A mountain bike trainer is an invaluable tool for your training.If you can’t go outside because of snowy or rainy conditions, you’re still able to train inside.
Or, if you have to work late hours and don’t feel safe riding in the later hours of the evening, you shouldn’t forego training for the day.
Especially if you’re prepping for a competition or race. The best mountain bike trainers will allow you the opportunity to train indoor, and mimic the roads you’re on outside, on those days you can’t take your bike outside for any reason.
Here we will focus on the best mountain bike trainers, and our buyer’s guide will help you determine what to look for when investing in your trainer as well.
The Best Moutain Bike Trainers
When selecting a mountain bike trainer, you can’t forego quality to save a few bucks. Think about it. If you’re training on a $1500 bike, do you want to buy a $50 mountain bike trainer? You probably won’t get much out of it, and you might end up damaging your bike because of the cheap quality of the trainer. These are a few of our top picks when choosing a mountain bike trainer for your indoor training needs.
This is the most expensive mountain bike trainer we’ll review on the list. The road machine utilizes smart controls allowing users to modify their workouts quickly while getting an impressive workout if they can’t make it for an outdoor bike ride for any reason.
The trainer mimics outdoor road conditions perfectly; the controlled resistance lever stimulates outdoor road conditions, so you can train on heavier roads or perform interval training with the touch of a button. If you’re trying to build resistance or strength, interval training is a great way to do this. You receive a 6-month subscription to the Kinetic Fit app with your purchase as well. The third-party app is compatible with other training software as well. For those who want track progress and see how well they’re doing with their training, you will like the smart features this mountain bike trainer offers.
- Your subscription to the fit app allowing you to track progress, ride length, intensity, resistance, and other metrics during your workout
- Controlled resistance levers allow you to adjust for heavier terrain, flat roads, or interval training
- You receive an unconditional lifetime warranty on the frame; so, even though it is the most expensive trainer, you are covered if something happens to the frame
- You also receive a 2-year warranty on the resistance frame
- Skewers are included with the bike trainer
- The large flywheel has the highest inertia-mass for higher intensity during your workouts
- The max resistance is 1800 wats and the max slope is 10%
- The price; many consumers might not have the budget to purchase this mountain bike trainer
- A few reviewers have made complaints that the customer service isn’t excellent, which is something you wouldn’t expect for a high-priced unit
Overall, this is a superior mountain bike trainer. If you’re looking for the best mountain bike trainers for overall training, intensity training, or interval training, this is it. It’s manufactured by a reliable manufacturer, so you can trust the quality and performance. And, it includes lifetime warranties on the frame and two-year warranty on the resistance frame. It is expensive, but for those who want intense training, or those who are preparing for a competition, it is worth the investment you’re going to make when purchasing a new mountain bike trainer.
This portable indoor trainer utilizes magnetic resistance training for indoor riding. It folds away easily for storage when you’re not using the bike stand, and it has an extra-wide stand, that allows you to quickly set up your bike, without having to go through a tedious setup process to do so.
This frame features heavy-duty, all stainless-steel construction. It is extra-wide and you can fold it into a compact size for storage if desired when it’s not in use. There are mounting cups that keep your bike in place. These cups are sturdy and help prevent slippage when you’re training at faster speeds or higher intensity levels indoors.
- The mounting cups feature a quick release system making it easy to clip and clip out of the trainer
- The progressive magnetic resistance allows you to build up intensity levels
- It features a single adjustment system for quick modifications to your bike
- It’s compatible with 700c, 26 and 27-inch bikes
- You receive a rear wheel skewer with the trainer
- It’s simple to put together and you don’t need any tools to assemble the mountain bike trainer
- You receive a front wheel riser block with the trainer
- A knob resistance lever allows you to quickly adjust the trainer around your back wheel for quick release after use
- Several customers state that this mountain bike trainer is very noisy
- To use this trainer you need a quick-release wheel, it is not compatible with other bikes
With its affordable price you really can’t complain about the quality and durability of this mountain bike trainer. For those who do not want to spend much money, it’s one of the best mountain bike trainers for the affordable price range. It is loud and you need a quick-release wheel, but other than these two complaints, most customers were impressed with this product.
This Sportneer trainer utilizes fluid resistance, giving the biker full control of the resistance levels. This is one of the best mountain bike trainers for those who want to train harder, and also for those who are looking for a budget-friendly stand. It’s cheaper than a few other mountain bike trainers we’ve highlighted if you don’t have much to spend.
This trainer fits bike tires that are 26 to 29 inches as well as 700c bikes. It uses fluid resistance, so it’s quiet, and won’t disturb others in the home when you want to get a workout in late at night or early in the morning The bike trainer has a steel frame, so you don’t have to worry about it rusting or weakening with continued training
- It has a dual-locking system so that your bike stays in place
- The frame mount is also extra wide
- There’s a front-wheel riser that helps block/eliminate wobbling while you’re riding at faster speeds
- You control the resistance by pedaling faster or slower on the trainer
- The set up takes a couple of minutes
- No tools or equipment is needed for you to put the stand together
- A few reviewers on Amazon state the instructions for set up aren’t clear
- Some customers have suggested the mountain bike trainer does not fit tires between the size the manufacturer claims it does
For those who do not have much money to spend, the quality is pretty good with this mountain bike trainer. It is quiet and the fluid resistance training doesn’t utilize magnetic resistance or use apps, which limit your control of the speed and resistance.
This trainer is available in one size, so you can fit nearly any mountain bike onto it for your training needs. It utilizes progress, fluid for the resistance settings and adjustment. This results in a realistic, outdoor ride feel, that you aren’t going to get from other mountain bike trainers.
The mountain bike trainer is also compatible with different fitness apps. You can connect it with Swift, Kinetic, Trainer Road, and others. It’s compatible with ANT+ as well as Bluetooth smartphones, so you can track your progress with each ride. You can also connect with your tablet or other mobile devices, so you can see your workout history and track your improvements as you’re building up for a competition or other outdoor race.
- The lightweight design is about 6.5 pounds and it’s compatible with any mountain bike
- The fluid resistance mimics outdoor road conditions
- The flywheel design ensures a superior ride for all training levels
- It’s not an app-controlled trainer; you control the fluid resistance levels based on the speed you’re putting out when riding
- It’s compatible with Mac and Windows
- The max resistance is 1400 watts, that may limit some riders
- Max speeds are 35 MPH, again, for advanced riders, you might feel limited if training for intense competition
The fact that you control the fluid and resistance levels, allows you to maximize your training. You’re not limited by an app or the direction the app wants you to work. For those who want an intense workout, you will get it with this mountain bike trainer set up in your home.
This indoor bike trainer is a magnetic stand and features five levels/settings for you to choose from, for a more intense workout if desired. It features a steel frame that is sturdily built, so you don’t have to worry about your bike falling over. It also has a steel frame and skewer, for quick setup and operation.
Some selling points are It’s affordable, you receive a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects, the product is made in the USA so you don’t have to worry about cheaper material qualities, the steel frame and steel skewers are sturdy and easy to mount your bike onto
- The five-speed settings for multiple intensity levels when you’re training for competition or just need to warm up before a long ride
- It has a knob-system to connect the rear wheel of your bike
- It sets up easily and quickly with most mountain bikes
- The frame provides consistent contact with the rear tire of your bike so you won’t wobble/shake when training
- The paint finish chips and fades (lower price, lower quality)
- It doesn’t have as many speed options/settings as other magnetic bike trainers
Other than these complaints, most reviewers were positive about this frame. For the price, it’s a great option for those who do not want to spend too much money and want to work out when the weather doesn’t let them make it outside for their ride.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Mountain
Now that we’ve covered a few of the best mountain bike trainers available now, what should you consider when choosing one? These are some features/design specs to look for when buying a new mountain bike trainer.
Handle-mounted adjusters for resistance is usually only available in the more expensive mountain bike trainers. With the more affordable trainers, you’re going to have to get up and adjust the resistance each time you train your set up. If you can spring for the better, higher-quality products, go for it. If, however, you’re on a budget, there are other options to consider. Just make sure the mountain bike trainer you do choose has sufficient adjustment levels, for the type of training, and for the intensity you would like to achieve, each time you hop onto your mountain bike trainer for a ride.
The weight limit is usually going to be higher with a mountain bike trainer that is heavier. So, the actual frame of your mountain bike trainer is going to affect how much weight it can hold. If you are a lighter individual, a lightweight stainless-steel frame will do. But, if you are a heavier rider, you might need to purchase a bike trainer that weighs a little more. And, something with a fork-design for added stability and support each time you hop on. Especially in cases where you’re going to stand to mimic climbing on outdoor roads, you’ll need to consider the frame and the structural stability of the mountain bike trainer you eventually choose to buy.
Fluid vs Magnetic Training
This is one of the most important aspects you will consider when you’re choosing a mountain bike trainer. It is also one of the main factors that will drive the price up or down when you are choosing the best mountain bike trainers for indoor training needs. What’s the difference?
Magnetic trainers are:
- Going to produce more noise when you’re pedaling
- Not going to feature progressive intensity/resistance adjustments
- Not as sturdy and can’t hold as much weight
If you do not have much money to spend, a magnetic trainer might be the route you’re going to take when purchasing your trainer. Make sure you compare several models so you can find the best fit, even though you do not have much to spend on the purchase.
Your fluid trainer:
- Features progressive interval and resistance adjustments (you can ride heavier and train smarter)
- Are quiet and do not make noise while you are pedaling away at faster speeds
- Allow you to control your training; the spin wheel will increase or decrease in cadence, based on how much and how fast you pedal
- Is quiet and it produces a buildup of intensity
The primary drawback of choosing a fluid mountain bike trainer is the price. They are going to cost more than magnetic trainers. But, they will last longer, they are sturdy, and they can withstand high use/abuse by bikers who train intensely and those who train every day on their mountain bike indoors.
As we just highlighted, fluid trainers are quiet and you barely notice they are operating; the magnetic trainer counterpart is noisier. Depending on where you plan on setting up your mountain bike trainer, this is something you’ll need to account for when purchasing one. If you live alone and don’t have to worry about being quiet, you can spring for the magnetic trainers. But, if you train early in the morning or late evenings, and there are others in the household, a fluid mountain bike trainer is a superior option. If you have a separate room for your mountain bike in the home, then you can choose either of these when selecting your trainer. Consider where you are training, how many people are in your household, and what times you plan on training. This will help guide you when you’re trying to find the best mountain bike trainers, and are comparing magnetic and fluid mountain bike trainers in the process.
Do you want to spend five hours setting up the new mountain bike trainer? Or, do you want to have to bring out your toolbox and measuring tape to make sure you have the space for your new mountain bike trainer? Most people would probably answer no to both of these questions. When you’re looking for the best mountain bike trainers, make sure you consider the setup and assembly of the product as well as the other factors we’ve mentioned here. Most mountain bike trainers are about 70 to 90% assembled upon arriving at your home. Therefore, you are not going to have to do much work to put them together before you can mount your bike on for a ride.
When it comes to assembly consider:
- How long it takes to put your mountain bike trainer together
- What tools (if any) you will need
- How to mount it and where you need to mount it
- How easily you can affix your bike’s rear tire onto the mount
And, make sure there are no additional steps required before you can hop on for your first ride. Again, you want to make sure you weigh this, as well as other factors so that you make the right decision when you are preparing to choose the mountain bike trainer for your indoor riding enjoyment and training.
Although this shouldn’t be the primary factor that dictates what you choose when buying a mountain bike trainer, you do have to consider it. If you are intensely training for a race or competition, you’re probably going to have a higher budget than a person who is brand new to mountain biking and just wants something affordable so they can train inside. Where you stand in your training, your experience level, and how much you can spend when buying the mountain bike trainer, are a few of the factors that will help you decide which one is right for you.
Compare prices and comparison shop. But, don’t let the price be the only, or the main factor, that leads you towards making the final purchase decision when buying your new mountain bike trainer.
Our Pick: What are the Best Mountain Bike
For those who want the best overall quality, Kinetic by Kurt is one of the best mountain bike trainers you can buy. It features higher resistance settings, more wattage than other trainers on the list, and higher slope incline settings than other trainers. This product is also backed by a lifetime frame and a two-year resistance warranty. It’s easy to set up, compatible with training apps, and customers receive a 6-month subscription to the Fit training app.
For the budget-conscious shopper, our top selection of the best mountain bike trainers is the Conquer trainer. It’s compact, it works with most bikes (26-inch, 27-inch, and 700c models), it sets up and folds away quickly for storage as well. The mountain bike trainer is sturdy, compact, and easy to put together. For an everyday trainer, you can’t go wrong with this product.
No matter what you ultimately end up buying, there are several great trainers for you to choose from. Make sure you consider these, and other models you have reviewed, to help you in the purchase process, and to assist you in finding the best mountain bike trainers for your indoor training needs.