How Successful Riders Set Up Their Indoor Training Spaces

By Danielle Kosecki

If you’re already dreading the hours you’re about to put in on the trainer, then you’re doing something wrong. Riding inside shouldn’t just be something you feel like you have to slog through when the weather’s bad; it should be an enjoyable option anytime you want a highly effective workout.


But how much fun you have depends, in part, on your setup. Indoor training all-stars outfit their space in a way that prevents workout-derailing problems. Without these unnecessary distractions, all you’re left to do is enjoy the ride.

Below, 6 pieces of indoor riding gear that’ll have you pining for your next training session.

Mat. Before you pick a place for your trainer, think about what you want it to sit on. The type of rubber flooring that you see inside gyms is a great option, but if you don’t want your training space to look like a workout studio 24/7, Kinetic’s Trainer Mat is ideal. Made of PVC foam, it will help protect your floors and reduce vibration. Best of all, when you’re finished with your workout, just roll it up for easy storage.

Stationary Trainer. Whether you’re buying your first one or are just ready to upgrade your existing machine, check out our “Good, Better, Best” trainer guide. The right trainer—or rollers—can help you get what you want out of your ride, keeping motivation levels stoked. Some, like the Kinetic R1 (coming in November), even mimic outdoor riding so convincingly, you’ll totally forget you’re pedaling in place.

Riser. The key to staying comfortable while riding inside is propping up your front wheel. Whether you use The Complete Works of William Shakespeare or Kinetic’s Riser Ring (or Turnable Riser Ring for Rock and Roll trainers), keeping your bike—and saddle—level will pay off in spades. Both of the latter are adjustable to four heights, which can come in handy if you’re training to nab a King or Queen of the Mountains jersey.

Fan. Unless you’re planning on setting up your trainer in the garage or on a patio, you’re going to need some airflow. Simulate a headwind by setting up a fan in front of you at head height. If the fan will be beyond arm’s reach when you’re on your bike, turn it on before you hop in the saddle. If you’re cold, simply start your workout wearing a long-sleeve top. That way, when your body warms up, you can quickly toss the shirt aside instead of stopping your workout to turn on the fan.

Towel. Even with a fan, you’re going to sweat. Drape a small towel over your handlebars or, if you usually create a small lake of liquid while riding, opt for a sweat guard. This simple fabric accessory stretches from handlebars to seat post, protecting your frame from corrosive sweat.

Entertainment. Time flies when you’re engaged and these days there’s no shortage of ways to make that happen. Whether you’re partial to Kinetic Fit, Zwift, watching a movie, or listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks, find what works for you and then queue it up before you ride. If you need a surface to put your TV, laptop, or tablet on, a tall dresser, barstool, or cocktail-height table works best.

FeaturedRachel Cochran