Garage/Pain Cave must haves

I’m moving house this week and will be lucky enough to have a garage space to use as a training area.

Previously I was using a living space to train which meant setting up and putting away my trainer and bike. Now I can leave everything all set up.

So, what are your must haves for a training space?

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A good fan(s) like https://www.cleva-uk.com/products/vacmaster-air-mover

I like watching and listening to old movies with the subtitles on, so an old laptop that plays DVDs, but I’m sure someone can point you in the direction of bike films/Netflix and a massive projector onto the wall.

A few bits of exercise equipment so you can do some stretches, push ups and maybe some attachments for pullups.

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I have the Cleva air mover and I agree it is amazing!

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Yay!!! Proper fan, sturdy TV stand (or equivalent) for your computer/iPad/whatever and nutrition, mood lighting, sources of encouragement (I have race numbers and cycling photos pinned up front and center).

I actually like having multiple light sources - on some days, I like it dark and quiet and on others I want it hospital-bright. Sounds strange but it’s quite nice being able to adjust on the fly - keeps things interesting.

Make it as appealing as you can - mine is in my living room but it’s a dedicated space and everytime I look at it, the setup makes me want to hop on the bike and ride the trainer.

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I will compile a more complete list, but here is a start.

https://trainright.com/5-tips-for-setting-up-an-effective-indoor-cycling-space/

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QoL improvements

Fan that you can control from the bike (I like the Headwinds a lot)
ANT+ or BT extender to stop signal dropping out
Wireless BT earphones
Stands to pocket type accessories to hold phone

These kinda apply in the living room too, but these are ones that make my life a bit easier.

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There’s nothing like having a permanent space where you can setup and just leave everything ready to go. My wife and I both have our smart trainers with road bikes permanently setup in what we call our “cardio room.”

Here’s my list of must-have’s:

  1. Smart TV (easy access to YouTube, Red Bull, etc.) + Wireless device that connects to our DVR so we can watch recorded shows during longer endurance sessions or cooldowns.

  2. Sound Bar - Because the speakers that come with TV’s are terrible and I can’t hear anything over the sound of two trainers and multiple fans.

  3. Trainer desk/table - I bought the Conquer Cycling Training Desk because it’s a lot like the Wahoo desk but cheaper.

  4. Fans - I have an older rotating tower fan, this Lasko floor fan with remote, and just bought a small Vornado fan which I put on the desk almost right in front of my face for those especially grueling VO2Max sessions. Oh, we also have a ceiling fan in the room. You can never have too many fans!

  5. Floor mat - In order to save the carpet from sweat, chain grease, whatever, I have a floor mat under each of our smart trainers/bikes. You may not need that in your garage, of course.

Good luck with your new setup!

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Fan control and good audio were my first upgrades!

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I like having a wall/door/ceiling hook within reach of my saddle. I often begin rides in a shirt or jersey that I discard after warming up. Feels better to hang than to throw on the floor. I also keep race numbers and event medals/posters/memorabilia in there. Keeps the motivation high.

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Ours is also in the garage. First, is it climate controlled? If not you will want to fix that. At least AC. Split units are getting cheaper and might be the most economical. Heat is easier - I put a small oil electric heater and set it very low. Kept things wArm enough (32F was too cold for me st 5am.

Oh, is the garage insulated?

For the floor, I went w horse stall mats. Smooth ones.

I will add that if you want to go really over the top have a squat rack with some weights. If I have to go to the gym to lift, it’s not happening.

another upgrade was having a 4’ pole near the trainer - in case the fans move I can reposition while riding!

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Thanks for the advice. The garage isn’t insulated and I’m in Scotland so in the winter it’s likely to be around 32°F/0°C. I will look into a heater for later on in the year.

I don’t think it’s likely to get overly hot. The hottest it has ever been in Scotland is only 91°F/33°C so AC shouldn’t be an issue.

This is definitely the long term plan

Being able to control everything you need whilst on the trainer is something worth considering. I’ve run in a multiport USB charger to my Kickr desk so I can plug in phone/ipad/etc. Leaving everything ready so the time to get up an running is minimal is ideal, expensive to have dedicated kit (ipad/computer etc) but removing any hurdles to the session is key when motivation isn’t optimal.

If you’re training in the winter I wouldn’t worry too much about the cold. Extra layers/hat is enough - just make sure you’ve got somewhere in easy reach to hang things as you take them off - espeically as you’ll need them in the cool down to retain your core temperature (especially if you have to go outside to get into your house).

+1 for horse stall matts, rather than gym flooring

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MoSCoW:

Must
A turbo trainer, power meter and bike
Reasonably level surface
Suitable shelter from the weather
Suitable drainage

Should
Fan(s)
Device holder or nearby raised surface
Towel
Mat
Trainer tyre

Could
WiFi signal
TV
Dust protection
More fans

Won’t
Weight lifting kit

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Thanks for that link. Been looking for one of these everywhere in the UK, and this one is cheaper than amazon!

Holy hell I can’t wait for my own place. Right now I’m renting a room out and have to cram my bike amongst the bed, desk and portable wardrobe. Even have to unplug a fan when I’m not using it just to move around, rooms fully carpeted and lights are wayyy too bright so only the PC monitor is illuminating the room while I train. All these must have material possessions are incredibly motivating

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I trained down to -2° in my uninsulated garage last winter, it can be done and once you’re riding it’s okay. The big impact on no insulation is as to whether you go out into the cold, dark to get on the bike in the first place.

I’ve asked TR what the physiological impact of training in these temps are, I got no response but doubt it’s good for you. My experience is that the cold air is naturally very dry, not great for the lungs which I believe causes me to cough at night after training. Could be exercise induced asthma.

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I’d imagine a big change in temperature isn’t great. The burning sensation of exercising in cold dry air is a pain and I’m sure will cause inflammation as you say.

I’m thinking I might get a boxer style robe and play entrance music in the deep winter for motivation.

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