The advent of smart trainers and training apps has seen the popularity of indoor training explode in recent years. Once seen as a niche winter pursuit for the truly dedicated racer, indoor training is now a staple for many cyclists even during the summer months.
If you’re looking to get into indoor training apps like Zwift, we’ve covered the best setups for every budget, but even if you only have access to a standard turbo trainer, the benefits of indoor cycling are well documented. It’s an extremely efficient way of getting fit, as you can forego junk miles and focus on using your workouts for specific efforts.
Beyond a bike and turbo trainer though, there are a number of useful accessories that range from useful luxuries to must-have items. With that in mind, we’ve chosen five turbo trainer accessories that will help you get the most out of your indoor training.
Wild Ox Bamboo Sports Towel – £7.99
A good towel is invaluable for indoor training. Amazon
A towel is one of the most important accessories any cyclist training indoors should have.
You don’t have to use a dedicated sports towel, of course, but if you don’t want your other half getting upset about you using the nice ones from the back of the cupboard that were actually being saved for guests, then this bamboo yarn towel from Wild Ox should be ideal.
Oypla Electrical 18″ Chrome 3 Speed Free Standing Gym Fan – £44.99
You might be able to get away with a smaller fan if you can position it right, but a large one will really help keep you cool. Amazon
Even if you live in a country like the United Kingdom, where the weather is consistently disappointing, you’ll rapidly overheat when training on the turbo without any wind to cool you down.
What you need for your pain cave is a fan, and ideally a big one to boot. This 18-inch beast from Oypla Electrical has three speed settings and adjustable tilt, so it should provide more than enough cooling for even the most intense sweat sesh.
Molteni retro cotton cycling cap – £8.99
You might not be able to push the pedals like Eddy, but the effort is what counts. Prendas
Molteni was Eddy Merckx’s team during his pomp, and has thus acquired iconic status among fans of the sport.
There are dedicated (i.e. pricier) indoor cycling caps on the market, but in reality a classic cotton cap will help prevent sweat dripping into your eyes.
And it’s hard to put a price on feeling like The Cannibal.
LifeLine Front Wheel Riser Block – £9.99
Why more trainers don’t come boxed with riser blocks, we’ll never know… LifeLine
For some unknown reason, most trainers on the market don’t come with a front wheel riser block. You’ll soon realise you need one if you don’t level your bike out, as you’ll feel like you’re constantly sliding forward on your saddle while simultaneously putting a lot more weight than normal on your hands and wrists.
Fortunately, they’re not very expensive and this one from LifeLine even has two different riser heights to select from, so you can get your bike setup just right.
Stages Power Meter Shimano 105 R7000 G3 – £299.00
Stages has been producing simple to use, good value power meters for a few years now. Stages
Power meters have come down in price considerably in recent years, and while they’re great for tracking your outside exploits in fine detail, the real value of a power meter is as specialised training tool.
Okay, so a power meter isn’t an indoor training essential, but with one on your bike you can do proper FTP testing, train in specific power zones and use interactive apps on any kind of trainer.
We’ve been impressed by Stages power meters over the years and this affordable left-only crank arm unit compliments a standard Shimano 105 R7000 chainset, but will actually fit any Shimano Hollowtech II chainset (just make sure you get the correct crank length).