Like this site? Help us to make it better.

The Sufferfest Downward Spiral training video



Well put together vid to enliven your turbo sessions, and it's cheap too

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

If you like the idea of turbo training but you can't stand the monotony then there's plenty of ways to keep yourself occupied, from your iPod to a full VR trainer. But at just €5.99 this 60-minute workout from The Sufferfest is a real bargain, and it's a session you can repeat without it becoming stale.

The Downward Spiral is available as a 700mb .mp4 download - you can watch it on your computer, and The Sufferfest say it's 'optimised' for small screens, but I think it's better to have it on a telly if you want to immerse yourself in the action, and it's easy enough to burn it to a DVD. The quality's good enough to watch on a decent size screen. The downward spiral itself is two sets of decreasing time intervals – flat out then recovery – starting at two minutes and decreasing by 15 seconds each time (your recovery time goes down too). The racing segments are footage from the cobbles – last year's Paris-Roubaix and Fleche-Wallone races – with recovery sections featuring pack riding from an Australian criterium.

My main criteria for rating a turbo workout are 1) whether it can actually keep me sat there for an hour and 2) how high my heart rate goes in the hard bits. The Downward Spiral certainly has enough interest for the full hour; okay the crit racing gets a bit samey after a while but you're just glad it's that and not the racing, which is littered with on-screen instructions to ATTACK! and to get OUT OF THE SADDLE! and to STAY WITH HIM! and to try HARDER! HARDER! HARDER! Needless to say it's pretty intense, and normally where I'd struggle to leave the 160s on the HRM, on this session I was pushing 178 max. The structure of the spiral means that you can really ramp up the effort as the intervals get shorter. So top marks on both counts.

The middle recovery piece is a nice bit of offroad POV stuff and the warm down is a fixed vid from Gorilla bikes. Music is mostly rocky - no bands I'd heard of (rights to big bands' tracks cost a mint) but good pacy stuff. On screen instructions are accompanied by horse sound effects for some reason – you need them though, as deep into the spirals you don't spend a lot of time looking at the screen, and when you do it's calling you a PANSY.


A cheap and well put together vid to enliven your turbo sessions. I'm already looking forward to 'Berg Attack!', the next one. kind of.

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website test report

Make and model: The Sufferfest Downward Spiral training video

Size tested: n/a

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

Did you enjoy using the product? Not at all. That's kind of the point

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 190cm  Weight: 98kg

I usually ride: whatever I\'m testing...  My best bike is: Trek 1.5 with Ultegra 6700

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

Latest Comments