I hate turbo trainers

by SideBurn   August 30, 2014  

They promise so much...
But you sweat, you make a sound like Concorde taking off and the claim that the whatever design feature that makes it 'just like riding on the road' is a load of b*****ks
However; my old one is knackered...
Some seem to promise that they will tell you how many watts you produce? So you can find out how many watts you are producing at any specific heart rate. I am thinking that more watts at any given heart rate means your training is working!
However when you read on they are not accurate so are useless. I have also noticed that some turbos say 'compatible' so you could work out the watts but you need more expensive tech which you cannot calibrate.
The question is; do I stick with a basic one with a decent flywheel or do I go for one with output in watts? The point of having the output (and other electronic aids) is to make the activity more interesting?
The trainer that looks most interesting to me is the Lemond system with a fan? No watts but looks like a good system to me, anyone got one?

12 user comments

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It doesn't really matter if a turbo gives an accurate power output, more that the readings are reliable/repeatable so that you can monitor improvement.

It'll never be like riding on the road, and a decent flywheel won't alleviate the main 'problem' which is boredom.

Trainerroad and/or Sufferfest make turbo sessions more entertaining.

Is the Lemond one where you take the wheel out and use sprockets on the turbo? That seems more faff than a regular one if so.

What about some rollers? They're fairly entertaining cos you need to concentrate to balance. And ones with resistance still give a good workout.

posted by mtbtomo [132 posts]
31st August 2014 - 16:19

1 Like

I have the Lemond one and would recommend it with one proviso. It's very noisy. No really I mean it. Think carefully if there is anyone around

posted by snappyandrew [71 posts]
31st August 2014 - 16:44

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Thanks; that writes off the Lemond then!
Any votes for the Tacx range?

posted by SideBurn [873 posts]
31st August 2014 - 17:28

0 Likes

I've got a Cyclops Fluid 2, its very very quiet and in combination with 42" plasma, appletv/satellite receiver and a handlebar height laptop running Peripedal gives me a good workout with sufferfest. Not the cheapest - but its built to last and so quiet I can listen to music without waking the tiddler.

posted by Trull [66 posts]
31st August 2014 - 18:45

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Screw it, get a winter bike instead.

posted by drfabulous0 [403 posts]
31st August 2014 - 19:14

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drfabulous0 wrote:
Screw it, get a winter bike instead.

Do not worry I commute all year round... I have just invested in some wet weather cycling boots (Partly because the Zafira's diesel pump is f***ed Crying )
The plan is some fairly scientific training Nerd

posted by SideBurn [873 posts]
31st August 2014 - 19:19

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Cyclops Fluid 2 moves to the top of the list Smile

posted by SideBurn [873 posts]
31st August 2014 - 19:31

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Elite hydrogel seems decent. I think you need to draw your shortlist from the ones listed on trainerroad as having a known power curve. That way, the tools are available to alleviate the boredom.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3476 posts]
31st August 2014 - 19:54

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notfastenough wrote:
Elite hydrogel seems decent. I think you need to draw your shortlist from the ones listed on trainerroad as having a known power curve. That way, the tools are available to alleviate the boredom.

"A known power curve" ? please explain....

posted by SideBurn [873 posts]
31st August 2014 - 20:00

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Trainerroad.com basically provides a cheap power meter on your turbo, by combining a turbo, a computer (logged on to their site), a cadence sensor and an ANT+ USB stick (these last two bits aren't expensive). So you can complete structured training sessions to maximise the benefit of your time using the dreaded thing. However, the big BUT is that trainerroad needs to know what the resistance looks like on your turbo, in order to estimate your output wattage for any given resistance/revs etc (since each product is different). So the site has calibrations (or known power curves) for a whole bunch of turbo trainers. Hence, if you draw your shortlist from there (there's a big choice, it's not a shortlist at all!) you'll have loads of potential for doing workouts with real goals to them and hopefully not get so bored.

Have fun! (Yeah, right!)

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3476 posts]
31st August 2014 - 20:33

1 Like

not a cheap option, but cheaper than a Zafira pump i'm guessing, take a look at the Wahoo Kickr.

output in watts, segment mirroring, a whole bunch of tech tricks it can do, and surprisingly quiet. I use it outside the house in the yard and my grunting is louder than the machine!

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [383 posts]
31st August 2014 - 21:13

1 Like

SideBurn wrote:
Thanks; that writes off the Lemond then!
Any votes for the Tacx range?

I have the Blue Motion which I use with Wattzap for power, analysis and virtual rides. I don't use the variable resistance on the Tacx but set it around midday (for my power output) and use the gears to vary resistance.

That said, I would probably go for the Cascade Fluid Pro Trainer at 149 from planetx as I think fluid trainers provide a better indoor ride.

Whatever don't bother with an expensive VR trainer, do use some software to help you train.

posted by vadido [24 posts]
31st August 2014 - 22:22

1 Like