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Turbo Trainers - the good the bad and the ugly....

fearbyfearby Posts: 245
Need to get one of these to keep me fit in the winter. :D

Bikeradar have this featured today but their review is disappointing and gives only a brief guide. Are there any turbo trainer experts who can advise what would be a good buy and what to avoid.

Needs to be effective and well built.
Noise not an issue as I will be using it outdoors.
Ideally upgradeable - some Tacx models can be upgraded to the i-magic so can use VR - anyone have experience of this or is it an expensive gadget only

Posts

  • I have a tacx flow (which gives power output... although i've found it's not really that accurate conpared to other power measuring devices). I've been pleased with the trainer and it is upgradeable to the i-magic for an extra £170 or so. I guess this would add an extra element to training (depends if you need this for motivation). Personally, when I'm doing long steady sessions on the turbo (when weather is bad) I use a portable DVD player and watch a film. You can even buy spinervals etc training DVDs. For the shorter / harder sessions when tuning up for racing I just listen to music....... wouldn't be able to concentrate on a film at that intensity :? . I'd say go for the flow and if you do find you need that something extra / interactive then you can always upgrade or buy a portable DVD player.
  • fearbyfearby Posts: 245
    Any more reports - any other brands apart from Tacx or are they the best?
  • Don't buy a simple cheap one (I bough the entry Riva model) without much resistance. I spin out on a 50x12 and its just simply not hard enough when u want a hard workout. I certainly cant do intervals on it.
  • pedylanpedylan Posts: 775
    Another vote for the Tacx flow. The variable resistance is easily adjusted electronically, the display gives power, speed and cadence readouts and you can use these to chart your progress over the weeks and months of the dark mid winter.

    I am thinking of upgrading to I magic for more entertainment and to simulate (not replicate!) the classic routes.

    Last winter a DVD or a bit of telly was sufficient to keep me entertained. It's reasonably quiet kit.

    I seem to remember Ribble have cheapest offer but i wasn't inclined to use them and bought a display model from LBS.
    Where the neon madmen climb
  • I have a Flow and can't complain. It has worked well for the last year and I have done some very painful interval seshs and also some easy recovery work when its too dark to go outside. There are numerous threads on here about the accuracy of the power reading but I don't think that is a major issue. I am assuming it is consistently wrong though and I can gauge my improvement through by keeping tabs on the power outputs I achieve, all other things being equal (tyre pressure and calibration setting).

    Can keep motivated by ipod or like another poster said DVDs for easier sessions where concentration and focus aren't so critical. Sopranos and Peep Show are my curent favourites BTW.
  • Kurt Kinetic Road Machine

    Computrainer

    Both very solid and reliable by all accounts.
  • CajunCajun Posts: 1,048
    I would recommend rollers for indoor training....they will definitely improve your spin (rounding out any squarish stroking....almost guaranteeing you an added average of 5-12rpm to your everyday cycling) and balance....no matter how good you think your balance is now; one month on the rollers will amaze you when you get on the road :P

    Stationary trainers also can/will affect your frame at the dropouts, especially if you get too crazy 'sprinting'...so don't attach your favorite frame...

    http://www.cptips.com/stacyc.htm
    Cajun
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Cajun wrote:
    I would recommend rollers for indoor training....
    Whilst I agree they do improve your pedalling and balance, unless you have some way of adding resistance to the rollers (there are some around for £200 or so with variable resistance) I don't think you can do hard intervals on rollers - you just simply spin out on them.
  • Cajun wrote:
    I would recommend rollers for indoor training....they will definitely improve your spin (rounding out any squarish stroking....almost guaranteeing you an added average of 5-12rpm to your everyday cycling) and balance....no matter how good you think your balance is now; one month on the rollers will amaze you when you get on the road :P

    Stationary trainers also can/will affect your frame at the dropouts, especially if you get too crazy 'sprinting'...so don't attach your favorite frame...

    http://www.cptips.com/stacyc.htm

    how? Loading at the axle is surely no different from sprinting or climbing out of the saddle
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