Turbo Trainer Advice

conceptual_primate
conceptual_primate Posts: 81
edited December 2009 in Road buying advice
Hi,

I am seeking some advice on the purchase of a turbo trainer.

Over the last year or so, I have gone from a casual recreational cyclist, to a more of an enthusiast. I am looking to complete several sportives across 2010 and then participating in a 10-day charity cycle in 2011. I am looking to purchase this to keep cycling over the winter whilst also using it to do some interval training.

Looking on various websites, there seems to be quite a range of prices and types of trainers and features available and I am not really sure what to look for or where to begin. From a few things I've read; you get magnetic and fluid trainers – are there major advantages and disadvantages between them? Also, some come with a shifter – which I believe provides grades of resistance? Is this more for people riding fixies or is this still useful for a geared bike? Also, some trainers have variable resistance, so as you pedal harder, the resistance increases – similarly, some have different resistance curves which varies the relationship between effort and resistance. I guess variable resistance would be a critical feature, but I am not sure if differing curves would be essential?

I believe the heat generated can wear out tyres, so I was planning on buying one of those turbo tyres. Rather than changing tyres each time, I was then planning on buying another wheel and having this tyre permanently fitted, making it simply a case of switching rear wheels – does this sound like a sensible option? Presumably would I need another cassette, to save changing this over as well – I am just concerned this might no longer sound that economical an option. In addition, I believe I'd need something to catch the sweat generated and avoid corrosion – you can buy the attachments to go over the handlebars and top tube, but is this worthwhile or one of those nice-to-have-but-not-essential add-ons? Would a towel do the trick?

There are also accessories such as mats and front wheel rest/riser. I will be using this in my garage, so if a mat is aimed at protecting a house carpet etc. I don't think I'd need this. Not sure about the benefit of a front wheel riser?

Ultimately, I have a slightly variable budget, but, overall, the more I spend on a turbo set up, the less I have to spend on other things. Originally, I was hoping for £200, but it is sounding more like £250-£300 potentially? Ultimately, I would like to keep costs as low as possible, without buying something and then wishing I'd spent that 'little bit extra' a couple of months done the line. I guess I could look at ebay or the for sale section of this forum for some components.

If anyone has any thoughts or model recommendations then it'd be great to hear them – sorry for such a wide-ranging query and looking forward to your responses (and sorry if this is a duplicate thread).

Comments

  • Sorry to chase - just wondering if anyone has any advice on this?
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
  • Thanks NapoleonD, a useful thread, thanks. I think I am settled on either the:

    CycleOps Magneto
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/CycleOps_Classic_Magneto_Turbo_Trainer

    or the CycleOps fluid
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/CycleOps_Classic_Fluid_2_Turbo_Trainer

    What is tearing me between the two is the resistance curves of the two models. According to http://www.saris.com/comparison/trainers.pdf the two are fairly similar in terms of resistance, up till around '20mph', where the Magneto stays fairly linear but to 'hit 30mph', the difference in resistance would be roughly 400W vs. 550W.

    I am wondering if this difference will be noticeable in real terms? I would be looking some 'power' sessions on the turbo, so wouldn't want the top end to be 'too light' to make this impractical?
  • I would have a look at the kurt kinetic too if I were you....

    I had this dilema over the last few months and ended up with the Kurt.....very nice bit of kit..sturdy and with more resistance than I will ever need. The good thing with the fluid trainers is that the resistance is progressive and gets harder the faster you cycle.

    Resistance can be changed manually by simply changing gear on your bike as normal if you are wanting to simulate a hill....

    get yourself some decent videos to watch if you have a computer handy....I must have looked like a total wierdo sitting on my bike in the shed watching Lesbian Vampire Killers in the dark a couple of nights ago.....

    I used naked breasts :twisted: as the cue to change up a couple of gears and sprint...........the sprint ended when there were no more lesbians on screen....There wasn't that much nudity so not many sprints.....most of it ended up as a 90% max heart rate ride....I had fun though....and it kept me occupied for 1 hour 20 on the trainer! Boredom is your enemy with these things.
    17 Stone down to 12.5 now raring to get back on the bike!
  • MikeWW
    MikeWW Posts: 723
    I got this one

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=15805

    Really pleased with it and portable as well
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Thanks NapoleonD, a useful thread, thanks. I think I am settled on either the:

    CycleOps Magneto
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/CycleOps_Classic_Magneto_Turbo_Trainer

    or the CycleOps fluid
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/CycleOps_Classic_Fluid_2_Turbo_Trainer

    What is tearing me between the two is the resistance curves of the two models. According to http://www.saris.com/comparison/trainers.pdf the two are fairly similar in terms of resistance, up till around '20mph', where the Magneto stays fairly linear but to 'hit 30mph', the difference in resistance would be roughly 400W vs. 550W.

    I am wondering if this difference will be noticeable in real terms? I would be looking some 'power' sessions on the turbo, so wouldn't want the top end to be 'too light' to make this impractical?

    Assuming a 52 chainring and smallest sprocket of 12 gives speed at 120rpm of around 40mph. Even at 100rpm it'd be about 34mph. Assuming the resistance curve remains linear, you'd be looking at near 600W for the Magneto @100rpm and near 800W @120rpm. If that's not enough for you then you must be a pretty talented cyclist!
    More problems but still living....
  • paul64
    paul64 Posts: 278
    There are many subjective opinions on forums but turbo trainers seem to be one of those areas wilth little empirical data to help us. The Backburn web-site has a technical document which you might find interesting.

    Now, it could be nothing more than self-interested propaganda, however it's about the most useful article I found when I was looking. I have not bought a TT yet but confess the Blackburn models are at the top of my list.

    Incidentally, I got there by taking na interest in one of the USA-only models which has adjustable height i.e. does not need you to purchase a separate front wheel riser or shread your favourite books. A post on one of the forums highlighted that Blackburn models have this feature.

    If the article is to be believed, weight and stability, height, build quality and then smoothness make them a good choice. Whether this is the case in practise I have no idea.
  • Mister W
    Mister W Posts: 791
    You're thinking about the way too hard. They will all provide enough resistance (TBH the tyre/roller interface is probably the limiting factor) so pick the one you like the look of. I've got a Tacx Sirius because it's quiet but any of the ones that have been mentioned so far will do the job.