Active turbo trainers are becoming more widespread; trainers which provide data feedback to the user. Minoura have approached things slightly differently, with their Live Training System that integrates via iPhone with their existing trainers to provide power readings.
These are the prices are the various elements:
Live Ride 760 trainer £299.99
Wahoo key £67
Speed/cadence sensor £49.99
HR strap £49.99
The Lemond Revolution is a high-quality indoor trainer with a great ride feel and it's built to cope with long hours of training. It isn't light or quiet, but I'll trade those two for the ride sensation and enough stability to cope with everything up to a full-on sprint.
The Fluid 2 is the first fluid resistance traininer in the current CycleOps line-up above it is the Pro Range and below various magnetic and wind resistance trainers. It costs quite a bit more than a other resistance methods so is it worth it and what do you get for your extra cash? Read on...
This is a limited edition version of Tacx’s popular Satori (£219.99), coming with its own padded bag for storage/travel, and a training DVD.
Why would you buy the Satori over the myriad of other trainers out there? For me, the main reason would be for the high level of magnetic resistance you get here – Tacx reckon you can generate 400w at 27kph (17mph).
Kurt Kinetic's Road Machine might be pricey but it’s ultra-sturdy and the consistency of the resistance allows you to get a good power measurement if you buy the compatible computer too.
Before you can get going you need to attach the resistance unit to the trainer frame. You don’t get printed instructions but you can’t really go wrong here – and if you really can’t work it out, just watch the DVD included or go online. It takes five minutes and you only need to do it once.
There's a turbo trainer for every pocket and every style of rider out there. If you've got deep pockets and some money to throw at an indoor trainer and you're more of a quality or experience than quantity of stats kind of a person then you could do a lot worse than American outfit Kurt Kinetic's top end unit the Rock & Roll. There's no bells and whistles but the ride experience is right up there among the best, and if you're planning some long sessions it's certainly built to last. The ability to move the bike around adds an extra dimension to the training, too.
Part indoor trainer, part science lesson, the Wattbike is a highly developed performance data gathering tool, and a very decent ride to boot. Just make sure you need all the information that it can throw at you: most riders won't get as much benefit from the numbers as they will from the exercise.