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Elite and Wahoo Fitness each launch direct drive turbo trainers

Two new entries into a market pioneered by Lemond, both with wireless compatibility

Elite and Wahoo Fitness have both revealed new direct drive turbo trainer designs where you remove your rear wheel and run your bike’s chain on a cassette mounted to the trainer. It’s a sector of the market where Lemond’s Revolution trainer has won many fans over the past couple of years. Elite and Wahoo both offer wireless compatibility to enhance your training.

Elite Turbo Muin

Elite’s new design is called the Turbo Muin and the resistance is provided by fluid so it’s a lot quieter than Lemond’s air-resistance Revolution. We saw the Muin in action in a big hall at Eurobike so it was hard to gauge the level of noise, but the impression we got was that you could probably ride it in your spare room, for example, without disturbing everyone else in the house or annoying the neighbours.

It incorporates an internal flywheel (197mm diameter, 6kg weight) that provides a smooth, realistic feel, and the resistance is progressive – the harder you push, the greater the resistance. Elite say that it has a maximum resistance of over 2,000 Watts.

The freehub will accept 9/10/11-speed Shimano and SRAM cassettes, and a freehub compatible with Campag 9/10/11-speed systems is available too. It’ll work with both 130mm and 135mm width hubs.

The Muin will send data (including power) via ANT+ so you can get your performance figures on a compatible device, including an iPhone or iPad if you use an ANT+ Elite or Wahoo dongle. This allows you to use Elite’s free-to-download My E-Training app which will be available on the App Store from this month. This includes Base Training (to help you with your training programme), a Conconi test (to establish your anaerobic threshhold), and the ability to create personalised monthly indoor training programmes based on your performance test results.

The Turbo Muin is priced at £499.99 and should be available from October.


Wahoo Fitness Kickr

The Wahoo Fitness Kickr is another wheel-off design, but this time the resistance is electromagnetic. You can control the level of resistance through your iPhone, iPad or MacBook, or through a Windows PC when paired with an ANT+ dongle. We had a quick go on this and the feeling as you pedal is very realistic and the noise level is low.

The Kickr works with several software packages and it’s an open platform; Wahoo Fitness have their own app but they are keen for third parties to develop more.

Power measurement is a central feature here and you can use that in various ways. One clever feature, for example, is that you can set a power level and the Kickr will adjust the resistance automatically according to your cadence, so if you’re pedalling fast, the resistance will be lower than if you’re pedalling slowly. The maximum resistance is over 2,000 Watts.

If you want to get super-tech, you can run the Kickr with the free Kinomap Trainer app and ride along to geolocated videos. I had a virtual ride up and down some hilly San Francisco streets, the resistance varying to reflect the terrain as the video progressed. You can follow your icon moving on a map and along an elevation graph.

Use something like a GoPro and you can film your own rides and then re-ride them at home. You can even simulate headwinds and tailwinds.

The Kickr costs £949 and you can buy it online via the Apple Store. You can buy Wahoo Fitness’s Blue SC speed and cadence sensor (£49.95) Blue HRM (£69.95) through Apple too, both in-store and online.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, 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 Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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