Why self-torture on the turbo trainer is a necessary evil

Robert Garbutt discovers the great indoors... on his bike

Turbo. It’s a word that strikes fear into even the hardest riders; to some, it’s a torture device of infinite cruelty. But used wisely this indoor trainer can transform your form.

I’ve become a late convert to the turbo trainer. Until recently, I’d felt absolutely no attraction to sitting spinning away in my garage while covering the floor in pools of sweat. Not nice.

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Then, last winter, it rained every single weekend and I just wasn’t getting out riding enough. I took the plunge, and just a 30-minute turbo session stopped me from feeling quite so bad.


Buyer’s guide to turbo trainers


I became immune to rain and dangerous icy roads; I could ride whenever I wanted, and those nightly bad weather forecasts didn’t induce a sulk.

When the sun shines and the puddles aren’t frozen, I’ll always opt for a potter around the lanes. The turbo is no substitute for real riding, but it beats battling the worst of the elements.

If you’ve piled on a few pounds over the festive period, now is as good a time as any to try out a turbo. In this issue, we’ve tested a selection of the best available and have included a few sessions for you to try.

I reckon there’s no quicker way of losing weight; OK, it’s not much fun, but it certainly beats being fat.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly magazine