I have used trainers, stationary, and rollers. All have their own benefits. The rollers are good for creating better balance. They are really hard to keep up on but in time it becomes easier. I would probably only get on these if I was sure of my skills and had a nice narrow doorway or hallway to ride in.
Stationary vary in make and model. The best will have various adjustments so that you can make it the very close to your size. You will find these models in any good spin class. If you have one of these and I have seen them on ebay at great prices you will have a stationary bike that fits very close to your bike at home. All you will need to do is change out the saddle and it will be sort of hard to tell the two apart.
Lastly trainers. These are cheaper than stationary bikes. You will have to use a special skewer or else it will destroy the one that comes with your bike. It also only spins the rear wheel so it burns out faster than normal. This isn't the case with stationary bikes. The same thing about these two are that you will get bored if you don't have some kind of entertainment. Also they both have the posibility to add resistance. I like the resistance on a stationary better because it won't burn through your tire. Both are heavy and hard to move around.
That is about all that I can think of right now. I guess for the beginner I would put the top as 1. Trainer, 2. Stationary 3. Roller.
For the average I would put it as 1. Stationary 2. Trainer 3. Roller
The advanced rider will have to decide for themselves which is better for them. I would say that if you want to work on balance then get rollers. If you want to try different postures and size of bikes then get an adjustable stationary. If you just want to ride inside cheaply then take your bike and buy a trainer.
I hope this has helped some of you out there. Good luck in your goals.
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