Best Budget Bike Trainer – (Cheapest) Bicycle Trainers

It's that time of the year again where you're unable to enjoy biking outdoors. Or maybe, you've recently heard about bike trainers, the newest cycling rave that allows you to ride your bike indoors? In either case, owning one of the Best Budget Bike Trainers around will be a significant step towards enhancing your fitness at home. 

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Cycling is a sport that requires dedication; otherwise, you'll quickly be out of shape! Moreover, it's an excellent low impact exercise that works wonders in keeping your health in check. And if you already own a bike, why wouldn't you opt to take advantage of the ability to bike indoors with a cheap bike trainer? It's safer, provides a means to cycle even during the winter, and doesn't cost as much as buying a brand new exercise bike. Plus, once you've gotten the hang of it, you'll quickly find how enjoyable it becomes.

In this article, we'll go over the best budget bike trainer we recommend to start you on your journey to indoor cycling. The options we've listed are for persons on the lowest budgets. This means that the budget bike trainers we selected don't have all the premium features found on high-end models.

So keep that in mind while you see which Cheap Bicycle Trainer is right for you.

Best Budget Bike Trainer:

  1. Sportneer Bike Trainer
  2. Giantex Steel Bike Trainer
  3. BalanceFrom Bike Trainer
  4. Saris CycleOps
  5. YAHEETECH Bike Trainer Stand
  6. Alpcour Bike Trainer Stand

Sportneer Bike Trainer 


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Whenever you think of the best budget bike trainers, you'll also want to consider performance at that price point. You'll often be sacrificing something in return for a lower price, but that isn't the case with the Sportneer Bike trainer. This trainer offers just about everything you need to ride indoors at a very affordable price. 

With the Sportneet Bicycle Trainer, you get a smooth resistance wheel that is silent enough that you won't need to try to drown it out with music. Moreover, it comes with six levels of resistance and a bar-mounted remote that'll allow you to adjust the difficulty you need easily. And to make it even better, this affordable bike trainer is very stable thanks to its premium build quality.

Setting it up requires little effort, and you'll be able to put on or take your bike off quickly. This ease of use is thanks to the simple clamp setup that won't require you to remove your bike wheel. So if you're just interested in a high-performing but cheap bike trainer that you can quickly jump on and off whenever you are ready, then get this one. 

Pros

  • 6 Resistance Levels
  • It comes with a riser block.
  • The quick-release lever and design make it highly portable for your bike or for putting it away.
  • It will work for any 27 inches to 28-inch bike (700C) wheel.
  • It will be very silent if used with road bike tires.

Cons

  • It isn't as quiet if used with mountain bike tires.

Giantex Steel Bike Trainer Review


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The Giantex Steel Bike Trainer is the cheapest bike trainer we could recommend right now. This trainer has all the basics down and leaves little to desire in a budget trainer. 

With the Giantex Bicycle Trainer, you get five resistance levels that'll simulate different riding situations almost perfectly. When paired with a ride-along video or bike training app, you'll hardly be able to tell that you're riding indoors. 

It features a sturdy steel build and rubber stands that make your bike very stable once you've locked it in. This will allow you to ride how you like without having to worry about the trainer rattling or loosening. Furthermore, it features some level of noise reduction that will let it stay relatively silent while riding. This might be good for persons living in apartments or shared spaces.

Pros

  • This trainer hardly requires any knowledge to set it up.
  • The noise it makes is not as bad as even more premium bike trainers.'
  • You get five levels of resistance. 
  • The feet protectors are adjustable, so you'll be able to find the right balance in any space. 
  • It will be able to support riders and bike weights up to 330 Lbs.
  • It'll work with any 700C tire.

Cons

  • The design is a little basic.
  • It isn't as silent as they claim it to be.

BalanceFrom Bike Trainer Review


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If you're looking for a budget bike trainer, you won't go wrong with getting the BalanceFrom trainer. This trainer works with the standard 700C or 26" to 28" wheels. Plus, it offers eight magnetic resistance settings that feel almost as realistic as it gets. This will afford you a much better riding experience indoors than the other models without magnetic resistance. Moreover, it'll be a little more silent than bike trainers without magnetic resistance. 

The design is standard and in line with what you would expect a good bike trainer to offer. However, this option feels a little firmer and stable than the others when tested with a mountain bike. For road bikes, the stability wasn't any difference among the options we recommend. 

If there's one thing we liked with this one over some of the trainers mentioned before, it's the quick-release clamps. We felt it was much easier to use and allowed for quick set up and pulling down the bike. 

There's also the inclusion of rubber feet that further stabilizes this bike trainer. 

Pros

  • It offers more resistance levels than the others.
  • This bike trainer uses magnetic resistance.
  • The quick-release system is straightforward to use.
  • It'll support up to 330 Lbs.

Cons

  • It doesn't have adjustable feet, so you'll need to use it on a flat surface.
  • It isn't as silent as they claim it to be.

Saris CycleOps Review

Saris Magnetic and Magnetic Plus Indoor Bike Trainer, Magnetic Resistance, Compatible with Zwift App
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The Saris Cyclops Magnetic Bike trainer is slightly more expensive than the other options, but it is still one of the top budget bike trainers. It falls right in the middle of being very cheap and just the right price. Moreover, these smart trainers offers excellent performance comparable to what you'd get on $1000 options.

This budget-friendly bike trainer provides a much more quiet ride than the others. Furthermore, it is compatible with bike training apps like Zwift. However, to make it work correctly with Zwift, you will need to purchase a suitable speed/cadence sensor that uses ANT+ or Bluetooth like this one from Wahoo

This bike trainer uses linear magnetic resistance that will give a massive boost to your workout intensity. Plus, it includes a bar-mounted shifter that will allow you to adjust the trainer's resistance quickly. However, you will need to make sure you install the shifter properly by increasing the cable's tension. 

We particularly preferred this trainer because it works with 29" tires in addition to the standard 700C tires. Moreover, it'll support riders up to 300+ pounds heavy. And there is an excellent lifetime warranty that'll protect your purchase.

Pros

  • Its Magnetic linear resistance is very smooth.
  • These smart trainers are quieter than the others.
  • You will get outstanding performance from this trainer. 
  • This bike trainer will work with Zwift.

Cons

  • Some users report issues with installing the resistance shifter. 

YAHEETECH Bike Trainer Stand 


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Most other budget bike trainers have standard functions like magnetic resistance levels and a decent claim system. However, they are most times lacking in how sturdy they are built. This affordable bike trainer from YAHEETECH stands out mostly for its superior build quality than for any other reason. 

With this model, you get quality carbon steel that is thicker than some of the cheaper options. As such, it is a lot more durable and stable while riding. Moreover, it comes with adjustable foot pads that further add to its stability. 

In terms of performance, you get a magntraetic resistance setup that will allow you to use any 26" to 28" or 700C tire bike. This means that you'll be able to quickly set up your bike for riding indoors and enjoy a realistic riding experience. It also won't be very noisy during use; however, we'll recommend using a road bike if noise is a significant concern. 

Pros

  • It is very stable to ride on.
  • The magnetic resistance setup doesn't make a lot of noise.
  • It has adjustable foot caps.

Cons

  • It doesn't have a resistance adjuster that you can attach to the handlebar.

Alpcour Bike Trainer Stand 


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Our last recommendation that is well worth checking out is the Alpcour Bike Trainer. This model is a more premium budget option like the Saris Cycleops. However, it features six levels of fixed-resistance that you can control to simulate your riding experience. 

Besides, you get a quieter trainer that lets you ride peacefully in any space without having to worry about disturbing anyone. This trainer also features a very high-quality stainless steel build that makes the trainer very stable. Moreover, it has a quick-release lever that will allow you to install and remove the bike instantly. 

This budget bicycle trainer is compatible with most 700C wheels and will support about 220 pounds. 

Pros

  • Quieter than the other bike trainers. 
  • It offers an excellent price to performance and can compete with premium trainers. 
  • It is easy to set up and offers good riding stability.
  • This cheap bicycle trainer offers six adjustable resistance settings. 

Cons

  • There isn't anything bad to say about it so far.  

FAQ

best budget bike trainers

Before buying a budget bike trainer, here are the answers to a few questions you might be having.

What can you do to make your Bike Trainer quieter for Apartment Living?

If you live in an apartment or with roommates, the best way to make your bike trainer make less noise is to use thick foam padding mats. This will prevent the humming vibrations caused by the wheels and the trainer frame from making contact with the floor. 

You could also get creative and elevate your bike and trainer with the same bike mat in addition to 2'x2' plywood. This will add further insulation and prevent most of the noise. The mats that we recommend can be found below:

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01/18/2023 09:10 pm GMT

One important thing to note is that you first need to identify what is making the noise. Is it the vibration generated through the trainer and wheels making contact? Is it just the derailleurs? 

In most cases, the noise made bike your bike trainer typically stems from your bike tires. So the first thing you'll want to do is take a look at how your bike tires make contact with the trainer. And if possible, make sure your bike tires have the right pressure inside.

Are trainers bad for your bike?

Bike trainers aren't bad for your bike if you correctly set it up. The most a bike trainer could do is wear out your bike tires faster due to the constant friction caused by your bike trainer's resistance. To solve this issue, you'll want to make sure your bike is adjusted correctly, and your resistance rollers aren't too tightly pressed to the wheels. 

You should also make sure your bike wheels have the right amount of air pressure. 

Do you need a special tire for a bike trainer?

Your bike trainer will generally specify what type of bike tire it will work with. In most cases, the standard 700c or 26" to 28-inch tires will work fine with almost all bike trainers. If your bike uses another type of tire, you will want to make sure you verify if it will work with your bike trainer before buying it. 

Another critical thing to note is that bike trainers work best with road bike tires due to their shape and width and how they make contact. 

What Makes A Bike Trainer The Best Budget Option?

The best budget bike trainer is one that offers good performance and features at a lower price point. This may mean sacrificing some of the premium features found on more expensive models, but it should still provide a good indoor cycling experience.

What Are Some Of The Top Cheap Bike Trainers Available?

Some of the top cheap bike trainers include the Sportneer Bike Trainer, the Giantex Steel Bike Trainer, the BalanceFrom Bike Trainer, and the Saris CycleOps.

Is It Possible To Find A Budget Bike Trainer That Is Compatible With Zwift?

Yes, it is possible to find a budget bike trainer that is compatible with Zwift, such as the Alpcour Bike Trainer Stand.

What To Consider When Looking For The Best Budget Smart Bike Trainer?

Some things to consider when looking for the best budget smart bike trainer include compatibility with indoor training apps, resistance type (e.g. fluid, magnetic, or progressive), and bike compatibility (e.g. road or mountain bike).

How Do Indoor Bike Trainers Work?

Indoor bike trainers work by attaching the rear wheel of your bike to a resistance unit, which provides resistance as you pedal. Some trainers use fluid resistance, while others use magnetic or progressive resistance.

What Are The Advantages Of Using A Smart Trainer For Indoor Cycling?

Indoor cycling with a smart trainer has some distinct benefits, including connecting to indoor training applications for comprehensive and targeted fitness sessions. Additionally, you can adjust the level of resistance in real-time to create a unique workout that is both challenging and effective.

What To Consider When Choosing An Indoor Cycling Trainer?

When choosing an indoor cycling trainer include the type of resistance (e.g. fluid, magnetic, or progressive), bike compatibility (e.g. road or mountain bike), noise level, and compatibility with indoor training apps.

What Is A Direct Drive Trainer, And How Does It Work?

Best Budget Bike Trainer

A direct drive trainer is a type of bike trainer that attaches to the bike's rear dropouts rather than the rear wheel. This design allows the trainer to take the place of the rear wheel, with the bike's chain driving a cassette that is connected to the trainer. Direct drive trainers tend to be bigger and heavier units, but offer a more accurate and stable ride as well as the ability to simulate a wider range of cycling conditions. They are typically more expensive than other types of turbo trainers due to their advanced design and construction.

Are There Any Budget Options For A Direct Drive Trainer?

There aren't any "budget" direct drive trainers available, but there are some more affordable options such as the Tacx Flux S Direct Drive Smart Trainer.

What Are Smart Trainers And How Do They Differ From Traditional Indoor Trainers?

Smart trainers are advanced indoor bike trainers that can connect to training apps and adjust resistance in real-time based on the virtual terrain or workout being simulated. They typically offer a more realistic and immersive indoor cycling experience than traditional trainers.

Can Indoor Trainers Be Used For More Than Just Cycling?

While indoor trainers are primarily designed for cycling, they can also be used for other types of low-impact cardio workouts such as spinning or cycling-specific strength training.

How Do I Attach My Bike To An Indoor Trainer?

To attach your bike to an indoor trainer, you will typically need to remove the rear wheel and attach the trainer's resistance unit to the bike's rear dropouts using a quick-release skewer. Some trainers may also require you to adjust the resistance unit's position to match the width of your bike's rear axle.

Are There Any Training Apps That Are Specifically Designed For Use With Indoor Trainers?

Yes, there are several training apps that are specifically designed for use with indoor trainers, such as Zwift and TrainerRoad. These apps allow you to simulate outdoor rides or structured workouts and adjust the resistance level of your trainer in real-time.

Can Indoor Cycling Trainers Be Used With Any Type Of Bike?

Some indoor cycling trainers are designed to be used with specific types of bikes, such as road or mountain bikes. It is important to check the compatibility of the trainer with your specific bike before purchasing.

How Does Fluid Resistance Work In An Indoor Trainer?

Fluid resistance in an indoor trainer works by using a flywheel and a resistance unit filled with a special fluid. As you pedal, the flywheel turns and the resistance unit provides resistance based on the speed of the flywheel. This allows for a more realistic and progressive resistance curve than other types of turbo trainers .

Are There Any Budget Options For A Fluid Resistance Trainer?

Yes, there are several budget options available for fluid resistance trainers, such as the Sportneer Bike Trainer and the Saris CycleOps. These turbo trainers offer good performance and features at a lower price point, but may not have all the premium features found on more expensive models.

Conclusion

With these things in mind, you should now be able to confidently grab any of the best budget bike trainer that suits your preference. With any option you select, you'll be able to quickly get on your bike indoors and stay in shape during times when it's just not convenient to go out. The only downside is that since these are cheap bicycle trainers, you sacrifice a little in performance. 

So if you don't mind that fact and don't think you need to buy a more expensive trainer than your bike, then these are the cheap bike trainers to consider. 

Last Updated on January 9, 2023 by Daniel White