Turbo Trainer Or Spin Bike?

autorRotor Bike Components
fecha12th February 2020

It may be due to the cold, snow, or rain. Or simply because you don’t have time to train for several hours on the road, or because you prefer to do a quick bike workout and complement it with gym, yoga and other options. If you spend a few hours on the indoor bike, you can choose to do it on a roller/turbo trainer with your own bike and your ROTOR Q rings, or on a Spin bike.

We all spend countless hours a year pedaling indoors. You may be one of those who like to go to spin classes or simply pedaling in the gym without the music and the motivational screams of the rest of the indoor riders … Another option is to pedal on your own bike with your roller or turbo trainer in the comfort of your own house. We explain what is good and bad about each of them.


Pedalling in spin classes or simply on a spin bike is something that differs a lot from riding your own bike on a roller or turbo trainer. For starters, we have some measurements that, although can be replicated quite well, can still differ from those you use on your usual bike. The position and geometry of a spin bike or an exercise bike differ greatly from that of your usual road or mountain bike.

Normally you can adjust parameters such as the height and setback of the saddle and the height and distance of the handlebars. With these basic measurements, it is very possible that you get a position more or less similar to that of your usual bike, but not 100%. You will not have the same length of cranks, nor the same pedals (unless it is your own static bike and you have it at home), nor the same length of the (virtual) top-tube or the same pedaling angle on the saddle … That’s a lot of measurements.

Now, if you use the exercise bike or spin bike a handful of occasions, then this will not be a problem, but if you use it regularly during the whole season, it may lead to biomechanical imbalances that can sometimes lead to some injuries or minor pain. We must not forget that we spend many hours on our bikes, so when we change bike, we vary our position which then leads to slightly different movements in the pedaling cycle that can eventually affect our hips, knees and back.

If you prefer to ride a spin bike, either your own, or a spin class, it is essential that you find the maximum similarity with the measurements of your usual bike. You will also have to keep in mind that the sensations of pedaling with a spin bike differ greatly from the sensations of a roller/turbo trainer with your usual bike.

Static bikes base their operation of very heavy inertia discs that do not allow you to stop pedaling and, depending on the range and model, has difficulty levels that do not 100% replicate a gear change on your usual bike. This means that the number of pedals per minute varies, as well as the wattage you apply. It’s not that it is worse, but different from what you are used to, and a period of adaptation is appropriate.

A positive of riding a spin bike if you do it in guided spin classes, is that you will have a more “social” training experience, and you will be able to share the experiences of it, live, without virtual reality in between.


Riding with a roller or turbo trainer of any kind using your own bike is another story. First of all, because you do not change the riding position at all, and all the parameters and measurements are kept as if you were pedaling outside. If you do it with your ROTOR Q rings you can use the same cadence that you usually use, in addition to keeping a total control of the watts used by means of the ROTOR 2INpower power meters and other models that you can use.

And if you also use oval chainrings, it will allow you to carry a higher cadence than in static bikes, so that muscle wasting will be lower by avoiding those pedaling points (which exist to a greater extent in conventional round plates) where muscle power rises without feeling reflected in higher speed or better performance at the watt level. In addition, thanks to the fact that a more fluid pedaling action that avoids those spikes of muscle and joint tension, will be a relief if you are prone to discomfort in the knees or hips. With Q rings (oval) and with your own bike you will also avoid the dead zones of pedal cycles if you compare it with a spinning-type stationary bike.

Another important aspect of pedaling on your own bike with or without ROTOR Q rings on a roller or turbo trainer, is that the sensations of pedaling are very similar to those that occur when riding outdoors on the roads, but very different from those from an exercise bike. With your own bike you do not require time to adapt to it (just to the sensations of the roller) and you can use your bike with any type of roller, even those that are connected to the internet for virtual training with other participants.

In short, indoor training is always an alternative to adverse weather conditions, but between the two options of doing it on a conventional stationary bike, or doing it on your own bike, especially if you are a user of ROTOR Q rings, the second option will help your training be more true to reality, and you will not have to change your pedaling parameters or measurements on the bike.

Would you like to know more about the ROTOR Q RINGS?