How To Set Up A Turbo Trainer Correctly

Ensuring that you have the right resistance, set up and environment for your turbo trainer sessions can massively improve your productivity and even how successful your training sessions are.


First up, you want to ensure that your training environment is perfect for you.

Turbo Trainers can be noisy, some riders like to watch videos or TV while training and for some of us, we sweat a lot when we exercise.

All of this means finding the best place for you to set up shop is vital.

Now, this could be a garage, shed, study (it’s where ours are found!) or even your front room (as long as you don’t mind your significant other glaring at you while they watch their favorite program.

Stable Area

You are going to want to find a space that is stable, solid and most importantly flat. For example wooden floors, concrete or even tiles. Try not to set it up on a carpet, especially if you are prone to sweating while cycling.

If you are going to place your turbo trainer on a wooden floor or even fake wooden floors, make sure it is flat, most turbo trainers have different levels for all 4 feet, meaning you can twist and change your feet depending on how flat the floor really is.

If you are on the first floor flat or you have neighbors nearby, then look at investing in noise dampening padding, or double checking that your bike really is stable and doesn’t rock.

Well Ventilated

Keeping with the ‘I got as hot as balls’ theme. We guarantee that you are probably going to sweat a lot. It’s hot business indoor cycling and you are going to want to find somewhere with either

  • A cool breeze
  • A fan or AC unit
  • Outdoors!

Any of the above will help you keep down that drippy mess.

One good tip is to wrap a towel over your handlebars to help you reduce the amount of water and swear that will drop onto your front wheel.

If you are feeling fancy, you can also look at purchasing sweat catchers or similar. They are essentially bits of material or plastic that you can attach to your bike or even you that will help keep you a little cleaner.

Being Comfortable & Ready

You have managed to find yourself a little slice of happiness, away from nosy neighbours, pets or your significant others favourite Amazon show.

It’s time to get yourself in the zone, with the right accessories to improve your turbo training sessions.

  • As previously mentioned, you are going to want a towel, it will help you, we promise!
  • Water bottles are also essential, a 20 minute bike session, with a decent resistance is going to make you lose a lot of water, so ensure you stay hydrated throughout your sessions, and after.
  • Purchase, or even fashion your own front block. Many indoor bike trainers come with their own front block to raise your front wheel off the ground, making it level with your back wheel. It makes for a more comfortable ride, and ensure everything is a little more stable.
  • Headphones and a source of audio. Personally, we prefer to set up a laptop in front of us and watch Amazon Prime, or watch outdoor scenes that make you feel a little more relaxed. With smart trainers you can program them to change resistance based on pre-set programs, which can then be run in tandem with video streams, but that’s a little overkill.
  • A way of keeping track of your time and your overall effort. It’s useful to know how many miles you have covered, your heart rates, calories burned and more. Check out brands like Garmin.

Setting Up The Right Program

It’s essential that you make the most out of your sessions, and without the difficulties of the open road, or down hill tracks, it can be harder to vary up your rides.

You should plan out what you want to achieve from your ride.

For example, are you looking for intervals, a straight flat ride or even a varying resistance session.

Adding variation will ensure that you get the most out of your training, but also ensure you don’t get bored.

For the every day bike enthusiast, you will probably be aiming for around 45 – 60 minutes on the bike. Unless you are trying to recreate the ‘Tour de Yorkshire’, in which case you are really going to want to plan that ride out as much as possible!

Taking the 60 minute session as an example, you are going to want to start off with a gentle warm-up that slowly increases in intensity towards the end of your 10 – 20 minutes. This means your muscles have got blood and oxygen flowing around and are ready to hit your main ride.

Some riders may split up their remaining 20 – 30 minutes with intervals of sprints such as a higher resistance, or faster cycling. Find something that works for you.

Also remember to think of any long term goals, or achievements you want to hit before you go back on the road bike when the weather is better. Maybe you want to improve your overall time on the bike, your sprint lengths or even just your cycling pace. Whatever it is, try to think of a plan that could replicate it using your indoor bike trainer.

Tracking Progress

The main reason you have purchased, or looking at purchasing a turbo trainer is because you want to get better at cycling, or your cardio in general.

To help achieve this, you are going to want to track your workouts and understand the numbers.

You can measure a huge number of variants, such as heart rate, pace, speed, power or even distance. With smart turbo trainers, or fitness watches etc, you can even start to build up a picture of the different parts of your ride, allowing you to improve on particular areas.

Every session you can look at your past data, and find ways of improving on them.

Improvements mean that you are becoming fitter, or better at certain challenges.


It’s time to wrap this little article up.

You should have found an area within your house, garage or shed that you feel is airy, comfortable and more importantly a place that you can ride your turbo trainer without disturbing others.

You should have also got yourself a few creature comforts to help your ride go smoothly, as well as a plan of action for those rides.

Lastly, you should also have a way of tracking your numbers, allowing you to improve on past rides easily.

7 thoughts on “How To Set Up A Turbo Trainer Correctly”

  1. Sat with a great coffee giving this a read, not a bad post. Might want to add a little more detail, but a great first try.

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