As the riding season draws to an end, your fitness is at a high. Many cyclist hang up the bike in the garage during the winter months and replace it’s companionship with the TV’s remote control. To maintain your endurance that you have worked so hard to reach, it is important to develop an off season training plan.

Due to the unpredictable weather, fall and winter time is a great time to focus on your weaknesses while training indoors. During the riding season, it is difficult to tweak your training and focus on the aspects of your riding that need some work. If you struggled with climbing this year, focus your time entirely on building your climbing legs. If you are a top notch climber, you may want to focus on building your stamina for powering on the flats.

The best way to maintain your fitness during winter while working on improving your weakness is training on an indoor cycle. I recently took the Indoor Cycle ProForm® 2012 Le Tour de France Indoor Cycle for a test ride. There are many indoor cycles on the market, but none of which are quite like the ProForm TDF.



When first climbing on the ProForm TDF, I was pleasantly surprised with the familiar feeling. The saddle offers multi-way adjustment to create a comfortable, road realistic riding position. You can also swap out the saddle for your road bike saddle and switch out the standard pedals for Shimano or Look clipless pedals. These minor alterations make your indoor cycle feel even more familiar.

To start my test drive of the TDF, I logged into my iFit account using the built-in display. The TDF uses iFit® Technology to track all of your rides, provide programs, and adjust the equipment’s incline and decline to match your route. There were several pre-programmed Google Map™ routes just waiting to be ridden. After looking through the routes a little closer, I chose one that contained an abundance of elevation gain since my focus was high resistance training.

Immediately after starting my workout the experience began. As I turned the pedals, the TDF began to automatically adjust the incline and decline of the cycle to match the terrain of the map. As the cycle adjusted to match the incline the resistance increases. With increased resistance I needed to drop gears. The shifters, located on the handlebars, kept me engaged throughout my workout because I had to stay ahead of my gears. The experience of shifting throughout my workout was very similar to any ride outdoors on a road bike.

The TDF also features a built-in power meter. The TDF power meter gave real-time information about the effort I was exerting during my workout. The power meter monitors total watts and RPM’s generated from turning the pedals. Having this information available during a workout gives you insight into how hard you are working. Knowing your effort is critical to insure that you are training at the level you need to get the result you want from your training. For more information about training with a power meter, check out the post “How to Train with a Power Meter”.

It is now time to take advantage of the off season to train hard for next season. A piece of equipment like the ProForm® Le Tour de France Indoor Cycle is a tool to get the result you want. Enjoy the off season and keep focused on building momentum for next season.