The Indoor “Road” to the Outdoors

As many riders are getting ready to head outdoors for fun or competition, I get asked about how indoor riding can help.

A lot of that depends on where you’re doing indoor cycling. If you’re not doing an authentic indoor ride that involves intervals based on exercise science, you may not be reaping as many benefits. In addition, not all bikes are created equal. You want to find a place like New Trail that has 4-way adjustable bikes. You do not want to be riding on an improper fit and risk injury.

If you’ve got the right fit of style, bike and instructor then there is a lot to gain. You can work on lactate threshold training, force development, muscular endurance, anaerobic endurance and technique. One area that many athletes forget about that indoors is perfect for is the recovery ride. It’s harder to do a true recovery ride outdoors when you may encounter traffic or hills. Indoors, no one can see your power console so you have full ability to knock your intensity down and just do a fun ride to recover.

In terms of technique, it’s a great safe place to practice. New to clipping in? Come in and practice when you don’t have to worry about stop lights and cars or other cyclists. We have free SPD shoes for you to borrow and all our bikes accommodate both SPD and Delta LOOK cleats. You can also practice transitioning from sitting to standing out of the saddle in a safe environment where you won’t fall over.

Focusing on pedal stroke is another great thing to do indoors. When you’re inside you don’t have as many other things to pay attention to like traffic. Avoiding bottom dead center in the pedal stroke is an important part of making the most of your entire leg. You want to avoid that lull when your foot hits the bottom of the pedal stroke. Learning how to pull up on the pedal during a big resistance while pushing down can really improve your ability to handle hills outdoors. Your climbs indoors can really help you recruit those muscles and gain the muscle memory for your outdoor rides.

The goal is to prepare your body for riding season so let us know if there’s something we can do to help you be successful!