Who prefers indoor to outside rides?

If you enjoy the process of training and have good roads to train on, why would you stop to smell the roses? Do the work, inside or out, get the gains and keep moving forward.

I was going to say nearly the same exact thing. All of it!

I’m very process driven. Training is a process and I love it.

I became chronically ill May 2019, according to my healthcare insurance (also known as pregnancy). During said illness and then caring for this illness once it became a tiny human, I rode only indoors. Around October of last year I began to really enjoy it, and the 400 hours I’ve put in since.

I can’t wait for over-unders at 5am tomorrow :v:


Hello me! :grin:

Um…I think you still might be “chronically ill”…just sayin’. :confused:


I have to say that I think a lot of why some cyclists don’t understand how others can do so much does come down to set up.

I’ve my man cave, with smart turbo trainer and bike permanently set up, two air movers, two TV’s (and any combo I want of FireTV/ AppleTV/ Chromecast), wifi router (Fire TV and Apple TV hard wired). Get changed, fill bidons, walk 5m, and I’m good to go. I’m far quicker getting moving inside than outside.

My pals who can’t hack inside riding and don’t understand how I do so much (notwithstanding understanding family/ work issues), are having to bring in their turbo and bike from the shed, try and find somewhere in the house to set up, don’t have any or decent fans, aren’t following any kind of plan/ zwift. No wonder they think it’s rubbish, and go out in all weathers!


inside is easy. it’s 1 step: get dressed
outside for MTB is more complicated. 1. get dressed, 2. decide where to go 3. drive there if necessary. 4. go home because you forgot bike. 5. put bike on. 6. put shoes and helmet in car…

for road, not much more complicated than indoor, but there’s all that risk of death and whatnot.

I love riding outside. but between wife/kids/work and weather, i ride 10:1 inside these days.

Also, that whole structured training thing is easier when a machine does the thinking for you.

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Since March lockdown I’ve been working from home so my regular bike commutes have dropped off. I started using LV Plan Builder workouts to replace my commutes. Most of my weekday rides are now indoors so I can stick to the plan, and throw in 3 gyms sessions a week and a weekend road or MTB ride. I’ll take a short break from structured workouts over Xmas and hope to get outside more often over that period. I’m also doing less group rides now as the whole coffee stop thing isn’t for me.
Love watching TR Ask a Cycling Coach when I’m on the trainer.

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indoor riding for me is a means to an end, convenient and effective. I agree with the post above that having a great set up means I have no trouble choosing the trainer over the road when time/weather makes outdoors less appealing, in winter the majority of my rides are indoors.

However, if I can get out I will always, always choose the road over the trainer…nothing beats it. What does help in this regard though is that in the same spirit of having a good set up indoors, as a life long cyclist, good (and safe) roads was a major criteria when choosing where to live…


Good points from All!
I generally like to ride outside best but wish I were more into riding inside from a safety perspective and sometimes the actual training is more quality (except when I sit and spin on Pettit and watch tv and drink beer… nothing quality bout that)
In general I like to TRAIN indoors and enjoy the ride outdoors


Not me. I ride indoor as a training tool, to get fitter and faster - a means to an end. I ride outdoors because I love riding bikes and find true joy in the experience.


You just nailed all of my reasons why 90% of my riding is indoors on my rollers - also Elite has MyRealVideo footage to ride along with interactive rollers so I can have a ride that various with the terrain.

Main thing for me is time and secondarily safety. I can do a workout and still be home in case I am needed. I don’t have to worry about trying to fit into daylight hours at less traffic busy times nor do I worry about texting drivers.

I know if I had never started to ride rollers, I would probably be down to riding once or twice a month rather than 5 or 6 days a week.

That’s my take.

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That depends. Is it raining? :grin:


The whole thing about cycling is enjoying it, whether this is inside our out.
I enjoy inside riding always have and given the fact im rehabilitating my hip I will be doing a wee bit of this for some time to come but I love cycling outside. Nothing comes close to the feeling of cycling outside for me, climbing that hill/mountain that you thought would be impossible, sprinting for the speed limit/town signs or just cruising for a coffee stop, it’s just glorious to be out… a release.


I wonder if rider type makes a huge difference on enjoyment of indoor vs outdoor. I could see a TT guy getting plenty of enjoyment from indoor riding. As a climber type who likes to stand a lot, I will 100% of the time prefer outdoor. I only ride indoors on my rollers when doing a workout that is all seated endurance work or all seated sweet spot work. Those are enjoyable with some good music, and easier for me to really lock into the zoneI’m working on. For base Z1 recovery rides, it’s easier for me outside. On the rollers, I lose focus going that mellow for an hour.

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Hi, now that spring has already shown its beauty a couple of times I have undertaken some outdoor rides. Yes, it is a beauty.
Just that I struggle to really follow the outdoor workouts instructions… finding the right track with appropriate flat or hilly segments, then follow the instructions on the bike computer, trying to match RPE by feel, and keeping an eye on traffic and navigatIon is really quite a challenge.
So far I guess I will stick to doing the rather complex workouts indoor and the outdoor rides will have to be either unstructured or Z2

You could also ride outside…for fun, without structure?

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Exactly. That is what I concluded.

I was just wondering how you guys manage all these factors and still are able to follow the workouts structure outside.

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It’s a clutch question for sure. You have to be willing to experiment with it and fail, but take good notes and try again. I think it’s worth it, you lose something if all you do is ride indoors, whether that’s something of interest to you or not would depend on your area of focus. IE, any offroad cyclist must ride outdoors to hone the skills necessary, and I don’t just mean leaning how to descend gravel or trails, even pedaling off-road requires a different skill. Any way…

Take your desired workout and work backwards. I like doing VO2 outside but finding the terrain for an even (admittedly too short) 2 min interval with no breaks is hard. But, they probably exist. What I do is when I’m out on a fun ride, time certain sections of road, trail wherever you are and see if that might work for an interval section. Long hills are great.

Can you ride quiet back roads, gravel or trails? These are the only places I would attempt an outdoor workout, as soon as you have to navigate traffic, it becomes frustrating at best and dangerous at worst.

Finding an area that works outdoors is worth it.

I ride outside of town of quiet, country roads. The most populated city around me has ~12,000 people yet I still can ride around it. z5+ is possible on some hills around me but I prefer to do them indoors because cooling can be an issue where I try to complete them.

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That was a fascinating topic to read! One day, our enlightened descendants will use it as an example of self-identification struggles - is someone a cyclist if they call themselves that word, but don’t do exactly what I do on a bike??

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I rode indoors all winter. Some weeks, it was 6 or 7 days per week with no outside rides. Having moved from NM where I rode 360 days per year outside to Knoxville, I was just being a weather wimp. I just didn’t want to ride in a dreary 40F.

This winter was the most trainer time I’ve ever done. I grew to really enjoy it. I’d put on a tv show or movie and knock out some Z2 or SS intervals.

Now that spring has sprung, I’ve been back outside for almost every ride in the last two weeks. It’s hard to want to get back on the trainer…

So yesterday, I tried a workout outside - 2x20 at SS. Knoxville is lumpy - constantly up or down. 2x20 and maintaining power with constant shifting and cadence changes turned out to be way harder than the same steady state power on the trainer. This might be my new secret workout. My legs were thrashed after.

My average power for 20 minutes was in check but I still has swings as much as 130watts to 500 watts. It’s really difficult to not break threshold power as I crest a hill. And then going down the hill, it’s really hard to get back to SS power.