Ten turbo trainers from £150 to £2,250

Our pick of the best turbo trainers to suit all budgets

by David Arthur   December 4, 2012  

Kurt Kinetic Road Machine turbo trainer

Come on, admit it, you've been tempted recently to cancel a ride or training session because outside the comfort and warmth of your home it's been lashing down with rain or is just horribly dark? That's where turbo trainers come in, allowing you to still get some saddle time in when you can't, or don't want to, face the outdoors.

If you read our guide to buying a turbo trainer, you might be interested and in the market to buy one this winter. They are a great investment even for the less serious cyclists among us, and the great thing is there's probably a trainer to match every budget. From the entry level but thoroughly decent trainers to the all-singing all-dancing fully equipped trainers that cost the same as a new bike, there's something for everyone.

Here's 10 that we've picked starting at £150 and rising all the way to £2,250.

Minoura B60-R Trainer £149.99

Minoura's affordable B60-R turbo is well designed with a sturdy frame. The resistance unit is magnetic and uses a 0.6kg dual steel disc flywheel with seven levels of resistance to allow you to tailor the intensity of your session. The remote adjustment lever can be clamped to the handlebars so you can make adjustments without having to get off the bike. www.zyro.co.uk

Elite Nova Trainer £179.99

The Nova Force has replaced Elite's previously best-selling Nova Mag and has been given an improved Mag Force drive unit. This provides more resistance and the heavier flywheel is said to deliver a smoother, more realistic, ride feel. It is supplied with adaptors to fit any wheel size (even a 29er mountain bikei) and has five levels of resistance. www.madison.co.uk

Tacx Satori High Power Turbo Trainer £249.99

A very popular choice at this price point is the Tacx Satori. It's a magnetic turbo with a neodynium magnet and an extra-large steel flywheel, and it offers 10 levels of resistance, adjustable via a quick release lever. Like most trainers the Satori folds flat when not in use and rather neatly a front wheel support is included which doubles as a carry handle for the trainer. www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk

CycleOps Fluid 2 indoor trainer £265

The mid-range Fluid 2 is CycleOps' most affordable fluid resistance trainer. Fluid resistance units give a very smooth feel when you're cycling - as close as you'll get to the real thing. There's no manual adjustment of the resistance, instead the resistance builds with the intensity of your pedalling. The idea is that you have a unlimited range of resistance. Read our review.

Kurt Kinetic Road Machine turbo trainer £299.99

Kurt Kinetic isn't the biggest name in the world of turbos but this one ticks most of the boxes. It's ultra-sturdy and the fluid resistance uses silicone in the chamber which isn't affected by heat so you have consistent resistance no matter the air temperature.  Read our review.

Elite Qubo HydroMag Digital Trainer £334.99

The brand new Qubo uses a frame that provides a wider platform with adjustable feet for both improved stability, handy when doing intervals, and a lower bike height so you don't need so many books under teh front wheel. It has a larger ElastoGel rollder and the fluid resistance unit provides better simulation of riding on the real road, and the rollers automatically calibrate to the rear wheel. A head unit displays speed, distance, time and watts.. www.madison.co.uk

Bkool Turbo Trainer £399.99

Trainers from Spanish firm Bkool have a unique concept that attempts to make training on your own more interesting by using online route sharing and real world video training rides. Hook the trainer up to your computer and you can watch real-world video from around the world while you train with more videos being uploaded all the time. One really neat feature is the ability to download a friend's training ride and ride against them as a virtual partner. And when you do venture out on the real roads, you can record it with your GPS device and upload that route to the trainer. More details.

Lemond Revolution trainer £399.99

The Lemond differs from other turbo trainers in that rather than the rear wheel being clamp into the frame, it is removed. Your bike fits to an axle and cassette setup. It uses a belt drive to transmit your effort to the flywheel fan and as a result gives a very realistic feel. At 14kg it's a solid lump on the floor. Read our review.

CycleOps Indoor Cycle i100 Pro £1,150

If we were to get snowed in for the entire winter we can't imagine a more complete indoor trainer that we'd rather be stuck with. It can be fully adjusted to match the fit of your bike and you can change the saddle and pedals too. The size and weight of the frame means a very stable platform for the hardest intervals, and the 48lb flywheel gives a very precise and wide range of resistance control. More info.

Wattbike £2,250.00

Famously designed with input from Sir Chris Hoy, the Wattbike is a staggeringly good bit of kit but its price limits it to those most seriously interested in home trainer. If you're interested in the Wattbike you'll want to know that it's one of the most advanced home trainers currently available. Smooth resistance with stacks of adjustment from the huge fan up front, and it spits out more data than you'll know what to do with. It can be plugged into your computer to thoroughly analyse each session. Read about our experiences.

12 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

At least three of the lower end one's can be had cheaper in CRC's special offer, got the email this morning for anyone who is interested in them Wink

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Categories.aspx?CategoryID=303&SortBy...

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
9th November 2012 - 19:59

44 Likes

Anyone that's read Obree's book will likely be staying well away from the fan and gel based ones- he's very much an advocate of sticking to simple magnetic turbos. I'd guess he'd actually advocate the first, cheapest, one!

posted by Al__S [645 posts]
9th November 2012 - 20:23

51 Likes

posted by sodit [75 posts]
10th November 2012 - 8:51

42 Likes

Thumbs up for the cycle ops mag trainer at under 150 if you are looking for something for occasional use. Same sturdy frame as the more expensive models but with a more basic but adequate magnetic roller

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [914 posts]
4th December 2012 - 11:22

51 Likes

Where do folk see rollers in the overall scheme of home training?

I got me a set of JetBlack rollers last year, and am very happy with them. Trying not to fall off makes the session a little less tedious, and you get instant feedback if you're not pedalling smoothly.

As for measuring my effort, I just go by the speedometer.

Fold up thin too.

Should I still consider a static turbo though?

neildmoss's picture

posted by neildmoss [211 posts]
4th December 2012 - 12:06

42 Likes

I see rollers as more essential than turbo trainers!!
I use my Tacx Antares throughout winter and long into spring (even summer given the weather last year).
It's amazing what difference grabbing a 30 minute session a couple of times midweek makes.
(Assuming you still get a long, steady ride in at the weekend).
Make sure you gauge your effort so that you warm up and cool down properly. A heart rate monitor is ideal for this and they only cost £20.

Rollers teach you to rev smoothly - which can be used on the road to good effect - especially climbs.

I find static turbo's are selling a myth of resistance & therefore power. Cycling is about aerobic fitness, not leg strength. If you can lift your body on one leg, then you have all the strength you need.
(see Ned Overend or even Wiggo's stick thin calves).

Gravity - it won't let you down.

bigmel's picture

posted by bigmel [84 posts]
4th December 2012 - 12:32

47 Likes

My personal recommendation :A bargain basement magnetic tacx, combined with a cateye wired (or wireless ) odo with cadence.

To slo to live, to slo to die! ::-}

posted by OldnSlo [125 posts]
8th December 2012 - 11:20

40 Likes

just got off my cycleops turbo...used with a hrm and cadence bike computer,its a great piece of kit that can help you improve your cycling.
i got mine second hand for £25!
if it's dangerously icy /snowy a turbo or rollers makes huge sense..whats not to love?

keith roberts's picture

posted by keith roberts [191 posts]
11th December 2012 - 21:29

43 Likes

Evil horrible nasty things. That is all you need to know about turbo trainers.

posted by ilovemytinbred [164 posts]
24th December 2012 - 10:54

42 Likes

Have a benq spin bike for ten yrs, cost about 200 quid. Use with polar hrm and cadence ie old bike computer. Saves sweating over you beloved road bike, no oil and mess indoors so keeps wife happy. It's very sturdy ie you can blast it standing up in saddle with no wavering around. I have setup with precisely same measurements as road bike, with same saddle and pedals. Why fiddle around with these flimsy bits of kit wearing out your road bike. Only maintenance is odd tightening of chain about every six mths. Solid as a rock and useful indoor training tool

posted by Mpittick [12 posts]
24th February 2013 - 16:46

54 Likes

I've been using the Elite Novo Force for 6 months and find its consistent. For the past couple of weeks I've been using Trainer Road but can only get an accurate power reading on resistence 5.

posted by murphywk [0 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 10:38

46 Likes

I bought that exact tacx for£145 off amazon in February, so ignore the process mentioned if you look hard enough you will find big reductions on the prices shown here, obviously I understand you are showing the rrp just don't want people to be put off by the prices.

quality made product and you get a free demo disc for some courses that are about 15min long which are actually pretty good, the resistance lever attaches to your handlebar and the software tells you what resistance to put it on, my only groan is the harder the resistance the more obvious the " slippage" was, as the year goes on I will buy some of the full discs and use them to ease the boredom of winter turbo training.

posted by billyman [129 posts]
22nd May 2013 - 21:59

48 Likes