There are now a multitude of options when it comes to home training: wheel-on, wheel-off, complete static bikes and even a device that would look more at home with a runner
atop of it. Here is a round-up of trainers we saw at Eurobike 2017: some available to buy, some new, and one
still in pre-production...
NEO Smart Bike
NEO Smart Bike is not your standard gym spinner
- there are both drops and TT bars and also proper gear shifters for the most realistic experience possible, and the power limit will be
an unbreakable 2200W. Usefully you'll be able to affix any pedals you want to the cranks, and the downhill drive will accurately simulate descents and the pedal stroke, according to Tacx. It's fully interactive and will connect with third-party apps such as Zwift, and the direct drive is designed to make it as quiet as possible. At the moment this is not much more than a concept (the bike on display had Campagnolo shifters and the seat section looked far
from finished) and the completed
product is projected to land in late 2018. With the release of Wattbike's new Atom trainer at £1,499 today, the NEO Smart Bike will
a competitive market if they want to sell it to the public.
Japanese cycle accessory brand Minoura
have never been particularly snappy with their product names, and the Kagura
is no different. What they
in catchy monikers they make up for in a reliable and sensibly priced range of home trainers, with this their latest and most advanced offering to date. It's a wheel-on unit with a power limit of 2000W, and has a unique feature in that you can set up the trainer in two different modes: 'Gravity' to provide a natural feeling more like rollers as the wheel has direct contact with the drum, and 'Fixed', which fully
locks the bike
in place for harder efforts. The Kagura
Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible for connectivity with all your favourite virtual training programmes. Although we've not seen it on sale in the UK yet
it's price converted from Japanese Amazon is around £590, competitive compared to similarly-specced
Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll Smart Control
This trainer was the first to offer free movement to tilt from side to side, and is still Kurt Kinetic's flagship product after been around since the start of the year. The Rock and Roll Smart has a pre-installed inRide
sensor to connect with their own Kinetic Fit training programme, plus third-party apps and any Bluetooth-compatible phones, tablets and laptops. For bikes with through-axles
you'll need a Kinetic thru-axle
adapter, but otherwise pretty much any bike is compatible. For the £748.99 RRP (you can find it cheaper if you shop around) you also get a free six month subscription to the Kinetic Fit app.
The 2018 version of the JetBlack Whisper Drive is now electronic and fully wireless, and what's more it charges itself as you use it via an internal
battery pack. There's also a mini usb charging port at the back, giving you an energetic way to charge your phone or GPS device. The Aussie brand say the wheel-off trainer starts up straight away from the first pedal
stroke, is very quiet and smooth, and has resistance up to 1,600 watts. It's got Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity and works with third-party apps as well as JetBlack's own, and using the latter you can share custom training sessions or ride any Strava
segment you wish from the app.
is Elite's newest trainer, and hence the name is a direct-drive device. An accuracy rating of +/-2.5% puts it up there with more expensive trainers (this one costs £749.99) and Elite claim this is twice as accurate as their competition at this price point.
It uses a proper integrated OTS (Optical Torque Sensor) power meter for accuracy, and the magnetic power unit has a max output of 1,900 watts. Elite say the single-belt system is even quieter than their Drivo
trainer, and the flywheel is optimised to generate a smooth and realistic pedal stroke.
isn't new and there's little left to be said about the official trainer of Team Sky:
but for those that don't know it's a wheel-off trainer with compatibility
for any type of bike, massive durability and resistance and a claimed
+/-2% power accuracy system. It got an upgrade in late 2016, making it quieter still
with a lighter handle and
more realistic ride feel. Here it's paired up with the brand new Kickr
climb to give virtual gradients of up to 20%, for a realistic and comprehensive home training experience to take the Kickr to the next level, metaphorically and literally...
Magnum Smart treadmill
It might cost the same as a small car (around 7000 Euros we're told) but you can't ride and run on a car while it automatically adjusts to match your speed, can you? Early Magnum
Smart prototypes first surfaced last year, but now the production version is ready and was on display at Eurobike. It's the only trainer you can ride and run on, and having briefly cycled and ran on it I can concur that it's a strange sensation and counter-intuitive compared to usual treadmills, as you're forced to move yourself to the middle rather than aim for the front to keep equilibrium; if you move forward the treadmill assumes you want to go faster, and things quickly get hairy. When you're used to it the Magnum Smart can replicate up to 15% gradient to give a more realistic climbing experience, and uses dual band communication to control the belt and send all the data to your devices. You get a 32" screen
and the Tacx
included, which is all very well but still won't persuade many non-lottery winners at this price point - if you do want one at the moment there's a form to fill out on the Tacx
website to express interest; nevertheless the Magnum Smart is suitable for the very discerning customer, but it's extremely
impressive all the same...
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.