- Cycle All Year Round With A Stationary Bike Stand
- In Depth Stationary Bike Stand Reviews
- ListofFit Best Pick: Kinetic Road Machine 2.0
- Factors Considered in Best Stationary Bike Stand Ratings
- Why Selecting a Quality Stationary Bike Stand Matters
Cycle All Year Round With A Stationary Bike Stand
There are few things in this world that provide a greater feeling of pure freedom than going for a ride on a bicycle. It is wonderfully peaceful and a solid cardio workout all in one. Furthermore, cycling is something that can be done even into advanced age as it does not have the significant load bearing actions as seen with other activities such as running. From the professional cyclist to the casual rider, cycling is something that can be enjoyed by all.
Not only is it enjoyable, but it is also great for your body and mind alike. Researchers have shown that who engage in exercise regularly (including cycling) live longer, are less likely to get cancer, and sleep better! The best part is that when you go for a casual ride it doesn’t even feel like you are working that hard.
But here’s a bummer when it comes to cycling, you can’t (easily) do it all year round if you live in a city or town with cold winters. The truth is not many outside of the most hardcore cyclists are willing to deal with the freezing cold wind blowing in their faces or the threat of ice causing them to crash.
Thankfully, there is a solution that allows for cyclists to bring the cardio benefits of cycling indoors: the stationary bike stand.
We have tested and compiled our data to select the five best stationary bike stands that money can buy. Each stationary bike stand has pros and cons in regard to price and features, so be sure to read each review to see which of the best stationary bike stands will be best for your home.
- Trainer Type: Fluid
- Weight: 29 lbs.
- Price: ~$360
- Fully Assembled Out of Box
- Pro: Our number one rated stationary bike stand, the Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 is easy to use and mimics the feel and resistance of the road.
- Con: As our most expensive selection the Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 may be outside of some buyer's budgets.
- Trainer Type: Fluid
- Weight: 22 lbs.
- Price: ~$300
- Assembly Required
- Pro: A lighter weight option compared to the Kinetic Road Machine, the Cycleops provides quality fluid bike trainer performance and stability.
- Con: Assembly was challenging for some users.
- Trainer Type: Magnetic
- Weight: 20 lbs.
- Price: ~$55
- Fully Assembled Out of Box
- Pro: The least expensive option on our list, the Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer offers a decent ride for little dough.
- Con: Magnetic resistance does not perform up to the standard set by fluid trainers. Can be a bit noisy.
- Trainer Type: Fluid
- Weight: 38 lbs.
- Price: ~$320
- Fully Assembled Out of Box
- Pro: The Cascade FluidPro Bike Trainer is a beast of a bike stand. It excels in regard to stability and durability.
- Con: At 38 pounds, the Cascade is by far the heaviest option, and not a good choice if you plan to move it often.
- Trainer Type: Magnetic
- Weight: 30 lbs.
- Price: ~$200
- Assembly Required
- Pro: The Blackburn Mag 6 is the best magnetic bike trainer out there. It has six resistance setting that can be controlled by the remote that attaches to your bike.
- Con: While great for a magnetic trainer, the Blackburn Mag 6 still has some of the shortcomings of other magnetic trainers. This combined with the cost makes the Blackburn the worst value out of the top five.
1.) Kinetic Road Machine 2.0
Kinetic has been making waves in the cycling world for making high quality bike trainers for many years now. The Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 continues this tradition with a wicked green colored steel frame that offers exceptional stability.
This is a fluid bike stand, which means that it uses fluid to offer resistance to the rider. The flywheel is 6.25 pounds making it more robust than the flywheels found on most other stationary bike stands.
This flywheel is also leak proof, which means that this stand will last for many years without having to be replaced.
The fact is that you will have to pay for the many great quality features found on the Kinetic Road Machine 2.0. This shouldn’t surprise as for the most part you get what you pay for. However, for serious cyclists the price tag of ~$350 shouldn’t not be a deterrent as you will likely be spending many hours using your bike stand during the colder months.
For casual riders, a cheaper stationary bike trainer will allow you to get a great workout in without forking out hundreds of dollars.
Wow, we love this bike trainer. First off, it comes right out of the box completely assembled so you don’t have to waste any time wrenching. Just get out of the box and ride! Next, the Kinetic Road Machine 2.0’s flywheel is exceptional and offers such realistic resistance during a riding session. For example, we tested and found that this flywheel allows for a 15 second coast down from 20 mile per hour. This is what you would expect to find if you were riding outdoors, a progressive slowdown.
You will notice noise when you ride this trainer that increases slightly as you pedal faster, however, it is very tolerable. Overall, a great choice for serious cyclists.
2.) Cycleops Fluid 2 Bike Trainer
The Cycleops Fluid 2 Bike Trainer has the distinction of being the best selling stationary bike stand in the USA. It is also made in the USA and sports several unique features. Made from 2″ round 16 gauge steel, this bicycle trainer is a strong and can handle riders that are in excess of 300 pounds.
The fluid cylinder is solid and offers balanced resistance to riders that mimics an outdoor ride. This bike trainer also has a built-in cooling mechanism that will keep the unit from overheating even during intense riding sessions.
Another choice meant for more advanced cyclists, the Cycleops Fluid 2 Trainer has a price point over $300. If you have the budget and want a trainer with a strong reputation then this could be right up your alley. Also, Cycleops offers a lifetime warranty on this trainer which makes this a decent investment.
Make no mistake, the Cycleops Fluid 2 Trainer is good for practice cycling sessions. It has “powertuned” resistance, which basically means that it is set up to mimic the road conditions of outdoor riding. Some testers did note however that they felt that the Cycleops didn’t offer enough resistance, but this was a minority. Where it falls short of the Kinetic is that the Cycleops Fluid 2 Trainer does require assembly that was challenging for a few users.
This bicycle trainer has very reasonable noise levels, varying from 64 to 68 decibels. The 2 inch diameter aluminum roller works great for almost any bike tire ranging from 26 to 29 inches. Performance is certainly a strength for this trainer due to its balance resistance from the fluid trainer.
Overall, Cycleops 2 Fluid Trainer could easily move up in our performance ranking with an easier assembly.
3.) Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer
Conquer has created a bike trainer specifically for casual cyclists who do not need to shell out hundreds of dollars to get a good cycling workout in.
This stationary bike trainer has a magnet that offers resistance to the rider. There is an adjustment knob that comes with this stand which can adjust the resistance from the magnet. It does have a steel frame, which is stable, but not as heavy-duty as the trainers made by Kinetic or Cycleops. The materials are good, but not great.
While the Conquer Indoor Bike Stand can not compete with higher end bike stand brands, it also costs much less. This stand does come with a front riser block, adding value. For about $55 you can have the Conquer Bike Stand in your home. And if you are just looking to get a workout in and are not training for actual cycling events, this stand might be the perfect solution.
Don’t go in expecting something unrealistic with the Conquer and you won’t be disappointed. This bike stand is great for the price, but not a professional level stand. It does have a decent amount of noise when you ride, nothing ridiculous, but certainly noticeable.
Magnetic trainers do not have the nature feel of outdoor riding, and having to use the resistance knob can be cumbersome. However, on the flip side this trainer is quite smooth and stable during riding sessions.
4.) Cascade Fluid Pro Bike Trainer
There’s a reason that the Cascade Fluid Pro is the second highest rated stationary bike stand on our list. For one, this stand has a massive 7 pound flywheel, which enhances the stand’s overall resistance spectrum.
It also has a wide base frame that is as stable as any other stand on the market. This frame is also powder coated to prevent rusting over time. This was the heaviest bike stand we tested; trust us, this stand is tough!
The Cascade Fluid Pro is priced similarly to the Kinetic Road Machine and Cycleops Fluid 2 Trainer. At over $300, this is a stand meant for at least intermediate riders, or those who have the cash to spend on a higher quality stand. However, when you first get your bike on this stand and have a riding session you will realize that this trainer is worth every penny.
The seven pound flywheel allows for a greater resistance range so that even at higher speeds it still feels similar to riding outdoors on the road. This unit is quiet, meaning you will be able to watch the television while working out but may need to turn up the volume slightly.
A 1.49 inch roller is featured on this bike stand, which can fit bike tires ranging from 24 to 29 inches. The stand also comes with a lifetime warranty which shows that Cascade is confident in the quality of this product. While not a household name in the cycling community, Cascade makes a fine stationary bike stand that can match the performance of any other stand in the price range.
5.) Blackburn Tech Mag 6 Trainer
The main factor that Blackburn addresses with the Mag 6 is a wider designed frame to enhance the stability of the bike stand. This is the highest quality magnetic trainer on our list. It does have six different resistance settings via a knob that clips to your bicycle.
It has a fast crank system that is designed to make mounting your bicycle easier so that you can spend more time riding and less time setting things up.
This stationary bike stand finds itself priced between the low-cost budget stands (i.e. Conquer) and the high-end professional stands (i.e. Kinetic, Cyclops, etc.). Generally priced around $200, this bike stand is fairly expensive for a magnetically driven trainer. Due to this the Blackburn Mag 6 is priced awkwardly, and many may opted to either spend more for a superior fluid trainer.
The Blackburn Mag 6 is significantly better when compared to other magnetic bike trainers that are on the market. With that said, it can’t perform in the same balanced manner that is expected from a more expensive fluid trainer. Having to adjust the resistance as you go is not optimal. Noise levels are reasonable, and again better than most other magnetic trainers that we’ve tried.
Where the Blackburn Mag 6 really shines is in the stability department. The wider design has a noticeable impact on how well this stand stays in place. So whether you participating in a casual training session, or really working through the gears of your bike, you can pedal with confidence with the Black Mag 6 Trainer.
ListofFit Best Pick: Kinetic Road Machine 2.0
All five of the bike stands we reviewed are worthy of being considered one of the best bike stands available, however, one bike trainers rises above the others. This distinction goes to the Kinetic Road Machine 2.0. There is a reason that 96% of owners give this bike stand a 4 or 5 star rating. It really is that good.
The frame is very well crafted, using quality steel that is powder coated to keep it lasting for many years. Not only that but the flywheel on this trainer is the best of the bunch. It is leak proof thanks to a patented design, which can be an issue for fluid bike trainers. Also, this fluid bike stand does the best to mimic the feel and resistance of outdoor riding based on our testing.
We also considered ease of assembly in our rankings, and the Kinetic comes fully assembled out of the box. No hard to understand directions that can be frustrating, just get this puppy out of the box and ride.
Another intangible of this stand is the lifetime warranty, which we don’t think you’ll need but does provide an extra level of confidence in your purchase. While pricey, the Kinetic Road Machine 2.0’s quality easily justifies the cost. If you are a serious cyclist who needs a trainer that gives a road-like feel for practice, then this trainer is your best bet.
Factors Considered in Best Stationary Bike Stand Ratings
Pretty much all stationary bike stands have frames that are made from steel, but not all steel is created equal. We look to evaluate the quality and thickness of the steel of each of the bike trainer frames, as well as if the frame is powder coated to prevent rusting.
Another factor we considered is if the bike stand delivered resistance via a magnet of fluid. Fluid in general is superior to magnets, but is more expensive and may be susceptible to leakage. Lastly, we looked at each bike stand’s roller and what variety of tires can be used on each stand.
Value is not measured simply by the price of a stand. Value also factors in the quality and features of each bike stand. A stationary bike stand with good value gives you a lot for the money. Looking at the quality of the frame, flywheel, and ease of use are all components of value when compared to price. For both fluid and magnetic trainers, we considered how much other similar trainers cost in comparison. Another way that a bike stand can add value is by putting in extras, such as a front wheel rise to level your bike during riding sessions.
In general, if you want road like performance then it is best to invest in a higher priced fluid trainer as these have similar resistance to the road, and you won’t be stuck using a resistance adjuster found on magnetic trainers. For bike trainers, noise level is always an area to check out. Again, fluid trainers tend to be quieter than magnetic trainers. We checked to measure the noise levels during slow and fast speeds. Lastly, the stability of each trainer was evaluated. Our goal was to check to see if the legs of the frame would leave the floor when pedaling while standing.
Why Selecting a Quality Stationary Bike Stand Matters
We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve purchased a low quality product, only to get it and realize that it doesn’t do its job well. What is likely to happen in this situation? The product is likely to find its way to a closet and never be seen again until you are deciding what to put in your next garage sale.
This is especially true for stationary bike stands. Poor quality bike stands are loud, unstable, break easily, and don’t provide realistic resistance. Because of this, we recommend that most individuals who are looking for a bike stand invest a bit more money because a good bike trainers is likely to last longer and get used more often. So, while it may cost more upfront, a fluid bike stand may be a better value in the long run.
The whole goal of the stationary bike stand is to successfully mimic riding on the road. If a stand does not have road-like resistance, then you will not get as much out of your riding sessions, and your gains won’t translate to the road.
If buying a low-cost magnetic trainer is your only option, make sure to get one that has relatively low noise and have a strong frame. We recommend the Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer. It has adjustable resistance and noise levels were rated to be low compared to other magnetic trainers.