How to tell how many miles you have done on a turbo trainer?

How to tell how many miles done on cycle trainerIt’s hard to guess, you’ve pedalled for ages but just how far have you gone? Cycle trainers don’t come with an odometer, but this is a quick and easy fix to see how many miles you have done on a turbo trainer.

You’ve been on your cycle trainer for ages, pedalling constantly with no stops this is even harder than on the road… you must have done miles and miles. You think to yourself “I’ll push on and stop when I get to the next mile end.” Glancing down at the milometer you see it’s not far, one big push and you’ll get there.

An odometer on an indoor bike trainer is a great idea and motivator, either for setting yourself a distance goal or motivation to keep training for just that little bit longer.

Good news odometers are easy to fit and surprisingly cheap and not only will they tell you your mileage but also speed, average speed and top speed. Mine even counts calories used (although I have found that to be a bit of a joke!).

What is this wonder device? It’s the normal Bicycle Speedometer you get for your bike on the road!

Instead of setting it up to the front wheel as is usual, you fit the magnets to the rear wheel instead.

For examples and price check out some cycle odometers here I have found on Amazon.

Things to look out for when buying a Bicycle Speedometer for use on your indoor trainer

There are a range of cycle speedomiters to be found, each with their own special features, some are useful others not so much. However one important feature to look out for is wireless connection like this one here.

Things to avoid when choosing a bike speedometer

A feature that you should probably avoid is the solar-powered one… I’m guessing there is not much sunlight in your training room!

Wires… These cycle meters are usually made to fit the front wheel and therefore have short wires. If you do get one with wires you can fit the display unit to the cross-bar of the bike if the wires are not long enough to go all the way to the handlebars.

I have also seen a model with GPS. This only works from satellite data and forward movement… Also useless for indoors.

The next step when mileage is not enough

Measuring the mileage on a turbo trainer is satisfying and gives you an Idea of the effort you put into the trainer in relation to the real wold and riding on the road.

But this is not how experienced trainer riders measure their performance, they like to measure the watts per kilogram of body mass (W/kg).

How do they measure the watts?

Do I need a spare wheel?The first stage is a power meter this is usually found in a smart cycle trainer like the ones here, or a meter pedal like this one.

Point of interest: you can get a very good smart trainer compared to the cost of a meter pedal.

The metering device is then connected to an app or dedicated display unit that converts the effort and speed that you put into your pedalling to watts used.

This can be an expensive route to take but if you are serious about wanting to improve your fitness and riding technique this type of measure can be invaluable.

Conclusion how to tell how many miles done on cycle trainer

Fitting a bicycle odometer is easy to do and you also get benefits of finding your average speed while on the trainer.

This simple device can relieve the tedious boredom of using an indoor bike trainer by incorporating it into or even tailoring your workouts to include the device, for example with timed average speeds or distance trails.

I do hope I have helped you fix this simple problem of how to tell how many miles you have done on a turbo trainer and even given you ideas for better training sessions.

For more ideas and problems check out my site

You may also find my post on how to make your cycle trainer quieter helpful.

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