How to Convert an Outdoor Bicycle to an Exercise Bike


Looking to do a little bike riding without leaving the house? There are two ways to turn your regular outdoor bike into an indoor stationary bike. With the purchase of either a bike trainer or a roller, depending on your biking skills, you can turn your bike into an exercise bike--a great way for the avid biker to work out at home while watching television. No excuse not to train, even when it's freezing outside!

Create Your Own Stationary Bike

Decide which indoor training setup is best for you, depending on your bicycling ability. Choose from several types of bike trainers (magnetic, wind, turbo) or rollers. The wind trainer is noisier, because a fan is powered by your pedaling, adding resistance. The magnetic is the most expensive, and the quietest machine for your bike. Turbo trainers come with a framework into which you mount your bike to keep it stationary, with adjustable resistance.

Buy your trainer or set of rollers from a bike shop or online. The equipment can be heavy if you are shopping online, so be prepared for costly shipping fees. If you decide to try rollers, you might want to try them in the store, as they require great balance to use.

Unload the frame of your trainer. The trainer should include a frame, a clamp to hold the front of your bicycle, a roller that presses up against the rear wheel, and a mechanism that causes resistance when the pedals are turned. Set up the frame of the trainer. Once the frame is secure, mount the back wheel of your bike into the trainer and remove the front wheel. You may find you want to purchase a stand separately to mount the front fork of your bike more securely.

Note that rollers come as a unit for the floor, and do not attach to the bicycle frame. The slightly more dangerous rollers require you to balance while riding, as opposed to being a secure stationary bike. Bicycle rollers have two rollers for the rear wheel and one for the front. The bike is set on top of the rollers. They should come already assembled, with a belt connecting one of the rear rollers to the front roller, making the front wheel of the bike spin when pedaled. You will need to adjust the spacing of the rollers to fit your bike's wheels. When first riding on rollers, it's a good idea to put the rollers in a doorway, in case you fall while getting your balance. Using a high gear and looking ahead instead of down will help maintain your balance. The concave shape of the rollers will help the bike stay in the center.


Fold both frame and roller unit easily for storing out of the way, or transporting, your stationary bike.