This is the first in a four part series of short articles on the different types of resistance units found in turbo trainers.
Wind Turbo Trainers
Wind resistance bike trainers are the cheapest of the turbo trainers and are always at the bottom of the range as far as price is concerned. With wind resistance bike trainers your pedalling drives a small fan attached to the unit. The fan is designed so that the harder you cycle the higher the wind resistance is that the fan generates. Because the fan is a fixed size it is not possible to change the resistance curve on your turbo trainer. However these turbo trainers do have a realistic feel to them as the resistance rises in direct proportion to the speed you pedal at.
Wind resistance turbo trainers main downfalls are the fact that it is not possible to adapt the power curve and also that they are very loud. Due to the direct relation between the speed of the fan and the speed at which you cycle, when you get up to speed on a wind turbo trainer the noise can in some cases be extraordinary. This means that you can not use a wind cycle trainer indoors or in any place where noise is a consideration.
The flip side of the fan is that wind bike trainers can produce a bit of a breeze which can help counteract the lack of wind that comes with stationary cycling.
Overall a wind turbo can be worth considering as a first turbo trainer if you can get your hands on a good brand cheaply. You will certainly get a good feel for what it is like to use a bike trainer, however for serious and regular cycle training you should opt for one of the other resistance types.
Pros: Good value, realistic feel, can provide cooling through the fan.
Cons: Loud, the resistance is limited.
Ideal if: You are new to indoor cycle turbo trainers or on a budget.
Recommended wind turbo trainers: