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I'm interested in playing video games while riding the bike trainer this winter. Using a controller with a regular setup would likely require me to sit up on the saddle, possibly setting myself up for some weird / painful conditions due to unusual posture for extended periods of time. I would likely plan to ride for at least an hour, if not longer each session.

How can I set up my bike so that I can be comfortable holding a controller and riding at the same time?

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    How far are you willing to go with this? Even watching TV on a trainer is an awkward position, unless you lay the TV on the floor or something... Also, are you sure you'll continue riding reasonably if you're playing a game? I think I'd slow my pedalling down a lot if the game was even reasonably entertaining. – Batman Dec 16 '15 at 22:01
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    Add some challenge and use rollers instead of trainer. – ojs Dec 16 '15 at 22:03
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    Try Zwift: zwift.com – Zippy The Pinhead Dec 16 '15 at 22:33
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    You may also try a GPS based game (something like Ingress) and actually ride outside. – Deleted User Dec 16 '15 at 22:36
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    I watch a lot of movies on my rollers, but if it's a tough interval the movie fades away and if it's an interesting part of the film I can easily forget to stop pedalling. A video game is going to be far too engaging, I stick to trashy 90s action films, nothing too good. – alex Dec 17 '15 at 0:48
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I can play like this for an hour or so

  1. Get a multi elevation desk (Like this one around $35 from Amazon) it allows you to lower and tilt the TV UP toward you reducing neck strain

  2. adding cheap armrest bars/aerobars (like these around $20 from Amazon) allows you to rest your elbows comfortably while riding the bike, keeping your weight forward.

  3. Adding a heart rate monitor that beeps when you slow down is a good way to remind yourself to speed up.

how hands rest

my setup

enter image description here

Tips

Sweat will be a pain with the controller so keep a towel handy.

My Trainer is rather loud, so I use (in the ear) - ear buds. I originally used a cloth - full headset, but the sweat made them stank up.

Doing both tends to create a seesaw effect - Games that require alot of concentration will naturally make you slow down. Going faster (higher heart rate) tends to increase the games difficulty.

As mentioned by @AndyP below, this will likely decrease performance (at least initially) in both gaming and cycling while doing both, so I wouldn't recommend using this as a method to increase performance in cycling or gaming.

With that said - it is a decent way to burn excess calories and build muscles while performing an otherwise stagnant activity.

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  • Ooh, photos even! :) Nice! – DavidW Feb 4 at 22:56
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    but, is it aero ? -grin- Seriously though, excellent answer, well done! – Criggie Feb 5 at 0:33
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    Worth noting that your gaming is likely to do strange things to your HR (elevate at exciting/tense moments). Overall, whilst this is a great answer for those that want to do so, i'd say that trying to combine the two is going to lead to a bad performance in both your gaming and your workout – Andy P Feb 5 at 11:21
  • @AndyP Worth noting that your gaming is likely to do strange things to your HR ... Better than falling over from being bored. You get HR excursions outside, too. The HR excursions from video games don't have the same consequences that the excursions caused by misbehaving automobiles or trucks do. And on that trainer you'll probably never get a HR excursion from a death wobble starting during a fast descent. – Andrew Henle Feb 5 at 23:24
  • Nice. Thanks for the good tips. – Benzo Feb 6 at 1:56
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Buy a recumbent exercise bike instead and you'll be much more able to play games. But if you're training for serious upright riding rather than general fitness that will not be what you want.

recumbent exercise bike

I have used one of these for a while and used to read while riding it. That worked fine, but once my broken collarbone healed I lost interest (but I live in Sydney where the weather is nice year-round)

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5

How about aerobars without the bars? You just need the tv set on floor slightly tilted so you don't break your neck. For example Zipp Alumina Clip has several possible setups for comfortable "riding" position.

You can ride in sitting position every now and then to stretch your hip and back.

Remember to keep your back straight and shoulders down. :)

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  • I typically use a laptop for entertainment while on the trainer. Which means the screen is easily angled. I'll likely use that for my gaming as well with a usb gamepad. – Benzo Dec 17 '15 at 16:11
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Tilting your seat back a bit should do it. This will allow you to be comfy in "no hands" position, leaving both your hands free for the controller.

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Have you tried Zwift? It combines the 2 things that you want to do - cycling indoors and gaming.

I know this is not a direct answer but it is something to consider. And NO I don't work for them.

RideOn!

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  • I have during the beta, but I found it to be a bit boring. Maybe I was doing it wrong, but I just couldn't get engaged in it. – Benzo Mar 28 '16 at 13:49

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