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Turbo training accessories: Everything you need for training indoors

Joseph Delves
12 Jan 2021

The best turbo training accessories: We’re all in the pain cave now

From avoiding the weather to making the most of your time or working through structured workouts, there are lots of reasons for riding indoors. And that’s before taking into account the pandemic.

Unsurprisingly, indoor cycling has boomed in the current circumstances. If you’ve never tried it, or have previously found it less than enjoyable, now is the perfect time to give it a go. We promise you, developments in turbo trainers and smart training apps mean it’s no longer a chore and actually quite enjoyable.

That's so long as you have the right equipment, of course, and a few well-chosen accessories, you can make the experience almost as good as riding outside. Almost.

With that in mind, here are our favourite turbo training accessories to get your pain cave looking snazzy.

If you haven't got a turbo already check out our guides to turbos on a budget and those with smart connectivity for apps like Zwift.

Many turbos are out of stock, so we've tried to find those that aren't here...

Must-have turbo training accessories

Choose a category or scroll through to get the full picture

The best fans for indoor cycling and turbo training  
The best turbo trainer accessory for recreating hills  
The best gym towels for staying fresh on your static bike  
The best under-bike sweat mats for turbo training  
Best sweat guards to protect your bike  
How to stay hydrated while cycling indoors  
Laptop and iPad stands for turbo training and indoor cycling  
Stay entertained while using your turbo trainer  
The best app for virtual racing when indoor training: Zwift  
Get with the programme, the best app for structured turbo training: TrainerRoad  
Best chamois cream to keep your turbo training comfortable  
The best indoor-specific cycling kit  

  

The best fans for indoor cycling and turbo training

Without the wind to chill you, when riding on the turbo you’ll get uncomfortably warm very quickly. While this means you’ll burn more calories and stay more supple, you’ll still want some way of cooling yourself down.

Fans range from the sort of thing you’d pop on your desk at the office up to larger models that’ll provide some serious wind speed.

The best smart fan for turbo training: Wahoo Kickr Smart Headwind Fan


If you fancy splashing out on something cycling-specific, Wahoo’s Headwind fan can be paired with either a Wahoo turbo, a compatible training programme, or a heart rate or speed sensor, allowing it to provide a breeze that exactly matches your efforts.

It’s very clever, as you’d expect for £200.


The best large fan for turbo training: Challenge Chrome High-Velocity Tilting Fan


A 46cm tiltable floor-standing fan. Ideal for generating a serious headwind while training, it’ll also do for keeping the whole house cool during the summer months. Finished in shiny chrome, it’s also very nice looking.

  

Best turbo trainer accessory for recreating hills: Wahoo Kickr Climb Indoor Grade Simulator


Hungry for the hills? Desperate for the descents? The Wahoo Kickr Climb takes hold of your fork to provide a rollercoaster style experience. Ascend up to a vertiginous 20%, race down slopes of up to 10%.

Replicating the gradients on screen, it’s a silly but also very fun aid to your training. Read our review here


The best gym towels for staying fresh on your static bike

Fan or no fan - on the turbo you will sweat. So keeping a towel within easy reach is a good idea. Like any gym equipment, this is going to need to go in a hot wash pretty regularly.

Help yourself, and anyone else you share a home with, by getting one specifically for exercise rather than nicking one from the bathroom. Go cheap and cheerful with our pick from Decathlon, or fully-pro with this burgundy Team Ineos number.

The best gym towel for pro-level turbo training: Team Ineos Premium Training Towel

Buy now from the Ineos Team store for £12.50

The best budget gym towel for turbo training: Domyos Cotton Fitness Towel


Buy now from Decathlon for £4

  

The best under-bike sweat mats for turbo training

Not only will you sweat on yourself, but you’ll also sweat all over your bike and floor. As sweat contains a lot of salt, this can quickly knacker both.

The solution is to stick a mat over your training area. With noisier turbos, this will also help dampen any vibration, something particularly important when used on a hard floor. 

The best money-no-object turbo training mat: Tacx Foldable Trainer Mat


A bit like a yoga mat, the Foldable Tacx Trainer Mat protects your floor and reduces noise. Lightweight and easy to pack away, it’s tough enough for laying heavy equipment on, and will also do as a regular workout mat at a push. 


  

Best sweat guards to protect your bike

Save on continually wiping down your bike or risking the corrosion of any steel or aluminium components with a sweat guard. Clipping to the handlebars and running back towards the saddle, once you finish you can pop it in the wash with the rest of your kit. 

The best turbo training sweat guard: Tacx Sweat Cover for smartphones

Ensure your bike always stays protected and your phone remains easily to hand. Perfect for keeping yourself amused, or keeping in contact, the phone itself sits downwind of the handlebars.

While it’s a bit of a stretch to watch anything on the screen, it’s still a useful design feature, while the whole item itself remains machine washable. 

Buy now from Evans Cycles for £25  (Currently out of stock)

The best budget turbo training sweat guard: LifeLine Sweat Net

Buy now from Tweeks for £12.50

Wiggle house-brand LifeLine makes a good case for why you shouldn't spend more than a tenner on what is essentially a weird fabric thong for your bike. 

Buy now from Tweeks for £12.50

How to stay hydrated while cycling indoors

You’ll only ever once try and pop a glass of water next to your turbo trainer in the hope of gulping some down during your session. Any degree of effort will leave your arms far too shakey to do anything other than throw it all over yourself.

A regular bottle popped into your cage is the best solution. Just like normal cycling, sessions over an hour might benefit from fueling with a carbohydrate drink, while electrolyte tabs will help replace any salts and minerals lost through sweating. 

CamelBak Podium Bottle 710m


A sizable 710ml serving for longer sessions. Just as slurpable indoors. 

Elite Vico Carbon Bottle Cage


Being lightweight and carbon won’t help much when attached to a static bike. However, having a perfectly matched bottle and cage remains essential even when indoors. 


Drink to up your energy: SiS Go Energy Powder

Buy 1.6 kg now from SiS for £26

Don’t deplete your food stocks. Power any extended efforts with Science in Sport’s Go Energy Powder which is both easy to digest and provides approximately 50 grams of carbohydrate per serving.

Buy 1.6 kg now from SiS for £26

Replace lost electrolytes with Nuun Sport Tablets

Buy now from Wiggle for £6.99

Just like riding outside, you’ll sweat out a lot of key salts and minerals. Replenish them with these uncommonly tasty tablets. 

Buy now from Wiggle for £6.99

Build muscle with additional protein: SiS Whey Protein

Buy 1kg now from SiS for £30

All your work risks going to waste if your body can’t capitalise on the adaptions you’re provoking. Adding extra protein can help build muscle if you don’t get enough from your regular diet.

Buy 1kg now from SiS for £30

Laptop and iPad stands for turbo training and indoor cycling

I once interviewed an ultra-distance racer who trained his mental toughness by doing 10-hour turbo sessions staring at a blank wall. Unless that sounds appealing, you’ll want some way of amusing yourself.

Low-intensity sessions normally leave enough attention available to allow you to watch TV shows - while catching up on the previous season’s racing can provide inspiration.

If you want to run programmes like Zwift or TrainerRoad you’ll also want a screen to display your data. A tablet or laptop is ideal, while a phone will do at a push. For larger screens, a dedicated stand can be useful.  

The best turbo training tablet stand: Tacx Floor Stand For Tablets

Buy now from Tweeks for £55

 

If you’re happy using a tablet rather than a laptop, this small stand is compact and secure.

Buy now from Tweeks for £55

The best desk-style stand for indoor cycling: LifeLine Trainer Table

Buy now from Wiggle for £99

If you want to create a home-office style setup on a budget, the LifeLine Trainer Table lets you easily gather all your gadgets.

Buy now from Wiggle for £99

Best handlebar phone mount for indoor cycling: SKS Compit Smartphone Holder


A very neat and sturdy way to attach your phone to the area above your stem. Works just as well when used outside. 


Stay entertained while using your turbo trainer

 

Keep yourself motivated, and your mind distracted from the lactic in your legs. Spotify is great for finding tunes with a BPM to match any cadence. Netflix is ideal for boxsets. Eurosport might not have much on that’s current, but it’s still a great place to find past races. Know who won Le Samyn this March? Now’s the time to find out.

If all else fails, BBC iPlayer will keep you both informed and amused for no more than the cost of your licence fee.

The best app for virtual racing when indoor training: Zwift

Buy Zwift subscription, currently £12.99 per month 

There are now several apps that can be paired with a smart trainer to simulate riding and racing. Letting you match up with people around the world on a range of virtual courses, by far the most popular is Zwift.

Auto-adjusting your trainer’s resistance to simulate hills, headwinds and drafting, it’s as close to riding outdoors as you can get without leaving the house. Given the current situation, shares in the company would surely be a good investment. 

Buy Zwift subscription, currently £12.99 per month 

Currently free to try and also worth considering is RGT Cycling  

Get with the programme, the best app for structured turbo training: TrainerRoad

Buy TrainerRoad subscription, currently $20 per month

If you can’t stick to an indoor training plan now, you might as well admit it’s never going to happen. Milk the last of the gains from your time indoors by ensuring you get a structured workout.

TrainerRoads’ big selling point is the in-depth detail it provides, along with the huge range of tailored programmes it offers. Guided via virtual control of your smart trainer paired with a clean graphical interface, you can set your goal, and with enough time and effort, watch your progress improve session by session. 

Buy TrainerRoad subscription, currently $20 per month

Also worth considering: Sufferfest 

Best chamois cream to keep your turbo training comfortable

Chamois cream can be an indoor cyclist's best friend, especially if you are clocking more miles on the turbo trainer than usual.

An anti-bacterial substance, chamois cream is designed to eliminate friction between your skin and your clothing hopefully preventing those dreaded saddle sores and, even worse, potential infections.

The nature of riding on a turbo means you are likely to be rooted to your saddle, pedalling harder than your usual ride outdoors, producing more sweat, increasing the chance of those sores forming.

Lather some chamois cream on to your undercarriage and you may just protect yourself from some pretty unsavoury injuries.

Assos chamois cream: recommended purchase


Unlike most things from Assos, its chamois cream is very reasonably priced at £10.99 for 140ml and like it's cycling kit, it is very good at doing what it sets out to do.

Fairly odourless, paste-like consistency and an easy-to-access pot, we like this chamois cream a lot.

Udderly Smooth chamois cream: recommended purchase

Wiggle | £7.99

Due to containing Shea Butter, not only does this chamois cream from Udderly Smooth protect your undercarriage from bacteria and chaffing, but it also moisturises you, too.

Another easy-access pot and at £7.99 for 240ml, it's incredibly well-priced.

The best indoor-specific cycling kit

If staying in is the new going out you’ll need yourself a new get-up. Several brands now make indoor specific cycling kit. Ideal for at home or in the gym, we’re still fans of using last season’s pro kit shorts and eschewing a top.

But if you live with other people who might not consider this such a lovely sight, here are some brands to look out for… 

The best shorts for indoor cycling: Madison Turbo Bibshort


Stripped to the minimum, these lightweight shorts are designed to be breathable when stationary. With a pad that’ll withstand washing at 60-degrees, they should stay fresh for longer, a trait helped by their anti-bacterial fabric.


The best top for indoor cycling: Pearl Izumi Symphony Tank


A few brands make indoor cycling jerseys - although I can't fathom why you’d need the sleeves. Anyway, a base layer works just as well if you need to keep covered. Alternatively, this tank top from Pearl Izumi is quite fetching. 


The best cap for indoor cycling: Rapha Sweat Cap

Buy now from Rapha for £30

 

Again, why the peak? To keep the glare of the halogen downlighters out of your eyes? I’d go tennis style headband to stop sweat dripping into my eyes.

However, if you’ve £30 burning a hole in your pocket, this cap from Rapha is the height of indoor cycling style. 

Buy now from Rapha for £30

The best shoes for indoor cycling: Shimano IC5 SPD

Gym bikes tend to use mountain bike-style SPD cleats. These require a two-hole fixing, unlike the three-hole type found on road pedals.

They’re also far easier to walk in and less likely to scratch the floor. Not so much of an issue if you’re using your own bike at home, a set of dedicated turbo trainer shoes are still a good idea if you don’t want to stink out your best racing slippers.

Somewhat oddly, Shimano makes two spin-specific shoes for women, while men will have to make do with the equivalent touring model.

Shimano IC5 SPD Women's Indoor Shoes



Shimano RT5 Road Touring SPD Shoes