If you regularly ride a bicycle, but the cold weather outside stops you from being able to ride, turning your regular bicycle into a stationary bike is an easy way to find two uses for the same equipment. All you need is a special stand that converts your bicycle into a stationary bike trainer. You can use this until the weather is good enough for riding outdoors again.
There are two types of stationary bike stands: a trainer, which clamps the back wheel of the bicycle while the front wheel stays on and is able to move, or a roller bike stand, which elevates the bike, allowing both wheels to spin.
Positioning Your Stationary Bike Stand
Find a spot in your home where you have enough space for your bike as well as enough space to mount the bike. Choose a level spot, on a non-carpeted surface, if possible.
Next, lay out the bicycle stand parts exactly as you would like them be placed—some stands are two pieces that must each be fitted to the bicycle while others are one piece. Putting them in the right spot will ensure you have space as well as enhance the speed of setting up.
Read more: Stationary Bike Workout: How Long?
Installing the Bike
Situate the back end of the bicycle on the stand first. You should clamp the back wheel in as firmly as possible. There will be some wiggle room until the front wheel is on a stand.
Next, place the front wheel on the stand. Tightly secure this portion. After this it's time to re-tighten the back wheel of the stand again, ensuring it is solidly in place, yet not so tight that it will cause rubbing or failure of the bearings in the bicycle.
Check Your Work
Take a few steps back from the bike to make sure that the bicycle is evenly mounted. If you notice a dip in the front or back wheels, reposition the bicycle to ensure it's even.
Next, wiggle the bicycle from side to side, ensuring that it is tip-proof. When you are riding the bike at full speed, it can wobble from side to side: ensure the bike allows enough movement, yet is stable enough to support you throughout your ride.
If you tend to sweat a lot during a strenuous bike ride, put towels down around the bike. Otherwise, you may have sweat puddles staining the floor.
Benefits of Biking at Home
Aside from letting you continue a sport that you enjoy, the temporary conversion of your bike into a stationary bike comes with a whole world of benefits. Riding a stationary bike is an excellent way to burn calories. It's also a fabulous way to meet — or exceed — the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommendation that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio or 75 minutes of vigorous cardio per week — even if it's chilly and the wind is really howling outside.
And finally, this sort of regular aerobic activity can also leave you with benefits such as improved stamina, a better mood, a stronger immune system, and reduced risk of many chronic diseases. Plus, it just plain feels good.
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights"
- Mayo Clinic: "Aerobic Exercise: Top 10 Reasons to Get Physical"
- Health.gov: "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020: Appendix 1. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans"
- HealthHideaway.com: Stationary Bike Stand