Enhance Your Stationary Bicycling
Create Your "Velo Studio"
Stationary bicycling on a cycling trainer does not have to be misery!
Create your own “Velo Studio” to improve your posture, alignment, biomechanics and riding positions - while you build fitness on your cycling trainer. Your "velo studio" can transform the monotony - ,em>the curse - of stationary bicycling into a laboratory for discovery and knowledge. Instead of zoning out on your cycling trainer, engage your mind to improve your cycling technique and your performance potential.
Here’s what you need for your Velo Studio:
- Stationary bicycling trainer
- Training tire
- Space to train
- Adequate lighting
Below is a discussion on each of these:
Stationary bicycling trainers are available with 3 forms of resistance to create pedal load:
- Wind trainer: As you pedal, you turn a fan. (Lowest price)
- Magnetic or Mag trainer: You pedal against magnetic resistance. (Moderate price)
- Hydraulic chamber or Fluid trainer: As you pedal, you drive fluid through tunnels or chambers. (Higher price)
Cycling trainers are available with flywheels of varying weight:
- Offers most natural “on the road” feel.
- Allows you to coast briefly.
- Pedal stroke feels smooth and natural.
- Quieter, less vibration.
- Does not simulate the “choppier” pedal stroke of a hill climb.
- Heavy to move and transport.
- More expensive.
- Easier to move and transport.
- Less expensive.
- Simulates the “choppier” pedal stroke of a hill climb.
- Does not allow you to coast.
- Louder, more vibration.
- Pedal stroke feels less smooth.
Training Tire: For stationary bicycling, you need a hard compound durable rear tire with minimal or no tread. The metal roller of a conventional cycling trainer will quickly wear out any lightweight soft compound performance tire. I recommend the Specialized Armadillo (non foldable version with a wire bead).
Mirror: Your mirror transforms your space into a studio. It enables you to observe and investigate your posture, alignment, biomechanics and rider positioning strategy. Ideally, the larger the better. However, 18”X24” (25cmX30cm) is adequate. You must be able to position your mirror in 2 spots:
- Side view: Use this perspective to observe pedaling biomechanics, pelvic pitch and low back profile, upper body posture, head, neck and spinal alignment. If your mirror is small, you may need to adjust its position and tilt to get the view you need.
- Front view: Use this perspective to observe hip, knee, ankle and foot alignment, and upper body posture. Again, if your mirror is small, you may need to adjust position and tilt.
Space: Your Velo Lab should be free of distractions, especially small children and pets. The space needs to be large enough so you can place your mounted bike and mirror in relationship to one another to get the front and side perspectives discussed above. It’s OK if you need to reposition both bike and mirror to change perspectives. You can use a single perspective for each focus or workout.
It may seem obvious, but the floor needs to be flat. Even a slight tilt will be very noticeable on your cycling trainer. A cement floor will be much quieter than a wood floor. Most stationary trainers vibrate – especially as you increase resistance and cadence.
You need to maintain harmony with your family and neighbors when you train stationary. Insulating others from the vibration and noise is critical. For this reason, the basement or garage might be best. These spaces are usually cooler during the winter months, when you are spending the most time stationary bicycling.
I use a Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll Trainer. It is amazingly quiet! Even though I ride on a creaky oak floor in my living room, no one else in our building is disturbed – including Betsy, who can be sleeping in the adjoining bedroom.
Distractions and Diversions: I choose to do all of my indoor training without any visual or aural diversions: No TV or music for me. The Velo Lab provides the opportunity to close my eyes or observe in the mirror, and go deep within. The open road doesn’t provide this opportunity.
If you have always relied on diversions to tolerate the boredom of your indoor workouts, it’s because you didn’t find anything to focus on. The Zendurance Cycling Self-Study Guide challenges your perceptive capacity as you train. You won’t need any diversions to occupy your mind – you will be completely engaged!
One exception: I do like to look up and out the window occasionally. A simple view of nature is always inspiring.
Fan/ventilation: When you ride outdoor, the faster you go, the greater the wind speed. When you ride indoor, the faster you go, the hotter you get. Use this to your advantage if you need to acclimate for hot conditions. However, you will be capable of higher output if you cool your body with a fan to lower your heart rate. From the front, aim the fan to cool your torso first.
Lighting: Your Velo Studio needs adequate lighting so you can observe yourself clearly in the mirror. If you are using a power meter, cycling computer, or a watch, you want to be able to read these too. Zendurance Cycling Methods also use “Blind Training” as a method of developing technique. You can only close your eyes and listen within while you are bicycling stationary.
With Zendurance Cycling e-Products, on your cycling trainer you will combine Blind Training with mirror observation for comparison. Then, when you hit the road, your technique will be far better.
Are you investing time and money in cycling?
That investment can pay off with more than just physical health. Stationary bicycling can help you to develop mindfulness.
- Perceptive capacity
- Ability to focus and concentrate
- Response/reaction time
- On-the-spot decision making and strategy
Create your velo studio to significantly improve your posture, alignment, biomechanics and riding positions while you build fitness on your cycling trainer. Stationary bicycling in your velo studio – during the cold, dark winter months – can be a blessing that pays off when you get back on the open road.
The big take-homes here:
- Invest in a sturdy fluid trainer. Anything less will diminish the return on your investment.
- A mirror is essential for observation – even if it is small.
- Make sure you are not endangering or disturbing others when you train.
One of the first things you must focus on in you velo studio is Pelvic Core Stability.
Cycling Technique for Cycling Performance
Zendurance Cycling Home Page