Trying to buy a turbo

Jafaremraf
Jafaremraf Posts: 26
I have got myself completely and utterly confused over what to get!

There will be 3 of us using an indoor trainer over the winter and want to replace our old no frills turbo. Having done some research, we think we'd like a trainer that connects to Zwift and automatically adjusts the resistance to gradients, etc. Two of our bikes have the same size cassette, but even so, we preferred the direct drive type. How big an issue is it to change the cassette on the turbo each time?

I've read about two turbos that seem to tick all boxes, Wahoo Kickr and Tracx Neo, but when I looked them up found them very expensive, £1k+. Not sure we can justify this cost, so looking at the next level down and this is where I get confused over whether we can get something that auto adjusts, direct drive and cheaper! And is direct drive the way to go with 3 of us?

The whole smart turbo and Zwift thing is all new to us and it's a lot of money to potentially get wrong. But I think it will be the only way to keep us all going over the winter, especially as teenage son is training for racing next year.

Any recommendations/advice/suggestions on a turbo would be gratefully received.

Comments

  • fat daddy
    fat daddy Posts: 2,605
    Jafaremraf wrote:
    How big an issue is it to change the cassette on the turbo each time? .


    marginally quicker than changing the cassette on a wheel

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw3Fg_aJQa8

    personally I didn't want to dick about doing that every time I changed the bike so bought a wheel on turbo
  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    Multiple bikes, different speeds.. wheel on is probably sensible.
    Kickr Snap is at the top end price wise.
  • JGSI wrote:
    Multiple bikes, different speeds.. wheel on is probably sensible.
    Kickr Snap is at the top end price wise.

    That sums it up. You do NOT want to be changing cassettes each time!

    By size, I'm assuming you mean number of gears. If it's simply different ratios of 10-speed cassette for example, it would be fine apart from possible indexing issues. If you're one bike is ten speed and another eleven speed then you'd be changing cassettes each time on the direct drive turbo and that would suck.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I'd have a look at the stac zero. Not smart yet but it can be upgraded next year. See how you get on with your first winter. Silent too and no tyre wear.
  • Wheel on is best suited for multiple bikes with different groupsets, the Tacx Flow is worth a look if budget is at the lower end, or a Kickr Snap if budget allows..
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  • mrb123
    mrb123 Posts: 4,653
    Blow the budget and get a Wattbike Atom!
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    I share my turbo with my wife - despite the fact that we both have 10 speed bikes I like to keep things simple - we have one bike and two seatposts & saddles - the seatposts are marked for where they need to sit so we can quickly swap between the two.
    Yes - the bike is slightly too short for me - if I were riding it on the road - but I'm not - so it doesn't matter
  • grenw
    grenw Posts: 803
    Slowbike wrote:
    I share my turbo with my wife - despite the fact that we both have 10 speed bikes I like to keep things simple - we have one bike and two seatposts & saddles - the seatposts are marked for where they need to sit so we can quickly swap between the two.
    Yes - the bike is slightly too short for me - if I were riding it on the road - but I'm not - so it doesn't matter

    We do exactly that and I bought a QR seatpost clamp to make things even easier. The bike is now permanently on the turbo.
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,652
    We used to have one turbo, and one bike we could both ride, but now have a pair.

    You certainly would not want to be changing a cassette once or more times a week, BUT don't write off the Neo yet.

    Join the Tacx Neo facebook page and post on there, pretty sure I have seen several people say they have used bikes with different speed cassettes, with the smallest of issues - and if you were using it in ERG mode, for something like Trainerroad, you don't even need to worry about changing gear, so would just need to find one gear it was happy in - usually smallest cog at the front, and whatever cog at the rear gives the cleanest chainline.

    Additionally, cheaper trainers will not always be able to generate the same slope as a Neo or similar, and the advantage of DD over roller, is that you can carry out full on sprints - with a wheel on\roller one, you inevitably get a bit of slip.
    You also have to remember to get the tyre up to the right pressure, and either calibrate it with an app, or at least in the software you are using - ie TR at the very least, no experience of others.
    No calibration with the Neo required - not sure about the Flux, or Drivo\Kickr etc etc

    Back to the Neo - if you look around, the likes of CRC, Wiggle, and Amazon have all had it at £865 or there abouts in recent months, and Evans will price match the first two.
    IF you have a loyalty discount scheme through work, you can likely lop another 8 or 10% off of that too, and if CRC have it on offer, and you are a BC member, you can get 10% off, plus TCB cashback.
    Oh and also do not forget Halfords, as they sometimes price match as well, and may well also take BC membership as discount (Depending on who you get) and they might be on your work loyalty scheme thing as well.

    The Flux is also worth a mention, and was what I was planning to get, but the awful reliability it had at the beginning of it's life put me off too much. Not kept a track of it, but things may have improved - there is a Flux FB page as well, which I joined at the time, they would be able to give you the latest info on reliabiility.

    If 3 of you are going to be using it (Fairly hard I assume, and for a number of hours?) you need something that will be reliable and up to the job.
    I use mine alone for 7 hours a week, potentialy yours could be in the mid 20's.

    Better to spend £865 on something solid and dependable, than £400 on something that keeps breaking and leaves you unable to train imho.

    EDIT: Having looked at Amazon, I wonder if they have stopped selling it directly now, and looks like all the other big players are nearly up at full whack :-(

    This gets good reviews, but was £100 cheaper a few months back - strength of the pound versus the Euro I guess:
    https://www.athleteshop.co.uk/elite-trainer-drivo-interactive-smart-b-power-meter-muin

    Evans price matched over the phone at the time, conflicting reports as to whether they still do.
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  • Thanks everyone for the great responses, They really helped us make a decision. We decided wheel on seemed the best way to go, as changing cassettes each time would be a faff. We have done the one bike for all previously, but was uncomfortable as one of us is short and another tall, leaving only one of us comfy!

    I hadn't seen the Stac Zero before, that's an interesting one, but we decided to go for the Kickr Snap. We've ordered turbo tyres for each of our summer bikes, as we've got winter bikes for outside riding.

    I'm hoping we will be able to mirror Zwift from iPhone to Apple TV so we'll be able to view it on the tele.

    It's due to be delivered today, so fingers crossed it all works. Only problem may be finding a time it won't be in use!
  • grahamcp
    grahamcp Posts: 323
    Jafaremraf wrote:
    Thanks everyone for the great responses, They really helped us make a decision. We decided wheel on seemed the best way to go, as changing cassettes each time would be a faff. We have done the one bike for all previously, but was uncomfortable as one of us is short and another tall, leaving only one of us comfy!

    I hadn't seen the Stac Zero before, that's an interesting one, but we decided to go for the Kickr Snap. We've ordered turbo tyres for each of our summer bikes, as we've got winter bikes for outside riding.

    I'm hoping we will be able to mirror Zwift from iPhone to Apple TV so we'll be able to view it on the tele.

    It's due to be delivered today, so fingers crossed it all works. Only problem may be finding a time it won't be in use!

    Nice one, let us know your first impressions once you've set it up and had a go.
  • navrig2
    navrig2 Posts: 1,851
    If you are buying an ERG model (one that changes the resistance to suit the programme you are following) then does it matter what cassette is on the wheel or on the trainer?

    The rider chooses a single gear which provides the right cadence/resistance for them and sticks with it for 90+% of the programme ride. The only time you might what to change gear, in my experience, is if there is a peak power target and you start to bounce or if the rest period cadence is so slow you are not comfortable.

    If you can afford it go for direct drive.