Video: Smart Trainer vs Smart Bike

The first of indoor training videos looks at the differences between the top smart trainers and smart bikes, the newer addition to the top end trainer market.

by Ronan Mc Laughlin

photography by Phil Golston


It’s that time of year again for us northern hemisphere folk. The colder, wetter, windier weather ahead will see many of us do more indoor trainer sessions, joining the growing number of riders who now train indoors all year round.

With stock levels finally getting back to some semblance of normality post-pandemic and more deals on discounted trainers, some might take this winter season as the chance to invest in a new indoor setup.

In this series of videos, we will look at my favourite indoor setups across a range of price points, from the most affordable options to the ultra-premium.

Before we delve into the specific setup videos, we first answer a question many riders are now asking: smart trainer or smart bike?

The so-called “smart bike” is a relatively simple concept: build a dedicated bike-shaped training tool always ready when the rider is. Smart bikes incorporate an interactive trainer and similar fit adjustments as a standard bike without the hassle of removing rear wheels or setting up a trainer for an indoor ride. Think always-ready, at-home gym bike with interactive resistance and a power meter.

Smart bikes are made for indoor riding, and as such, promise a host of benefits over a more traditional bike and trainer setup. But are there any drawbacks to this style of trainer and can the direct drive trainer retain its place as the gold standard of indoor training? Click play to find out.

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