While biking outdoors is on the lower end of the coronavirus risk spectrum, getting an indoor exercise bike has definitely become a more appealing prospect these past few months. In the video above, I decide to build my own exercise bike rather than spend over $2,000 on a Peloton.
Bike trainer to the rescue
I borrowed a bike from a friend and already had a smartphone, so all I needed was a bike trainer. I chose this $116 option from ProRide because it had decent reviews, came with a phone holder and the color was Lifehacker green.
Setting up the bike trainer took just 10 minutes, and after attaching my phone to the handlebars and firing up the Peloton app, I was off to the races.
Compared to a Peloton
Was my DIY exercise bike going to give me the $2,000 Peloton experience? No, of course not. But for a fraction of the price, it worked better than I expected.
The trainer kept the bike stable and I only noticed some wobbliness when I was pedaling as fast as I could. The resistance knob had options ranging from 1 to 6 but didn’t notice a huge difference between the highest and lowest settings. I have a feeling the issue could’ve been solved by tightening the screw on the trainer controlling how closely it presses up against the back wheel.
There were other small inconveniences to my setup, like the lack of a water bottle holder, but at the end of the day, I wasn’t expecting the heights of luxury from my $120 solution.
If you already own a nice bike and have a cycling app you like, an inexpensive bike trainer might be the money-saving solution you need to exercise from the comfort and safety of your home. I can’t promise you’ll recreate the gym experience, but I can guarantee you’ll break a sweat.