Consciously or unconsciously, your indoor trainer trainer setup will make a huge difference in your motivation. You’re not going to have a great time if you have to ride in an uncomfortable, poorly circulated space, frequently unclipping and losing focus. At this point in the indoor season you probably have an idea of what works best for your rides, but there are always little fixes that can make everything move along even more seamlessly.
Here are a few accessories that, while not necessary for riding a trainer, will make long indoor sessions a little bit more bearable.
1. Smart plug for fan
If you don’t already have a fan look into some of the best fans for staying cool on the trainer. Some fans come with a remote control—these are great for increasing the airflow post-warmup. That being said, if your fan doesn’t come with a remote you still have options.
RELATED: Which type of fan will keep you coolest on the trainer?
Smart plugs allow you to turn a device on and off from your phone. For many, the convenience of not having to stop pedalling, unclip and walk over to the fan to turn it on is worth the small investment and setup process.
2. Wireless keyboard/mouse
Presumably you have a table, cart or surface near your trainer to cover in bottles, snack wrappers and used Kleenex. Add another item to the pile with a wireless keyboard for those particularly chatty group rides. If you’re running Zwift off your computer, a wireless mouse is also very handy for accessing and navigating the menu.
3. Rocker plate
The DIY rocker plate community is a group of passionate cyclists who have developed some straightforward plans for rocker plates that you can build at home. These platforms, which go underneath your trainer, allow the bike to swing laterally, which makes for a much more realistic ride feel.
RELATED: 12 indoor trainer thoughts every cyclist can relate to
4. Bluetooth headphones
The last thing you want to think about while you ride is your headphone cable bopping around your neck/chest area as you put in a full-gas effort.
If you’re buying new headphones, make sure they’re a style that will stay in your ears, even when you’re sweating. If you have older AirPods that might mean getting an attachment to keep them secure.
5. Trainer shoes
Your feet are going to sweat on the trainer, there’s no way around it. One benefit to riding inside is that you have complete control of the climate—your feet won’t get cold unless you train in a cold room.
A number of brands have started to develop well-ventilated shoes specifically for spin classes. If you’re looking for a breathable, (hopefully) less smelly option, shoes like Shimano’s IC1 Indoor Cycling Shoe and Nike’s SuperRep are a good bet.
6. Phone mount
It’s useful to have your phone close for Zwift powerups or just a quick email check. No need to get too fancy with these, your bike won’t be jostling around much indoors so a basic mount is unlikely to fall off.
7. Trainer-specific kit
You sweat a lot on the trainer, and sweat is corrosive. You can’t really show off your team’s kit to anyone indoors and you’re only wearing it down by frequently riding in it and washing it. Some brands, such as Rapha, have developed specific clothing lines for indoor training.
Rapha’s thin and breathable kit is made for trainer riding, but it’s also worth checking out some other brands, such as Patagonia and 7Mesh, who sell mtb liner bibs (which happen to be great for breathability).