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Turbo trainer....?

bluecowbluecow Posts: 306
After today's horrible weather and having only ridden 100 miles in the last week, with no prospect of getting out again til this snow goes, i am succumbing to the idea of buying a turbo trainer for a 700c cross bike. Thing is, ive never used one and have no idea what i'd be buying.
I have a few things id like it to have...
1) Lots of gradient/ wind resistance functions.
2) Be able to link it up to a PC for virtual reality stuff.
3) Software able to keep a track of your progress.
I dont mind how much it costs, so long as im getting my money's worth.

Questions...
1) I know you should use special tyres, but why dont these things wreck your rims (with the heat they must produce)?
2) Are the steering adaptors any use or just a gimmick?
3) Does it require massive amounts of discipline to use it?
4) How fit do they get you, comparable to actually riding for real?

Thanks for any advice!

Posts

  • GJAGJA Posts: 13
    Well Bluecow for family and work reasons I do all my during the week training on the turbo so I can answer three out of the four questions.

    1. I don't use the special tyres. I just use old tyres that come off the race bike. I have a stockpile that I dip into as needed. I should say that I have a separate bike permanently set up on the turbo.
    2. Don't kow about the steerers?
    3. Yes it definitely requires some discipline as it is hard work if done properly. I use spinerval dvd's, race dvds etc for inspiration and to get the best out of time on the turbo. I average about an hour 3 or 4 nights per week.
    4. It definitely keeps me fit, in conjunction with weekend training and racing. I am probably in the top half dozend of my division in the local road racing. Our races are generally betwen 50 & 80 kms.

    Hope this helps
    Scott Addict
    Scott G Zero Strike Pro
  • bluecowbluecow Posts: 306
    ok, thanks for all that. Which trainer do you use and how does it connect up to DVDs?
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    Oh well if money is no object then the best turbo/ergometer on the market there is the computrainer @ £1200 :shock: or something not far off that and you can buy plenty of programs for them. Trainingpeaks has loads of them. :lol:

    That's another bike for me though :lol::lol:
  • GJAGJA Posts: 13
    It's a TACKX trainer and I can't remember the exact model (I'm at work at the moment) but it has 10 resistance settings. It's not a virtual reality system. The spinerval program works on gear changes rather than resistance and I just up the resistance level as I get fitter.
    I have got a couple of the TACKX dvd's (not virtual reality) and they use an icon to show the resistance level you should be on at any given time.
    Perhaps not as good as the virtual reality but heaps cheaper.
    Scott Addict
    Scott G Zero Strike Pro
  • nmcgannnmcgann Posts: 1,780
    bluecow wrote:
    1) I know you should use special tyres, but why dont these things wreck your rims (with the heat they must produce)?
    2) Are the steering adaptors any use or just a gimmick?
    3) Does it require massive amounts of discipline to use it?
    4) How fit do they get you, comparable to actually riding for real?

    Thanks for any advice!

    The turbo-specific tyres (like the Conti one) don't get hot or seem to wear very much so they last for ages. Road tyres can get chewed up pretty quickly.

    You do need a fair amount of commitment to do hard training on a turbo as there aren't the distractions of road riding. Some people can't get on with it, but you never know til you try.

    The good news is that your body doesn't care whether its road or turbo, training is training provided the effort level is sufficient and appropriate for what you are trying to achieve.

    Neil
    --
    "Because the cycling is pain. The cycling is soul crushing pain."
  • phil sphil s Posts: 1,128
    Can we not have a What Turbo Trainer sticky? This is getting ridiculous...
    -- Dirk Hofman Motorhomes --
  • Questions...
    1) I know you should use special tyres, but why dont these things wreck your rims (with the heat they must produce)?
    2) Are the steering adaptors any use or just a gimmick?
    3) Does it require massive amounts of discipline to use it?
    4) How fit do they get you, comparable to actually riding for real?

    Answers

    1) You don't need to use turbo tyres but they last longer - you can use old tyres. Don't worry about your rims just use a cheap rear wheel for turbo use.
    2)Steering frames are required for Tacx VR and will soon offer more options for the widescreen Real Life Videos eg. steering into corners - but not essential for RLV
    3)No
    4)As fit as you want to be -very comparable to riding for real and much harder if you want to

    Options
    1. Computrainer - widely regarded as the best (not necessarily for VR though) but expensive
    2. Tacx VR trainers imagic or Fortius - Fortius can cope with bigger gradients The RLV's are high quality.
    3. Elite Realtour/Real Axiom/RealPower - can be used as standalone or connected to PC - Real Power can cope with bigger gradients (never tried one though)

    The Tacx trainers have Analyser software to keep track of progress. I'm sure the others have something similar.

    Try the elite and Tacx websites for more info and browse their forums for much more detailed info.
  • bluecow wrote:
    Questions...
    1) I know you should use special tyres, but why dont these things wreck your rims (with the heat they must produce)?
    2) Are the steering adaptors any use or just a gimmick?
    3) Does it require massive amounts of discipline to use it?
    4) How fit do they get you, comparable to actually riding for real?
    1. just use old tyres. it won't wreck your rims.

    2. yes, they are a gimmick

    3. discipline, motivation, desire, commitment etc. IOW when setting up for indoor trianing, it is my advice that you:
    i. be certain you will follow through with that promise to yourself, and
    ii. set up a training facility that you will want to ride on, rather than loathe,
    iii. include an oversized industrial strength fan in the budget, it makes a huge difference.

    Most trainers end up with all the other junk gathering dust that should be off loaded on ebay/cash converters.

    I read a funny quote the other day in answer to a question about what was the most important feature of a turbo trainer - the ability to fold up so it doesn't take up much room in the back of the garage/shed/cupboard it'll end up occupying. :lol:

    4. that depends on how hard you work
  • bluecowbluecow Posts: 306
    Hmm yeah i think i'll start off with a cheap one from Ebay and see how i get on with it. I can always upgrade if it works, or i may just decide that for the few days of the year when it'd be suicidal to go out i can have one of those rest days people go on about. Except i did that today, and scraped my car along a bollard. T*ts...
    Thank you all :)
  • bluecow wrote:
    Hmm yeah i think i'll start off with a cheap one from Ebay and see how i get on with it. I can always upgrade if it works, or i may just decide that for the few days of the year when it'd be suicidal to go out i can have one of those rest days people go on about. Except i did that today, and scraped my car along a bollard. T*ts...
    Thank you all :)
    Just be careful as buying cheap may mean you buy someting that is crummy to ride on, like some crappy mag resistance unit, that will put you off.

    I can assure you that until I got myself a decent indoor set up, I absolute loathed riding on the turbo. Now it is making up the majority of my hours (and it's summer here).

    The things that matters for a turbo:
    - a bloody great big industrial fan (OK, that's not the turbo but you are seriously short changing yourself without one)
    - good quality solid contruction, stable safe secure
    - has a decent sized heavy flywheel (vastly improves road like feel)
    - has a relatively consistent resistance - speed curve

    after that, everything else is an add on or feature specific to your needs/requirements:
    - resistance controller
    - electronically controlled braking
    - noise levels (varies between fan, mag, fluid units)
    - download of data
    - programmable workouts
    - ease of removing/fitting bike
    - virtual reality
    and so on....

    If I were recommending a turbo set up for someone I know that will use it, then here are a couple of examples:

    A big fan + Computrainer
    A big fan + Kurt Kinetic road/pro + a Powertap

    If you are considering dedicated ergobikes, then that opens up a whole new range of possibilities....
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