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Most reliable smart trainer?

mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,727
Maybe a difficult question to answer this one, but which of the current crop of smart trainers would people say is the most reliable and likely to be still giving good service in a few years' time?

At somewhere approaching £1000, these trainers represent a big purchase. Whilst of course any single unit can go wrong, it would be nice to at least get the best chance of reliability - a bit like looking at the customer satisfaction/reliability tables for cars.

There seem to be plenty of reports around of problems with the Kickr, although that may just be because of the sheer number of units that are out there. Wahoo's customer support and service does seem to attract some pretty negative feedback.

The CycleOps stuff I've seen before was pretty well built, and the Hammer trainer gets a lot of praise. I note however that while the hardware is guaranteed for life, the electricals only have a 1 year guarantee compared to the 2 year guarantee that most manufacturers offer. Presumably with these things, if something goes wrong it's likely to be a problem with the internals rather than the casing falling to bits.

It's clear that the Tacx Flux had some serious problems with some early units, but one would hope those have now largely been resolved. The Neo looks good but attracts a pretty hefty price premium over pretty much anything out there.

The Elite Direto looks very promising, but it's early days to be getting any long term feedback.

Thoughts?
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  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 1,028
    Haven't seen any bad press about the Neo.

    I've seen lots about the Flux, but like most things people only go on the internet to complain or post a bad review.

    I've had mine several months and it's been fine. As have many others:

    64ZdOoz.jpg
    (Taken from the Flux Facebook Group)
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,727
    Dannbodge wrote:
    Haven't seen any bad press about the Neo.

    I've seen lots about the Flux, but like most things people only go on the internet to complain or post a bad review.

    I've had mine several months and it's been fine. As have many others:

    64ZdOoz.jpg
    (Taken from the Flux Facebook Group)

    Not an overwhelming success rate is it?!
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    I've had Tacx wheel on trainers and found all of them problematic. I've the Elite Kura and find it far better than any of the Tacx trainers I've had. Power accuracy is excellent when compared to the P2M fitted to the bike (+/- 1% accuracy). If I was buying again though, I'd go Direto without hesitation. A trainer aimed at the top of the mid range smart trainers, but which performs as well as and in some cases better than, the high end range of turbos. Elite are also quick to follow up with any questions with set up, whereas Tacx were pretty much like Garmin when I last had a Tacx trainer.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,727
    I agree that the Direto looks like a good option, particularly as and when it becomes a bit more widely available and starts nudging down from RRP.
  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 1,028
    Going back to this thread and my Flux broke at the weekend.

    Going back to the shop this week to go to Tacx and be replaced.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,814
    Dannbodge wrote:
    Going back to this thread and my Flux broke at the weekend.

    Going back to the shop this week to go to Tacx and be replaced.

    Unbelievable that a product which has been out for over a year still has a fault which continues to affect so many units. How are tacx still shipping this? Surely there should have been a recall? There is clearly a design flaw.
  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 1,028
    Yeah it's a bit of a joke.
    I asked if they would refund me (so I can buy a direto) and my LBS said they get 3 chances at replace/repair beofre they can refund.

    They also stated they were not aware of any issues, which made me laugh
  • I had a Hammer. Eventually I returned it.

    The software was buggy. Fairly often it would stop reporting power for a few seconds – always when simulating a change a grade. It took Cycleops a long time to send a firmware update and currently there are still people on other forums reporting power drops. The power drops could be easily replicated by attacking at the bottom of hills on Zwift – so it was repeatable and so not linked to signal drops. It also was very slow to change resistance when undulating.

    Also my Hammer had a hardware issue where the freehub would slip – so I would get occasional clunking sounds. If you are unlucky with this then Cycleops will send replacement freehubs always always fixes the issue. However for me that did not work and I still had slippage. The Zwift Hub thread on CycleOps Hammer has a fair few people with the same issues.

    I might be unlucky with the hardware, but IMHO the reason there are more issues with the KICKR online is that there are far, far more KICKRs. The software issues with the Hammer are endemic and seem to affect all of them.

    I now have a KICKR. I occasionally have power drops – usually random and than a second long which indicates that that’s due to poor ANT+ signals. But they’re no way as long or as frequent as the Hammer’s. If they bothered me any more then I might plug in my spare USB extension cord.
  • sh3psh3p Posts: 98
    Also had my Flux returned to the LBS a couple if days ago as it developed a very distracting and anoying ticking noise when rotating.Exchanged it for another unit but when I set that one up it creaked like loose floorboards when you started peddling, it was immediately returned and i was refunded. LBS was very helpful and offered a refund straight away.
  • My Kurt Kinetic Road machine feels well engineered and more robust than my old Cycleops trainer and has a good "road" feel. It's also quite quiet. No complaints from me.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,727
    It's a minefield.

    I think the Flux has got to be off the shortlist; just too many horror stories around for it to be the usual interweb scaremongering.

    Disappointing to hear the feedback above regarding the Hammer too.

    A very positive review on Road.cc for the Elite Direto at present but it's early days to know how they're going to be performing in the long run.
  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 1,028
    MrB123 wrote:
    It's a minefield.

    I think the Flux has got to be off the shortlist; just too many horror stories around for it to be the usual interweb scaremongering.

    Disappointing to hear the feedback above regarding the Hammer too.

    A very positive review on Road.cc for the Elite Direto at present but it's early days to know how they're going to be performing in the long run.

    Shane miller on YouTube has done a reciew on the Direto a few months on and so far says it's both his and his wife's go to trainer, so it just be good considering they have pretty much every trainer
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    Got a Direto arriving tomorrow to go with the Kura. I'm expecting it to be as good if not better than the Kura, but I doubt it will have the smoothness of the Kura's fluid resistance.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Flux off the radar indeed... had mine for a few months and its a brilliant bit of kit which is working flawlessly and to specification. There were issues with earlier batches but these seem to be now resolved. A lot of the doom and gloom on the internet is in my humble opinion down to the user not setting them up properly. I got mine from my LBS at the same price as online and they put the cassette on and indexed my bike properly to work with it...
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,814
    Mikey23 wrote:
    Flux off the radar indeed... had mine for a few months and its a brilliant bit of kit which is working flawlessly and to specification. There were issues with earlier batches but these seem to be now resolved. A lot of the doom and gloom on the internet is in my humble opinion down to the user not setting them up properly. I got mine from my LBS at the same price as online and they put the cassette on and indexed my bike properly to work with it...

    You're one of the lucky ones.
    There are simply too many reports of the same issues for it to be user error.
  • I agree that there are just too many recent stories of faulty Flux trainers to buy with confidence of good reliability.

    With a strict £600 budget I was about to press the button on one but got a Kickr Snap for £450 instead.

    Apart from it being wheel-on, the Snap has equal or better spec but is seemingly far more robustly made.
  • wongataawongataa Posts: 967
    MrB123 wrote:
    It's a minefield.

    I think the Flux has got to be off the shortlist; just too many horror stories around for it to be the usual interweb scaremongering.

    Disappointing to hear the feedback above regarding the Hammer too.

    A very positive review on Road.cc for the Elite Direto at present but it's early days to know how they're going to be performing in the long run.
    I went for the Direto. I have had no issues during month I have been using it.
  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 1,028
    Mikey23 wrote:
    Flux off the radar indeed... had mine for a few months and its a brilliant bit of kit which is working flawlessly and to specification. There were issues with earlier batches but these seem to be now resolved. A lot of the doom and gloom on the internet is in my humble opinion down to the user not setting them up properly. I got mine from my LBS at the same price as online and they put the cassette on and indexed my bike properly to work with it...

    The earlier batches thing is not true.
    Every days on the FB group there are a more and more of the newer batches breaking.
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Oh well, have it your way. I will post again if and when mine breaks...
  • nicklongnicklong Posts: 231
    For £1000?

    A Kickr Snap and a power meter for the bike. Let the PM control the Snap. That's my setup, it's paired with a Vector S PM.

    If I had just relied upon the Snap for power I'd be happy enough, however this combo means my indoor and outdoor workouts can tie up front a data perspective. The Snap has been 99% reliable since the software updates in January.

    Had a Tacx Flow Smart before sending it back for the Kickr Snap. Couldn't get on with ERG with the Flow, the resistance brake is limited by the speed of the wheel (e.g. there's a fluid-like resistance curve which the egg mode compliments rather than overrides.)
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,814
    philthy3 wrote:
    Got a Direto arriving tomorrow to go with the Kura. I'm expecting it to be as good if not better than the Kura, but I doubt it will have the smoothness of the Kura's fluid resistance.

    Has your direto arrived? Have you had a chance to try it yet. Really interested in how it compares to the kura.
  • 2 years with Bkool smart pro, used almost exclusively over winter months, and absolutely no problems at all, plus it was well under £500.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    redvision wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    Got a Direto arriving tomorrow to go with the Kura. I'm expecting it to be as good if not better than the Kura, but I doubt it will have the smoothness of the Kura's fluid resistance.

    Has your direto arrived? Have you had a chance to try it yet. Really interested in how it compares to the kura.

    Yes, arrived from Italy Monday about £100 cheaper than U.K. (Lordgun.)

    The Kura being fluid resistance has a more natural pedalling feel, but the difference is minimal. The Direto obviously enables you to use your gearing as per the road whereas the Kura means most time is spent in the inner ring with the resistance it has. The Kura is also much quieter although the Direto isn't too loud. Getting the bike on and off is easier on the Direto and unlike the Kura, it will stand up on its own when stored away.

    Setting up is simple for both as is calibration. I've connected to TrainerRoad via Bluetooth and ANT+ without problem but haven't attempted Zwift as I suspended my membership. When ERG mode kicks in, boy it's tough if you don't keep the cadence up!

    Big question which would I buy out of the two. I like the Kura, but it'd have to be the Direto.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • philthy3 wrote:
    redvision wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    Got a Direto arriving tomorrow to go with the Kura. I'm expecting it to be as good if not better than the Kura, but I doubt it will have the smoothness of the Kura's fluid resistance.

    Has your direto arrived? Have you had a chance to try it yet. Really interested in how it compares to the kura.

    Yes, arrived from Italy Monday about £100 cheaper than U.K. (Lordgun.)

    ...

    Ordered mine from CleverTraining UK last night for the same price as Lordgun. Scheduled for delivery tomorrow.

    I feel like a 5 year-old at Christmas :lol:
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    saftlad wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    redvision wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    Got a Direto arriving tomorrow to go with the Kura. I'm expecting it to be as good if not better than the Kura, but I doubt it will have the smoothness of the Kura's fluid resistance.

    Has your direto arrived? Have you had a chance to try it yet. Really interested in how it compares to the kura.

    Yes, arrived from Italy Monday about £100 cheaper than U.K. (Lordgun.)

    ...

    Ordered mine from CleverTraining UK last night for the same price as Lordgun. Scheduled for delivery tomorrow.

    I feel like a 5 year-old at Christmas :lol:

    I originally went through another on-line retailer that quoted delivery for end of October and at £579. They sent an email advising delivery would be on Nov 1st and nothing appeared. Contacted them to be advised the message was a mistake and delivery wouldn't be until January 2018! I requested a refund and was told it'd be done within 3-5 working days. I got a phone call a day or two later apologising for the mess up and asking if I wanted a TACX Genius instead. Cheeky w*****s. I told them no, just get the refund done. Nothing has appeared in my bank account yet, so i've just sent them a request to ensure it is done by Friday or I will start naming names.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,814
    philthy3 wrote:
    Yes, arrived from Italy Monday about £100 cheaper than U.K. (Lordgun.)

    The Kura being fluid resistance has a more natural pedalling feel, but the difference is minimal. The Direto obviously enables you to use your gearing as per the road whereas the Kura means most time is spent in the inner ring with the resistance it has. The Kura is also much quieter although the Direto isn't too loud. Getting the bike on and off is easier on the Direto and unlike the Kura, it will stand up on its own when stored away.

    Setting up is simple for both as is calibration. I've connected to TrainerRoad via Bluetooth and ANT+ without problem but haven't attempted Zwift as I suspended my membership. When ERG mode kicks in, boy it's tough if you don't keep the cadence up!

    Big question which would I buy out of the two. I like the Kura, but it'd have to be the Direto.

    Glad to hear it's arrived. Sounds like it lives up to the hype! Could you post back after a week or so of use to provide an update?

    I am completely torn between the kura and the direto. Have previously had a Kickr, Kickr Snap, and Neo, all of which either arrived faulty or developed a fault. After the Neo i decided the Kura was the way to go as there would (in theory) be less to go wrong with it than a fully smart turbo. However, the more i look the more i am drawn to trying another smart trainer - in the form of the Direto.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    redvision wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    Yes, arrived from Italy Monday about £100 cheaper than U.K. (Lordgun.)

    The Kura being fluid resistance has a more natural pedalling feel, but the difference is minimal. The Direto obviously enables you to use your gearing as per the road whereas the Kura means most time is spent in the inner ring with the resistance it has. The Kura is also much quieter although the Direto isn't too loud. Getting the bike on and off is easier on the Direto and unlike the Kura, it will stand up on its own when stored away.

    Setting up is simple for both as is calibration. I've connected to TrainerRoad via Bluetooth and ANT+ without problem but haven't attempted Zwift as I suspended my membership. When ERG mode kicks in, boy it's tough if you don't keep the cadence up!

    Big question which would I buy out of the two. I like the Kura, but it'd have to be the Direto.

    Glad to hear it's arrived. Sounds like it lives up to the hype! Could you post back after a week or so of use to provide an update?

    I am completely torn between the kura and the direto. Have previously had a Kickr, Kickr Snap, and Neo, all of which either arrived faulty or developed a fault. After the Neo i decided the Kura was the way to go as there would (in theory) be less to go wrong with it than a fully smart turbo. However, the more i look the more i am drawn to trying another smart trainer - in the form of the Direto.

    No problem. I'm tied up the rest of the week with checking school out for my daughter and remembrance parade, so maybe a couple of weeks. A ride buddy that also bought one has had his for a couple of weeks using it on TrainerRoad and loves it.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,814
    Awesome, thanks.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,727
    philthy3 wrote:
    saftlad wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    redvision wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    Got a Direto arriving tomorrow to go with the Kura. I'm expecting it to be as good if not better than the Kura, but I doubt it will have the smoothness of the Kura's fluid resistance.

    Has your direto arrived? Have you had a chance to try it yet. Really interested in how it compares to the kura.

    Yes, arrived from Italy Monday about £100 cheaper than U.K. (Lordgun.)

    ...

    Ordered mine from CleverTraining UK last night for the same price as Lordgun. Scheduled for delivery tomorrow.

    I feel like a 5 year-old at Christmas :lol:

    I originally went through another on-line retailer that quoted delivery for end of October and at £579. They sent an email advising delivery would be on Nov 1st and nothing appeared. Contacted them to be advised the message was a mistake and delivery wouldn't be until January 2018! I requested a refund and was told it'd be done within 3-5 working days. I got a phone call a day or two later apologising for the mess up and asking if I wanted a TACX Genius instead. Cheeky w*****s. I told them no, just get the refund done. Nothing has appeared in my bank account yet, so i've just sent them a request to ensure it is done by Friday or I will start naming names.

    Athleteshop?
  • stevie63stevie63 Posts: 481
    ^^^ I'd Say so.
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