Indoor Training – Tracking speed/distance
Edit 6-3-2020 I now use a stationary trainer with my main mountain bike, but swap out the rear wheel with one that has a slick tire. I still use the Bluetooth speedo, but now have a set of RaceFace Next r cranks with a power meter to collect power data. My bike computer is now a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt and use it in “indoor” mode while on the trainer. This setup allows me to collect HR, Power, Speed, Distance, and cadence from my rides.
Edit 11-29-2021 This should have been in the original post as it is an important piece to allow you to use a modern bike on a trainer. I’m primarily using my mountain bike, which has a 12x148mm thru axle. I bought an axle from the Robert Axle Project to allow my bike to be used on a trainer.
I wanted to take a minute to talk about the equipment I’m using for tracking my indoor training this offseason. My stationary bike has a computer to read speed & distance but I can’t collect that data with my iPhone to evaluate later.
With that being the case, I’ll be using a Bluetooth HR monitor and Bluetooth speed sensor along with my iPhone to capture the data. Most racers I know use some sort of smartphone app like Strava app track rides as do I but Strava doesn’t have a way to accurately track stationary bike rides as it relies on GPS for speed and distance. You can’t collect that data if you’re sitting on a stationary bike!
In the winter there are a lot of days where the weather is telling you to stay indoors. This year I’m also in a situation where I don’t have a mountain bike (waiting on a new frame) so I’ll be using my single-speed city bike that I converted to a CX (cross) bike. When I can’t get out on that I use a stationary bike.
In the Fall I set out to find the right setup so I’d be ready once it was too cold to get outside for a ride. I settled on Wahoo Fitness app for tracking my rides and weight training. I also bought a Wahoo Blue SC to attach to the stationary bike to track speed & distance.
With these two pieces of technology, I’m now able to track my workouts better. The Wahoo Fitness app has a great display with giant numbers so you can see HR, speed & distance at a quick glance. When you finish a ride you can then share it from the app to Strava, Training Peaks, Garmin Connect, and a bunch of others. I usually save my results to Training Peaks and Strava so I can evaluate the data later and keep track of progress.
Technology can sometimes get in the way of a fun ride but for winter training I’m happy to have these tools available.
So if you’re relegated to the stationary bike and want to capture speed and distance for those rides, check out the Wahoo Bluetooth sensor paired with the Wahoo Fitness app.
Edit: I’m NOT using premium versions of Strava or Training Peaks. You can keep track of all of your data using the free versions. The Wahoo Fitness app allows you to export data to Strava, Training Peaks, and others.