The Inside Ride
Posted by Andrew Davidson on February 18, 2022
If someone had told me as a young cyclist that riding a bike indoors, on a trainer, would one day compete with the joy of riding outside, I would’ve waited for the punchline… and yet, in the year 2022, here we are! We’re living in a golden age of indoor riding, with an ever-growing list of interactive programs and equipment that have many of us considering whether we’ll log our next ride on “real world” trails and roadways, or on one of the many digital/virtual platforms available in the comfort of our own home. For me, nothing will ever replace the beauty of getting out into the elements and experiencing a connection with nature and the bike, but I do find myself enjoying the perks of a spin in the spare room more and more.
As much as I love the 30-minute pre-workout workout that is layering up for a winter ride and the additional 20-minute post ride, guilt-induced cleaning of my salt/mud/snow/ice covered bike, the convenient and time-effective nature of throwing on a pair of bib shorts and hopping on the trainer is hard to deny. With the ability to create meet-ups and group workouts on most training platforms, the social aspect of indoor rides has made logging in the equivalent to rolling up to the cafe for the weekly group outing. When riding outdoors, there’s always a requirement of awareness of your surroundings such as traffic, other riders/pedestrians and physical obstacles on the road/trail. In contrast, trainer sessions allow for a cyclist to safely give their single-minded focus to the data that ultimately powers them on all of their two-wheeled adventures. I love knowing I can truly empty my last ounce of strength and dig for every watt when doing an indoor workout, free from the responsibility of keeping a straight line, my head-up or even my balance once the sweet release of a completed interval has come.
With tools like the 4iiii PRECISION Powermeter and Viiiiva heart rate monitor the ability to gain great insight into your current conditioning and create detailed, personal training programs to maintain or improve it, is at your fingertips. One of the key advantages of a crank-based power meter, like the 4iiii PRECISION, is that you can easily track the same power and cadence data whether you’re riding in or outdoors, whereas smart trainers are limited in that they only serve as an indoor power meter source. Whether your goal is to increase your endurance for a summer bike-packing adventure, build your power output to conquer that beast of a hill on your daily commute that often has you walking the final pitch, to up your pedaling cadence for a more effective sprint in a criterium race, or to simply burn some calories and work up a sweat, our technology is designed to help you succeed.
I’ve been witness to many a self-proclaimed, “non-cyclist” friend, becoming readily obsessed with programs like Zwift due to the playful gamification factor that takes hold of their inner Nintendo-loving, teenage self. You don’t have to be immersed in the world of Watts to know 600w is bigger and better than the 560w sprint you unleashed on the previous sprint segment in Watopia, or that increasing your 5-minute power from 190w to 250w as a byproduct of chasing mohawk-sporting virtual avatars, will help turn that once nemesis of a commuter climb into nothing more than another bump in the road!
Curious how many calories you burned while pedaling your way through the latest Netflix superhero movie? Wondering whether your left leg really is stronger than your right from all those years of skateboarding, and wondering how to rebalance them? Looking to understand the correlation between lower vs higher pedaling cadence and how it affects your heart rate? Our products can provide accurate information on these and countless other mysteries of the cycling mind and there’s no better place to play with and learn from the data they provide, than from the seat of your conveniently located indoor training set-up.
About the Author
Andrew Davidson, a member of 4iiii’s Customer Service Team, is a lifelong cyclist with over 20 years of race experience. His cycling resume includes national titles on the road, track and in paracycling (tandem pilot). Andrew also had the honor of representing Canada at the UCI road world championships, Para-PanAm Games and had a brief professional road cycling career. Andrew currently enjoys cyclocross and gravel rides and races.