You read that right. Tucked between the toilet paper and pool noodles, and across the aisle from the frozen food section, we found an indoor trainer. Those of you familiar with the discount supermarket chain, Aldi, know that you can never be certain with what you’ll find, but even within that context we were surprised to stumble across an indoor bike trainer in a grocery store.

So we did what any curious person would do in that situation: We sent one of our editors back to the store to buy it. Equal parts bemused, skeptical, and downright curious to see how well or even if it would hold up—or what it would look and sound like if it failed—we put it to the same test we do all our indoor trainers. (We tested a lot of trainers this winter, ranging from $300 friction trainers to $1,400 smart trainers that do everything except pedal for you.) Only this time, we filmed it. After all, if this trainer was going to blow up in spectacular fashion, we didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to capture it for all to see. I’ve always wanted to be part of a viral video, so I raised my hand to be the guinea pig.

In the box you’ll find a trainer skewer, a riser block for your bike’s front wheel, and of course, the trainer—whose metal frame felt sturdier than expected. Resistance is magnetic, and a lever that mounts on the handlebar lets you toggle between six levels of resistance. Mounting the bike onto the trainer was easy enough, but the frame did flex a bit. I had to really crank down the lever to keep the bike from shifting side to side.

To be fair and objective, I took this trainer through the same protocol I did for every other trainer I tested this winter—an interval workout covering everything from short, hard sprints all the way up to long, steady efforts. I also tried riding this trainer on Zwift. Naturally, for $28, you’re not getting a smart trainer, but with the use of a $40 Wahoo speed pod, I was riding on Zwift for a total cash outlay of only 68 bucks. It didn’t appear to be accurate, but I was still able to participate in the game.

Before you cancel the order you just placed for a new Wahoo Kickr, and run out to Aldi, be warned: This trainer worked, in that I rode it, gave it some stick, and it didn’t break. The stated maximum resistance is 580 watts at approximately 25 mph. Interestingly enough, the trainer runs smoother once you top 25 mph, but the resistance falls away considerably once you get north of 600 watts. And despite initial resistance that’s very inconsistent, after a few minutes it smooths out. It’s not perfect, but it also isn’t bad, especially considering the price tag. The resistance control unit is a little clunky, but it does give you six noticeably different levels of resistance.

So what is this trainer good for? If you want a low-tech trainer that lets you do some general fitness riding through the winter, it’s worth a shot. If it breaks after the first use, then you paid $28 for a trainer ride. By comparison, if you buy the Elite Drivo II you’ll have to ride it 50 times before the cost per ride drops below $28. This trainer is also a good solution if you just need something to throw in your car for parking-lot warmups.

Abdominal Crunch Machines

Here’s the, ahem, kicker: You never know what you’ll find at an Aldi, especially when you’re talking about non-grocery items. So as much as I’d like to be able to say you can run out to Aldi and get this trainer right now, there’s no guarantee it’ll be there. But if you frequent the discount grocery chain, keep your eyes peeled when you pass the Aldi Finds section. You never know when you’ll discover a hidden gem.

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