Training indoors is tough. Part of what makes cycling magical is the freedom of exploring outdoors. But if you can suffer through interval training on your rollers, you’re guaranteed to feel faster come spring. If you or your loved one is new to the idea, start with our guide to training without going nuts indoors. We worked with some of the world’s best professional athletes to learn what tools you need in your pain cave. If you’re passed this stage, then check out our list of gift ideas below for winter inspiration.
The first step to being able to train indoors is purchasing a trainer. If you don’t know anything about the subject, start with our basic guide here. Once you have a handle on what features are important, you can pour over our eight favorite options.
For most of us, riding isn’t just about getting in a workout. It’s also a way of connecting with friends. To stay motivated through the winter, consider signing up for Zwift, which allows you to stay connected no matter the weather or distance. Price: $10 per month | More info at Zwift
When you’re training indoors, distracting yourself from the pain and boredom is essential. Whether that means binge watching a new TV series or blasting Britney Spears, we recommend a pair of wireless earbuds. Our favorite comes from Jaybird. Not only are they water resistance (aka sweat proof), but they sound pretty good for a Bluetooth earbud. Price: Starting at $179 | More info at www.jaybirdsport.com
If you’ve spent any time on an indoor trainer, you know how demoralizing it can feel. Help get in the zone by subscribing to an ad-free music service such as Spotify. They have dozens of awesome workout stations ready to go, plus a feature called “Spotify Running,” which tries to match songs to your cadence. Price: $10 per month | More info at www.spotify.com
If you or your loved one is the kind of person who spends time on an indoor trainer, you probably invest in nutritional supplements as well. For a small monthly fee, subscription services like Bulu Box and Cyclebox deliver a goodie-filled package with health, nutrition and supplement sample packets. They also often contain coupons, booklets, and DVDs. Price: Starting at $10 | More info at www.bulubox.com and www.therunnerbox.com.
Using something like a foam roller or lacrosse ball before or after a tough workout can improve muscle recovery. Regular use can also help increase circulation, ease muscle knots, and improve flexibility. Not bad for a piece of foam! Price: Starting around $20.
There are a lot of nutritional products out there that can deliver a much-needed burst of energy. We tend to prefer foods that are natural, which is why we dig Untapped. This brand packages pure Vermont maple syrup into easy packets. Not only does it taste great, but you can pour it on your pancakes. Price: Starting at $11 | More info at untapped.cc
Heart Rate Monitor
One of the best ways to maximize a workout is by using a heart rate monitor. This allows you to track your exertion and help maintain certain training zones. There are hundred of units that can help you do this, but we’re fans of the new GPS units from Lezyne. Not only can they help you monitor your heart rate, but they can track your ride, provide turn by turn directions, and deliver text message notifications. They’re also compatible with ANT+ and Bluetooth sensors. The biggest reason we like them? You get all of these features and more for significantly less than what the bigger brands are charging. Price: Starting at $100 | More info at www.lezyne.com
Indoor training doesn’t begin and end on a set of rollers. To improve your overall fitness, take a look at fitness trackers. Devices like the Fitbit Charge 2 can keep track of your heart rate, steps, sleep, calories burned and more. It also reminds you when you’ve been sitting idle in front of your computer for too long — something we can all relate too. Price: $150 | More info at www.fitbit.com
This article is part of RoadBikeReview’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide. For more gift ideas and holiday guides, CLICK HERE.