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).
To give that some practical context, when I set the resistance as high as it would go and shifted into the highest gear on the bike, I was struggling to turn the pedals at 35rpm. And that was with a compact chainset. If you have a standard chainset, it’ll obviously be even harder to turn the pedals. I’ve not tried any other turbo at this price that can provide anything like this level of resistance.
We’ve heard people moan about their tyre slipping against the roller when sprinting at high resistance. We had a bit of that to start with, but when I wound the roller tighter against the wheel, no problem at all. I used a bunch of different tyres too.
That means you can do super-slow cadence strength training, for example. And you get 10 levels of resistance via the handlebar-mounted shifter, so you can fine-tune the resistance to exactly the level you want it whether you’re training or warming up for a race.
The frame is really sturdy. Knock it about during transportation and it won’t care too much. The legs are widely spaced for plenty of stability although there’s no adjustment to take account of uneven surfaces so you need to set it up somewhere flat. Well, you can take a shoe off one of the front legs to even things up a bit, but, really, you’re better off finding a level floor to start with.
You have to attach the resistance unit yourself. Again, some people moan that it’s a chore. It’s not. It’s a quick job with a couple of spanners and takes 15 minutes tops if you read the instructions first – longer if you can’t be arsed. Then you attach the right adapter for mounting the shift lever to your handlebar, fit the dedicated quick release to your rear wheel, hitch your bike on board and you’re ready to rock or indeed roll.
In use, the neodymium magnet and large (125mm) steel flywheel produce an authentic feel as if you’re out on the road, and the shift lever is simple to use when you want to alter the resistance, with a clear display to tell you which level you’re in. There’s a bit of rear wheel sideways movement when you really give it the beans, but not enough to put you off if you clamp it in place tightly.
The Satori is reasonably quiet too. Your better half won’t be too pleased if they’re trying to watch EastEnders in the next room but it won’t make you the pariah of your neighbourhood either. It’s a whirr rather than a scream, even at high speed. Stick your iPod on and you won’t hear it.
Tacx’s Skyliner front wheel riser comes as part of the package, and it fits between the skewer clamps when you’re not using the trainer, which is handy for not losing-ness.
You can also set up the Satori for non-road bike wheels too, using adaptor plates for mountain bike diameters. That’s a pain if you want to swap between using a road bike and an MTB on the trainer, but I'm guessing not too many people will want to do that.
All of these features are found on the normal Satori (rather than this Stripes version) too, so you’re essentially paying 40-odd quid extra for a different paintjob (the normal Satori is blue), a padded bag and a DVD.
The DVD contains footage of riding the Grossglockner alpine climb in Austria. You ride along with it, altering the resistance on the turbo to match the level of resistance shown on the screen in order to reflect the gradient. It’s not my sort of thing – I’d rather just bang out intervals on a turbo – although you might be keener.
The bag is useful though, and being cushioned it both protects the trainer and makes it much more comfortable to carry.
High-level magnetic resistance makes this useful even for low-cadence strength training – although the price hike over the standard Satori is a little hard to swallow
road.cc test report
Make and model: Tacx Satori Stripes turbo trainer
Size tested: One style
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Tacx say, "A stylish version with a new design of Tacx's most popular cycletrainer. Includes Skyliner, matching carrier bag and a Video Cycling movie of the Grossglockner. The Satori Stripes is offered in a limited edition at a very attractive price. This bag affords optimum protection in transit and is handy to store the trainer in when not in use. The Grossglockner movie takes you along over one of the world's most famous mountain passes. You cycle through pine forests, open moorland and extremely rugged mountain landscapes. A high-level challenge."
Standard model would be get 7
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, but probably the standard model
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.