During the wet, cold winter months I train inside on a Keiser spinning bike. I much prefer riding outside but come inside except for dry, clear days. I do this in part because of the weather and also to protect my ride from unecessary wear and tear.
I question which form of ride is most beneficial. I enjoy both, prefer being outside but see the benefits of spinning. For me, it is not either or. Here is my take on spinning.
- It is a favorable training environment. It is dry, warm and devoid of wind.
- A higher training effect can be maintained more easily. You can alter the resistance and cadence without concern for the terrain.
- You can work on your riding techniques and form, particularly when spinning in front of a mirror.
- Less time is spent achieving a similar training effect.
- It’s convenient. No special clothing is required. No cold or wet weather clothing is necessay. And, you can ride any time of day, not just in the daylight hours.
- It is safer. There is no car traffic and no possibility of a crash or fall.
- It can be boring. There is no scenery to enjoy and there isn’t the variety of mixing climbs and decents in a ride.
- The flywheel works the hamstring muscles more than road riding does and, consequently, it is easier to maintain momentum.
- It is not as much fun. I fequently break into a whistle once I am on the road. I don’t whistle while on the Keiser.
- It is also easier not to work hard if you chose. On the road, there are always hills and wind to contend with.
I enjoy both. The Keiser during the winter and the Garneau whenever it is dry and warmer. In fact, indoor spinning compliments outdoor road rides increasing endurance, improving technique and, most importantly, keeping you on the saddle.