Here is a compendium of answers to my question re: bicycle trainers
- Two of my friends have Cycle-Ops fluid trainers and say that they are good and worth it. One thing that you can use to deal with stability issues is http://www.rei.com/product/48047981.htm?vcat=REI_SSHP_CYCLING_TOC. It will hold the wheel in place better than the old school telephone book.
- We have an old Travel Trac from www.performancebike.com that works just fine.
- The trainer that I’ve borrowed is this one: http://www.kurtkinetic.com/. It’s stable. I have no complaints. It does what it needs to. It’s a little loud, but I don’t know whether other trainers are quieter. An alternative to a trainer is rollers. There, you actually have to work to stay upright and balanced, and to not ride off them. It’s more like real riding. It takes more focus, which can be good or bad depending on what you’re looking for. Note that a bike trainer will wear down your tires more quickly than riding outside or than rollers. If you’re going to be riding your bike on a trainer a lot and not taking it outside, you might considergetting a cheap tire for the rear to avoid wearing out the hopefully-nice tire that you have on there now.