As much of the world is realising that the rest of the 2020 cycling season could be written off in terms of racing, sportive or other cycling goals, here are some pieces of cycling tech that will allow you to come back fitter, faster and stronger than ever when you can finally get back on the road in a group.
A computer that allows structured workouts to be loaded will give you guided prompts to help you through your efforts. This can really break down the mental and physical challenge of an interval session by making your target effort clear on the screen, with a timer to show you how long you have left to suffer before you’ve completed it. When you are limited in the time you have to train or you are limited to riding on a turbo trainer, interval training is one of the most efficient ways on maintaining fitness and building your engine, for example with an ‘over-under’ or ‘push/pull’ threshold session.
Have a look at our top 10 indoor training tips to improve your cycling speed and endurance.
While responsible social distancing has put a stop to riding in groups, depending on where you are, you may be allowed to ride alone. Garmin and Wahoo, among others, allow you to share your live location with your loved ones so they can keep an eye on your progress.
Many computers on the market will allow you to follow a route from a previous activity or GPX file when linked to a smart trainer, so if there’s a specific event or segment you’re targeting, you can ride the exact effort beforehand in the relative comfort of your own home. Come event day, you'll have perfectly prepared for the effort, and can focus on setting a P.B.
Why not have a look through the best cycling computers guide to see if there is one for you.
If you’re currently restricted from training outdoors, then a turbo trainer or smart bike can make the experience of training in the confines of your own home far more bearable, especially when paired up with a cycling computer to follow workouts and routes, or a computer to engage in one of the training platforms such as TrainerRoad, Fulgaz or Zwift. You can follow workouts and routes on ‘erg’ mode, whereby the trainer will control the resistance automatically, so structured workouts become a no-choice option of doing the effort. This means as long as you keep the pedals turning, you'll be hitting those training goals every time.
There is also the social aspect of Zwift to consider. If you know you can meet up and ride with your friends or teammates - albeit virtually - and choose to use the chat feature, group video call or if you prefer, a Discord channel, it gives you something to look forward to, and any training to maintain fitness if you’re away from the road is always better than no training.
One of the biggest challenges we are facing when it comes to maintaining fitness over the coming weeks and months will be the motivation to train and maintain fitness, without having a confirmed goal date. Setting targets that are achievable in whatever environment your cycling is going to take place in over the coming weeks is going be key to maintaining that motivation. Why not set yourself some goals for virtual racing; moving up a category, breaking into the top 10, 20 or even aiming for a virtual podium or PR, make them realistic enough that you can hit them, but not so easy that they aren’t a challenge.
Here’s our guide on the best turbo trainers for racing and training in your own home.
Terrain Dynamics AirHub
If you haven’t been restricted to training inside and you still have the freedom of training outside there is a piece of niche tech that quite a few WorldTour pros, some of our own domestic pros and record holders have been seen using on their bikes.
The Airhub has been spotted on the bikes of Andre Greipel, Michael Freiberg, Matt Brammier and Adam Hansen among others. The concept is quite simple; high-quality training wherever you are. It does it by using an electromagnetic resistance unit fitted to a hub in a front wheel. What this means is you can ride your bike wherever and with whoever you like, always safe in the knowledge that you are going to get a quality training ride. By providing managed resistance at the wheel, it can apply either a set amount of resistance, a resistance that rises with speed enabling you to keep the pressure on up and down hills, or a power meter integration mode that will keep you at a certain wattage by linking with your power meter.