Triathlete’s 13 Must-Have Holiday Gifts for Indoor Training (2022)
Editors and experts reveal the 13 indoor training items that are topping their 2022 holiday gift list—from long-ride lifesavers under $100 to premium pain-cave centerpieces.
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If you or someone on your gifting list is an indoor training warrior, they need the proper weapons to fight the battle against boredom (and suffering). And while the world of indoor training evolves every year, our editors and experts are keeping an eye on the cutting edge, just for your benefit.
Scroll down for the indoor training gear on our lists this holiday season, broken down into three price categories: under $100, $100-200, and over $200.
Looking for more great gifts for triathletes? Check out the rest of our 2022 shopping lists:
- 16 Great Holiday Swim Gifts for Triathletes (2022)
- 15 Awesome Holiday Bike Gifts for Triathletes (2022)
- Triathlete’s 18 Killer Holiday Run Gift Ideas (2022)
Must-Have Indoor Training Gifts: Under $100
Lasko Pro Performance Blower Fan
Voted the best compact indoor cycling fan in our indoor cycling fan guide, this premium offering from Lasko might not be the fan you’ll reach for when trying to cool your kitchen on a hot day, but its specificity has made it a go-to for even professional Zwifters. Indoor specialists love how well you can dial in the direction of this blower, the fact that it has a very small footprint, the fact that it comes with two extension outlets for more indoor training goodies, and the fact that…well, it looks cool. Surprise the sweaty one on your list with this budget friendly indoor air blaster.
RELATED: Ask a Gear Guru: What Are the Best Fans for Indoor Cycling?
Saris Trainer Mat
Even though a trainer mat might not be the sexiest gift on our indoor training wish list, there’s nothing lesssexy than a warped floor from puddles of sweat or the thundering hum of a trainer whirring on hardwood. Do everyone (yourself included) and gift a thick, well-constructed trainer mat to protect your floors and your eardrums. This version from Saris is grippy—to prevent movement as you stand up and sprint—and cushioned with PVC foam to help dampen sound.Section divider
Must-Have Indoor Training Gifts: $100 to $200
NoPinz SubZero Indoor Riding Suit
We know, we know: you’re thinking, “What in the h*** is an ‘indoor training suit’?” Bear with us now: This suit from outside-of-the-box (and obsessively detailed) thinkers NoPinz is another recommendation from our favorite pro Zwifter who swears by the unique garment. “The SubZero has pockets on the lower back and between the shoulder blades which hold freezer packs to cool you down mid-race or mid-interval,” says former triathlete-turned indoor cycling pro, Matt Gardiner. “The suit comes with two packs, and they stay cool for ~30min, so you can put one in to start that hour session, and swap it out halfway through.” Doesn’t sound so crazy after all, and your giftee will likely agree after an hour riding inside.
RELATED: This Pro Indoor Cyclist Has The Best Pain Cave You’ve Ever Seen
Fulgaz Year Membership
$110 billed annually, fulgaz.com
Sure, there are plenty of virtual training platforms that convert your hard-earned sweat equity into online avatars, but only one is the official partner of Ironman. Fulgaz stakes claim to that title, and ranks high on our list of the top 10 indoor cycling platforms and apps thanks to the 50+ official Ironman cycling courses all captured in beautiful 4k video for your indoor enjoyment. Not only does Fugaz feed the triathlete zeitgeist with its filmed tri courses, but the platform also has its own built-in training programs, like the popular “12-Week FTP Improvement” series. Help put a smile (or a grimace) on the face of your giftee with the “Triathlete’s Virtual Platform.”
RELATED: The Top 10 Indoor Cycling Platforms and Apps to Get You Through the Winter
Tacx Tablet Stand
Sometimes training indoors is made infinitely better via two simple things: distraction and convenience. The only thing harder than doing a two-hour ride inside is having to stop every five minutes to adjust the screen you propped up on a pile of books that keeps slipping down. This well-made tablet stand from Tacx is not only a solution to the distraction problem, but it also solves the convenience conundrum by accommodating tablets from 182-267mm tall and 112-197mm wide—all in a smart form factor that’ll increase make your pain cave setup look better, no worse.Section divider
Must-Have Indoor Training Gifts: Over $200
Zwift Hub Indoor Cycling Trainer
Zwift upended the trainer game earlier this year with the introduction of it’s pricepoint-shattering direct-drive trainer for only $500. Competitors were left scrambling to compete with a well-built, quiet, and everything-included trainer that cost hundreds of dollars less than what was previously available. If the giftee on your list is still using a wheel-on trainer, can’t stand the noise of their current setup, or is interested in finally taking the plunge into a smart trainer for virtual training platforms, the Zwift Hub is a no brainer.
RELATED: Extended Review: Zwift Hub Trainer
Wahoo ROLLR Smart Trainer
If the Zwift Hub above is the entry point for direct-drive smart trainers, then Wahoo’s novel ROLLR setup is the logical evolution for triathletes looking to take their indoor training to the next level. Featuring a hybrid design with rollers-plus-stationary-riding, being able to ride rollers without the high cost of skill entry will certainly transform those indoor sessions. Our reviewer loved the ROLLR’s super-fast setup—including the lack of need to remove either wheel—and the fact that it can be used sans electricity. The only caveat on this otherwise-excellent setup is that you’ll still need a separate power meter (like the Favero Assioma Uno from our cycling gift guide) if you’re going to connect to a virtual training platform.
RELATED: Reviewed: Wahoo ROLLR Smart Trainer
Jetblack Rocker Plate
Even though it’s unconventional looking (and, quite frankly huge), the Jetblack rocker plate makes a world of difference when it comes to comfort and indoor realism when riding the trainer. Using inflatable balls (that you can adjust the pressure of), the trainer/bike combo is able to move along with the movements of the rider—not only giving feedback while standing and pedaling, but more importantly also relieving pressure points on the wrists and sit bones. On similar setups, reviewers have reported a marked increase in overall comfort, especially as rides get longer and especially when spending more time in the aerobars. It will take up a large amount of your indoor training floorplan, so only give this gift if you know your giftee has a large, dedicated space for their indoor cycling setup.
RELATED: Triathlete’s 2020 Design Awards: Most Extra DesignSection divider
Our Experts’ Holiday Wish Lists
Rapha Indoor Training T-Shirt
Let’s be honest, indoor training is hard enough – why not make the experience more tolerable? I have tried cut-off sleeves and tank tops but was unable to duplicate Rapha’s attention to detail that separates this from the pack. Details such as a tailored cycling fit, proper arm cut outs (read no chafing), moisture-wicking materials, and just the right amount of material-stretch/stay-in-place ratio makes this my go-to shirt for time indoors.
Vizio D-Series 32” Full HD Smart TV
Yes, you can continue squinting at your tablet or laptop but if you want to spoil yourself or a loved one for their pain cave consider a TV such as the Vizio D-Series Full HD Smart TV. With built-in Apple AirPlay, Bluetooth (for pairing headphones), dual-band WiFi, and HDR gaming, the Vizio makes casting your laptop or phone apps easy and wireless. Indoor training sessions become more fun. Plus, it’s awesome having a TV dedicated to your pain cave!
- Casey Maguire, writer, reviewer, and physical therapist
Pelli Ceramic Bike Protect
$30 (8 oz.), pellibikecare.com
What’s worse than spending five hours on your trainer during the dark days of winter? Cleaning all the nooks and crannies where your perspiration puddled during those threshold intervals. I’ve been making the job easier by applying this hydrophobic spray, which is impregnated with a ceramic polymer that bonds to my bike’s frame and fills in tiny scratches where grime and rust can collect. Pelli also makes a biodegradable cleaner that’s become my go-to for weekly maintenance.
Woleyi Gooseneck Tablet Mount
Problem: You’ve ridden Watopia approximately 2,367 times and really just want to dig into a good book or movie on your next indoor ride. Solution: This handlebar-clamping tablet holder lets you read or watch hands-free while training. No sweating on your brand new hardcover Grisham, no awkward fumbles when shifting. (Pro tip: Join Outside+ so you can stream Ironman 70.3 races and replays.)
- Jon Dorn, Hawaii Ironman World Championship finisher, former editor
Nutribullet Go Portable Blender
Recovery blends in the car, office cubicle or airport lounge are all possible with this take-anywhere blender. Even people who already have full-size blenders will appreciate the ease of using this diminutive one for a quick hit of nutrition. The lightweight (less than 2 pounds) cordless blender is charged via USB and the power can last for up to 20 blends. The individual serving cup offers up an option for a make-and-take smoothie. At 70 watts it’s certainly not as powerful as the big gun blenders out there but it’s enough to mash together any liquids with frozen ingredients. It’s also possible to make sauces and salad dressings with the machine. Opt for the red color for a more festive-looking gift.
- Matthew Kadey, writer, Registered Dietitian, connoisseur of jersey-pocket bites