How Indoor Cycling Can Improve Your Road Performance

March 22, 2023 5 min read

Road bike trainers support your preparation for sportives and outdoor events on the road. Training with a smart bike can support your performance, and get you race-ready for when it matters most. Our guide pedals you through everything you need to know about harnessing the power of indoor cycling when it counts.

a woman in a pink jersey cycles on a Wattbike in her garage with her road bike in the background

Table of Contents:

Wattbike’s Smart Road Bike Trainer

Road bike trainers help you train indoors to support your outdoor performance. Some types of road bike trainers allow you to adapt your road bike in order to train inside.

The Wattbike Atom smart bike is a static indoor bike and offers real insight into your performance. With our indoor bike trainers you know exactly what to focus on to improve.

Wattbike offers the best indoor trainers: advanced technology and reliability, compatibility with a number of cycling apps, and unparalleled data collection to improve your performance to ensure you excel on the road.

Preparing for Sportives with a Road Bike Trainer

Experience the benefits of indoor cycling for your performance on the road. Whether you’re preparing for sportives, a 100-mile race, or attempting a personal best around your favourite route, you can train indoors on a road bike trainer. Beginner to indoor cycling or expert, you’ll be event ready when it counts. Train for London to Brighton, London to Paris, or the Dragon Ride, from the comfort of your own home.

Train Effectively & Efficiently

With a road bike trainer, you can rely on indoor cycling to improve performance and train more effectively than out on the road. That way, you’re in the best shape for when it matters: when sportive season comes around, or you’re looking to push yourself to attempt a cobbled classic.

a man in an orange cycling jersey trains on a Wattbike in a grey living room

When cycling outdoors, you may have to stop at traffic lights or freewheel downhill. This changes the tension applied through your muscles and ultimately the power of your strokes. Road bike trainers provide the opportunity of constant effort: you’ll ride for a shorter amount of time indoors whilst achieving the same effort and output as you would in a longer session on the road.

Explore Real Road Routes

Train for outdoor events by riding real-road routes in virtual worlds, thanks to compatible indoor cycling apps. Use your road bike trainer to train for the Tour de France stages, or ride the Giro D’Italia from home, whether you plan to complete the physical route or not. No matter what your experience level, exploring the Grand Tours virtually can help you feel more aligned to the outdoors and preparing for real-road events more effectively.

Discover Tailored Workouts

With our very own indoor cycling app, the Wattbike Hub, you can find workouts for sportive riders to keep you on track of your targets. These sessions have been designed specifically to help you tackle the challenges of a sportive. Not just that, but you’ll find 100s of cycling workouts and training plans curated by world class coaches and athletes to take your road bike training to the next level.

Recreate a Real Bike Feel

The Atom uses electromagnetic resistance to vary the input required as you cycle indoors. You can use ergo mode for automatic resistance; the resistance will automatically adjust to the elevations in your virtual route. That’s what helps provide the real-bike feel of your road bike trainer. The Atom replicates the feeling of a real bike with the option to customise your virtual gearing with 22 gears controlled by electronic shifters built into the handlebars.

Improve your Pedalling

Thanks to our unrivalled data, you can focus on every pedal revolution you make. Wattbikes provide live insight into left and right leg balance with our detailed Polar View recording and Pedal Effectiveness Score (PES). No matter if you’re training for sportives or to keep up with your cycling buddies, improving your pedalling technique is essential.

a close up of a smart device showing Wattbike’s pedalling analysis tool Polar View

Focus On Your Targets

By including indoor cycling in your road bike training, you’ll be able to focus on the areas you need most to excel in your race. Whether that’s improving your cadence , or improving your cycling endurance, you’ll make the most of every session with Wattbike.

Workout Whatever the Weather

With a road bike trainer you can ensure you get a workout whatever the weather. Make use of effective workouts whenever suits you most, from late night rides to effective winter training. You can prepare for your sportive on your road bike trainer without numb fingers from the cold, or dangerous conditions such as black ice or slippery roads.

Road Bike Trainer Workouts to Get You Event Ready

With the Wattbike Hub app, you’ll be able to train for your races and events whilst feeling like you have a coach in your pocket. Discover our top picks for tackling the different elements of a sportive:

High Intensity Interval Training

Hub workout name: 8 Round Tabata

This High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout has been designed to improve a repeated max-power effort ability, and is suitable for those with a medium to high level of fitness. This short intense road bike trainer workout is great for improving athletic capacity and cardiovascular fitness. The session is made up of eight, 20-second sprints, with a ten-second recovery between each one.


Hub workout name: Attack the Peloton

This endurance workout was designed for Wattbike by Pro Cycling rider Ollie Peckover, to improve your aerobic capacity. Perfect for translating your indoor cycling to your sportive performance, this workout is designed to simulate attacking in a race, and then sustaining your pace for a solo breakaway.


Hub workout name: Cyclist Sprint Workout

This workout has been designed by Sports Scientist and Cycling Programme Manager at Loughborough University, Dave Nichols PhD. This session aims to improve your sprint training to replicate a late-race bunch sprinting effort you may experience during a sportive or race. This 60-minute workout includes a ten-minute warm-up, and concludes with a five-minute cool-down.


Hub workout name: Alpe d’Huez (Official Crono Course)

This climb replicates one of the most iconic climbs of the Tour De France on your road bike trainer. The road reaches 1,832 metres above sea level, and this workout sees you climb 1,099m over 13.59km, at an average 8% gradient. This workout will test your strength and push you to your limit on your road bike trainer.


Hub workout name: Olympic Distance Tri 3:1

This workout takes over an hour to complete, working in zones 1-6, and can help you prepare for the bike leg of an Olympic-distance triathlon. It’ll help you build aerobic efficiency, with two 20-minute main blocks consisting of five 3:1 over/unders. Why not try it as part of your long distance base training?

Tailored Training with Wattbike

At Wattbike, we’re trusted by professionals to provide the very best in supporting their athletic performance. Find everything you need to reach your goals from heart rate training to stretching after cycling.

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