If you’re a die-hard trainer rider or a 5am Zwifter, you know how vital a pleasant training environment is to your performance. Lucky for us stuck inside, there are more than a few choices to help boost our indoor riding/racing experience. It’s not just the bike equipment that can make a difference. The best indoor trainer accessories can mean another interval or making the break at Crit City.
We’ve put together a list of our favorite gadgets, hacks & tools to help you stay motivated, comfortable, and consistent while riding indoors. Below you’ll find our picks for:
- Trainer Stands & Platforms
- Trainer Desks
- Gadgets, Electronics & Miscellaneous
Each item is best for a certain price point, category, or type of rider, so you’re sure to find something that works for you and your indoor torture chamber!
The Best Fans for Indoor Cycling
The only time when a headwind is a good thing? When we’re riding indoors. No matter where your trainer setup is, one thing is for sure – you’re gonna be sweating. Finding the perfect fan for riding indoors can be challenging. You need a unit with the right angle to hit your torso and not just blow air at your feet. We found these three to be the best options for price, output and utility.
FOR TIGHT SPACES: Honeywell TurboForce Air Circulator
Whether it’s a tight space or tight budget, a small table-top fan like the Honeywell TurboForce HT900 Air Circulator ($15) can fit just about anywhere, and it’s super cheap…yet has three speeds and pivots up to 90º.
Basically, it’s a small fan that’s affordable and blows air on you, and the all-black color and long cord help it hideaway behind your trainer when not in use. Here’s the thing about “table top” fans…they’re designed to not blow everything off your table. So, it’s not nearly as powerful as the others listed here, but it moves enough air to cool you.
FOR HEAVY SWEATERS: Lasko High-Velocity Pro Pivoting Fan
If you’re a heavy sweater and you find your heart rate creeping up higher than usual on efforts indoors, cooling your body can help.
The Lasko High-Velocity fan ($49) will cool you down and then some. This fan has a crazy high power output with an adjustable head. The footprint is small at 9. 6″ x 12. 2″ and standing only 12. 3 inches tall. Plus, it has two 120V plugs for accessories on the side. It fits nicely in front of the bike and doubles as a clean-up aid after the ride is finished – point the fan at the ground, turn on MAX and come back to a dry trainer mat. The best part? It’s under $50 on Amazon.
FOR THE PRO: Wahoo Headwind Fan
A “smart” fan that adjusts to your training effort may seem like overkill, but once you ride with the Wahoo Headwind Fan ($250), you’ll want one too. This is the first-ever smart fan explicitly designed for cyclists. It responds to input from virtual cycling platforms like Zwift and RGT to give you that on-the-road feel.
Wahoo designed its Airflow Specific Pattern to mirror the shape and body position on the bike – pretty sweet. Does it make a difference? Oh yeah. You can definitely feel the air, and the speed changes mimic that of a real ride. The airflow maxes out at 30 MPH, and it is guaranteed to cool you down after closing the gap.
The smart fan links up to your ANT+ speed sensor, heart rate monitor, or smart trainer, and as you speed up or increase your effort – the fan responds with more air. If you’d like to control the fan manually, it hooks up easily via BlueTooth to the Wahoo app, and you can take it from there. Highly recommended for those with Wahoo (or any brand) smart trainers and others looking to keep a tidy pain cave all season long.
The Best Indoor Trainer Stands & Platforms
If you’re looking to get the most real-world, immersive experience when you’re hammering inside – a training platform is the next step. The platforms range from very small to might-need-to-knock-out-a-wall.
Why would you need a trainer stand or floating platform? A good trainer locks your bike into position, preventing side-to-side motion. A floating platform fixes that, and engages more muscles while allowing the body to rock naturally and lunge as needed during efforts. Lastly – training platforms are fun to ride on, mimicking the feel of riding outdoors.
FOR THE PRO: Saris MP1 Nfinity Floating Platform
The biggest, most immersive training platform on the market is the Saris MP1 Infinity ($1,199). This beast of an indoor trainer stand puts the full bicycle and trainer on the deck. The trainer straps down with two heavy stabilizing staps, the same with the front wheel. Route your cable, plug in, and hammer. When we mean hammer, we’re talking about serious stability. This platform moves a lot, but you are firmly attached.
Out of all the platforms, the Saris has the most fore/aft, side-to-side movement, and top-notch construction. The wooden deck is robust, with grip tape for walking with cycling shoes, and stainless steel notches for positioning the trainer. If you’re looking for a trainer platform that will last and look good in your training space – the Saris MP1 Infiniti is worth the price. We used this one to build our own Ultimate Training Environment.
The only downside? It’s expensive at $1,199, and its size and weight mean it’s a permanent addition best suited for dedicated indoor cycling rooms.
FOR DEDICATED SPACES: KOM Rocker Plate
The KOM Rocker Plate ($450) uses a much simpler system for creating movement under its platform, relying on inflatable (but tough) balls to keep you floating with a more natural riding motion.
It has a slightly smaller footprint than the Saris MP1, but loses some of the range of motion. It’s also half the price. We’ve been testing one all winter and love the performance, but recommend adding some grip tape to the deck to prevent your sleek road bike shoes from slipping off when you dismount.
FOR SMALLER SPACES: Inside Ride E-Flex fork & trainer mounts
Inside Ride started out with an innovative roller system that allows for back and forth motion and magnetic resistance. Now, they get the static out of your smart trainer and bike with the Inside Ride E-Flex fork and trainer mount combo ($449).
The E-Flex system uses two separate stands for the smart trainer and the fork (thru-axle and MTB compatible), firmly placing the rider in a stable yet fluid riding experience. The coolest feature about the E-Flex is that the design allows for fork movement – unlike the MP1. The E-Flex rear moves side/side and fore/aft but the front moves independently, allowing the rider to pull on the bars naturally.
It doesn’t look like it would provide much movement, but you can feel the difference when you ride it. Check out the E-Flex in action under pro cyclist Adam Roberge (wait for it… 0:30s in, worth it).
FOR THE BUDGET TRAINER: Wahoo KICKR Axis Action Feet
The KICKR Axis Action Feet ($79) adds a hint of rocking motion to their trainers. They’re backward compatible on all of Wahoo’s trainers, helping them tilt up to 5º in either direction. Three different top hats for the elastomers let you customize how much squishy motion they have. At $79.99 per set, they’re not cheap, but definitely less than the other options here.
The Best Indoor Cycling Trainer Desks
A trainer-specific desk may seem a bit frivolous, but when you try one you’ll quickly understand the benefits. Having all your gear, phone, mouse, tablet, and even gels at an arm’s length makes it one of the best indoor trainer accessories you can buy. The station operates like a treadmill’s cockpit and keeps your gear tidy and your head in the game.
FOR PORTABLE SETUPS: Wahoo KICKR Desk
The Wahoo KICKR Desk ($249) is sturdy enough, easy to move around thanks to built-in wheels, and doubles as a light-duty standing desk. The narrow width takes up little space and (no surprise) perfectly fits a Wahoo Headwind Fan underneath while accommodating any bike setup.
Besides color-matching everything Wahoo makes, its standout feature is how easily you can adjust its height. So, if you need one desk for an indoor training room used by different height riders, or you just want to match the rest of your Wahoo setup, this is your desk.
It’s not as sturdy as the TD1 below, but it’s far more portable and gets bonus points for having built-in tablet and smartphone slots with cable ports to connect all your computer technology.
FOR DEDICATED SETUPS: Saris TD1 Trainer Desk
This one’s also height-adjustable, but not quickly…it takes eight bolts to adjust it. And there are no wheels. But, it’s rock-solid, and has a built-in plug with both USB charging ports and standard wall outlets, so you can charge all the things.
The solid wood top matches their MP1 platform, and the entire base is metal with a cross brace to prevent wobbling. Overall, it looks more like a piece of quality furniture at home in a modern office. And it gets tall enough to double as a standup desk, too. It’s a little more expensive at $330 MSRP, but considering what it’s likely holding, it’s worth it.
FOR THE TABLET RACER: TACX Tablet Bracket
It’s not a desk, but if you’re really tight on space, this at least holds your screen. Tablets portability and larger screens are great for virtual rides, but finding a convenient place to hold it can be hard if you don’t have room for a desk or want the screen closer to you. The TACX tablet bracket ($39) is right on the money for anyone that likes to scroll on the tablet but can’t get it close enough.
The bracket mounts to the handlebars and quickly detaches when it’s time to ride outside. TACX design allows the user to easily see the screen and touch it without dripping sweat on the tablet. The design fits many different tablet types and even holds a water bottle close at hand. If you struggle with your current tablet setup, check out the TACX bracket – it’s really that good.
The Best Electronics & Gear for Indoor Cycling
What would an indoor riding experience be without electronic accessories? These indoor training tools make your indoor cycling experience easier – hence more fun. Here are a few of our favorite indoor training accessories that will make the time in Watopia fly by. Bonus: Most of them work great for outdoor workouts, general productivity, and more, too!
FOR THE MULTITASKER: Logitech BlueTooth Mouse
Riding on the trainer means that you have limited access (if any) to your computer, and even if you did – computers don’t like sweat. A wireless mouse with extra controls facilitates a better Zwifting and browsing experience.
The Logitech MX Ergo Plus (~$87) has nearly everything you need (except a keyboard) to navigate your computer while riding. The trackball makes scrolling easy, and the multiple buttons can access all the features.
If the Logitech MX isn’t your speed, there are tons of options out there. The Apple Magic Mouse is a great option, too. The mouse’s wireless and robust nature counts as it may (will) drop from your training table from time to time – so shop carefully.
FOR THE PRO: JayBird Vista Bluetooth Headphones
Like most athletes, music gets us pumped up and riding harder. After many different earbuds and wireless “athletic” earphones – I took some advice and checked out the Jaybird Vista headphones.
The Vistas ($149) are super secure in your ear, are sweat and weatherproof, and can take a heck of a beating. That price includes the charging case, which tops them off for nearly a day’s worth of run time. Multiple ear hooks let you customize the fit.
They have a “find my earbud” feature that helps you locate lost buds, so you don’t have to go with one ear rocking on a workout, unless you want to…they block outside sounds, so if you need to listen for kids or that Amazon delivery, either side will work independently from the other. This makes them great for outdoor riding, too, since you can keep one ear open to traffic.
The sound quality is top-notch, and the fit is secure but not so snug that your ear feels plugged. They work great for calls and virtual meetings, too, with super call clarity and noise cancelation…which means they’re great for Dischord chats during Zwift workouts. Highly recommended for the trainer riding music lover.
FOR THE MINIMALIST: Handlebar Smartphone Mounts
Sometimes, a small screen is all you need to load a workout and control your smart trainer, while having your music controls right at hand. Or maybe you’re streaming to an AppleTV or Chromecast directly from your phone.
In that case, our two favorites ways to mount your phone to the handlebar are the Quad Lock Smartphone Case & Mount system, and Delta Cycle’s X Mount Pro universal phone mount.
Quad Lock’s case-and-mount universe gives you mounts for everything from wall to dashboard to bike to armbands, and the cases have protected our iPhones from many a drop over the years. This is the go-to system for at least half the Bikerumor team…check our long-term review to see why.
If you’re already invested in another case and mount system, or have multiple users riding the same bike, Delta Cycle’s X Mount Pro straps any size phone into place in seconds.
FOR THE SPACE SAVER: IKEA RÅSKOG Cart
This one is a bit of a curveball but hear us out. Having all your indoor training gear in one place is pretty awesome. Being able to roll that gear around and get it out of the way without throwing it in a pile is another.
The IKEA RÅSKOG is the perfect indoor training accessory. The three-tier rolling cart has room for tools, lube, cleaner – etc. Personally, I have mine set up with water bottles and food on the first-tier (the Full PRL requires lots of fuel). I have my tools for small fit adjustments on the second tier and changing my trainer’s endcaps. On the third, I have towels, Muc Off Equipment Cleaner, and all hydration mixes.
It’s nice to have everything you need in one place and not run around the house/garage looking for your drink mix and a 5mm before a meetup. Trust us – it will save you time in the long run. (It also makes a great bar trolley!)
No IKEA near you? Click the Shop Similar button below for a highly rated, nearly identical cart that comes in five colors.
FOR THE HEAVY SWEATER: Elite Indoor Trainer Mat
No matter your indoor training setup, you need to have something underneath the trainer and the floor. Something to catch all the sweat, gel wrappers, and what have you. Sometimes a yoga mat can work, but they tend to be too small. The trainer companies’ mats are the right size and the right material to keep the sweat on the surface and away from the carpet.
Elite’s training mat ($105) is fantastic; the material is slightly squishy, making it pleasant for pre-ride core work or stretching. Plus, the material has a stippled texture that keeps the moisture on the matt for the length of your session. When you’re done – get a rag and some cleaner, and you’re good to go. If you took our advice from the fan section – you can put your Lasko on high while you grab a recovery shake.
FOR THE CLEAN FREAK: Muc Off Indoor Cleaner Series
It was bound to happen with riders spending so much time indoors nowadays, but I can get behind this series. The Muc Off Indoor Training range of cleaners and athlete care products goes well with keeping a tidy indoor setup.
My personal favorite is the Equipment Wash ($15) (read our review here). It’s antimicrobial and cleans up sweat, drink mix, and other gunk that gets on your trainer mat. The smell is clean and makes you feel like you did something positive for your bike.
For those with super-corrosive sweat – the kind that can burn through a top tube – you will want the Sweat Protect Spray ($18). It’s a protective spray that protects bolts, caps, and paint from a daily sweat soak.
When you’re all done riding and need to rush and get the kids or be presentable. The Dry Shower ($10) is fantastic – I’m sure it’s meant for messy days outside, but it’s a perfect counterpart to the rest of the line. So if you want to keep a clean, efficient, smell-free training setup – this should be on your shopping list.
These are the best indoor bike training accessories we’ve tested recently. But check back when you’re ready to add to or upgrade your indoor training room. We’re constantly trying new gear and will update this post on a regular basis with our latest finds and proven gadgets that make riding inside more fun!
Got a favorite of your own? Leave a comment and let us know what you’re using to make your sufferfests more productive.