While RVing around the country, long before Covid-19, there were many occasions where I hungered for a decent cardio workout but circumstances were not conducive. Either there was a cold spell, maybe rainy weather, or maybe it was too hot. Sometimes the weather was fine but the neighborhood was not ideal–too much traffic with no safe place to run or ride my bike, or terrain that was too steep, for example. Maybe it’d be nighttime and unsafe to ride or to run. Now, with Covid-19 around there’s yet another reason to workout indoors.
I recalled hearing about some rather compact bicycle trainers you could put your own bicycle on and I thought, perhaps, that if I had something along those lines I might be able to ride my bike inside the RV while avoiding the pitfall of the day that would otherwise prevent me from getting a cardio workout. So, it was off to another research project…
As I poked around online I found different types of bike trainers at different price points, from $30 to over $1,500. I found some that seemed bulky, some that were reported to be loud, and some that were poorly made, heavy, or weren’t meant for quick set-up. Since I was looking for something that I could take RVing I wanted it to pack up small so I could find a place to stow it. I also needed it to be lightweight because, well, RVers know we need to keep the weight down. Plus, it needed to be well made and easy to deal with.
After a pretty rigorous search that included reading reviews and watching videos I thought I’d give the Feedback Sports, Omnium Over-Drive bike trainer a try. I opted for this one over all the others because it was fairly lightweight and packed up on the small side. It’s also easy to set-up, put away and virtually maintenance free. While at $400 +/- it wasn’t cheap it was far, far from the priciest. Plus, the reviews were very good. One YouTube video review I watched is the one directly below.
A short corporate promo video just beneath.
By way of being clear and as a disclaimer, when I say the Omnium is a “safer cardio workout” my meaning is that you can workout indoors as opposed to being outside where exposure to coronavirus and other pathogens may be more likely. That, and you won’t be dodging potholes, sharing the streets with cars or bike paths with other riders. Whether or not this trainer is safe for you personally is a matter for you to discuss with your physician.
I’ve had my Omnium Over-Drive bike trainer for over a year now and have used it many times. It’s great to be able to get a cardio workout regardless of where I am and what the weather might be, or nowadays, if you’re squirreled away in order to avoid Covid-19. The trainer itself is reputed to be among the more quiet trainers but depending on your tires the noise level varies. Wider or knobbier tires make more noise than thinner, smoother tires. Controlling the intensity of the workout is a matter of shifting gears and peddling faster or slower just as you would outdoors. The footprint required by the Over-Drive is about 32″ x 60″ so you’ll need at least that much space to use it. Packed up in its carrying case it’s about 28″ x 10″ x 9″. You never have to worry about traffic, pedestrians, sand, glass or road surface, wind, rain, or anything else associated with riding outdoors. The only downside to this trainer I have seen for myself is that just a little bit of care should be taken not to tip it over when getting on or off and I can live with that easily enough.
There are two similar models of this bike trainer that look identical: the Omnium Over-Drive and the Omnium Zero-Drive. The difference is that the Over-Drive has built-in resistance and the Zero-Drive does not. When I was trying to decide between the two I called Feedback Sports for help. I was concerned that the Over-Drive with built-in resistance might require too much of me. Even though I’m approaching 70 and not an avid cyclist Feedback Sports suggested the Over-Drive when I said I was fairly active but not a fitness fanatic. They were right. The Over-Drive feels much like it does when I’m riding my bike around town. I find the gears I usually use in town are those I use on the Over-Drive. The Zero-Drive is geared more toward racers who want a quick, high-cadence warm-up or cool-down on race days. It might also be better for someone who is older, less fit or who wants a trainer that’s easier to pedal.
I’m glad I bought my Omnium Over-Drive, especially now–although the weather has been awesome there’s no really good place to get a controlled cardio workout on my bike and there’s always there’s also that nasty Covid-19 thingy floating around outside.
I have no particular source to suggest for the Over-Drive model. It doesn’t seem to be available on Amazon, but if you are interested in the Zero-Drive here is my Amazon affiliate link to that model. Please do use it should you decide to purchase one from Amazon. Doing so will make me wealthy beyond my wildest dreams. Either that or I might make a few dollars for all the effort I put into this blog 🙂
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