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Beginner into Turbo World

myidealmyideal Posts: 251
edited December 2016 in Road beginners
Hi,

I know we have a turbo part to the forum, however thought I would post this here as it is partly linked to me being a beginner into this world as well, so hope people don't mind.

I have been looking at loads of different trainers, however really for someone like myself it comes down to having something basic.

I narrowed it down to the following;
    Tacx Flow T2240
    Tacx Vortex
    Bkool Smart Go

Then when carrying out more research and wider reading of comments I tend to find people complaining about issues with the Tacx not connecting with Bluetooth or build quality issues and parts failing etc. Is this really as common as some of the comments are making out?

Then I noticed an advert advertising this Bkool Smart Go. This is on an offer this weekend, however the issue I have is that there is not that much around on the internet about it. Are Bkoool in the same league as Tacx? Do these suffer issues as well?

Its all very confusing as a beginner, as it appears (just from the comments you read online) that many of this kit doesnt really work as well as it should. Is this actually the case or is it being blown out of proportion as such?

Given the choice between Tacx and Bkool is there one brand I should choose over the other?

Posts

  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,397
    I have the Tacx Flow Smart T2240 and it runs fine, being used regularly and no issues with Bluetooth connections.
    You can get issues with any brand you buy be it a turbo or a full bike, it depends how lucky or unlucky you are.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    Dunno about the bkool go ... but the bkool I tried the rear wheel was held on to the roller by the weight of the rider ... meaning if you get out the saddle to climb or sprint the wheel slipped ... annoying !
  • myidealmyideal Posts: 251
    diamonddog wrote:
    I have the Tacx Flow Smart T2240 and it runs fine, being used regularly and no issues with Bluetooth connections.
    You can get issues with any brand you buy be it a turbo or a full bike, it depends how lucky or unlucky you are.

    OK that is encouraging as like I said looking online at the comments this was where most people seemed to be complaining.

    Also are their any "free" smart training apps or is Zwift / Bkool the best way to go with a subscription to one of these?
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    I'd go cheap dumb to see if you can stick riding on a turbo
    You can smart it up later by getting a power meter.
    You can spend an arm and leg on a smart gen 2 controllable trainer that actually has a power meter but you can only use it indoors.
    Zwift wins hands down for the riding experience.
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,397
    Tacx have a free app with free workouts and payable video downloads but as mentioned above Zwift gives you more and the monthly fee is about the same as one video download from Tacx.
  • myidealmyideal Posts: 251
    OK, maybe this is a thick question.

    Does the turbo trainer / software not work out the speed and power etc that will be put down as I ride the bike? Or do you need all these sensors to make Zwift etc work properly?
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Go look up trainerroad. It's everything you need to know.
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,397
    myideal wrote:
    OK, maybe this is a thick question.

    Does the turbo trainer / software not work out the speed and power etc that will be put down as I ride the bike? Or do you need all these sensors to make Zwift etc work properly?
    Smart trainers once calibrated and connected to the app or Zwift etc via Bluetooth give you speed, distance cadence and power, they also alter the tension for the type of workout terrain etc.
    The only other thing you may want to get is a HRM but that is not essential and depends on the training you want to do.
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,221
    myideal wrote:
    OK, maybe this is a thick question.

    Does the turbo trainer / software not work out the speed and power etc that will be put down as I ride the bike? Or do you need all these sensors to make Zwift etc work properly?


    I can only speak of the Bkool - haven't used the Tax - but you'll need some sensors on the bike. Basically a standard cadence and speed sensor to make it most accurate.

    It can work without the cadence sensor and it 'detects' the rhythm of your pedalling against the roller but it's not always 100% and can sometimes halve or double your cadence. It does need a speed sensor though - but the turbo comes with an ANT+ one. But I use the regular Garmin speed/cadence jobbie that I have on the bike already.
  • myidealmyideal Posts: 251
    g00se wrote:
    myideal wrote:
    OK, maybe this is a thick question.

    Does the turbo trainer / software not work out the speed and power etc that will be put down as I ride the bike? Or do you need all these sensors to make Zwift etc work properly?


    I can only speak of the Bkool - haven't used the Tax - but you'll need some sensors on the bike. Basically a standard cadence and speed sensor to make it most accurate.

    It can work without the cadence sensor and it 'detects' the rhythm of your pedalling against the roller but it's not always 100% and can sometimes halve or double your cadence. It does need a speed sensor though - but the turbo comes with an ANT+ one. But I use the regular Garmin speed/cadence jobbie that I have on the bike already.

    So does this mean the turbo will have a speed sensor built in .... but having my own could be better as its more accurate?

    Have I read and understood that correctly?
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,221
    myideal wrote:
    g00se wrote:
    myideal wrote:
    OK, maybe this is a thick question.

    Does the turbo trainer / software not work out the speed and power etc that will be put down as I ride the bike? Or do you need all these sensors to make Zwift etc work properly?


    I can only speak of the Bkool - haven't used the Tax - but you'll need some sensors on the bike. Basically a standard cadence and speed sensor to make it most accurate.

    It can work without the cadence sensor and it 'detects' the rhythm of your pedalling against the roller but it's not always 100% and can sometimes halve or double your cadence. It does need a speed sensor though - but the turbo comes with an ANT+ one. But I use the regular Garmin speed/cadence jobbie that I have on the bike already.

    So does this mean the turbo will have a speed sensor built in .... but having my own could be better as its more accurate?

    Have I read and understood that correctly?

    No, the turbo has a cadence sensor built in but it's not as good as dedicated ANT+ one. You will also ideally need a speed sensor on the bike.
  • myidealmyideal Posts: 251
    Thanks for the help. I purchased the Tacx Flow and have to say so far im impressed with it. I have not purchased any other sensors at the moment and it seems to be working well on Bkool on the ipad over bluetooth. I would like to try Zwift, however suspect I need to wait until the ipad app comes out to try this.
  • Not sure where you get that idea. The one thing you definitely don't need when you have a smart turbo is a speed sensor. And indeed apps like Zwift and trainer road ignore wheel speed entirely when using a power source like a smart trainer.

    Having a cadence sensor is a good idea. I personally recommed Wahoo RPM
  • myidealmyideal Posts: 251
    OK maybe im being thick or doing something wrong here.

    I have the Smart Flow and have installed the Bkool App on the Ipad. I went to pair up the trainer which the Bkool app found, however it was saying that "it was not smart" so would not adjust.

    I thought this Smart Flow T2240 was a smart trainer? Have I done something wrong with the setup?

    Also does anyone else with Bkool on the Ipad find that the app will just crash mid way through a session? I am using an Ipad Mini 3.
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,397
    It is a smart trainer, mine works fine on the Tacx app with the IPad and yours should work on the BKool app if it's compatible so probably a set up issue. Just bear in mind that some apps are more 'glitchy' than others and can cause the app to crash more readily. I have not yet had the Tacx app crash during a training session so I will be sticking to it then maybe Zwift when launched.
  • myidealmyideal Posts: 251
    It doesnt even appear as an option in Bkool, however connected up Zwift (on the computer) today and used the mobile bridge and all appeared to work straight away. I also noticed that I can pair it with my Garmin HR watch, which means that I can record my indoor sessions properly. This is an impressive touch. I would like to see how Zwift works on the ipad, hopeful it will be stable and work as suspect this Bkool app isnt the most stable.
  • Have you installed the Tacx utility app and checked that the firmware of the turbo is up to date? The calibration function of the app is also useful.
  • myidealmyideal Posts: 251
    Yes it appears to an android issue with the app, however using the iPad version of zwift that has just been released and that works fantastically without any issues
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