Interactive Turbo Trainer

Tomc273
Tomc273 Posts: 29
edited November 2013 in Road general
Looking to buy a turbo trainer and was wondering if it was worth getting the interactive package ones? Do the tracx's DVD's work on other trainers or do you specifically have to have a Tracx TT for them to work?
Also any advice on what TT to get would be appreciated

Cheers

Comments

  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    Depends what your budget is and what space you have as the costs don't end with the purchase of the device. I have a Tacx i-Flow VR trainer set up in the garage as I got it at a bargain price. The bike sits on the turbo motor with a steering frame and frankly I find the steerer mechanism useless and a waste of money. There's a small control unit attached to the bars which is in turn plugged in to a PC. Tacx as yet doesn't work with Mac OS unless you partition it to run Windows. So as well as the turbo, you need room for a PC. They do a few VR turbos that use a head unit with display that can link to an ipad, but these are at the more expensive end of the range. The advantage though is that DVD downloads with these using an ipad are far cheaper than proper downloads.

    Having got your Tacx turbo and basic software, you soon realise that you need the Advanced licence in order to access the best parts of the features. You also need a Google Earth licence in order to download your own routes for training. DVD downloads are not cheap.

    I'd be surprised if the Tacx DVDs worked with other trainers, but I stand to be corrected by anyone who has tried. Elite do similar devices that are worth a look.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Philthy3, what pc are you using with Version 4 software? My understanding is it has to be at least a decent i5 quad core to run the likes of Google Steetview VR rides. Just thinking that a high end pc might be another cost the OP has to consider.
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    Philthy3, what pc are you using with Version 4 software? My understanding is it has to be at least a decent i5 quad core to run the likes of Google Steetview VR rides. Just thinking that a high end pc might be another cost the OP has to consider.

    I bought a cheap (compared to most of what was on display) desk top with i5, but what was importnat was a graphics card that could handle everything. The Tacx software is very graphics dependent/hungry. I don't use the PC for anything else as yet and haven't experienced any problems other than it came with Windows 8, which is shite and that caused some teething problems downloading all the updates to the software. Cost wise it was about £300. A lap top would have been better and take up less space, but the graphics cards required would mean a lap top would cost a fortune. It's also nice to have a big screen for the display.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Tomc273 wrote:
    Looking to buy a turbo trainer and was wondering if it was worth getting the interactive package ones? Do the tracx's DVD's work on other trainers or do you specifically have to have a Tracx TT for them to work?
    Also any advice on what TT to get would be appreciated

    Cheers

    Hard to say whether it will be worth it for you. I've got a Tacx Genius. I've had two low end turbos before that which I've ending up hating and selling. The Genius is different for me though - the google earth stuff and DVDs mean I can use it to prepare for specific terrain that I will be riding. And because of that I can spend a *lot* (don't ask) longer on it than I could ever bear to have spent on the previous turbos.
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,383
    philthy3 wrote:
    I'd be surprised if the Tacx DVDs worked with other trainers, but I stand to be corrected by anyone who has tried. Elite do similar devices that are worth a look.

    I have a very illegal copy of some of them - they work but obviously they don't speed up or slow down with you, they just play...

    To be honest I cannot see how they re worht the money. Get a cheaper bog standard one with a decent amount of resistance and then get the sufferfest vids. Turbo Training is boring and it sucks, there is no way of avoiding that, the only thing you can do is to make sure that your hour of boredom and sucking is as productive as possible. I don't see how riding the route you rode on Sunday, in your garage on wednesday will be as productive as a proper structred session.
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    The advantage of the VR turbos such as the Tacx stuff is that they automatically apply the resistance brake to the motor replicating hills. I can spend ages on the turbo doing catalyst training such as hill pyramids, if I had to keep applying resistance manually, i'd get bored with it very quickly. Having it done automatically helps me keep going at it.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,383
    Well ok, but for the vids I just set the resistance so that it' "easy" on the top of the cassette and hard at the base. Changing gear is hardly a big effort (glorious relief at the end of the interval too!
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • bsharp77
    bsharp77 Posts: 533
    I had the same problem - would have loved to have went fully interactive, but have came up with a good alternative. Just got a cycleops Fluid 2 trainer, and have signed up to trainer road. This way you can use cadence & heartrate monitors within trainer road using custom training programs which display as you train. You also have the option of watching whatever cycling videos you have as you train, with all interactive data flowing along the bottom of the screen. Ive no power source in the garage, so I take my macbook down while training - a good portable solution.
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    ddraver wrote:
    Well ok, but for the vids I just set the resistance so that it' "easy" on the top of the cassette and hard at the base. Changing gear is hardly a big effort (glorious relief at the end of the interval too!

    Yeah but you can't beat riding up Honister Pass with a DVD and a brake being magically applied to replicate the steepness of the climb. It'd be far too tempting to bail out when the HR started to go mental and you start blowing out the arse. :lol:
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • APIII
    APIII Posts: 2,010
    I've got a Genius too and love it. As mentioned though, it's not cheap and the dvd's can become a bit of an addiction :oops: It's great for riding the big climbs in preparation for the real thing in the summer, or for more focussed training with catalyst sessions. There's online competition too - you should google tacx tours if you're interested in that side of things.
  • Well im an all weathers rider who has always used basic turbos for more focused training. Full time worker and about 16 000 km per year. I have forked for the imagic with multiplayer and steering frame. Bottom line is its an awesome set up. Im only angry I didn't do it sooner. The testing programmes alone save 100's and whilst not totally accurate to direct measurement at the cranks for example, the values are consistant making valuable training tools.
    The racing is awesome even in VR mode, and riding Le'roica , Milan san remo, flanders or Roubaix in real life video makes the time fly. I have never been able to reach max heart rate on a turbo and replicate that racing agony but this system has got me there a number of times. Standing on a gravelled climb on a strade bianchi section and feeling your wheel slip is surreal and tough.
    I cannot say enough good things about the very top level VR system. The only negative I would observe is the pretty non existent start up instructions and hours of updates to wade through if you want it all to run well.
    I would say anyone with basic computer gear should either buy a decent system first or refrain from buying as it just wont run well enough to do it justice.
    Riding last 60 km of San Remo today against 19 downloaded opponents, sit in and haul my 95 km over the Poggio before a suicide attack on the 53x11 is the plan. Reality will be huff like a sweaty lump and suffer blinding agony within 1 beat of max for the last 2 km!