Who prefers indoor to outside rides?


Just curious who prefers riding/working out indoors to outside rides. I realised (looking back at data of recent years) that I rode more km indoors than outdoors. Why?

  • I do not race nor do I have any buddies on bikes, so outside is mostly also alone
  • time is crunched through job/family/obligations
  • weather implications
  • security implications (traffic, crashes etc)
  • after loads of healthwise issues in the last year and as a Type 1 diabetic I can be sure that if anything goes wrong with my insuline calculations I can just get of the rollers and be still at home and not somewhere in the wild
  • but mostly the advantage of more focused, spot on and predictable TR sessions on a Kickr (earlier) and now Rollers compared to riding outside

Dont get me wrong: i like riding outside, but I really enjoy riding indoors and dont see it as transition period necessary during winter.
Usually I am listening to podcasts or am watching some sports on my Ipad during less intense sessions.
I also enjoy that I can combine my hunt for the workouts with family life. After the kids are in bed my wife is also happy to have some time for herself, so do I. This is the time where I can disappear into my pain cave and suffer.
After that we are happy to share some time.

Btw: switching from the Kickr to a set of rollers contributed a lot to the “indoor is fun” notion. It is fun for sure.

True, the occasional ride on weekends is great, but only when I know that there is no additional stress for my family when I would disappear for couple of hours.

Whats your take on this?


I’m totally in agreement. In 2020, I rode outside 8 times and did all high volume stuff inside. For me, just being able to get on and knock out a workout inside is more efficient than getting fully kitted up to go outside, especially when there are some days where I’m literally squeezing a workout between meetings/parenting. It’s also tough for me to get all that excited for just going out for 2hrs, unless I’m doing an epic solo ride or with a group (impossible in 2020), I’d just rather get a workout done. And finally, I’m really bad at doing structured stuff outside, while there’s good riding where I am, it takes a bit to get to where I can put in some proper workouts. I feel like just training inside is the least obtrusive way I can do what I can do with family life.

That said, I am curious to get into MTB because I need something to do where I know I have to get outside occasionally (I have trails literally a couple of mins up the street from me), because I do think the outdoors are great, but I get a ton of fulfillment doing most of my stuff indoors.


Good points, especially about MTB. I have a Cyclocross bike which I have so far used only with slicks on the road or the rollers. Now I got me a 2nd set of wheels with rough tires on it. There is a hilly forest 300m from here. I went already couple of times, just for short 30-45min of fun. Very muddy, very much fun… so go ahead and get a MTB.

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I find it weird to be honest how much time people spend riding indoors.
For me riding bikes is about the thrill of speed, sublime flow and movement, and being in the great outdoors. I use indoor training to help me improve for my outdoor racing. If I didn’t race then I’d only ride outside.
As for long endurance rides, I just love them whatever the weather. Just back home from a 4hrs muddy mtb ride. It was chucking it down by the end too. Bloomin marvelous to be out, squirming about in the mud.
Did 4hrs of flat road riding yesterday too. Loved the feeling of relentless motion as I churned out the miles in a bleak landscape.
Am currently doing a low volume TR plan over the weekday evenings to help get me faster for upcoming races.


Prefer indoors on weekdays before/after work and outside rides on the weekends when I have much more free time. Weekdays structured and weekends just long endurance rides with not too much focus on numbers.


I don’t know if I’d say I prefer indoors, but I don’t dread it for sure! I’ve become a fair weather rider because of indoor riding though. No need to go slog it out in the rain/wind/snow and get a sub-par workout.(trust me I do my fair share of events in the crap weather though) Unless of course I need to test equipment, then I’ll venture out into the yuck.


I prefer indoors for training. It’s official.

When I spend time outdoors I get slower, when I’m on the trainer I get faster.

Doing 12-14 hours a week on the trainer at the moment and what do you know, getting faster again.

I think I’ll come off the trainer only for fast group rides / racing in April


If you race mtb or cx then I’d definitely suggest getting outside pretty often. Being able to stay relaxed when the bike is sliding all over the place is worth more than a 50 watt bump in ftp in my opinion.


For structured, progressive training then indoors is hard to beat.


The cx is just for fun, slow and nice rides through the forest. My time of racing or competing is long gone and I dont miss it at all. Also as father and having a demanding job i wont risk any injuries by crashing anymore.
Indoor rides i do not for higher ftp but to stay in shape and simply feel well, also it helps a lot for my insuline therapy.

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I train inside to enjoy myself outside, so when the weather outside of favorable I’m there. Never understood why/how some people spend all year on a trainer indoors jumping from plan to plan, especially with covid and no races/events they missed a lot of opportunities for open roads and Vitamin D


I ride outside when I have time but prefer indoor for erg obviously and convenience.

As far as stats I have done 121 indoor and 148 outdoor rides this year.

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Deffo no!

I like riding my bike, fresh air, sunshine (hah!), seeing nice things, getting somewhere under your own steam. Indoors isn’t even cycling, it’s just training.


So I gotta say, some of the remarks above kind of have the air of “gatekeeping” that happens with cycling, and getting into defining what a cyclist is and how it should be done. As OP has said, and I feel as well, there are lots of reasons why one would prefer to just do their workouts inside for logistical/personal reasons. Some people have loads of time to get out or love getting outside even if it’s 60mins, some of us don’t have lots of time to, say, do 4hrs on weekends without angering family members, and for me getting ready to go out for anything less than 2hrs just isn’t worth the extra 15-20min it takes to do all the outdoor prep. The fact is, no one is doing their bike stuff improperly, everyone has their own set of variables to contend with, so if you like/prefer to get out and are able to, fantastic. Some of us can’t and that’s fine as well.


Cycling: I train indoors, I ride outdoors.
Running: outdoors only. I hate treadmills with a passion.


So are people who exclusively ride their Peloton also cyclists because we don’t want to exclude/gatekeep?


So much of my ability to complete intervals is mental. I have been dropped outdoors (more than a few times!) because of my mental state as well, only to find after I was dropped that I could put out more steady power solo than I was doing in the draft. Basically, it’s a mental crack, creating a physical crack. After dropping and getting my head straight, my power is back. I am sure that has happened to everyone, and I can only attribute it to my head not being in the game, losing focus, losing motivation.

For this reason, my workouts are much, much better outdoors and I enjoy it much more.

I do enjoy my rollers but only for an hour. On a plus side my L/R balance is 50/50 on rollers, but 45/50 outside.


I prefer riding outdoors but to battle health issues last year I bought my self a smart trainer and if it’s a solo ride it was indoors during that time and to a large degree solo rides are still indoors. So I think I now prefer indoors for solo. Outdoors is just for socialisation now.


I’ll take a real wind in my face over a fan whenever I can. The shortest routes I can do a workout are 90-120 minutes long. So on work days with cycling & strength workouts, I’ll get on the trainer for 60-75 minutes and knock down an intense workout to create time for the 1 hour strength workout later in the day.


I’ll get outside as long as; the weather is at least fair, temps aren’t too low, and there’s daylight. There’s some intervals such as Tabatas that are hard to find a good place to do them so occasionally I complete them inside.