Turbo 'Training' for a singlespeeder – Yay or Nay?

Home Forum Bike Forum Turbo 'Training' for a singlespeeder – Yay or Nay?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Turbo 'Training' for a singlespeeder – Yay or Nay?
  • I did my first spin class last Thursday*. It’s great for a workout and for spinning a low gear at a high cadence, which I know means more actual power, but it got me wondering if it was actually a good idea for me as I ride 100% SS off road.

    I feel where I’m lacking ‘fitness’ is out and out torque (?) – slow speed, steep climb, low cadence, out of the saddle grunts – having enough strength to get through uphill technical sections. I can’t seem to get anywhere near the resistance on the turbo trainer (Cycleops Fluid) to replicate that.

    Will conditioning my legs to spin easy gears fast actually hinder this?

    *I live in America, and here we can’t ride the trails when they are wet, and night riding is not permitted. It’s not a case of keep riding through the winter – it’s just not possible all the time


    i know very little about fitness but would assume that any bike-based fitness work is bound to help. having said that, the best training for an activity is doing that activity.

    If you are using a fluid trainer, the resistance comes from using the gears on the bike that is connected to it, as far as I understand.

    So using a singlespeed bike on it will only give you a single level of resistance (though i would imagine spinning the thing faster would make it harder?)

    PS – Night riding and wet riding is against the law??!

    Premier Icon pedalhead

    I’ve done regular spinning classes for a couple of years & only ride singlespeed (off-road). Spinning is without a doubt the most efficient 45 minutes training of my week. Sounds a bit stupid, but it did take me a while to work out how to get the best from the spinning classes. They’re really only as hard as you make them, so aim for fairly high resistance to build up that leg strength and keep your HR nice & high. Spinning is the only place I find I’m able to consistently maintain a heart rate within 5-10 bpm of max for a significant proportion of the session.

    Premier Icon psling

    I feel where I’m lacking ‘fitness’ is out and out torque (?) – slow speed, steep climb, low cadence, out of the saddle grunts…

    Turbo trainer has got to help with fitness but for your specific needs I’d suggest leg strength exercises (squats, thrusts, etc.) and also upper body exercises – amazing how much you use your upper body while climbing on a singlespeed.


    Get thee to a gym and some free-weights (ideally with some instruction, don’t want to damage yourself). I found when I was doing regular gym work training for fencing it helped my raw power on the bike a lot. Obviously a lot of that was leg work, but also core stuff which helped too. And nought like some overhead presses to get the arm pump going.

    Ok, I should have added a few points. I have a road bike here, and using that on the turbo, but even in top gear, there’s not a whole lot of resistance.

    There is no right to ride here, all permissions based, so we have to be very careful not to damage the trails. Therefore, no wet weather riding. The parks close at dusk, and access is technically illegal. We get one sanctioned night ride per month.

    They’re really only as hard as you make them, so aim for fairly high resistance to build up that leg strength

    Therein lies the problem! I can’t get the resistance high enough

    psling & Iain – I’ve considered the free weights. Those would be in addition to spinning. I just don’t want to rob peter to pay paul, by conditioning myself to spin low gears.

    Premier Icon pedalhead

    Sounds like the spinning bikes are rubbish! As mentioned above, fluid-based trainers are good (I’ve got one) as they rely on the bike’s gears. Personally I’d much rather be doing a spinning class at the gym, but it sounds like the bikes at your gym are crap.

    the bikes at your gym are crap

    It’s my road bike, on a turbo trainer. It’s a casual class in the LBS.

    Premier Icon pedalhead

    ohhhh I see, a bring-your-own. Yeah, get a fluid turbo trainer 🙂 Oh, but with one caveat, I don’t know if all fluid trainers are the same, but mine doesn’t allow you to pedal out of the saddle, which is almost a deal-breaker for me.

    If you are going to do a gym session to increase strength on the bike, i would concentrate on your core strength mainly.
    A session on back and Biceps followed a few days later by a session on chest and triceps may help with your upper body strength for grunting up steep climbs on the singlespeed. But a huge amount of power comes from your core.

    I’m not really sold on leg weights for cyclists unless you are doing something like track cycling. Though if you cant ride your bike they will be better than nothing.

    Thank’s for the advice y’all 😉

    put a bigger chainring on the bike just for turbo training? Or night ride the road bike up some hills?

    Premier Icon Lifer

    I was watching ‘Battle of the Bikes’ and in that Graham Obree was grinding up hills in the biggest gear he could manage to build strength…

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)

The topic ‘Turbo 'Training' for a singlespeeder – Yay or Nay?’ is closed to new replies.