How to Attach a Bicycle to a Trainer

biking fit image by Gerald Bernard from Fotolia.com

Attaching a bicycle to a stationary cycling trainer takes less than five minutes and offers hours of riding in return. Many cyclists turn to their trainers when conditions outside are too cold, hot, wet or dark for safe riding. The added bonus is that riding sessions are often more effective that regular road rides in terms of conditioning, since the cyclist is pedaling nonstop rather than stopping and starting with traffic.

Unfold the trainer's legs until they lock in place or are fully extended.

Lower the roller by turning the adjustment knob counterclockwise. Make sure the roller won't be in the way of the bicycle tire when you mount the bike to the trainer.

Back the bicycle into the trainer, lining up the rear wheel hubs with the trainer's axle cups.

Press the left hub into the fixed axle cup, then turn the axle cup adjustment knob to press the other cup against the right hub. Keep the bike as perpendicular to the floor as possible while tightening the axle cup.

Check that the bike is properly mounted in the trainer, then tighten the locking ring on the axle cup to secure the bike.

Raise the roller until it pushes against the rear tire. The roller provides resistance, and it needs to be snug to prevent the tire from slipping. A rule of thumb is to have the roller compress the tire approximately 1/2 inch.

Place the front wheel in the wheel block. This raises the front end of the bike to keep it level and also prevents the front wheel from turning.

Place one hand on the bike's handlebar and the other on the seat and attempt to move the bike side to side to see if anything is loose. If the bike moves, check to make sure the rear wheel is securely positioned in the axle cups before re-tightening.

Mount the bicycle, then pedal at a slow pace for two minutes to confirm that the bike is securely mounted to the trainer and that no other adjustments need to be made.

Tips

If your trainer didn't come with a wheel block for the front wheel, you can substitute a book or a piece of scrap lumber to provide the necessary elevation to level the bike.

Place a hand towel over the bicycle's top tube to keep sweat from corroding the finish.

Warnings

You'll sweat more and overheat more easily on an indoor trainer, since you're not creating any wind flow over your body. Drink water throughout the training session, and place a fan in front of the bicycle to help keep you cool.

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