The Climbing Riser Block from CycleOps is a neat way to bring your bike up to the natural riding level and also beyond, to simulate riding up a hill when you're using a turbo trainer… even if it's not a CycleOps one.
With the rear wheel raised off the ground when using a turbo, the bike is on a negative gradient, affecting your weight distribution and possibly the way you engage your muscles. If you think about it, you are going to have to be providing some form of reaction force to stop yourself sliding forward.
Another benefit of removing your front wheel from the floor is the prevention of skid marks. In my experience, lever arch folders are a good method of raising your bike but CycleOps want to do things properly.
The simple injection moulded design does leave me wondering what the markup is on a thing like this. It is good and sturdy though, so you can feel like your £18 has gone somewhere.
The triangular design is intersected by three grooves through the middle of edge; your tyre sits in the groove. The grooves do vary in depth slightly but there are no markings to suggest levels and I can't say I noticed much difference between them, you will probably just end up slotting your bike in whichever is closest.
To achieve a climbing gradient you do in fact need two blocks, stacked, making the name slightly ambiguous; one block simply brings the bike level.
It does its job well - far better than a lever arch folder. The deep grooves hold the front wheel in place and ridges on the base grip the floor.
We didn't have two to try stacking but I imagine it would be much of the same.
I did feel a lot more comfortable and natural on the bike using the block, meaning one less excuse for not using the turbo trainer.
If you use your trainer a lot and want to ensure your position is correct, the Climbing Block is a worthwhile buy. Correct riding position makes for a much more natural and productive training session. While you may be able to prop you bike up by other means, this removes the faff and ensures the same level each time the bike is setup. For that, it is probably worth it to most.
road.cc test report
Make and model: CycleOps Climbing riser block
Size tested: n/a
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?
It's an accessory for rear wheel mounted trainers, to bring the bike up to the normal riding level.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
For a stable, worry-free ride in any rear-mounted trainer.
Unique 3-level design lets you select the level of difficulty.
Stack two blocks to simulate climbing workouts.
Injection-molded construction is virtually indestructible.
Use 2 blocks for 12 different adjustment levels. Patents issued and pending
It is a simple simple plastic construction but that's all that's needed really; it's simple and sturdy.
Better than my usual stack of books by a long shot.
It's strong, I can't see you breaking it even if you wanted.
Certainly improves trainer ride comfort.
Another £18 to consider when buying a turbo might mean many will over look this. I think the value is in the fact that it makes riding the thing much better, so in turn you'll get more value from you turbo trainer!
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As intended. It isn't a 'climbing' block though, unless you buy two.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The ease of bring my bike up to the correct level and how sturdy it was.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The different level groves are negligible and it isn't a climbing block without another to stack.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 23 Height: 184cm Weight: 66kg
I usually ride: Orbea Onix (Carbon) - Summer, Orbea Asphalt (Alu) - Winter My best bike is: Orbea Alma G10
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, club rides, mtb,