Indoor training, thanks to the advent of smart trainers and software like Zwift, has gotten hugely popular in the last couple of years, and there’s now a push towards increasing the realism with floating platforms that further mimic riding outside.
There has been a community of indoor cycling fans making their own DIY floating platforms out of bits of wood and tennis balls, inflatable and springs, and now bike brands are taking an interest. Saris has launched the MP1 trainer platform and today we learn of the new e-Flex Motion System from InsideRide.
The e-Flex Motion System is designed specifically to allow the Kickr and attached bike to tilt from side to side with a floating fork stand at the front.
It comprises a rocking platform for the Kickr and a separate fork stand which contains a mechanism to control the range of tilting. The wheels come off the bike and attach to each component of the trainer. This has the added benefit of ensuring the trainer is compact and can be easily stored away when not in use.
The company tells us that the design differs from rocker plates and motion platforms due to the way the tilting is initiated. As you ride, the bike will naturally tilt side to side. There’s also a small spring to provide a force that helps keep the bike vertical when not in use, it also acts as a centering force when riding no-handed. The rider can actually control the rocking motion via the handlebars. It apparently eliminates unintended rocking as well, especially during hard efforts.
Why do you want a tilting platform? When you ride a bike in the real world the bike moves around underneath you, it’s not static, and it’s this movement that these floating platforms are trying to mimic. Most indoor trainers lock the bike firmly into place and there’s some believe this prevents them from both feeling realistic and being comfortable.
InsideRide also puts forward another benefit beeing less stress on the bike.
The base does look very small and is designed with the Kickr legs folded in the stowaway position, so we can’t help but wonder how stable it’ll feel in use especially when you’re really going for it up the big climbs.
The e-Flex is only compatible with the Wahoo Kickr and costs $399 in the US - no word on UK availability at the moment. We are very intrigued and would love to have a go. More info at www.insideride.com
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.