How to Set-up Your woom bike on an Indoor Trainer:
Not able to ride outside with your child? Too cold? Too hot? Will the rain just not stop? Riding indoors is a great way to keep your kiddo pedaling when the elements are not ideal or when it is just not safe to get outside. There are many options for adults to set up their bicycles on “indoor trainers” (stands that hold a bike in place and allow for stationary pedaling) that can be adapted for children’s bikes. Here is a story from woom community member David Mawhinney about how he set his son’s woom 5 up on a trainer for his first ride indoors. Below, we give you some indoor trainer product recommendations.
My name is David Mawhinney, and I’m a dad, furniture designer, and cycling enthusiast. I live in Brooklyn, New York, with my 7-year-old son Desmond and 4-year-old daughter Frances. My wife Aimee and I were avid cyclists, before kids, and have continued to ride with them. I’ve recently taken up some local bike racing with the Century Road Club Association (CRCA), with a fan base of three. My son has been a huge fan of watching me ride both indoors and out, and it was only a matter of time before he wanted to bring his bike inside and try himself. With recently spending more time indoors, my son asked if we could hook up his woom 5 to my trainer and play “dad’s cycling video game.” The farthest he had ridden outdoors was 5 miles, and he often gets tired or bored on the bike, so I was unsure about how long he would last. So, I took my bike off and put his on, thinking it would be five minutes.
I attached his woom 5 to the trainer, a Kickr Snap from Wahoo, with a yoga mat underneath to keep our downstairs neighbors happy. Setting the bike up was no problem and didn’t require any changes to the bike or trainer. Wahoo trainers are “smart trainers” that work over Bluetooth, and we have ours connected to our Apple TV via the Zwift Companion App. Zwift is a multiplayer online cycling and running video game and training program that enables users to interact, train, and compete in a virtual world. I created Desmond his own Zwift account. Kids 16 and under ride free, and within the features of the app, they take privacy seriously. We changed the settings in Zwift to have the wheel as 24" x 1.75", and it was ready.
He walked in with his kids Rapha jersey and chose Watopia Flat Loop and just started riding. I watched for a bit and then left. I came back 10 minutes later and he was still chugging away. Twenty minutes in and his cheeks were getting red, so I told him I'd recommend the fan, which he loved. I also got him a stroopwafel, a Dutch wafer cookie popular with cyclists, from my kit. He had that as well as some water from his water bottle. It was a good time to explain hydration and nutrition to him, a captive audience. After that, I gave him some noise-canceling earphones and put on some music, not because the sound of the bike on the trainer was loud, but there's only so much you can take without them I find.
Desmond watches me ride, train, and race, and is therefore pretty familiar with how changing gears, resistance, and speed work together. He loved getting “thumbs up” and “ride ons” from riders who had no idea they were riding beside a 7 year old. That was a big appeal for him. At home, we do not dumb things down for the kids—be it menus at restaurants or edges on furniture, kids don’t get enough credit. And so him being able to ride alongside adults, in the safety of his own home, is great. We’ve talked with both of our kids to be careful around the trainer, and when someone is riding, we block off the back of the bike with cardboard as a visual reminder that the bike wheel and flywheel are moving.
He kept setting little mid-ride goals for himself: one lap, 10 miles, pass 10 people, don't stop on a hill, go as fast as you can in the Sprint. This soon became two laps, then three laps, 20 km then 30 km. He just kept going. I think it's important that children are in charge of setting those goals and are in control of when they are finished. This is not training, this is recreational, and I didn’t want him to think he has to do a certain amount. I also told him that he doesn't have to do this because I like it, which I think is also important as kids do look for approval. He rode to the Sprint on the third lap at about 27 km and unlocked Level 2, and got a “ride on” that gave him the “Mr. Popular” badge. These were huge highlights! He said “going to finish this lap and stop,” which was perfect. He kept comparing his ride to the park we live across from, Prospect Park. He's done a few laps there, but this beat his record for distance. More thrills.
It was really great to see him truly loving riding indoors because we are taking a pause from it outdoors. This was a perfect way for him to get some quality exercise. Next up, we’re going to try riding together. He’ll be on the trainer and me on the rollers. We’ll see how that goes...
Wahoo Kickr Snap: $499.99
Best for kids who want the full indoor trainer experience including smart trainer connectivity and automatic resistance control. Fully functional with Zwift. Compatible with 24” and 26” wheel sizes (woom 5 and woom 6).
Kinetic Road Machine Smart Trainer 2: $259.99
Best for kids who are looking for a great value on a smart trainer. Connects to Zwift.Compatible with 24” and 26” wheel sizes (woom 5 and woom 6). Adding the Small Wheel Adapter makes it compatible with 20” and 16” wheel sizes (woom 3 and woom 4).
Saris Mag Trainer: $189.99
Best for kids looking for an affordable, simple option for indoor riding.Compatible with 26” wheels and can be ridden on smaller sized wheels without resistance.
Fisher Price Think and Learn Smart Cycle: $124.99
Best for smaller riders that want to ride indoors or whose bike will not fit on an indoor trainer, recommended for kids ages 3 - 6.
Check out some more blogs:
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Balance bike or training wheels? How to get your little one ready for a pedal bike!
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For woom Parents: How to Start Riding a Bike Again, A Choose Your Own Adventure Story.
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