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Advice on indoor trainer


grego12

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Hi Guys

 

I'm in the market for an indoor trainer.  Looking for something to pass the winter months with and something which has the ability to download rides and follow them on a monitor.  Been searching online and the Wahoo Kickr seems to be one of the best recommended.  Any experience with this one or other recommendations?

 

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I bought a Cycleops trainer to keep some semblance of fitness after an injury last December.

I sold it off a few weeks back because I found it became an expensive bike stand.

Personally, I found it helpful while I couldn't get out on the road/trails, but once I was back I couldn't bring myself to use it, though I am fortunate that I have a fairly relaxed schedule so I can get a lot of outdoor riding in, and live close enough to work that I can commute.

I'm not saying there is no place for them in training, I see many people putting in loads of time in on them with good results, but I also think it takes some dedication to spin those legs and go nowhere, maybe other people have more exciting walls than me to stare at... :P

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Three weeks ago I bought a Cycleops Powerbeam Trainer, up to now I have been using a Tacx I-Vortex but it was not giving me enough resistance. Most of my riding, about 5 hours a week, is spent on the indoor trainer. I have a bike sitting on it full time, so there is no taking the bike on and off and having to swap skewers. I run it with a large PC screen so there is something to watch. You can download 100's of video routes to ride, so no need to be bored staring at a wall. Or you can download or create your own workouts. Its not the same as being out on the road, but I can realistically only ride on the road once a week, so this is the next best thing. There is also indoor racing every Tuesday evening. As far as I know the Kickr will also work with the same software.

 

Tacx trainers are great but you have to pay for the videos, to be fair these are of quite high quality, but come at a price. The Tacx that I had was just not offering me enough resistance and, most importantly for me, the watt reading was wildly out from my SRM power meter that I have on my bike.

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Three weeks ago I bought a Cycleops Powerbeam Trainer, up to now I have been using a Tacx I-Vortex but it was not giving me enough resistance. Most of my riding, about 5 hours a week, is spent on the indoor trainer. I have a bike sitting on it full time, so there is no taking the bike on and off and having to swap skewers. I run it with a large PC screen so there is something to watch. You can download 100's of video routes to ride, so no need to be bored staring at a wall. Or you can download or create your own workouts. Its not the same as being out on the road, but I can realistically only ride on the road once a week, so this is the next best thing. There is also indoor racing every Tuesday evening. As far as I know the Kickr will also work with the same software.

 

Tacx trainers are great but you have to pay for the videos, to be fair these are of quite high quality, but come at a price. The Tacx that I had was just not offering me enough resistance and, most importantly for me, the watt reading was wildly out from my SRM power meter that I have on my bike.

Thanks for the info.  The Powerbeam looks pretty much on par with the Wahoo unit if I search online.  Can I ask, what software do you use to ride video routes?  Does the trainer automatically adjust resistance depending on the profile of the video route?

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I recently bought a Kickr. Really impressed as I am out in the middle of nowhere and riding on any roads after work is dangerous (traffic, not locals).

 

In my research I found that the Kickr, cycleops powerbeam pro (and I assume the Kickr Snap) are pretty much identical in terms of software compatibility and controlability. I rode the cycleops for a short while at a cycle expo, and it feels great and is pretty quiet.

 

What swayed it for me was that I've brought a mountainbike to where I am, and therefore in order to use the cycleops (or Kickr Snap), I would have needed a training wheel - so add around R2.5 - 3k to the cost of the trainer. This brings it up to pretty much the price of the Kickr.

 

Also I'm a big guy.... 110 kgs. So stability was important to me, and the Kickr is very solidly built.

 

Also wattage - the Cycleops is rated at 1000W while the Kickr is rated at 2000W. Now these might sound like big numbers, and I'm sure both trainers would be fine, but when you do sprint intervals at 1200W (even if only for a couple of seconds) it made me nervous getting something at a lower rating. I tried to get more info on the time portion of the rating (for any engineers out there, I basically asked for the motor brake overload curve) but this wasn't available. I'm not sure how they rate the power output of these things since the Kickr has a 60W power supply.

 

Quick review - the Kickr is immensly quiet, ver stable, and has been a great purchase. I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again.

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Thanks for the info.  The Powerbeam looks pretty much on par with the Wahoo unit if I search online.  Can I ask, what software do you use to ride video routes?  Does the trainer automatically adjust resistance depending on the profile of the video route?

Sorry late reply, just got back from riding the Randwater Race for Victory. Just go to the Cycleops website, cycleops.com, and download the software, you can download for tablet, smart phone or PC. You get a two week free trial, after that there is a monthly charge. As far as I know there are a lot of software packages out there that will work with the Cycleops and Wahoo trainers. The one that is available on the Cycleops website just works first time without any issues.

 

Yip, the trainer automatically adjust the resistance when you go uphill. One of the videos I downloaded was the Alpe de Huez, 11% and steeper gradients, you can feel it.

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Sorry late reply, just got back from riding the Randwater Race for Victory. Just go to the Cycleops website, cycleops.com, and download the software, you can download for tablet, smart phone or PC. You get a two week free trial, after that there is a monthly charge. As far as I know there are a lot of software packages out there that will work with the Cycleops and Wahoo trainers. The one that is available on the Cycleops website just works first time without any issues.

 

Yip, the trainer automatically adjust the resistance when you go uphill. One of the videos I downloaded was the Alpe de Huez, 11% and steeper gradients, you can feel it.

Thanks for the tips.  Decided to get the Wahoo unit and the Cyleops Software

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Thanks for the tips.  Decided to get the Wahoo unit and the Cyleops Software

Download Zwift for free (on your laptop) - great for passing time on the trainer, it's like online Gran Turismo on your trainer.

 

Trainerroad (on your Ipad) paid subscription - great for erg mode interval sessions

 

Never used the cycleops software though so can't compare.

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Really enjoying Zwift at the moment. For me it works better than trying to do my own thing while watching a movie/series.

 

I'm using a basic Tacx Matic IDT with my roadbike/cadense sensor/ant+ dongle combo hooked up to my pc.

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TACX Bushido Smart, with the PC Upgrade. I have just installed the TACX i-Ironman for a friend. Fantastic products, Virtual Reality films are really great. I have Tony Martins training video where you follow in his slipstream over 64KM of his favorite training route. Really great workout. I have just loaded the Google earth dongle so I can virtually ride any route on earth. With the onboard power meter, and HR monitor as well as the steering "Blacktrack" the rides are pretty awesome. 5 settings for VR rides, Very easy, easy, normal, hard, very hard. I ride on normal against 9 other VR opponents and still place last by a margin,  so I really look to improve on every ride and it is getting better. Multiplayer also available. 

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Really enjoying Zwift at the moment. For me it works better than trying to do my own thing while watching a movie/series.

 

I'm using a basic Tacx Matic IDT with my roadbike/cadense sensor/ant+ dongle combo hooked up to my pc.

 

I have just looked at the Zwift website. They don't really have a good explanation of how the software works. Can you elaborate a bit more on what it does, what you see on the screen, does it give you resistance on the uphills, online racing?

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I have just looked at the Zwift website. They don't really have a good explanation of how the software works. Can you elaborate a bit more on what it does, what you see on the screen, does it give you resistance on the uphills, online racing?

 

You ride either Richmond or Watopia against Zwift Robots or Zwift participants in other countries. You see yourself, and you can change views, just like in a game. It gives you resistance if you have a Smart Trainer like Tacx's Vortex / Bushido or soon to be released Neo. So it shows Power, HR, Cadence, and then distance covered, avg speed, etc, and uploads to Strava automatically afterwards.

 

There's even races, e.g. 7.30pm tonight is an organised 4 lap race of the Richmond UCI World circuit, that's more about 2 hours of IDT work!

 

Never liked Indoor Training, but Zwift is a Game Changer. The Tacx Vortex with Ant+ dongle and Ant+ HR Straps works sealmlessly. I've been testing it all week, and must say: I'm hooked!

 

dennis@sportsworld.co.za

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