Indoor Cycling: Complete Beginner’s Guide

Indoor cycling for beginners can be straightforward and exciting. With Wattbike, indoor cycling is easier, and more effective than ever. You can conveniently improve your fitness from the comfort of your own home. Our expert beginner’s guide highlights all the things you need to know before starting your indoor cycling fitness plan.

Table of Contents:

Why Wattbike is the First Choice for Indoor Cycling

Indoor cycling with a Wattbike smart bike is the perfect way for beginners to get started. Whether you’re a keen cyclist that’s experienced with outdoor routes, or you want to reach your personal training targets indoors, you can complete workouts on your indoor bike trainer

Wattbike’s indoor trainers require very little set-up, so when your trainer arrives, you can get started almost straight away. Once you have it ready, you can start your indoor cycling by setting out a structure to your workouts. To begin, decide how often you want to train, then you can create an indoor cycling plan for how often and how hard you want to workout.

Indoor bike trainers can remove some of the hassle that comes with a turbo trainer or bike rollers. These require your road bike, and can waste time before you train. You no longer have to clean your bike, bring it inside, and risk damage to your road bike or home.  Rather than use a turbo trainer, indoor cycling on a smart bike makes your workout straightforward and hassle-free. 

You can begin pedalling, see your cycling data in real time, and use our Wattbike Hub app to work towards improving your performance. See your power output and how efficiently you pedal with every session.

Benefits of Indoor Cycling 

Indoor cycling for beginners comes with many benefits, from convenience, to training through the off-season. With a smart bike, training is made simple, time-efficient, and helps you see real improvements. No matter your ability, the benefits of indoor cycling are clear with Wattbike:

Train through the winter - No matter the time of year, or how harsh the weather, you can still workout effectively towards your targets. Winter training means you’re ready for the cycling season, if completing cycling sportives is your aim. If fitness is your goal, then you can incorporate a workout into your everyday life with ease. Over the winter months, you’re able to fit in a workout between the school run, or busy family visits. 

Convenient - You never have to miss out on a workout again, with an indoor trainer in your own home. Wave goodbye to slippery roads and numb fingers, and say hello to training whenever you want. Fitting in a workout when you’re busy is more straight-forward with an indoor bike trainer, because it’s ready when you are, in your own home, never far away. 

Improve performance- Indoor training can help you improve your cycling and fitness, with every pedal stroke counting. Research has shown that an hour on an indoor bike trainer can be the equivalent of “1.5 hours, if not more, on the road”, says Matt Rowe, of Rowe & King. Outdoor cycling can involve a lot of free-wheeling down hills, waiting at lights, and the hassle of punctures or poor weather. Whereas, with indoor cycling, every minute counts towards your improvements. 

Everything You’ll Need for Your First Ride

Beginning indoor cycling is straightforward, but you need to know the perfect indoor bike set up to get going. Here’s what you’ll need for your first ride:

  • Indoor bike trainer - It may seem obvious, but this is the best way to get started on your indoor cycling fitness journey. 
  • The Wattbike Hub - Our dedicated free app for cycling on a Wattbike trainer, which tracks your data from every ride, and provides you with workouts, climbs, and training plans to test yourself.
  • Training apps - You can trial a number of indoor cycling apps that are compatible with Wattbike trainers. You can virtually explore real-road routes and share your progress with friends. 
  • Heart rate strap - Monitor your heart rate with the dual mode heart rate monitor to track your performance. 
  • Floor mat - Protect your indoor surfaces with an indoor floor mat. It also catches sweat to look after your home while you attack your fitness targets.
  • Indoor fan - While you cycle, you might miss the cooling breeze of outdoors. Perfect your set up with an indoor cycling fan to keep you cool while you train. 

Beginner’s Guide to the Wattbike Hub 

Beginners can harness their indoor cycling with the Wattbike Hub App. We have created a tailored app to help beginners to indoor cycling get started, and track your progress. Within the app you’ll have access to over 100 plans, tests and challenges to enhance your indoor training. As well our range of indoor cycling workouts, created by industry experts. The app is free to download on iOS and Android.

You’ll tell us your training goals and set your Functional Threshold Power (FTP), so you’ll be able to measure your fitness and progress, with the data that matters to you. The app makes it clear to see the level of each workout, so you can choose one depending on your experience and fitness level. With workouts to improve cycling performance, you’ll see yourself reaching your targets, even as a beginner. From there, you can build your ability, and trial tougher workouts as you improve. 

Not only that, you can recreate that real-road feel, with climbs to complete from the real world. Whether you fancy trialling some workouts for sportives or even training for the Tour de France stages.   

Getting Started with Performance Testing

Performance testing for beginners can help those new to indoor cycling track their improvements. You may want to improve your fitness, and this can help you do just that. Performance tests offer a benchmark to see how far you’ve come, but the numbers aren’t as important as how you feel. Progress isn’t always linear, so you only need to focus on yourself, and not compare with others. Your only competition is you!

There are a number of different tests for indoor cycling beginners to see how you’re getting on, and how close you are to smashing your own targets: 

VO2 Max - This is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use as you cycle. Tracking this with performance testing, can help you see how well your body adapts to indoor cycling. Essentially, improving your VO2 Max means your endurance increases. So you’ll be able to train for longer. The Wattbike Hub features a number of workouts dedicated to helping you refine your VO2 Max performance, including the VO2 Ladder workout, designed by the All Blacks

Time Trials- Testing your pace over a specific time period can help you see your power output and aerobic ability. Completing a time trial on an indoor bike trainer can remove the added elements that may slow you down in a real-road time trial, such as harsh weather, dodging potholes, and looking out for traffic. Beginners to indoor cycling can complete a time trial with the Wattbike Hub, to track your progress. Again, the only time to beat is yours, so focus on your own training. 

Start Indoor Cycling With the Help of Training Apps 

Indoor cycling for beginners is a great way to train, but it could feel uninspiring at times. With free indoor cycling apps for beginners, you can harness the fun of real-road cycling, while making sure every pedal stroke counts. The Wattbike Atom is compatible with a number of indoor cycling apps. These can offer virtual real-road routes, interactivity, and a sense of community. Some allow you to complete social rides, or share your data with your friends. If you connect your app to the Wattbike Hub, the data from the app is pulled into the Hub, so you’ll still be able to analyse your performance once you’ve completed your ride. 

  • Zwift - Reach goals in a virtual world with an online community.
  • TrainingPeaks - Accredited coaches support you through fitness plans.
  • TrainerRoad - The personalised AI-powered tool helps you reach your targets.
  • Rouvy - Find realistic riding through augmented reality workouts.
  • Strava - Track, analyse, and share every aspect of your performance.

Glossary of Indoor Cycling Terms 

Starting your training with an indoor bike can be a daunting process, but we want to make it as easy as possible. Improving your performance means coming across technical terms from the cycling world. Here are some key terms you might want to know, to support you as you begin your indoor cycling journey:

  • VO2 Max - This represents the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use as you cycle. The faster your body can process this oxygen, essentially the more you will be able to exercise.
  • Functional Threshold Power (FTP)Testing your functional threshold power represents your ability to sustain the highest possible power output over 60 minutes of cycling. 
  • Time Trials - A sustained effort over a set distance or certain period of time, to help you measure your cycling performance. 
  • Pedal stroke efficiency - The way you complete a full revolution of your pedals when you cycle to make you a more efficient rider.

Why Choose Wattbike?

At Wattbike, we specialise in providing effective training with indoor bike trainers. From improving your endurance to strength training for cyclists, see how to build indoor cycling into your workouts.


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