A few weeks ago, I wrote about the basics required for indoor bike training. I recently made a couple of tweaks that have made my setup much more pleasant to use and I thought I’d document them.
First, I still use TrainerRoad whenever I ride indoors. Their training plans have a huge variety of workouts for whatever you need, and the custom workout creator makes it easy to build whatever odd interval combinations Alex assigns me. I’d been using it by either propping up my Surface Pro 3 or MacBook Pro in front of the TV, which was suboptimal because it required me to drag a laptop over near the TV, set it up, and hope that Pancake didn’t knock it over.
Then it hit me: I had a perfectly good solution right on my bedside table in the form of my Dell Venue 8 Pro.
First, I needed a mount. A little poking around on Amazon yielded the Arkon SM632 for $18. It has four little prongs, two of which are spring-loaded, that hold the tablet or phone in place. There’s also a safety strap that goes across the device for extra security, but I didn’t bother with it. It installed easily in about 2 minutes and easily held the Venue 8 Pro. So far it seems quite sturdy, but I’m not about to ride on the road with a 7″ tablet on my handlebars.
The Venue Pro 8 has a single micro-USB port, so I needed an adapter (and had been meaning to buy one anyway). For $7, Amazon was happy to sell me a two-pack of USB On-The-Go (OTG) adapters.
The hardest part of the install turned out to be getting TrainerRoad set up. It installed easily but I had to tell it to use the virtual power feature, which required me to pick the trainer I use from a drop-down list. It is impossible to do this using the on-screen keyboard (since it doesn’t have up/down arrow keys) and there’s no way to scroll. I ended up plugging a mouse into the USB adapter and that did the trick.
The picture below shows what I ended up with; you can see the USB adapter and ANT+ stick just to the right of the tablet screen. Works like a champ!