Best Mountain Bike Trainer for 2018 – Top Models Reviewed!

The days are shorter, the nights are colder, the air is drier and the determination to go outside in cold/freezing weather is either at or below. But the winter weather blues should never prohibit you from enjoying a fulfilling workout. Purchasing a bike trainer is one of those ways to stay in shape, healthy and ready to hit the trails when warmer weather finally unveils itself in the Spring. Look no further for your comprehensive guide on some of the hottest and best bike trainers on the market today.

Best Mountain Bike Trainer - Comparison

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Name

Fit Bike’s Wheel

Warranty

Price

26 inch to 28 inch

1 Year Limited Warranty

Upto 29 inch

Lifetime Warranty

22 inch to 29 inch

Lifetime Warranty

26 inch to 27 inch

Manufacturer’s Warranty

26 inch to 29 inch

2 Years Limited Warranty

22 inch to 29 inch

Lifetime Warranty

Mountain Bike Trainer - Review

I have personally tested each of these Best Mountain Bike Trainers below. In order to determine how well they perform.I am happy to say that each of these trainers did exceptionally well, and you will be happy with any of them.

1. RAD Cycle Products MAX Gonzo Bike Trainer

RAD Cycling has manufactured some of the best products in the cycling industry. RAD Cycling boasts innovations in cycling trainers and claimed the title as an industry leader in the process.

As a magnetic trainer, the Gonzo uses a quiet internal magnet to create resistance.

The art magnet system provides progressive magnetic resistance increases as speed increases. The resistance used with this product provides 7 variable settings to simulate various outdoor conditions providing you with a versatile and solid workout.

Riders can easily increase resistance by shifting gears while riding, so no interruptions while breaking a sweat. Its lightweight frame offers easy transportation and storage as the design enables the trainer to be folded similar to an ironing board.

Equipped with extra wide legs and a sturdy frame, Max Gcnzo Bike Trainer offers maximum stability. I found one of the best features to lock for in a bike trainer is its versatility, the Gonzo is compatible with road bikes or mountain bikes with 26in or 27in wheels.

I found this trainer to be adequate for the most basic of bike trainer needs. While it boasts a quiet ride, the trainer seemed somewhat noisy, not as much as say a wind trainer, but still enough volume to slightly distract you. Overall, a good trainer for the price, and I recommend for anyone beginning to work with mountain bike trainers.

Pros:

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    Works great for the price
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    Great for both professionals and beginners to train and stay in shape year round
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    Easily assembled
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    Has its own quick release system

Cons:

  • Not as quiet as promoted; customers have complained about a grinding noise
  • Many have complained the trainer does not fit their 29' wheels properly

2. CycleOps Mag Plus Cycling Trainer

Based in the United States, CycleOps touts itself as the number one trainer in the country. With over fifteen years in the business, CycleOps has learned to adapt fast and innovative changes within the industry.

Models such as the Fluid and the SuperMagneto Pro have repeatedly been voted as fan favorites among riders.

The magnetic resistance unit provides quiet and frictionless ride. The linear resistance boosts workout intensity matching each pedal stroke and gear click. The Mag Plus trainer is also equipped with convenient, adjustable handlebar-mounted shifter, enabling riders to adjust resistance easily and quickly without interruption.

Though some have complained the trainer is noisier than advertised, I found that if you're riding above 20 mph, the noise level is considerably higher than when riding at lower speeds. One of the benefits of owning this trainer is the perks offered by CycleOps.

The company has a website not only dedicated to cycling and training but offers health tips, workout routine tips and advice on how to get the most use out of your trainer. The Mag Plus is also compatible with virtual training apps like Zwift, giving your workout an immersive and more enjoyable experience.

This trainer was perhaps one of the easiest to assemble. And while it’s a bit and the pricier side, there is no doubt you're paying for top-notch quality. Still a little noisy, but the volume is tolerable.

The CycleOps Magnetic Trainer's quality is a testament to its durability, as many customers myself included have found this product to withstand the test of time. Many have commented on owning this trainer for several years, and getting the most out of it.

Pros:

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    Lifetime warranty
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    Easy assembly
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    Stable
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    Durable
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    Adjustable
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    Versatile
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    Alloy roller reduces tire wear, although some have disputed these claims

Cons:

  • Slightly loud
  • Recommended to buy a trainer tire as normal road tires will wear
  • Low resistance
  • Not recommended for those hoping to build strength

3. Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 Fluid Trainer

After manufacturing trainer frames for a competitor, Kurt Manufacturing applied its expertise to developing innovative and sturdy bike trainers.

The design of these trainers was so successful that a patent was developed for its leak-proof fluid resistance units.

The Road Machine was born in 2000 and with it an innovative company by the name of Kinetic. Kinetic lead in the industry took a step further in 2006 when it introduced an on-trainer power computer utilizing their repeatable fluid power curve.

Kinetic continues to manufacture cycling trainers and accessories and to be a leader in the industry nearly a decade later.
Kinetic and its products have the reputation of having the best trainers in the industry and the Road Machine is no different.

In fact, the Road Machine is considered the most reliable fluid trainer available by many. The Road Machine also comes fully assembled which is a lifesaver for people like me who find it challenging to assembly things even small items. Power training is phenomenal with this trainer as it pairs with Kinetic inRide Watt Meter and Pro Flywheel to provide that extra challenge in a workout.

Though some riders on a budget may find the price tag expensive, the quality of the product is well worth the money. What can be said that hasn't already about this amazing trainer? From already assembled to quality craftsmanship, I found this trainer to be one if not the best fluid trainer on the market today.

It’s nice and compact style made for a solid and easy to mount product that could be stored nicely. After suffering from a knee injury last year, my physical therapist recommends I use this trainer before hitting the trails again, and I must say, it is by far the best investment I've ever made into my health and physical recuperation.

Pros:

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    Stable/Sturdy
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    Quiet
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    Quality craftsmanship
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    Delivers consistently good workout and resistance

Cons:

  • Unreliable resistance unit
  • Noise level is high depending on speed

4. Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer

Consistently ranked among the bestsellers, Conquers Indoor Bike Trainer is one of the most sought-after indoor trainers available.

With steady 5-star customer reviews, it's not hard to why this trainer is perhaps one of the best trainers you can purchase. The price tag probably doesn't hurt either.

Inexpensive and good quality the Conquer Indoor Bike trainer is an amazing piece of equipment to have for both beginners and avid bikers alike. It’s equipped with an extra wide frame and features heavy-duty construction providing sturdy and enhanced stability. The Conquer trainer has progressive magnetic resistance with only a single adjustment.

While this trainer lacks the multiple adjustments of other trainers, I find this trainer to be adequate enough for beginner cyclists or those who want to try and stay in shape during the winter months. Serious athletes and cyclists might want to try a trainer that provides a more varied workout.

Like many of the other trainers on this list, the Conquer indoor trainer is compatible with bikes ranging from 26in. to 29in. The price tag for this trainer isn't bad either. The portable stand on this trainer was surprisingly sturdy. This trainer offers a smooth, functional ride, with minimal noise.

Though it’s quiet (as magnetic trainers go) I still had a hard time listening to music, with headphones in. Resistance levels on this trainer are fair, but could use a little work, as I found myself wondering if I had switched into some of the hardest gears at all.

Pros:

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    Perfect for beginners or moderate Easy set-up
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    Low price
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    Minimal noise
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    Versatile — Fits all bikes
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    Durable — Very solid structure

Cons:

  • Weak resistance
  • Not as durable as some other trainers
  • Must get off the bike in order to adjust resistance
  • Noisily

5. AccelaVelo Mag-XA Adjustable Magnetic Bike Trainer

AccelaVelo Mag-XA indoor adjustable magnetic bike trainer is equipped with 7 levels of adjustment giving cyclists the ability to reach various training goals.

The handlebar-mounted remote allows you to adjust the resistance on the trainer without interruption to you sweating it out.

I recommend this trainer for its portability especially if you're a person who travels often. Mag-XA folds down flat so it's easy to both store and transport. The quality and craftsmanship are so top notch that AccelaVelo provides a 2-year warranty.

This bike trainer is good, but the resistance could use a little work. I found that when using this trainer its best to have a bike with its own gear system.

Resistance from bikes with their own gear system proved to be more sufficient than relying on the resistance system on the trainer. However, the trainer does feel sturdy and I think I might get some use of it for years to come.

Pros:

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    Stable
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    Quality craftsmanship
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    Convenient quick release
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    Easy assembly
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    Portable and versatile Lightweight

Cons:

  • Assembly could be difficult for new user

6. Kinetic Magnetic 3.0 Trainer

The Kinetic Magnetic 3.0 is one of the best magnetic trainers on the market today. The trainer has a unique design that offers 9 levels of adjustment, providing both low-intensity and high-intensity workouts.

Kinetics magnetic technology is smooth and quiet so cyclists can listen to music or watch TV while burning calories and staying in shape.

The Magnetic 3.0 boasts the largest flywheel of any magnetic trainer on the market. This creates the most road-like feel you'll experience than with any other trainer. The large diameter roller reduces tire wear and makes the trainer compatible with bikes that have 22in to 29in. wheels.

Though the price isn't over-the-top, it's not mere pennies in the bucket either, but I've realized you pay for top quality. The Magnetic 3.0 is by far the best in quality for a magnetic trainer.

The incorporation of Eddy Current technology gives the rider a resistance of up to 850 watts at 40 mph, providing one of the most thorough indoor workouts one can get.

This trainer lives up to its name. A very sturdy trainer that has quality craftsmanship and a beautiful green finish. I found this trainer to be a joy to use.

And its versatility meaning it not only fit my bike but a few others around the house as well. Again the noise is minimal but still noticeable, I recommend investing in a good pair of headphones.

Pros:

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    Sturdy and quality craftsmanship
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    Versatile, this trainer can be used with any number of different bikes from cycle-cross and single speed bikes to BMX bikes
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    Quiet
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    Durable
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    Portable
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    Easily stored in small spaces

Cons:

  • Higher resistance levels can increase noise level

Buying Guide of Mountain Bike Trainer

There are many things to consider when purchasing a bike trainer. First thing to consider is your fitness goals and desires. You want to select a trainer that will help you achieve those goals and won't cause you much heartache or a headache. Next, you might want to consider where, when and how you'll be using this trainer.

Some trainers are noisy, other bulky, consider what trainer works best with your living situation and lifestyle. There are other things to consider when purchasing a bike trainer such as a type of trainers and flywheels not to mention the price. Here is a quick guide to help you get started when researching your bike trainer:

  • Magnetic - Considered to be both an excellent and affordable selection, magnetic trainers are quiet and offer more
    resistance. Some magnetic trainers offer a selector switch enabling riders to adjust resistance as you ride. While many touts the benefits of magnetic trainers there are a few drawbacks. Many of the magnetic trainers on the market today are considered to have mediocre quality at best and downright poor quality at their worst Bike experts suggest purchasing magnetic trainers with extended or lifetime warranties.
  • Fluid-Fluid trainers are considered to be the top of the line trainers on the market Trainers in this category utilize a hydraulic fluid and centrifugal bands to create smooth workouts. Fluid trainers automatically adjust resistance depending on the type of workout you're pursuing. They are also the quietest and most durable trainers, used by professional cyclists.
  • Wind- What was that? I can't hear you! Wind trainers are the loudest trainers on the market. Purchasing one of these trainers means placing it in the out of the way area where no one else can be disturbed by your power training. Wind trainers use a fan powered by the cyclist's legs provided increased resistance as he/she pedals faster. However, with wind trainers, there is a limited amount of resistance available.
  • Rollers/Cycling Roller - Roller trainers have a set of unsupported roller bars that allow a cyclist to pedal while stationary with both front and back wheels turning. These trainers are expensive and can be harder to assembly compared to others on the market.
  • Flywheels - The flywheel is a key component when evaluating the quality of a trainer. Flywheels create inertia providing a real-road feel when using an indoor trainer. It was once believed that the heavier the flywheel the more road-like the experience, however in recent decades experts have opined that a full-weight flywheel offers minimal inertia due to excess weight near the center.

Final Word:

Many of these trainers are considered the best in the industry. If you're a beginner, it’s probably best to start by researching these trainers and finding one that fits your interests, fitness goals and lifestyle.

In my opinion, all of these trainers are of great quality, though some better than others, and the only true competition between them is the price points. Most of the companies have developed well-known reputations throughout the cycling industry, which means their products are trustworthy, qualified and deliver on their promises.

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