Should I move my pain cave for the winter...garage to basement?

I’d love some thoughts because I’m stuck in analysis paralysis mode.

I have an attached garage that’s not well insulated and doesn’t have heat. I’ve had a trainer for a year and always had it out there. The heat is relatively tolerable in the summer with fans, and I figure it’ll help with heat acclimatization too. In the winter, I’ve ridden out there when it’s at freezing and it’s surprisingly not terrible once you get warmed up. The downsides are that I have to walk outside to enter the garage and it’s hard to stay motivated when it’s cold. The plus side, is both my bikes are there and easy to swap on the trainer or go for outdoor rides.

I was thinking of moving the pain cave to my basement in a small unheated storage area. The advantage would be not having to walk out in freezing weather or snow to ride…I think this might make it harder for me to skip a workout because it’s 34F and rainy (like today!!). The downside would be it would be a pain to pull the bike off the trainer to go for an outdoor ride. I have a carbon road bike and aluminum gravelbike. The gravelbike has generally been my trainer bike because it’s a bit more upright and comfy on the trainer.

Do you think it makes sense to move the pain cave for the winter, or HTFU and train in a freezing garage?

Where do you live? How cold does it get in the winter?

FWIW, I store my bike in the basement (and have the trainer there too) and have never found it to be even the least bit difficult to get the bike outside. I get dressed in the basement anyway so there’s no extra trips and going up and down the stairs carrying a road bike is nothing once you get your rhythm down.

An indoor dedicated bike room is great, and not just for the trainer.

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Guess that would have helped! I’m in the northeast US. Depending on the year we can get alot of snow and the garage usually goes between 30-40F during the winter months.

Anything you can do to reduce excuses will work to your benefit, IMO.

If you set it up downstairs, your “worst case” scenario is blowing off an outdoor ride because you don’t want to unhook the bike form the trainer, but you still ride inside.

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keep one bike in garage and another in the basement, the one in the basement being the one you’re least likely to use outside in the winter.

It would be tricky to regularly move my bike out of the basement but not impossible for sure. I love your idea of a bike room and my wife is apparently on board. :heart_eyes:

I’m sure you’re right about the excuses!!

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This is probably the right answer!! Thanks!!

I definitely like the idea of a dedicated trainer room. I never wanted mine to be in the garage. One thing to consider might be to build up a bike dedicated to the trainer. You can do this fairly cheaply. I have done this 3 times in the past 5 years. Bought a steel road bike from someone that was in good shape. Great price at $150, might be tough to get these days with demand being off the charts. I built a bike by going to a bike part depot that sold donated parts, bought a frame and all the pieces to make a bike. I spray painted it nice and put a good saddle and bar tape on it and it was fine for a couple hundred bucks. And then when I bought a new road bike, I retired my old one to the trainer. That’s the one on it now and ironically I’ve put quadruple the miles on my “retired” bike than my new one.

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Speaking from my own experience- the better you make your indoor training environment, the more you will use it. You live in the Northeast- so I imagine you won’t be riding outside too often. Maybe you are hardcore and like riding outside when it is below-0. In that case- leave the road bike on the trainer and use the gravel bike for all your outdoor rides.

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HTFU you’re on about walking out to the garage compared to going down to the basement. :grin:

I train in an attached unheated garage - no matter what it’s doing outside I have the door open to enjoy the ‘fresh’ air and watch the world go by. Like you said yourself it’s not too bad.

And, you’ve done it before… :joy:

At the end if the day you’ll do what’s right for you. Could make it easier to have the good bike on the trainer for winter - that way you’re using it and if you decide to venture out the gravel bike is ready to go…

Just my tuppence.


I am hyper-supportive of removing ANYTHING that could be perceived as a barrier to entry. High level training plans are directly adding tangible stress to your body. In some ways, it could be said that we all seek to take on the most stress we’re individually capable of. Of course, that capacity changes on a per-instance basis. If you’re having a day where you just can’t quite deal with getting on a bike in a shitty room that you hate being in, then that’s an area that is open to improvement. I’ve dealt with training in terrible spaces, on and off, for more than a decade. I recently built out my cycling room, and I specifically splurged in ways that I knew would increase my comfort, and therefore willingness to ride. HTFU may have its place, but there’s also something to be said for: well if it doesn’t need to be shitty, why make it shitty? Make it something you love to do.