Turbo trainer vs smart bike: Which should you buy?

Stages SB20 Smart Bike
(Image credit: Stages)

At one time riding indoors meant rollers and a watch. Things progressed and wheel-on turbo trainers were the standard for a long time. For a lot of people this was the entry point into indoor riding. The road feel was decent but the whole experience still required intense commitment. Doing intervals is never easy, but staring at only power targets while doing it is even more difficult. 

Your indoor cycling can either be goal-focused or exploratory. There's a whole range of options among the best indoor cycling apps that offer virtual, and sometimes exotic destinations, like Bkool, Rouvy, or Zwift. Or, you can use apps like TrainerRoad and the newly released Wahoo Systm to plan out your entire year so that you can meet your goals and crush your events. 

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Josh Ross

Josh hails from the Pacific Northwest of the United States but would prefer riding through the desert than the rain. He will happily talk for hours about the minutiae of cycling tech but also has an understanding that most people just want things to work. He is a road cyclist at heart and doesn't care much if those roads are paved, dirt, or digital. Although he rarely races, if you ask him to ride from sunrise to sunset the answer will be yes. Height: 5'9" Weight: 140 lb. Rides: Salsa Warbird, Cannondale CAAD9, Enve Melee, Look 795 Blade RS, Priority Continuum Onyx