Do Professional Bike Racers Use Stationery Bikes/Spin Classes as Part of Their Training Regimen?

Hayden Saunders

Training for a competitive cycling event is different than working out in a gym. You will have to go out in the sun and make sure that you sweat it out, riding several kilometers at a stretch. However, in winters or during bad weather, outdoor cycling training isn’t possible. This is a time when cyclists train indoors or take a small rest from their rigorous schedule.

Professional bike racers try to build endurance and stamina. This helps them in cycling through long and complicated stretches of the racing track. However, because of the unique nature of their training, they can’t opt for any generic workout regimen. Let’s know if stationery bikes and spin classes are an option for them or not.

Stationery bikes

Stationery bikes are a good training option for professional bike racers who can’t go out due to bad weather. In fact, most beginner cyclists prefer to start biking indoors only in order to build stamina and endurance for the real roads. Once a beginner has cycled indoors, he has built enough resistance to go out and start training for a competitive event.

However, someone who has trained extensively in the open doesn’t find as much value in stationery bikes. This is because cycling in a real terrain is much different that cycling on a stationery equipment. The resistance of a road is much higher and you always face obstacles and traffic. Therefore, it is more difficult as you have to maneuver your way through the traffic.

In stationery biking, professionals find an easy way to keep their physiology in perfect condition. However, they should not expect much from this workout. It cannot help them prepare for a race but can certainly help them in keeping their workout schedule intact when the weather is bad. Of course, you can monitor the number of calories you have shed, but it usually isn’t enough to match the real training conditions.

Many professional cyclists find stationery biking an excellent warm up exercise. It helps them in preparing for training. They may start and end their day on a stationary bike, as a way to put less strain on their muscles before going out. These stationery bikes are also popular among track cyclists. They use it to train right before the events, which help them in warming up right before an event. A track cyclist will usually spend some time at a stationary bike they are called for the event so they are fully prepared for the competition.

But what could be the real reason why stationery bikes cannot be compared to triathlon bikes or race bikes? Most stationery bikes have a fly wheel which makes the work easier for a cyclist indoor. The job of the fly wheel is to remove resistance from the pedal, which makes indoor biking much easier for the cyclist. Your pedals will likely keep moving once they have been set in motion as you are not controlling the resistance.

This is also a reason why it is very easy to slip your shoes off a bike and find it pedaling still. Your hamstrings have to work extra hard to make this bike stop, instead of making it move. While this is good for someone who is looking to break a sweat in the gym, a competitive cycler will not find much of a challenge. He has to work against road friction and also needs to handle wind resistance. A cyclist has to use his quadriceps and hip flexors to move the bike forward against these forces. Therefore, using a stationary bike provides only a fraction of real training to the cyclists.

Spin classes

Though spin classes have become very popular in the past few years, it is still quite rare to find a competitive cyclist here. While stationery bikes provide at least some training, spin classes could be more about finding a fun way to cycle instead of training for an event. A spin cycle would help you maintain 75 to 95 percent of your heart rate with ease. Therefore, it helps you in keeping your cardiovascular health in top shape.

It is noteworthy that spin classes are now evolving to something completely different- a complete sport cycling experience. This nifty equipment can be used to stimulate terrain racing experience which could be helpful to some racers. Note that these stimulated workouts help you in getting a good quadriceps workout, which is not possible with regular stationery bikes.

Spin classes can even be geared towards outdoor professional cyclists who can help them train in short sprints and thresholds. These classes last for 45 to 60 minutes and provide a great way to workout. The fly wheels of the spin bikes are heavier than stationery bikes. As a result of this, the cyclists need to put in more effort to move them and come back to rest.

Which indoor cycling option is better?

Most cyclists prefer turbo trainers and rollers over traditional stationery bikes and spin classes. This is because they help you in working with a trainer and find more optimum results. They are designed to be used by professional track cyclists only. They are able to stimulate real life cycling situations in a better way. Whether a cyclist is looking for better resistance or stimulation, he can get it all with this equipment. Therefore, they are popular amongst the professionals.

If you are looking to improve your balance, effectiveness, and smoothness on the road, you should train on rollers. They will help you in improving coordination as well. As a result of this, you are able to perform better in real terrain conditions. Turbos are good for improving your pedaling efficiency. Turbos can also help in ensuring that you remain fluid on the road. Real terrains require you to be agile and swift, which can be done effectively when using turbos. Together, turbos and rollers help in improving cadence, build up endurance, and prepare you for any terrain.

On second position are stationery bikes. Stationery bikes are good at helping build endurance. If it is possible to build resistance in these bikes, nothing better than that. Stationery bikes are good for warming up and cooling off. While they are not as good as the turbos and rollers, they are still quite helpful in preparing you for a hard day of training.

As we mentioned above, spin classes are not very popular, even though they help you get great cardiovascular benefits. This is because spin classes are HIIT (high intensity interval training) exercise. They help you in increasing the heart rate but they do not provide you endurance. HIIT exercises are often used by cyclists to add variance in their training schedule. If they are training for triathlons or other terrain cycling events than building up endurance and stamina is more important than sweating in spin classes.

If you are looking to lose weight or maintain your physique, there is nothing better than spin classes. They help you get overall fitness results instead of professional cycling training. For the professionals, it will be better to use stationery bikes for exercise only when they can’t train outside. Spin classes can act as a fun way to change your exercise routine and get a good cardiovascular exercise as well.

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Last Update 26 May, 2024