Indoor training can be the best subsidiary option for you when the conditions are not allowing you to go for an outdoor ride. But picking equipment for your indoor training can be equally confusing. Which one is more worthy of the investment between the bike trainer vs spin bike?

What is a bike trainer and what is a spin bike? How are both different from one another? You might also wonder should I get a bike trainer or a spin bike to keep the indoor training going efficiently? Find out more about both bike trainers and spin bikes through this article and have an enjoyable read!

What is a Bike Trainer?

What is a Bike Trainer?

Indoor bike trainers are the equipment that allows you to ride on your outdoor bike for indoor training. There are a few types of bike trainers, they are:

  • Wheel-on trainers: indoor trainers that are attached to the rear tire of your outdoor bike, allowing the rear tire to spin with a drum that is tightened against the rear tire to create resistance while still giving you the sensation of riding your bike outside;
  • Direct-drive trainers: indoor trainers that effectively replace the rear wheel and directly mount the cassette of your outdoor bike to the trainers. The resistance of this type of trainer is applied to the cassette that is directly transferred to the bike’s groupset through a belt or motors;
  • Roller trainers: essentially consist of three drums that are bolted into a solid rectangular-shaped frame that sits on the floor, pretty much similar to treadmill equipment but instead of using your leg to run through it, you ride your bike on top of the equipment.

Both the wheel-on trainers and direct-drive trainers are also known for their big category goes by the name “turbo trainers”. Some of these devices feature a wireless connection to various apps that allow you to create or join a ride, giving you the utmost realistic bike riding experience despite being indoor.

Despite the research made by Harvard University reporting that stationary biking might burn slightly fewer calories than outdoor biking, however, it still has become a convenient alternative to match their busy lifestyle.

The research shows that stationary bike vs real bike calories differs by about 39 calories. In their reports, riders with 70.3kg of weight will burn around 298 calories for 30 minutes of outdoor biking at a moderate pace of 12mph to 13.4mph meanwhile a stationary bike rider will burn around 260 calories for 30 minutes of riding indoors at a moderate pace.

What is a Spin Bike?

Think of the training equipment that looks like a bike and you can typically find at the nearby gym, that’s the spin bike. A spin bike is specifically designed to emulate the posture and positions of a racing road bike instead of a regular commuting bike.

With the wide range of adjustments in the seat and handlebar inclination that it offers, the spin bike has become one of the most customizable indoor training equipment that will help you achieve your training goals.

The Different Between Bike Trainers and Spin Bikes

Before going for further discussion about which option between the bike trainer vs spin bike will be a worthy asset to invest in, you will first need to understand what makes both bikes different from one another.

Here are a few noticeable factors that differ a bike trainer from a spin bike:

Storage Space

Storage Space

One of the most noticeable differences between a turbo trainer vs spin bike is the storage space it needs. Most spin bikes are designed not to be able to “tear down” hence, you will need a special room to store them. This, of course, is not a big problem if your place is spacious enough. A spin bike is more suitable for a dedicated home gym based.

But if you have limited space in your house yet wish to be able to get your workout training down in your living room while you are babysitting your kid or catching up to your favorite show, a spin bike might not be your best choice.

Under the circumstance of having limited space for storage but still aiming to get your workout routine done regardless, the indoor bike trainer is your savior. For example, the Elite Director XR-T bike trainer is only 650mm x 300mm x 550mm in length, width, and height respectively when folded.

Weight-wise, the bike trainer will be way lighter in comparison to a spin bike and while you can store your bike trainer almost anywhere around your house, you will need an extra empty room that is specially reserved for storing your spin bike.

Riding Experience

Riding Experience

The flywheel and pedals on the spin bike are fixed, the pedal will keep spinning when the flywheel spins, even when you have already stopped pedaling hence, it doesn’t give off the same feeling as when you are riding an actual bike outside. It’s argued that a fixed flywheel will affect your pedal strokes because it can still move even when the rider stopped providing power to it resulting in choppy pedal strokes.

On the other hand, the resistance provided by an indoor bike trainer is static so the riders can’t coast. If riders only use the harder gears to increase the power, the rider may feel their legs burn out quicker. While training with the indoor bike trainer, you will have to combine increasing cadence and gearing to increase power.

Work Out Goals

Work Out Goals

While both bike trainers and spin bikes can provide their riders the same workout experience, there are still some differences between both. If your goal is only to improve your aerobic ability, then there’s no big deal between both you choose to buy because you only need to set the right workout volume and intensity to achieve your goals.

However, the number of calories burned when riding an exercise bike will depend on the intensity or duration of your workout. Generally, you will use more energy when riding a spin bike compared to a stationary bike. Spin bikes are equipped with heavier flywheels hence they need more muscle activation.

In other words, if you are aiming for burning calories as part of your appearance control, between spin bike vs exercise bike weight loss, the former might allow you to achieve your goal faster.



When deciding on which type of indoor training equipment to buy, the very first thing to consider is your training goals. While both the stationary bike stand and the spin bike will give you a decent cardio workout if you are planning to boost your fitness and go for an intense workout, the spin bike might be a better option for you.

But if you are a beginner and seeking basic equipment for aerobic exercise the indoor bike trainer might be perfect for you. Besides, if you are having limited space to store your training equipment, getting the best indoor bike trainer will solve your problem.

Looking for the best bike trainer for mountain bikes or just the best indoor bike trainer in general? You can visit Rodalink and look at their collection. Rodalink is the official distributor of Polygon bikes that offers a wide range of bikes, parts, apparels, and accessories selections—including the bike trainer.

You don’t have to worry about breaking your savings to get a healthy lifestyle, because Rodalink offers high-quality equipment at an affordable price. Besides, if you register as part of the Rodalink community you will get special deals and join the exclusive members-only events.

There will be no other place that offers lots of benefits like Rodalink could. So what are you waiting for? Start your healthy lifestyle by getting all the gear you need at Rodalink right away.