application. Using an indoor trainer paired with training software, you can reap the benefits of a full workout and ride routes from all over the world, all while tracking your training data.

Looking to ride with an indoor cycling application?

Our indoor trainers are compatible with Zwift, Rouvy, TrainerRoad, and many more.
Head over to our Setup Guide to get started with the app of your choice.



Saris H3 on the MP1 with TD1

Indoor Training Ecosystem

If you're ready to take your indoor training space to the next level, look no further than our premium training accessories, including the one-of-a-kind MP1 Nfinity motion trainer platform. Featuring Saris Nfinity Technology, the MP1 Nfinity is the only indoor cycling accessory that brings multiple planes movement indoors.

MP1 Nfinity Trainer Platform

  • Features Saris Nfinity Technology, including fore/aft and side-to-side, each degree of freedom created by Nfinity Technology is specifically calculated to mirror outdoor riding.
  • Reduces pedal and saddle pressure so you can ride harder, longer, more comfortably.
  • Built for all levels of riders, and can be used with nearly any training setup including bikes, desks and trainers.
  • Simply more fun.

TD1 Trainer Desk

  • Built-in power strip keeps training necessities nearby and powered up.
  • Adjustable for a wide range of bikes and indoor trainign setups.
  • Laminated wooden table top makes for easy clean-up post ride.



Want to learn more?

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions or watch our Instructional Videos.