Like many people, we’ve had to adapt our workouts due to the pandemic. For me, this has meant shifting workouts that would otherwise be done in a spacious, well-equipped gym to the great indoor space that is the bedroom of my 1-bedroom apartment. After purchasing new equipment and moving things around, I’m happy to say that I’ve created the best at-home setup I can with the items I have, which admittedly is not much. As a loyal Rokform customer for the last four years, I was still surprised by how welcome the addition of my Rokform V4 Pro Series Bike Mount was to my indoor set up.
Adapting to the Pandemic
Unlike most of my Rokform colleagues, who are located in sunny Orange County, where the temperatures never drop too much, I live in a town that observes all four seasons with vigor. Since November, the outdoor temperature of 40 degrees fahrenheit or less has been much too cold for me to run (my usual cardio activity in good weather) outdoors. In past winters, I’ve been able to seek exercise refuge at my gym, but given the pandemic and realizing I’d be spending most of my winter time in my one-bedroom apartment, I quickly scoured the internet for alternative workout options for my home. I settled on purchasing a new road bike, which I’d been meaning to purchase since my last move two years ago. Rather than getting a Peloton or other cycling bike that’s limited to stationary training only, I opted for a road bike, which can be used indoors and out, all year long (with the right equipment).
The Indoor Training Equipment
- The Road Bike – An Orbea V40. The bike model is irrelevant – all that matters is that your bike and trainer are compatible. Some smart trainers can even accommodate mountain bikes.
- The Trainer – An Elite Suito Smart Trainer - Again, the specific trainer doesn’t matter so much, but I definitely see the upside of choosing a smart trainer, which makes training with apps a whole lot closer to the real thing and, in my opinion, much more fun. I chose the Elite Suito after doing research on low-priced smart trainers. In the end, I felt like the Elite Suito had positive reviews and offered more bang for my buck over other smart trainers because the cassette was also included with the trainer. For many trainers, you have to purchase this separately.
- The Rokform Smartphone Case - A clear Rokform Crystal case for my iPhone XS. This is a must-have if you intend to use your phone in some form while you train/ride because it connects to the bike mount. If you still need a phone case with RokLock built in, you can shop the Crystal series by phone model.
- The Bike Mount – Rokform V4 Pro Series Bike Mount. This is actually my first time using the V4 bike mount, because I am still using the now obsolete V3 on another bike. They can be installed in seconds and are built to last.
- The Training App – Zwift. Zwift is one of the most popular online cycling game and training apps out there. It lets users ride, train and compete virtually with people around the world and in real time. You can even go on scheduled rides with cycling groups. I chose Zwift over others mainly because I was given a free 30-day trial with my Elite Suito trainer purchase. I was also more interested in testing out the gamification and virtual riding aspect of Zwift more so than the training program. After my free month long trial ended, I was charged $14 per month to continue using Zwift.
Alternative indoor set up
Of course, just because I opted for a road bike / smart trainer set up, doesn’t mean it’s the only one that you can use indoors. By now you’ve probably heard about Peloton and other at-home smart equipment that have received a stay-at-home boost. The cool thing about Peloton and some other equipment is that they don't require a mount – just stick your magnetic Rokform case to the bike!
The Indoor Training Set Up
To stay connected on my rides, I opted to use my laptop as the main screen. If you have a smart TV, you can easily connect Zwift to your TV screen for a larger and seemingly more immersive experience. With my iPhone mounted to my V4 bike mount, I use Zwift’s accompanying app, aptly named Zwift Companion. As described on the Zwift website, “Like a remote control for your run or ride, Zwift Companion makes training more efficient and fun. The free app makes it easy to message others, send Ride Ons, use PowerUps, see your performance stats, and more.” I find my phone screen a tad too small to stare out for the main race, so it’s nice to have this remote control feature paired with my laptop screen. Before attaching my V4 bike mount to my bike, interacting during a ride was nearly impossible. Now, it’s super easy to reach down and send a Ride On to fellow cyclists. For some reason, the connectivity to others, tracked stats, and the gamification of it all keeps me coming back day after day.
The Benefits of Training with Rokform
Over the last few weeks on the blog, we’ve broken down how to choose the right phone case depending on your workout style and how your smartphone case can help you take your workout to the next level. To us, the benefits of incorporating Rokform gear into you workouts can be summed up in two words – connectivity and versatility.
Staying connected brings loads of benefits, especially when you’re working out. It means having access to new songs, new workouts, new apps, and new training programs wherever you are. It gives you peace of mind as you get into the zone knowing that if you are needed somewhere else, someone will be able to get a hold of you.
With versatile smartphone accessories, you can use your smartphone in new and often innovative ways. Use your phone’s built-in timer to time your workouts, turn on the camera to record your form, access social media apps to find workout inspiration or unlock millions of fitness apps from the app store for fitness tracking, fitness programs, virtual coaching and much more. Just like I’ve been able to use Zwift Companion as a supplementary tool to my Zwift virtual rides, you can find new ways to workout smarter with your Rokform gear helping you to stay connected.
The Rokform Gear
Complete your indoor set up with the following gear:
A Rokform Case
I use a Crystal case because I appreciate its slim design. The perfect case for you really depends on your level of workout intensity. The Crystal confidently handles any drops from up to six feet, which is plenty for me.
Buy a Rokform Smartphone Case - $49.99
A Rokform Bike Mount
If you are like me and choose to outfit your road bike for the indoors, you will need a bike mount to mount your smartphone case. There are two to choose from, so depending on how often you intend to use it and how important portability is to you, pick between the V4 Pro Series Bike Mount or the Handlebar Mount. The Pro Series bike mount installs onto the down stem, so while it installs in seconds, I wouldn't say it's as portable-friendly as the Handlebar Mount.
Buy a Rokform Bike Mount - $29.99 and up
My setup is just one of the numerous indoor setups that can be amplified with Rokform. If you own a stationary bike, such as Peloton, or any other workout equipment that’s getting you through the pandemic, I’m sure Rokform has a case, mount, or accessory that will amplify your workout. We recently published an article on the best Rokform gear for your workout, which will take you through smartphone cases, mounts, and accessories that pair perfectly for your workouts.
Have you been using any Rokform cases or accessories to help you train indoors? Share your own setup in the comments below or send us an email!