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Interactive Trainers

rob13rob13 Posts: 430
edited August 2008 in Training, fitness and health
Do you folks consider these trainers only for serious training and for serious riders? The reason I ask is that I am currently undergoing rehab for a broken femur & wrist and Im interested in getting a trainer to help me and to increase my fitness. The only downside of the trainer is the boredom of it and these machines appear to be a "wii-ride" type of system. Obviously cost is an issue but I see it as a longer term investment instead of buying an exercise bike or standard trainer.

Posts

  • idaviesmooreidaviesmoore Posts: 557
    Hi Rob.

    Answer these questions first

    1. How long will rehab take
    2. How motivated are you
    3. Can you train on your own
    4. Why can't your rehab involve riding your bike rather than turbo-ing

    The virtual trainers are expensive and the software for them is still pretty basic. I had an i-fortius but found it gimmicky. I went back to a basic turbo and sold the posh one to my uncle who is a real fair weather cyclist. That was 6 months ago and he hardly uses the 'virtual reality' featues on it at all.

    If you can get out on your bike then save the money you would have spent on the trainer and get some nice new kit instead :D
    'How can an opinion be bullsh1t?' High Fidelity
  • Hey Rob

    For me it is both. I lost my lower left leg last year and in the past month I have been training on my dedicated home trainer since I got a prosthetic I could use on a bike. It is a large dose of rehab and partly serious for me as I expect to make a full return to racing.

    I full well know that not all of us can expect to ride on a real bike outdoors all the time when rehabbing. Hell I didn't even know if I could pedal when I started. I needed a 100mm crank on the left to get going as I couldn't bend the knee enough but that's lengthened to 155mm now.

    Training on turbos is:
    - time efficient
    - safe
    - very effective in improving fitness when used properly
    - often dull/uninspiring and so finding ways to make the time pass is really important

    What is important if using one is to get a turbo that you want to get on, rather than dread.

    Personally I find that the bigger the flywheel inertia, the better. All those low inertia models are so much harder to get used to pedalling on, especially when you are trying to replicate road like power.

    I had a dedicated trainer made for the purpose but something like the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine would do the trick very well. Here's my home trainer:
    http://alex-cycle.blogspot.com/2008/06/ ... re-go.html
  • guv001guv001 Posts: 688
    I would save money by putting a normal trainer in front of the TV. I also had a Fortius trainer but sold it and went back to a normal trainer. I found it a pain with regards to the computer.
  • rob13rob13 Posts: 430
    thanks for the replies, I think Ill opt for a standard trainer as it doesnt sound like its worth the extra cash. I dont want to be going out onto the road as I cant stand up on my bad leg just yet unaided without crutches but feel that it would be more beneficial for me to strengthen the knee muscles using the bike. The Physio is satisfied with this and the trainer is obviously a safer option.
  • Rob13 wrote:
    thanks for the replies, I think Ill opt for a standard trainer as it doesnt sound like its worth the extra cash. I dont want to be going out onto the road as I cant stand up on my bad leg just yet unaided without crutches but feel that it would be more beneficial for me to strengthen the knee muscles using the bike. The Physio is satisfied with this and the trainer is obviously a safer option.
    Cool 8)

    Keep posting to let us know how you are progressing.

    Recommend trying the trainer out to see what you think of riding it before you buy.
  • 3leggeddog3leggeddog Posts: 150
    I'm taken by the idea of an interactive turbo trainer but I dont think the idea has been exploited enough yet.

    The speed/steering sensors have been developed, surely it must be a simple job to build clip on "fire" buttons and then interface to your playstation/pc/wii. Then you could play any video game from the discomfort of your saddle. Possibly tackle childhood obesity as well.

    Playing vid games offers a greater variety than the standard "race up alpe de huez" currently available.
  • DaSyDaSy Posts: 599
    I have had a Fortius for just over a year, and really love it. I train a fair bit, and found on a standard turbo I was mind numbinly bored after an hour. They really only work for me for hard intervals.

    Through the winter I wanted to also do some longer zone 2 kind of workout if the weather was bad etc, so shelled out for the Fortius. I have been really impressed with it. I trained for Mont Ventoux on the RLV video of it, and did the real thing in almost exactly the same time as on the trainer.

    I have a 32" TFT and highish spec PC dedicated to the Fortius (I work in IT, there has to be some perks!) which mean it is very quick and easy to use and the RLV's look really good.

    I can do 2 - 3 hours tempo rides on it and not notice the time, and have a really tough workout that is not restricted to just intervals. Hill climbing on it is very good, and only really becomes choppy when the gradient exceeds about 14%, and even then if you keep your pedalling smooth that goes away.

    I think the key is to have a computer that you can leave it attached to, with a good video card and a couple of Gb of RAM. A big screen makes lots of difference to how realist the whole experience feels.

    Also I would go for the Fortius and not the I-Magic as the Fortius uses a motor brake for resistance rather than magnetics and means it can produce much more resistance and replicate the big mountains much better. Also the freewheeling thing is kind of funky!
    Complicating matters since 1965
  • APIIIAPIII Posts: 2,010
    A while ago I did a fitness test, conducted on an i-magic. The software used, displayed power measurements - Does anyone know if this is standard software on the i-magic and Fortius
  • DaSyDaSy Posts: 599
    Yes, the Fortius software gives power measurement, and Analyser (part of the software package) give graphical breakdowns of your ride with power, cadence, HR, speed etc for post ride review etc.
    Complicating matters since 1965
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