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Indoor Cycling Setups for Every Budget and DIY Desk Hacks

Staying consistent with your training is one of the most critical factors to getting faster. And nothing aids consistency like convenience. The more convenient your setup, the easier you’ll find it to knock out workouts, day after day.

We've showcased a range of setups, to give you inspiration for your space.

Do I really need a station? 

Once you’ve made it to your trainer, the other battle is keeping yourself entertained. You'll need access to a laptop, ipad or smart phone. 

Your front wheel and handlebars can limit how close you can get to your screen. A regular desk, table or stool will clash with your handlebars and are not at the ideal height, meaning you’ll be craning your neck down.
Plus, a stool or chair may block the air from a floor fan. You will also want a water bottle within easy reach. Although there is a cage on your bike, accessing the bottle when you are in the middle of a Zwift race or tough interval will mean you have to slow your pedalling or coast to grab it.

There are lots of ways to get through an indoor training session, whether it's tough or an easy recovery ride. Whether it’s listening to music or podcasts, catching up on TV shows, watching highlights of a race, or riding in a virtual world like Zwift.

There are plenty of dedicated indoor training desks available for purchase and they are all £100+.
We've tested a of setups to inspire your own station from £10 stands to try building your own as well as limitations of each option.

A music stand

Music Stand

Easy to set up and fold away

Not suitable for laptops
Not as sturdy as other solutions
Can’t hold accessories like a water bottle or towel

The cheapest option offers plenty of adjustment, folds small, and requires limited assembly. But it was designed to hold a couple of sheet of paper not a ipad/tablet. This can make the stand slope to the side slightly and everything feel a bit precarious. It isn't a scalable solution as it won't fit a laptop. The legs can get in the way of your front wheel and make getting close to the device for easy operation a bit difficult. 

Stool and pile of books

Pile of books

Can be used for laptop or tablet

Take a few minutes to set up
Not as sturdy as other solutions
Can’t hold accessories like a water bottle or towel

Just like the music and projector stand this option is flexible if you want to use a laptop/ipad, but your a limited in footprint, there isn't enough space to rest your phone and we found our reach compromised. You'll need another chair for a bottle, towel and anything else. Taller riders will need more books to raise up their entertainment to eye level and the higher you go the more precarious the set up gets. There isn't any grip for the laptop either so you can risk pushing your kit on the floor. You'll also need to spend a few minutes collecting your books and setting them up, which goes against our suggestion of making your station convenient. 
However this is super cheap option, easy to pack away and won't look ugly in the corner of the room.

Projector stand

Projector - Laptop Stand

Easy to set up and fold away
Water bottle will fit on

Difficult to get close enough
Not as sturdy as other solutions

Similar to a music stand, this option is flexible if you want to use a laptop, or flip it up to hold a tablet at an angle suitable for you. If you use it flat you can also balance your water bottle on top, but like a music stand your front wheel will get in the way of the legs.

Workshop stand with MDF top

Workshop Stand

Easy to set up and fold away
Dual application of workshop stand and trainer desk
Adjustable height

Can be expensive depending on brand/model of stand
Need space for the long legs

Designed to fold away, a workshop bike stand provides plenty of adjustment. It is really stable and the legs protrude out diagonally, leaving plenty of space for your wheel. You’ll need an offcut of wood, MDF or chipboard to clamp into position and balance your laptop and water bottle. We cut a channel using a Router, you can also use a chisel to hold the ipad but you could also put it in a case

If you don’t have an offcut, hardware stores, such B&Q, Wickes and Homebase, sell pre-cut MDF and plywood. You need a piece 40x80cm and thicker than 12mm. This should cost around £12. B&Q also offers a free wood cutting service if you want to buy a bigger sheet of MDF or plywood.

Build your own DIY indoor training desk

DIY Indoor Training Desk

Highly customisable
Sturdy (if you use Studwork Timber)

Our version doesn't fold
You'll need tools to construct e.g. drill or multitool 
Takes time to construct 3-4 hours
Looks basic

This is a crude and simple build but provides you with a base that you can customise to your exact needs. You’ll need two pieces of 2.4m length timber, a sheet of PDF or plywood, 8x London shelf brackets, and wood screws.
At the time of building we used 38 x 63 CLS Timber which cost £3.50 per 2.4m length.

Our example is using premade wooden shelf brackets (£6 per pair). We've used a piece 40x80cm MDF which is 12mm deep (£12). We recommend using London Bracket rather than metal L shape brackets as each bracket can hold 20kg in weight.
A pack of 8 brackets is £9.99.

Our desk replicates the dimensions of the Wahoo Kickr Desk. We’ve set up our desk to be 120cm high to suit taller riders or riders who prefer to look up and ahead at the screen. London brackets are easy to fit and hold all your pieces of timber together so there is no need for angled cuts.
London brackets look basic but they can hold up to 20kg in weight, meaning a DIY desk with big bottles of water and a very heavy laptop if you need.

B&Q and other hardware stores offer a free timber cutting service. Hand them a spec of the dimensions and they’ll make five free cuts in each purchased piece of wood.  Our desk requires four cuts.

Wahoo Kickr Desk

Wahoo Kickr Desk

Quick to assemble
Almost perfect cockpit
Wheels allow you to move it forward and back

Doesn’t fold away
Wheels aren’t locking — if you have an uneven surface you may have some movement

We know that your home desk, music stand, chair or shelf works fine, but sometimes a dedicated tool just makes life simpler. Drumroll for the much imitated Wahoo Kickr Desk. The sturdy, adjustable desk features legs that are designed not to clash with your front wheel whilst also allowing space for the Wahoo Kickr Bluetooth Fan. Desk adjustment is made through pushing two buttons, so there’s no need for tools.

There is a groove cut out along the front and rear of the desk for you to slot up to six tablets in if you want. In the bottom of the grooves are holes for charging cables, keeping them off the desk surface and out of the way.

The top of the desk features an anti-slip rubber top so you won’t accidentally tip over a water bottle or move your laptop. There are wheels to move the desk closer or further away mid ride. There are loops in the corner that you can stuff a towel into.

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