All you need to know to buy a turbo trainer or rollers
  • By simulating riding, but out of the cold and dark, a turbo trainer or indoor trainer lets you keep fit when it's too nasty to ride outside.

  • The latest magnetic resistance trainers give a reasonable facsimile of riding on the road.

  • 'Smart' trainers incorporate electronics to measure your power output and remotely control the resistance, making for very precise training and enabling on-line virtual racing.

  • Rollers improve balance and pedalling smoothness, and feel more road-like, but usually don't have more resistance than is necessary to turn the wheels.

  • Many riders now use an indoor trainer year-round to get the most out of limited training time and hone fitness away from the traffic.

Essential for some, an instrument of torture for others, a turbo trainer can be preferable to heading outdoors when it's thundering down with rain or the roads are covered in ice.

Granted, there's nothing quite like getting out there on the open road, but sometimes it can be too treacherous and a turbo trainer allows you to focus on your training through the winter months so you don't miss a ride. And if you're racing or planning to race, a turbo is a perfect way to do really high effort interval sets.

Elite Real Axiom Trainer - riding

Many people swear by turbo trainers. If you're serious about your training and do a lot of competitive cycling, or are planning to, a turbo trainer is an excellent way of doing very specific and targeted training sessions. With heart rate monitors and power measuring devices to help you, it's possible to train very effectively on a turbo .

Turbo trainers aren't just for winter. Many use them for warming up before races and they can be used throughout the year to brush up on your top-end with sprint and high intensity training, without traffic or junctions getting in the way.

The advent of online training and racing apps like Zwift and TrainerRoad has added a new dimension to indoor riding. You can ride in virtual landscapes, following the provided training programs or ones you enter yourself, and there are group rides and races to help with your motivation. Most recent turbo trainers will work, but to get the most out of these apps, you want a smart trainer that can be controlled by the app so its resistance changes with the virtual slope you're riding.

>Read more: Turbo training tips — get the most from your home trainer

Resistance unit

A turbo trainer is a relatively simple device. The rear wheel is suspended in an A-frame and the tyre butts up against a roller connected to a resistance unit. This is the heart of the turbo trainer and is really where your money is going – the more expensive trainers have more advanced resistance units. If you're planning to use a turbo a lot of the coming winter, it can be worth paying a little more but, that said, we've found simple trainers fine for occasional use.

JetBlack Cycling Mag Pro Hydro Smart Release Magnetic Trainer - resistance unit 2

Resistance units come in three main varieties; air, fluid and magnetic. Air resistance turbos are usually more affordable due to their simplicity while fluid types offer a smoother and more realistic feel. Here's a brief explanation of each.

Air resistance: A fan generates wind resistance. These aren't the quietest option, however, and don't offer the best ride experience, but they are cheap. They're not adjustable, so the only way to change the resistance is to change gear on your bike.

Magnetic resistance:These are very popular at low to mid price points. A metal plate spins inside a magnetic field so they're simple to produce. You can buy magnetic trainers with adjustable resistance so you can tailor your workout. Spend a bit more and electro-magnetic units offer more control.

Fluid resistance: Usually more expensive because of the complex internals, these offer a quieter and much smoother ride. Inside the resistance unit an impeller revolves in oil and they can offer plenty of adjustment via handlebar mounted levers.

Adjusting the resistance

The cheapest trainers won't offer any resistance adjustment, leaving you to use the gears on your bike to make any adjustments. Often this can be more than enough, but if you want a turbo with adjustable resistance you're going to have to pay a bit more.

Basic turbos have a lever on the resistance unit but that makes it hard to adjust during a session, so look for one with a handlebar mounted remote lever to make on-the-fly changes.

Elite Real Axiom Trainer - bar controller

More expensive turbos have complex electronic control units that mount to the handlebar and can deliver all sorts of information. Many of the expensive trainers will provide you with power measurement. Some will even plug into your computer as well.

Smart trainers

There's been an explosion in the last few years of 'smart' trainers that hook up to your computer or television and display 3D or real world video so you can ride your favourite Alpine mountain or Belgian pavé. They automatically adjust the resistance based on the virtual terrain and can make time spent on a turbo trainer a lot more fun.

You can also use a smart trainer to carry out a programmed training session. The trainer takes care of providing the right resistance so that you work at a planned power output. This makes training on a turbo very time-efficient.

Look out for a trainer with ANT+ FE-C compatibility (the communications protocol that the app uses to control the trainer) as well as standard computer and phone connections like ANT+ and Bluetooth.

Get started with Zwift and make your home trainer sessions more fun with virtual races and rides


A turbo trainer needs to have a sturdy frame that won't flex or bend under your riding. A larger footprint and heavier frame will ensure it's more stable, which you do want if you're doing maximum-effort intervals in your kitchen.

JetBlack Cycling Mag Pro Hydro Smart Release Magnetic Trainer

Space can be a premium in many households and many turbos fold flat, but how much space they take up when folded down differs greatly from brand to brand.

Most trainers have adjustable legs or feet, so you can ensure you get the trainer perfectly level on uneven floors.

Wheel mount

A turbo fixes to the quick release of the rear wheel, and often a quick release is be supplied with the turbo that is specifically compatible with the model. A cam locking system adjusts two cones that clamp around the skewer.

Cascade Fluid Pro Quick Connect Bike Trainer - fixing detail 2

The better models get ergonomic levers that make setting up a breeze. Most trainers also accommodate various sizes of wheels, and some feature a latch to bring the roller up against the wheel, saving you from having to set the roller each time you begin a session.


Perhaps the least attractive aspect of a turbo trainer is the noise they make. It can sound like a plane taking off and that can pose problems if you live in close proximity to your neighbours.

BKool 1.0 trainer - resistance unit

Live in a first or second floor flat? Don't expect your neighbours to be happy with the racket as you hit the first of your interval sets. Special turbo trainer tyres use a harder rubber compound that can decrease the noise (and wear out more slowly), and you can get mats to go under the turbo to stifle the noise.


As well as a turbo trainer, there are a couple of other accessories that you might want to consider, but they're not essential. One is a stand for the front wheel. As the frame of the trainer holds the back wheel a couple of inches in the air, it's worth propping the front wheel up. An appropriately sized book does the trick, but you can buy a purpose-made block that lifts the front wheel in the air.

A turbo trainer mat is designed to protect the floor from all the dripping sweat, which is useful if you're planning to set-up your trainer in the house and are worried about the floors, and can be wiped clean afterwards. They can be useful in flats as well as they can deaden some of the noise. Of course you could use a strip of old carpet which will do a similar job.


A turbo's roller is usually made of metal, and the heat generated by its friction with the tyre can accelerate the tyre's wear and eventually flatten the profile of the once round tyre. For that reason you don't want to be using your best tyres if you do plan to do a lot of time on a trainer. A good idea is to fit an old tyre or dedicated training tyre to your wheel, or even better a spare wheel. A specific turbo trainer wheel and tyre might seem an unnecessary expense, but turbo training tyres are made from a harder compound rubber so they don't wear out as quickly, and should keep the noise down a bit too.

Direct drive

wahoo main

The problems of tyre wear, and to a certain extent noise, are avoided or reduced with a direct drive trainer. You simply remove the rear wheel and hook the chain over the trainer's own sprockets. The resistance unit is often enclosed in a housing that helps keep the noise down and direct drive turbos often have very large flywheels for a smooth pedalling feel.

The turbo trainer choice

So what can you expect for your money? How much you should spend on an indoor trainer is a difficult question to answer; you need to be honest with yourself about how much you think you might actually use the trainer. There are lots of dusty trainers hidden away at the backs of garages or stashed in lofts.

If it's just for occasional use then one of the cheaper trainers will be just fine, but if you plan to log many weekly hours on a trainer that you will appreciate the better ride quality, stability and resistance levels of a more expensive trainer. Generally the more expensive trainers with fluid resistance units are quieter, and so better suited to using in the house or a flat, if you're concerned about annoying the neighbours.

>Read more: Six weeks to fitness with our turbo training program

When to buy

Trainer prices rise in the autumn and are lowest in the early summer. If you're planning a winter programme of indoor training, plan well ahead and shop accordingly.

The choices

There are far too many good turbos to recommend them all here, but we've tested a broad selection over the years, and used many others, so here is our selection of 18 of the best across a range of prices.

You can also read all our turbo trainer reviews.

Tacx Neo 2 Smart — £899.99

CycleOps H2 trainer 1.jpg

The Tacx Neo 2 is an expensive bit of kit, but for me it's the benchmark indoor trainer right now. You get repeatable power, a solid platform with a bit of movement for a more realistic feel, good cadence sensing, road feel, a responsive ERG mode and the option to run independent of mains power. The pedal stroke analysis feels like a work in progress but everything else is on the money.

Read our review of the Tacx Neo 2 Smart
Find a Tacx dealer

CycleOps H2 Smart — £574

CycleOps H2 trainer 1.jpg

The H2 is the next generation of the CycleOps Hammer trainer, which was an excellent unit for training and virtual riding. The H2 adds cadence, takes away noise and improves power accuracy; it's an incremental improvement, but it's certainly better and a solid option for those who take indoor riding seriously. Very seriously, in fact as it's nominally a thousand quid.

Read our review of the CycleOps H2

Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+ — £201.77

Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+ trainer 2.jpg

Want to get into smart training? The likes of Zwift, The Sufferfest and TrainerRoad are lining up to help you, but you'll need an indoor trainer setup that'll broadcast your power. The Elite Qubo Smart Digital B+ (hereafter: the Qubo) is one of the cheapest ways to get set up, at not much more than £300, or even less if you shop around. And do you know what? It's really good.

Read our review of the Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+
Find an Elite dealer

Clarke CCTI Bike Trainer — £92.99

Clarke CCTI trainer

Showing you don't have to spends hundreds of pounds on a trainer, the Clarke CCTI Bike Trainer is a well priced magnetic trainer. It's simple, and sturdy, has a handlebar mounted control for the resistance unit, and is ideal for occasional use, or for anyone looking to buy their first trainer.

Read our review of the Clarke 7-level bike trainer

Elite Novo Force — £104.85

Elite Novo Force

The Elite Novo Force is a magnetic trainer and has a remote lever, which you mount to the handlebar, offering a choice of five resistance levels, so you can tailor your workout. The resistance unit is mounted so the rear wheel sits lower in the frame creating a more stable ride. The ElastoGel roller is intended to keep the noise down to a decent level, as well as decrease tyre wear.

Find an Elite dealer

Tacx Booster — £145.17

Tacx Booster -1.jpg

Tacx's Booster Turbo Trainer is stable, easy to set up and folds away for convenient storage or to pop in the car to take to races. Its main features are that it can provide a very high level of resistance and its fan and magnetic resistance unit are surrounded by a plastic housing, so you can't burn yourself on them when they get hot. It's compatible with Zwift, so it's a relatively inexpensive way to get into connected training, especially as it can typically be found for a lot less than its £220 RRP.

Read our review of the Tacx Booster

CycleOps Fluid2 — £180

CycleOps Fluid2

If you plan to be a regular turbo trainer user, then the fluid resistance of the CycleOps Fluid2 offers a very realistic road-like feel, with infinitely adjustable resistance that increases the faster you pedal.

Read our review of the CycleOps Fluid2
Find a CycleOps dealer

Kinetic Road Machine II Smart — £239.49

Kurt Kinetic Road Machine Smart.jpg

Kinetic's Road Machine Smart trainer comes with Kinetic's inRide sensor technology installed, for app-based power training. Its performance is excellent. It gives a fantastic ride feel, is rock solid, incredibly quiet, and delivers consistent power measurement via the inRide app. The only negative is that the cadence reading is erratic.

Read the full review of the Kinetic Road Machine II Smart
Find a Kinetic dealer

Elite Turbo Muin Smart B+ — £275

Elite Turbo Muin 1

If you're really serious about indoor training, another option you might want to consider is something like the Elite Turbo Muin trainer. The main difference to regular trainers is that you remove the rear wheel and bolt the frame into the trainer, which has its own cassette mounted to the unit. The advantage this system offers is the increased flywheel size that results in potentially much less noise, and higher levels of maximum resistance, up to a claimed 2,000 Watts.

If you want to use the Turbo Muin with an app like Zwift (and trust us, you do) then you'll need the more recent Smart B+ version, not the older versions you'll find cheaper.

Read more about the Elite Turbo Muin trainer
Find an Elite dealer

Bkool Smart Go — £287.99

Bkool Smart Pro 2 - bike mounted 4.jpg

The Bkool Smart Go is one of the cheapest proper smart trainers you can buy. And it puts in a very decent performance, provided that you're more interested in the online riding experience than super-accurate measurement of your power. As a way into the full experience of Zwift, it's pretty easy to recommend.

Read our review of the Bkool Smart Go
Find a BKool dealer

JetBlack WhisperDrive trainer — £406.13

Jet Black Whisper Drive

The JetBlack WhisperDrive is a direct drive trainer with magnetic resistance, and it's very quiet. Direct drive means your bike connects directly to the trainer, rather than your rear wheel turning a roller. The initial setup is relatively straightforward, although the WhisperDrive doesn't come with a cassette fitted so you'll need to install one yourself.

The WhisperDrive comes with a 5.9kg flywheel and the resistance is provided by magnetism. You get seven different levels of resistance that you can control via a handlebar adjuster and, of course, you can shift through the gears on your bike exactly as you would out on the road.

BKool Smart Pro 2 — £319.99

BKool Smart Pro 2.jpg

We haven't tested this version of the Smart Pro yet, but we really liked the previous model and its kid brother the Smart Go, so we'd be very surprised if this one isn't worth a look too.

Find a BKool dealer

Tacx Flux S — £519

Tacx Flux -1.jpg

One of two new versions of the Tacx Flux, the Flux S is currently the closest thing there is to an inexpensive fully smart direct drive indoor trainer. We found the original a doddle to set up and get started, measures your power to a useful level of accuracy and consistency, and works with popular virtual riding applications such as Zwift to make indoor training less dull. It's not cheap, but it's good value compared to its competition.

It's also fairly quiet, so the family can watch TV in the next room and you won't annoy your downstairs neighbours if you live in a flat. But most importantly, it's so straightforward to use that it actually makes indoor training – dare I say it? – fun.

There's also another version of the Flux — the £699 Flux 2 — with higher maximum resistance and other improvements.

Read our review of the Tacx Flux
Find a Tacx dealer

Wahoo 2018 Edition Kickr Smart — £999.99

Wahoo Kickr

Wahoo's Kickr power trainer offers a very smooth and realistic road feel, is simple to use and is compatible with an increasing number of apps that give you access to a huge virtual training world. But at £999 it's scarily expensive, an investment of serious proportions.

Read our review of the Wahoo Kickr
Fund a Wahoo dealer

Elite Drivo — £499

Elite Drivo -1.jpg

The Elite Drivo is one of the best of the new generation of direct-drive smart trainers. It has ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity and software like Zwift and TrainerRoad can control its resistance to tailor your training. It can provide up to 2,000 watts of resistance and simulate a 24% slope should you want to imagine you're training up Rosedale Chimney.

Elite claims the Drivo's power measurement is accurate to within 1%, which is as good as it gets, and it's very quiet. There are some small niggles such as its Star Wars At-AT looks and its resistance can be a bit enthusiastic if you stop pedalling when using ERG mode, but otherwise this is an excellent piece of kit.

Read our review of the Elite Drivo
Find an Elite dealer

Wattbike Atom – £1,599

Wattbike's new Atom trainer is the first fully connected smart bike trainer that's designed for interactive training on platforms such as Zwift, TrainerRoad and The Sufferfest. It features controllable resistance via ANT+ and Bluetooth, 22 virtual gears, a big flywheel for a realistic road feel and a fully adjustable gym bike setup that makes it easy for more than one member of the family to use it regularly. Wattbike's own app offers in-depth pedalling analysis and the option to try your hand at famous climbs such as Alpe d'Huez.

> Read our review of the Wattbike Atom

>Read more: Is it okay to use your bike on a turbo trainer?

The alternative: Rollers

If you watch track cycling, you'll have seen the athletes using rollers to warm up and cool down on. Rollers are simple metal frames with three rollers, or drums. Two of the drums are attached with a band so that when you're cycling, both wheels rotate.

It takes a lot of skill to ride rollers comfortably though and you need a good deal of patience as there's nothing clamping the bike in place. Most rollers don't offer any resistance adjustment, but there are now rollers with integrated resistance adjustment, such as the Elite Real E-Motion rollers. People like rollers because they can feel a lot closer to actually riding a bike on the road.

They can be a lot more fun too. A major benefit of using rollers is they hone your balance and bike handling skills, and many say they improve the smoothness of your pedalling style. They're much easier to set up than a turbo.

Minoura LR700 Rollers — £239.99

Minoura LR700 Rollers

The LR700 rollers have a simple design that doesn't falter on usability. With a standard three roller design, they manage to be small enough to store away at 554mm width and 766mm when compacted. They can be kept down the side of the tumble dryer, under a table or just tucked into a corner.

Read our review of the Minoura LR700 Rollers
Find a Minoura dealer

Kinetic Z-Rollers — ~£150

Kinetic Z-Rollers

Kinetic's Z-Rollers are very good, especially if you need to pack your pain cave away after every session, or you want to sling them in the car for a race warm-up.They are a simple enough design: the standard three rollers are bolted into a frame that articulates at two points so you can fold it back on itself, in the shape of a Z. See? It's not just a clever name. That makes these Kinetic rollers the most compact we've seen when it comes to putting them away. They'll fit in a blue Ikea bag.

Read our review of the Kinetic Z-Rollers
Find a Kinetic dealer

About road.cc Buyer's Guides

The aim of road.cc buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.

Our guides include links to websites where you can buy the featured products. Like most sites we make a small amount of money if you buy something after clicking on one of those links. We want you to be happy with what you buy, so we only include a product in a if we think it's one of the best of its kind.

As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.

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You can also find further guides on our sister sites off.road.cc and ebiketips.

Road.cc buyer's guides are maintained and updated by John Stevenson. Email John with comments, corrections or queries.

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.


CXR94Di2 [2795 posts] 2 years ago

Ive got the Wahoo Kickr Vers 1,  love it.  I have put more than 2000 miles on it.  Zwift and Trainer-road are my training platforms currently.

Dont bother with non smart trainers, you will lose interest.  Go smart, direct drive, get onto Zwift. I regularly ride 2-3 hour sessions on Zwift, either races or group rides.


 You missed the Tacx Neo, which getting rave reviews.

TypeVertigo [429 posts] 2 years ago

I'm on the Minoura LR340, which is basically a slight upgrade on the B60R. What I like about it is it offers the option of use with small-wheeled bikes via a Z-adapter that relocates the resistance unit closer.

I've since made my Dahon Vitesse with 20" wheels my dedicated indoor training bike. I've had to add a large cap nut at the end of the adjustment knob to better press resistance roller against its 20" x 1.75" tire, and it leaves more rubber dust to clean post-workout vs. a 700C tire, but the setup works great.


For workouts, there are lots of indoor training videos on GCN and BikeRadar's YouTube channel. Alternatively, I've taken to using an interval timer app on my phone and setting it up with various HIIT sessions. Both are great ways of knocking out a 50-minute workout. Although I understand Zwift has its techy appeal, you can train on the cheap, too.

ashliejay [74 posts] 2 years ago
CXR94Di2 wrote:

Ive got the Wahoo Kickr Vers 1,  love it.  I have put more than 2000 miles on it.  Zwift and Trainer-road are my training platforms currently.

Dont bother with non smart trainers, you will lose interest.  Go smart, direct drive, get onto Zwift. I regularly ride 2-3 hour sessions on Zwift, either races or group rides.


 You missed the Tacx Neo, which getting rave reviews.

i've got a Tacx blue matic "dumb" trainer, with a speed cadence sensor and that's not too bad for zwift, (when it works, if anyone who works at zwift sees this hurry up with the android application or at least add bluetooth support for the desktop version)

of course it doesn't have automatic resistance of a smart trainer, but it's better than looking at a wall, and some people don't have the deep pockets for a smart trainer, when you could grab the cheapest trainer here, and you can get speed cadence sensors for like £14-50,  and still have some fun on zwift.

idaapm [1 post] 2 years ago

Hi there, I'm trying to decide what turbo trainer to buy. I'm a regular cyclist, commute to work everyday and train indoor at a spin studio 4 times a week. When the weather is nive I also train outdoors.
Because of work I had to love to a new city and I can't find any suitable spin studio. I want to keep my trainings going hence why I've been looking for a turbo trainer.
For my budget I was thinking of buying either the Tacx Vortex Smart or the BKool smart go. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Is smart the "smart" way to go?

tritecommentbot [2266 posts] 2 years ago

How much does a spin studio 4 times a week cost you usually?

Rapha Nadal [1215 posts] 2 years ago

There's a spin cycle place near us and you need to buy credits in blocks at a time. 5 ride credits is £45!

jug_23 [60 posts] 2 years ago

Worth noting that the Elite Turbo Muin Smart B+ mentioned above is not really a "smart" trainer as its resistance isn't controllable.  This means that whilst you can use it with Zwift, it isn't controllable by zwift.  I almost bought this in error (took a decent amount of research to clarify) - the elite qubo digital smart b+ is however zwift compatible (but no other trainers in this line are...) and works well in my experience.


Elite need to sort out their naming conventions - confusing as hell.

DirkS [6 posts] 2 years ago

I use a Kurt Kinetic, just fine for zwift with a speed and cadence sensor. It gives consistent numbers when you dial in the same tyre pressure and adjust the drive. Reads high on watts compared with a proper power meter. I overlay trainer road and use 2 ant+ sticks to transmit the power to zwift. Try the group rides and make sure you check the target w/kg. Works really well when you can only grab an hour.

Forzamark [14 posts] 2 years ago

it would have been handy if you showed how many watts of resistance you get as my Elite tends to run out at 500w and unless your doing sprint efforts you cant do 20-30s high watt efforts.

Team EPO [225 posts] 2 years ago

If in doubt ask DC Rainmaker who seems to have tested everything!



I went fo the cheapest good smart trainer at £300 which is not perfect but does the job during the rainy season




maviczap [406 posts] 2 years ago

I'm enjoying using my Tacx smart flow 2240.

Proper smart trainer, works well with zwift and I'm currently using it with Bkool.

Sometimes the resistance goes from nothing to difficult in an instant, rather than smoothly, but much more fun than a dumb trainer.

Had the previous Tacx Flow, used that with Tacx RLV which was also good, before these new interactive platforms came along.

Perhaps I'll save up for the Tacx Flux direct drive, as an upgrade, but for £200 the Flow is a good but as a first smart trainer

surly_by_name [570 posts] 2 years ago

I bought a wahoo Kickr (v1) on ebay last year for £625. People sometimes speculate about what's the best thing to spend your money on to make you go faster. In my experience, the Kickr (plus a year's worth of TrainerRoad) is easily the best money I've ever spent. If you are thinking about a fancy set of carbon wheels, a lighter frame or a new groupset - a Kickr will make you faster. (I imagine this may be true of other smart trainers as well but I have only used the Kickr.)

surly_by_name [570 posts] 2 years ago

Sorry - for rollers, the sportscrafters overdrive pro rollers with resistance are excellent.

antonio [1169 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

My original Tacx Flow, great turbo, finally bit the dust after a good few trouble free years. I replaced with the new model, despite some negative reviews, 'smart' Flow. Either me or the turbo not very smart so it went back. I opted for a wired Elite digital turbo, upgradable with the misuro B, so far I have not took that option. The turbo performs quite well, though for absolute stability during intervals I may screw it down to the garage concrete floor. My 'cockpit consists of a Polar cs 200 monitor, a reliable original Cateye astrale, speed and cadence plus the Elite digital computer. Though the power may or may not be accurate it is consistant, heart rate equals the Polar, and I find concentrating on all this info while riding would not really allow me to engage in any internet stuff at the same time. The range of home trainers now is mind boggling but they all have one thing in common, namely, suffering. Despite the variety I do regret the demise of the Cateye C 1000, mine rusted and corroded away after many years of use and abuse, I would have another in the blink of an eye were they available.  

n8udd [49 posts] 2 years ago

Why is the Tacx Booster in this, but not the Tacx Flow Smart?!

You actually say in the article... "Look out for a trainer with FE-C compatibility as well as standard computer and phone connections like ANT+ and Bluetooth."

The Booster is manual resistance, whereas the Flow is a controllable Smart trainer with both Bluetooth and ANT+. 

I picked up the Flow Smart for £168 from Halfords with my BC discount a few weeks ago.


Also... no Tacx Neo or Elite Direto?! The Direto is great value for the price, and the Neo is 1) ridiculously quiet, 2) doesn't require calibration (which is a huge plus) 3) can be used witout mains power!

This list is a joke!

n8udd [49 posts] 2 years ago
jug_23 wrote:

Worth noting that the Elite Turbo Muin Smart B+ mentioned above is not really a "smart" trainer as its resistance isn't controllable.  This means that whilst you can use it with Zwift, it isn't controllable by zwift.  I almost bought this in error (took a decent amount of research to clarify) - the elite qubo digital smart b+ is however zwift compatible (but no other trainers in this line are...) and works well in my experience.


Elite need to sort out their naming conventions - confusing as hell.


This seems to be the trend now unfortunately. Tacx have released the "Blue Matic Smart" which simply broadcasts speed and cadence. So it's not smart at all, just a dumb trainer with a glorified speed/cadence sensor build in. Plus the cadence is only an estimate, as it doesn't actually record your rpm.

jhsmith87 [65 posts] 2 years ago

The game might be changing a little with the newly released Elite Direto. DCR will have a full review out on it in a weeks time (he had been using a pre-prod version, now has the prod version). 

To quote him: "It’s the trainer to beat this year"

I was tempted by the Flux or picking up a 2nd hand v2 Kickr but thought I would wait a little longer to see if anything came out around Eurobike (September). I've been using a Kickr Snap that I loaned from a friend & although it is great I can imagine a direct drive is significantly better. I have honestly never sweated as much in a 30-60 minute workout than doing a 1200ft climb indoors with no fan!  


rix [269 posts] 2 years ago
CXR94Di2 wrote:

You missed the Tacx Neo, which getting rave reviews.

If it does not brake down, it is great. Very quiet. I had to send mine back for repairs... and I am not the only one. Problem is that sendin by post 25kg package is very expensive.

ecycled [22 posts] 2 years ago

Shame shame... No mention of Kreitler Rollers? I've ridden a set of the Alloy 4.5s for 17 years. Never had any issue with drums. Add their headwind unit and flywheel and you are set literally for life. IMHO the best! http://www.kreitler.com/

Btester2 [21 posts] 2 years ago

Really surprised not to see the Tacx Flow Smart in this list. I mean, it's an entry level smart trainer <£200 which would probably be the most interesting option for the majority. 

fukawitribe [2955 posts] 1 year ago

Gents - if you're going to keep rehashing the articles, please try and update them in a meaningful way. This list was out of date a year ago, a lot of it is borderline irrelevant now.

CXR94Di2 [2795 posts] 1 year ago

The indoor trainer scene has moved on a great deal. There are several new models and updated models.  Probably the most interesting development is the Kickr Climb, allowing real time gradients to adjust the elevation of the front forks,  Mated with a new silent Kickr or the Kickr Core, they make for an entertaining ride.  Also Rocker boards are becoming the norm, allowing sideways motion to again enhance the indoor setup.  I built one for £60 with pillow bearings.  My next upgrade is a full length Rocker with a new Kickr and the Climb 

Geraldaut [64 posts] 1 year ago

I have Taxc Galaxia Rollers (the model that is rocking forth and back a bit) and a "Minoura Optional Trainer Mag Unit" that you can attach to have resistance.

Together with my powermeter I think I have the ideal set-up, not smart but deeply involving, rollers rule because it is really more interesting that a fixed turbo trainer. With the Galaxia you can sprint without jumping out of the trainer.



andyp [1609 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

'ont bother with non smart trainers, you will lose interest'


Depends entirely on the rider. I use a non-smart Tacx Flow and have no problems with losing interest. I don't do many rides over 3 hours, mind.

fixation80 [87 posts] 1 year ago
andyp wrote:

'ont bother with non smart trainers, you will lose interest'


Depends entirely on the rider. I use a non-smart Tacx Flow and have no problems with losing interest. I don't do many rides over 3 hours, mind.

Agree, like you I was very happy with my original Tacx flow until it eventually failed, tried the Tacx flow smart, it wasn't a smart idea and went back to the retailer. Now back with an original Cateye c1000 (my first one rusted away) that I was fortunate to obtain.

jacknorell [1073 posts] 1 week ago

This is updated? Very out of date and inconsistent info