Getting hate for being on the trainer

Why do so many cyclists roll their eyes when I tell them I spend most of my time on the trainer? These are avid cyclists that have been cycling for years, yet in less than a year I went from getting dropped to dropping them, all thanks to TR and riding on the trainer for 95% of the time. Is it jealousy? If the positions were flipped, I’d want to know more about TR and how it could help me to improve.

EDIT: I’m sorry this is a rant, but this is a WTH moment for me and I’d really like to understand the mindset of crapping on someone who’s clearly improved because of being on the trainer.


There’s another forum that I used to go to a lot but have kind of given up on that has various subforums, and the self-righteousness about riding outside all year is amazing (although a lot of the same folks don’t see a point in training to get faster either). People like to wear their outdoor riding in all conditions as a badge of honor. Frankly I’ve been there done that and prefer being inside where I don’t have to clean my bike and I don’t waste time with all the clothing and things that go into prepping for outside riding.

Maybe I’m not having as much “fun” being inside so much, but I feel tremendous nailing quality workouts.


Gosh imagine if you told them you train with a power meter!
Just let it go and enjoy dropping them.


I get this a lot but then I remember that I end up riding more than these people as a result (it gets cold in the winter) and improve too.

For the most part, while everyone seems to say “Roadies elitist!!!11!!”, the only people I’ve experienced elitism from are the other crowds.


Training is doing an activity with a specific goal and purpose to improve. There is not a requirement to do it outside.


To be frank, I would prefer to ride outside and if I could get the same efficiency training outdoors as indoors, I’d be there. But if you look at the cyclists that give me a hard time about being on the trainer, their idea of a training ride is basically 3 hours in the saddle with about 60% of the time in active recovery, 30% in zone 2 or tempo, and then 10% in their training zone. How is that efficient? Why call that a training ride?


From the highest view possible, this and similar “conflicts” exist because people insist on putting THEIR priorities and preconceived notions in effect when viewing OTHER people and their activities and choices.

Too often, we place judgement on others from our own experiences and biases… while not taking the time to consider the reasons, motivations, priorities, life circumstances and too many other variables to list, that likely exist for the other person.

The “snap judgement” & “single-line response” society we have now won’t usually take the time to look at, review, consider, and heaven forbid… ask “why” in a polite way that aims to understand a person… rather than criticize or ridicule them. It seems many people are intent on dumping on the choices of others when they don’t align with the ones they choose for themselves.

How’s that for an overly broad rant on many within a society, who insist on placing people & things quickly in boxes so they can move on to the next pointless waste of time in our own lives? :stuck_out_tongue:


Because they know they wont even be able to smell your wheel come Spring, at least that’s how it was for me. 2 of the guys that were instigating crap with me barely rode this year because while I trained, they did their social crap talking group rides in the winter, and when spring came they had regressed by 1-2mph and I had gotten equally faster. One of them said he lost interest in riding, most likely because hes got nobody to try and bully LOL


I don’t get a lot of hate, mostly because I can’t hear people that do this, since they are too far back on the climb.


Well, one could argue that they enjoy the act of cycling, they’re not necessarily in it to be the fastest version of themselves.

Sure you’re faster, but you spend 95% of your time indoors and not enjoying the outdoors.

Now, you might not care about spending time outdoors, but a lot of us do.

The thing is, I’d rather be slower while spending 95% of my time outside than be able to do a few more watts. I’d rather spend be a reasonably fit and healthy human being without locking myself in my basement 95% of the time.

However, to each his own. So there’s no arguing that your method isn’t the best for you mentally.

Personally, if I wanted to workout inside 95% of the time I’d pick up weight lifting instead of cycling. At least then I’d have a smokin’ body!


Come live North of the 49th parallel, you won’t get that reaction. Nobody can train in the snow - unless you switch to nordic skiing.


There is often a few reasons this happens.

  1. People who have 2x or 3x more training time available than I have

  2. People who have no concept on what it takes to get faster

  3. People not willing to spend the time to understand that you aren’t just staring at a wall.

If I was single or just had endless hours to train I’d probably not spent 90% of my training time indoors, but I’m a Time crunched parent so it’s a necessity. Just learn to enjoy it and realise that especially when it’s dark early that it’s the safest and most effective way to progress.


Agreed, this applies to more in society than just cycling :stuck_out_tongue:


i’m with you in all aspects of this thread and just ignore the haters; who cares if they’re outside freezing and getting flats in the snow while you nail some workouts. It’s an old school badge of honor and that’s just silly.

Do the talking with the legs!

All that said, everyone isn’t having garbage training rides outdoors and you can get the same quality outside as inside. You’ll actually get better as a cyclist, when the weather is nice, to be outdoors IMO. You’ll learn to use the bike more effectively, the gears properly, and execution of them outside will help you get an improved feel of riding in general; what attacks should feel like, what you can sustain over each hill, etc etc. Not sure if that comes across the right way in text but trying to put words to it.

10% rule…no more than 10% in z1 on an endurance ride, super quality, and outside!

good luck with the riding, inside or out!



All I know is that I have a certain sense of satisfaction, even if I meet the man with the hammer, that I am dry and warm in my garage if it’s raining or blowing a hoolie outside.

It’s also comforting to know I’m amplifying my fitness by targeting specific aspects.

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Lots of cyclists hate the trainer and view it as an instrument of torture. If you race, people understand that you are focussed on training and prepared to put up with the torture. They will probably even respect that.
However, if they see you (from their perspective) punishing yourself when you could be outside having fun and being social, with the only upside being that you get faster and drop them on climbs, you can see why they think your behaviour is odd.

I ride a lot on the trainer because it is convenient and gets me faster (I race badly), but I’d much rather ride outside and have fun.


I’ve actually just been doing the TrainerRoad low volume plan outdoors for a few years now with pretty good success.

I just bought a powermeter and mounted my iphone to my stem and follow the workouts the same outdoors as I would on my trainer. I’ll ride the trainer if it’s dark and raining outside, but otherwise I’d rather get my structure in outdoors.


I understand but it’s not like I’m instigating a fight or telling everyone how wonderful the trainer is. Frankly I don’t like the trainer and I’m only on it because it’s the most efficient and effective way for me to go faster.

I didn’t go into details in my original post, but these are avid cyclists that have been cyclin for years who also participate in local crits and road races. I don’t race and I think that may be a factor in their attitude; these guys spend 10+ hours/week on the road but here comes this guy who spends 5 hours/week on the trainer, doesn’t race, but is faster than them. I’m not tooting my horn, there are other cyclists in this group that are head over heels faster than me but for some reason I’m singled out because of the trainer remark.


Exactly! Most of these guys are pensioners or have life situations that allow them to have all the time in the world to ride. If I had that time I’d be doing the same thing they were doing. The issue is that they do expect to be fast, if they were just riding for fun then I doubt this would be an issue.

I forgot to mention that one guy accused me of helping to kill road cycling by spending most of the time indoors like a coward, he thinks Zwift and gravel cycling are the two worst things to happen to road cycling.

I mean, maybe you should hop into some races and see where you’re really at. I know lot’s of guys who think they’re hot shit until they hop into a race and realize how slow they actually are. Plenty of group ride heroes who can’t hang in actual races. So I can see how they’re skeptical even if you think you’re faster.