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Winter riding or turbo trainer ?

ben@31[email protected] Posts: 2,322
edited November 2016 in Road general
Hi,

I want to keep on cycling regularly and it drives me nuts if I have more than a few days off, plus I dont want to lose any fitness over winter. The only problem is those rainy dark nights.

Coming from Yorkshire Ive been too tight fisted to buy a turbo trainer and Ive been a stubborn cycling outdoors man. But this year Im not feeling the motivation to go outside on rubbish nights. My only concerns over turbo trainers are
- they won't be as good as (or realistically simulate) the real thing.
- boring
- noisy
- expensive

Ive seen photos of Zwift and that looks a bit more interesting, how do people find using it? Anyone got a Tacx Vortex, are they loud ? Thanks
"The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
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Posts

  • RiggaRigga Posts: 939
    I love mine on rainy days. Crank up the music and go for it, you'll sweat a damn sight more than if you were on a normal ride. Mine was £50 second hand off gumtree with riser block for front wheel, rrp is about £150_180 at halfords. There are absolutely loads for sale second hand on eBay, gumtree, Facebook etc.
  • I turned to the dark side last year and used zwift

    I did have a std turbo the year before and used it 3 times,

    Zwift and a trax bushido does the trick, I had a 25% off Halfords voucher :D

    Just make sure you have a decent tyre on the back
    Got through the winter , zwift is worth the £8 a month
    2 months free if your a Strava premium member
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,092
    Two questions. Do you lose fitness over the winter? Do you put weight on over the winter?
    Answer yes to either of these, then get a turbo. They are not pleasant but get/keep results.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    You'd not lose fitness if you didn't ride at all in the week.

    Turbos are good but you have to know what you're doing with them. If you want to repeat say a two hour ride then you're Barking up the wrong tree.

    Shorter sharper rides are good but easy to overdo if you get carried away.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 7,356
    Rather than a turbo, try rollers no mucking about removing back wheel. Just lift onto rollers and ride, you have to use your core muscles to stay upright and balance so more of a work out. You will fall off at some stage unlike a turbo. I feel your pain on winter riding, love it when it's cold or dark but add wet or windy in and I cry off especially on my commute.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • ayjayceeayjaycee Posts: 1,333
    I bought myself a Cycleops Fluid 2 but it didn't matter what I did to try to occupy my brain, I just couldn't get over the boredom and gave up with the thing very quickly. That said, I'm in the fortunate position of being able to get out any time that I want and am not restricted to cycling outside 'work hours'. I suspect the boredom thing is one of the main reasons that there are so many TTs available on the used market as mentioned by Rigga.
    Cannondale Synapse Carbon Ultegra
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  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,153
    I have a smart turbo and rollers, but like most i assume, would prefer to be on the road. But there are times when hitting the garage and training indoors is preferable or I am time restricted. A session on either isn't going to be as long as a ride on the roads (unless you're some kind of sadist) and you arguably get a better workout for the same shorter time in the saddle. On a ride you will inevitably get interspersed periods where the effort is easy, but on a turbo or rollers, unless you're pedaling, it will come to a stop.

    Rollers I find are good for simply sitting on the bike and pedaling away. Unless you're confident, getting going and changing hand positions takes some getting used to. The concentration levels to maintain balance can be tiring unless you're very used to them. Hard interval sessions I find difficult, but I'm sure more experienced roller users can do them. Turbos however, require little to no concentration and allow you to do hard efforts without fear of falling off and grab that towel to wipe the sweat away. Hell, you can watch a video, software data for your effort, listen to music while reading etc and not fall off.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    Do both

    getting out on the road is important, cycling is so much more than turning the pedals and your body will thank you for actually riding the bike.

    but

    I adore the turbo trainer + Zwift .... I hoped I would use it on bad weather days .... it turns out its so addictive for me, that I use it EVERYDAY, even in the summer. It gets me out of bed at 5am for a 30 minute warm up before the daily 60minute dZi ignite ride that attacts about 20-50 a day to do a few loops of a course taking in the odd friendly sprint. then there are the races, all categories welcome, hard hard fun, the social side of it is good as well. Break aways, pack riding, regrouping .. its all there. There are the workouts, the FTP tests, free riding ..... even a form of SCR when you are riding solo and end up in a mini race/working together up the mountain climb. ..... Its logged on strava so you can compare your times with previous days/other riders.

    My wife is away this weekend .... and I am torn between taking the MTB out for a few hours OR do the 180km TT on zwift to get a free entry to the win a Cervélo’s S3 Disc ?????

    If you like gamification of anything .... then give zwift a go .. where abouts do you lift I am sure some one localish could give you a go >?
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 727
    fat daddy wrote:
    Do both

    getting out on the road is important, cycling is so much more than turning the pedals and your body will thank you for actually riding the bike.

    but

    I adore the turbo trainer + Zwift .... I hoped I would use it on bad weather days .... it turns out its so addictive for me, that I use it EVERYDAY, even in the summer. It gets me out of bed at 5am for a 30 minute warm up before the daily 60minute dZi ignite ride that attacts about 20-50 a day to do a few loops of a course taking in the odd friendly sprint. then there are the races, all categories welcome, hard hard fun, the social side of it is good as well. Break aways, pack riding, regrouping .. its all there. There are the workouts, the FTP tests, free riding ..... even a form of SCR when you are riding solo and end up in a mini race/working together up the mountain climb. ..... Its logged on strava so you can compare your times with previous days/other riders.

    My wife is away this weekend .... and I am torn between taking the MTB out for a few hours OR do the 180km TT on zwift to get a free entry to the win a Cervélo’s S3 Disc ?????

    If you like gamification of anything .... then give zwift a go .. where abouts do you lift I am sure some one localish could give you a go >?

    How much would a set up to do that cost? I'm a confirmed outdoors guys, although I will bottle it if it starts to rain as I walk out the door (!) but I understand that a turbo can give you structure to your training.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    cost can vary greatly depending on the gear you already have.

    Zwift is £8 a month .. but you get 2 months fee a year with Strava ... other training apps cost different amounts from nothing to .. err ... dunno, I started with Zwift and never moved on.

    you will need something to play the game on ..... mid spec laptop/desktop or in the next month or so it will be available on a recent ipad

    you will need a trainer with either a powermeter .. or more preferably a smart trainer as these will automatically change the resistance as you go up and down hills ... they range new anything from £300 to £1000 (ish)

    you might need a usb ant+ dongle / usb extention cable / turbo trainer wheel/tire all depending on what setup you have.

    I spent £1k on my set up, BUT ... I needed a new laptop, so that was £500 anyway and I opted for a £500 Wahoo Kickr as my old turbo, was quite frankly sh1te and I hated the feel of it .... I could have gone a couple of hundred cheaper if I bought a different trainer or second hand.
  • step83step83 Posts: 3,669
    I personally don't use Zwift I have a Cascade Fluid Pro which is pretty quiet. You get a slosh sound when you start pedalling but that goes in a stroke or two.
    Generally noise wise it goes
    Wind resistance
    mag
    fluid
    direct drive

    They may cross over with some but that's a rule of thumb. As someone mentioned be worth investing in a turbo tyre or even a whole wheel if your going to spam out a reasonable distance, cuts down on noise further and also they don't wear, ive done around 1000 miles on mine this year an bar a silvery coating which is just transfer, its fine.

    Training aid wise I did have Zwift till they moved to 64bit only which meant I couldn't use my tablet so I started using youtube videos an my Garmin instead. If you get a "dumb trainer" that doesn't have the toys hooked up to it youll need at least a speed sensor. I also run a cadence sensor to work on other areas but if its simply to get miles in to keep the legs happy a speed sensor will be plenty.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    oh and a fan .... buy a fan .... you NEED a fan, or two

    real cycling provides wind to cool you .... its amazing how much you can heat up just pulling 140w in a garage in autumn with no fan ... hit 10minute 300w pace and without that fan you wil die in 9 minutes
  • Hi,

    I want to keep on cycling regularly and it drives me nuts if I have more than a few days off, plus I dont want to lose any fitness over winter. The only problem is those rainy dark nights.

    Coming from Yorkshire Ive been too tight fisted to buy a turbo trainer and Ive been a stubborn cycling outdoors man. But this year Im not feeling the motivation to go outside on rubbish nights. My only concerns over turbo trainers are
    - they won't be as good as (or realistically simulate) the real thing.
    - boring
    - noisy
    - expensive

    Ive seen photos of Zwift and that looks a bit more interesting, how do people find using it? Anyone got a Tacx Vortex, are they loud ? Thanks

    If you can go outside then do, there's nothing that motivates you quite like it - however turbo training has big benefits when it comes to focussed training and also that the weather has no influence over if you train - i.e. you're doing it indoors or outdoors, but you're doing it!

    - Even if you get a £1,000 trainer, it won't be exactly like the real thing. Even the £7,00 bike treadmill has it's limitations.

    - Boring depends on you. Personally I find riding on Zwift comparible to riding solo outside in terms of interest levels, but it also allows you to listen to music or podcasts etc, so can be better.

    - Noisy - Some trainers can be, but it's not too bad these days, just avoid hardwood floors etc.

    - Expensive - Again it can be, but a basic setup of a Tacx Blue Matic Smart for £99 and a £20 stand fan from Argos should get you going at minimal outlay.

    PS join is at the Indoor Training & Turbo forum.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    I never have had an issue with noise, I use a Kickr snap, so a unit you leave your back wheel on and move a roller into it .... sure it makes a noise

    but you cant hear it above the fan that's blowing air on me

    which in turn is a damn site more quiet than wind rush over your ears on the road.

    I guess the issue of noise is disturbing other people ...... I dunno about that, I workout in the garage, the only disturbance is me getting up at 5am and walking into walls and tripping over stuff as I stumble down stairs
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,928
    I'm in the "Do both" camp. I don't bother with a smart setup, just use a plain old Satori and Sufferfest. The trick is to learn how to use a TT properly and use nice crisp winter days for keeping enjoyment/endurance. Without the outdoor rides, I kinda forget what I am doing the TT for! I don't always do a HIT session on the TT, sometimes I just stick a decent race on from Youtube and spin the legs for 45 minutes. Like most things in life, variety is the key.

    If you are close to a Machine Mart then I recommend their industrial fan units. Cost about £30 but an excellent investment IMO.
  • cgfw201cgfw201 Posts: 730
    Structured Turbo sessions are sensational for fitness and improvement.
    Random riding on the turbo is sensationally boring.

    If you sign up with Zwift/Trainerroad/Sufferfest on the various platforms they are all on and stick with it they all make indoor trianing both fun and incredibly effective.

    Then when you can ride outdoors you'll be faster than you knew possible.

    Make sure you take time to do an FTP test on whatever platform it is you go for to start with so it's all dialled in to your specific level of fitness.
  • I agree, horses for courses. Last year I commuted all winter but did not get significantly faster. This year i have started a proper training plan on the turbo. Already seeing improvements but means I only commute a couple of days on my rest days.
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    The honest answer is having both options is the ideal. I go nuts if I don't ride outside once every couple of weeks but I won't go out if it's lashing down or a chance of ice (not worth the risk of going down and spending 6 weeks recovering). The other thing is that a smart trainer following something prescriptive like trainer road.com gives you a far better workout than your achieve on the road where you are disrupted by traffic, lights, etc, etc.

    Zwift is brilliant, I tend to only use for racing and use Trainer road for training but both are great options when the weather is censored
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    I have not read any of the replies, but noticed someone has already given the answer....... Both!
    This is actually the answer to a lot of things in cycling, and life generally.

    I do not have a turbo, only rollers.
    When I get a turbo it will have to, A/ Move as a bike does, and, B/ Be or feel as good as a fluid turbo does.

    I would say get some rollers to start off, as they are cheap and a realistic feel.
    They are an addition to a turbo, not an alternative, so nothing wasted in their purchase.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,092
    Carbonator wrote:
    ...When I get a turbo it will have to, A/ Move as a bike does, and, B/ Be or feel as good as a fluid turbo does....
    My thoughts exactly.
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/kinetic-rock-an ... 60716841uk
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,130
    fat daddy wrote:
    Do both

    getting out on the road is important, cycling is so much more than turning the pedals and your body will thank you for actually riding the bike.

    but

    I adore the turbo trainer + Zwift .... I hoped I would use it on bad weather days .... it turns out its so addictive for me, that I use it EVERYDAY, even in the summer. It gets me out of bed at 5am for a 30 minute warm up before the daily 60minute dZi ignite ride that attacts about 20-50 a day to do a few loops of a course taking in the odd friendly sprint. then there are the races, all categories welcome, hard hard fun, the social side of it is good as well. Break aways, pack riding, regrouping .. its all there. There are the workouts, the FTP tests, free riding ..... even a form of SCR when you are riding solo and end up in a mini race/working together up the mountain climb. ..... Its logged on strava so you can compare your times with previous days/other riders.

    My wife is away this weekend .... and I am torn between taking the MTB out for a few hours OR do the 180km TT on zwift to get a free entry to the win a Cervélo’s S3 Disc ?????

    If you like gamification of anything .... then give zwift a go .. where abouts do you lift I am sure some one localish could give you a go >?
    180km time trial. I have spent a fair amount of time on the turbo over the years but please tell me that is an error.
  • ravey1981ravey1981 Posts: 1,111
    Both, but if its really censored theres no way I'm going outside. Zwift is fantastic in terms of adding interest to the turbo. Did the zwift races quite a bit last winter and was fitter that I've ever been this spring (I've actually lost fitness/power over summer riding outside). Also I take the MTB or cross bike out more in winter, if I'm gonna get wet and mucky I might as well get really wet and mucky. Those crisp winter mornings out on the road (winter) bike when you have all the right kit on are as good as any summer ride though....
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,928
    webboo wrote:
    fat daddy wrote:
    Do both

    getting out on the road is important, cycling is so much more than turning the pedals and your body will thank you for actually riding the bike.

    but

    I adore the turbo trainer + Zwift .... I hoped I would use it on bad weather days .... it turns out its so addictive for me, that I use it EVERYDAY, even in the summer. It gets me out of bed at 5am for a 30 minute warm up before the daily 60minute dZi ignite ride that attacts about 20-50 a day to do a few loops of a course taking in the odd friendly sprint. then there are the races, all categories welcome, hard hard fun, the social side of it is good as well. Break aways, pack riding, regrouping .. its all there. There are the workouts, the FTP tests, free riding ..... even a form of SCR when you are riding solo and end up in a mini race/working together up the mountain climb. ..... Its logged on strava so you can compare your times with previous days/other riders.

    My wife is away this weekend .... and I am torn between taking the MTB out for a few hours OR do the 180km TT on zwift to get a free entry to the win a Cervélo’s S3 Disc ?????

    If you like gamification of anything .... then give zwift a go .. where abouts do you lift I am sure some one localish could give you a go >?
    180km time trial. I have spent a fair amount of time on the turbo over the years but please tell me that is an error.

    I think there is more than just the one 'error' in that lot ;-)
  • http://zwift.com/mission/ctt2016

    It's not. It is one of the current challenges in Zwift
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    Nope 180 (simulated) km

    http://zwift.com/mission/ctt2016

    About 6 hours I reckon ... although with tagging on to an organised ride that way 80km or so can be done in a pack at higher speed or less effort
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    The problem I find with long turbo sessions is that you don't naturally change your riding position the way you do on the road - it can get pretty uncomfortable much earlier than it would outside. The longest I've managed is 3 hours of climbing simulation - my butt has never forgiven me.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,025
    ravey1981 wrote:
    Both, but if its really censored theres no way I'm going outside. Zwift is fantastic in terms of adding interest to the turbo. Did the zwift races quite a bit last winter and was fitter that I've ever been this spring (I've actually lost fitness/power over summer riding outside). Also I take the MTB or cross bike out more in winter, if I'm gonna get wet and mucky I might as well get really wet and mucky. Those crisp winter mornings out on the road (winter) bike when you have all the right kit on are as good as any summer ride though....

    Interesting....
    I only picked up Zwift end of September and race either on Saturday or Sunday as I commute each week day , 1 hour each way... hi % Zone 2 if thats of any interest.
    I've had 4 Training Peak emails now after Zwifting to notify me of upping my power threshold.
    I am NOT consciously 'training', just racing.. in a close season mode... I was not expecting to be setting PBs.

    Something is working...
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    pblakeney wrote:
    Carbonator wrote:
    ...When I get a turbo it will have to, A/ Move as a bike does, and, B/ Be or feel as good as a fluid turbo does....
    My thoughts exactly.
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/kinetic-rock-an ... 60716841uk

    Haha, the Rock n Roll is as near as I got to buying one, but did not like the silly stick on 'smart' bit.

    It was always 'smart' if you bought that and stuck it on.
    All they did with the 'smart' version was include it in the box!

    If they had brought out a properly integrated one I probably would have bought it.
    Problem is that I probably want two way smart now to use with Zwift, and the nearest seems to be a Tacx Neo.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,092
    I went for ride "feel" over "smart".
    Horses for courses and each to their own.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,863
    Turbo's are fine for intervals but you can dk tjise the road too, it is harder though. Turbo's are less good for base miles, which improve and maintain cardiovasulcar fitness and promote the growth of cappiliaries which mean you recover quicker not just from longer rides but for repeated hard efforts. Turbo's are useless of base miles which are important depending on what uou are trying to achieve.

    What exactly is wrong with getting wet. I love it. The way i look at it i am 70% water on the inside what is the problem with a hit on the outside.

    Do both unless uou are really dedictaed time trailiast then maybe most of your time on the turbo will be of benefit. Zwift i reallh dont see the point. Waste of a ride. The outdoors even when it is wet is far nicer than a screen, it is all a state of mind.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
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