Need Help - Power Meter or Smart Trainer

blackstar500
blackstar500 Posts: 139
Just recently got into indoor cycling.

My Current setup is a classic trainer, Cadence and Speed Sensor via an Ant stick . I am looking to improve my online experience was thinking about getting a smart trainer but then good ones are really expensive and then a thought came to me why don't I invest in a power meter and use that with my current setup.

Any Ideas on a way forward as I am not too bothered by power meter readings when I am cycling on the road but for indoors it matters for correct zwift usage

or otherwise please recommend a smart trainer that can manage resistance and power reading ..

Many thanks

Comments

  • dannbodge
    dannbodge Posts: 1,152
    Power meter gives you the option of transferring your training to outdoors.

    Smart trainer, I would suggest either a Kickr Snap ($500 new or £300 refurbed from Wahoo) or Tacx Vortex (£300 new)
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,509
    If it's for zwift, then smart trainer. I've used zwift with power meter and classic trainer, and while it is useful, and you can probably output power more efficiently in races than when zwift is changing your resistance, it just isn't the point of zwift.

    Also, erg mode is really worthwhile for training sessions - it makes them as mindless as you need them to be.
  • cookeeemonster
    cookeeemonster Posts: 1,991

    Also, erg mode is really worthwhile for training sessions - it makes them as mindless as you need them to be.

    I'm not sure if it's just me or my trainer (tacx vortex smart) but I find erg mode more of a hinderance in workouts. Unless you are able to pedal in a real narrow range of cadence then the resistance constantly changes (with a short delay) and the power numbers are always shooting up and down as a result. I find it really hard to pedal smoothly because of this.

    As to the OP, Get a power meter and a cheap smart trainer to get the best of both worlds ;)
  • I have both a smart trainer and a power meter. If I needed to give one of them up, I would give up the power meter.

    And I find power meters have limited use outdoors. Outdoors I find my PM most useful when I'm doing my regular climbs of of 800m+ vertical ascent - they're great for moderating efforts so I don't blow up. I might also find it useful for this reason if I was doing TTs.

    But the other benefits of PMs are rather limited. I've given up on using a PM for structured workouts outdoors – I find it too difficult to do steady state power due to traffic and grades. For measuring fatigue over multiple rides then I get decent enough suffer score metrics from Strava or other platforms based only on heart rate, so I feel the increased accuracy of a PM is not needed.

    Smart trainers are just more fun than power meters.
  • joey54321
    joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    If you want to train/get faster/get fitter then 100% powermeter and a kurt kinetic and then the pro flywheel. Amazing turbo trainers that are bullet proof, great to ride and can frequently be found second hand for a bargin.

    If you want to play on Zwift then maybe get a Neo (ime, the Neo is the only smart trainer that is as nice/nicer to ride than the KK).
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    joey54321 wrote:
    If you want to train/get faster/get fitter then 100% powermeter and a kurt kinetic and then the pro flywheel. Amazing turbo trainers that are bullet proof, great to ride and can frequently be found second hand for a bargin.

    If you want to play on Zwift then maybe get a Neo (ime, the Neo is the only smart trainer that is as nice/nicer to ride than the KK).

    :lol::lol: Any smart trainer is fine. A turbo is never going to be as good as riding outdoors, so as long as it does the job intended for, its fine. A Direto at the moment is a mere £567 at some outlets and that turbo is rated better than some of the higher end smart trainers.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • I was struggling with this question when I started.. I trained indoors with the smart trainer and outdoors with a PM. They don't match up accurately. Get a PM. And use that only. Indoors and out
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,509

    Also, erg mode is really worthwhile for training sessions - it makes them as mindless as you need them to be.

    I'm not sure if it's just me or my trainer (tacx vortex smart) but I find erg mode more of a hinderance in workouts. Unless you are able to pedal in a real narrow range of cadence then the resistance constantly changes (with a short delay) and the power numbers are always shooting up and down as a result. I find it really hard to pedal smoothly because of this.

    As to the OP, Get a power meter and a cheap smart trainer to get the best of both worlds ;)

    https://www.strava.com/activities/1415857542/analysis

    I don't know how narrow you mean by a narrow range of cadence, but I don't find the resistance jumping around within the same effort. You can see the rest section in the middle there I was pedalling between 83rpm and 110rpm and it wasn't a problem. This is based on a cheap smart trainer (Tacx Flow smart) and power meter.
  • joey54321
    joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    philthy3 wrote:
    joey54321 wrote:
    If you want to train/get faster/get fitter then 100% powermeter and a kurt kinetic and then the pro flywheel. Amazing turbo trainers that are bullet proof, great to ride and can frequently be found second hand for a bargin.

    If you want to play on Zwift then maybe get a Neo (ime, the Neo is the only smart trainer that is as nice/nicer to ride than the KK).

    :lol::lol: Any smart trainer is fine. A turbo is never going to be as good as riding outdoors, so as long as it does the job intended for, its fine. A Direto at the moment is a mere £567 at some outlets and that turbo is rated better than some of the higher end smart trainers.


    And how much inertia does the directo have? I'd bet its less than the KK which would cost a (small) fraction of £567. Sure, the Elite would probably be "fine", it'd "do", but ime it won't be nice to ride. I enjoy riding my Neo, I enjoyed riding my KK, I have disliked every other trainer that i've used. I just don't like the pedalling action, I ride them less and thus they're aren't as effective at keeping me fit through the winter.
  • cookeeemonster
    cookeeemonster Posts: 1,991

    Also, erg mode is really worthwhile for training sessions - it makes them as mindless as you need them to be.

    I'm not sure if it's just me or my trainer (tacx vortex smart) but I find erg mode more of a hinderance in workouts. Unless you are able to pedal in a real narrow range of cadence then the resistance constantly changes (with a short delay) and the power numbers are always shooting up and down as a result. I find it really hard to pedal smoothly because of this.

    As to the OP, Get a power meter and a cheap smart trainer to get the best of both worlds ;)

    https://www.strava.com/activities/1415857542/analysis

    I don't know how narrow you mean by a narrow range of cadence, but I don't find the resistance jumping around within the same effort. You can see the rest section in the middle there I was pedalling between 83rpm and 110rpm and it wasn't a problem. This is based on a cheap smart trainer (Tacx Flow smart) and power meter.

    I'm literally talking about a cadence range of around 4. When the trainer is dumb I can use the gears and cadence to settle on a power figure, with erg mode it feels I'm constantly out of sync - too high or low. Possibly something in the settings I need to check out
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    joey54321 wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    joey54321 wrote:
    If you want to train/get faster/get fitter then 100% powermeter and a kurt kinetic and then the pro flywheel. Amazing turbo trainers that are bullet proof, great to ride and can frequently be found second hand for a bargin.

    If you want to play on Zwift then maybe get a Neo (ime, the Neo is the only smart trainer that is as nice/nicer to ride than the KK).

    :lol::lol: Any smart trainer is fine. A turbo is never going to be as good as riding outdoors, so as long as it does the job intended for, its fine. A Direto at the moment is a mere £567 at some outlets and that turbo is rated better than some of the higher end smart trainers.


    And how much inertia does the directo have? I'd bet its less than the KK which would cost a (small) fraction of £567. Sure, the Elite would probably be "fine", it'd "do", but ime it won't be nice to ride. I enjoy riding my Neo, I enjoyed riding my KK, I have disliked every other trainer that i've used. I just don't like the pedalling action, I ride them less and thus they're aren't as effective at keeping me fit through the winter.

    You're referring to you rather than general. The Direto's flywheel may be only 4.2kg compared to the KK's 6.5kg, but being direct mount as opposed to wheel on, won't suffer with slippage, require another wheel or wear a road tyre out if you use the one wheel, has one of the most accurate power meters in the market, folds away for easy storage, has more than enough gradient and power for the average user and importantly, isn't green. :lol:
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • joey54321
    joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    I care more about feel (which impacts how much I ride it) and specificity (how much of the training is translated to the road).
  • joey54321 wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    joey54321 wrote:
    If you want to train/get faster/get fitter then 100% powermeter and a kurt kinetic and then the pro flywheel. Amazing turbo trainers that are bullet proof, great to ride and can frequently be found second hand for a bargin.

    If you want to play on Zwift then maybe get a Neo (ime, the Neo is the only smart trainer that is as nice/nicer to ride than the KK).

    :lol::lol: Any smart trainer is fine. A turbo is never going to be as good as riding outdoors, so as long as it does the job intended for, its fine. A Direto at the moment is a mere £567 at some outlets and that turbo is rated better than some of the higher end smart trainers.


    And how much inertia does the directo have? I'd bet its less than the KK which would cost a (small) fraction of £567. Sure, the Elite would probably be "fine", it'd "do", but ime it won't be nice to ride. I enjoy riding my Neo, I enjoyed riding my KK, I have disliked every other trainer that i've used. I just don't like the pedalling action, I ride them less and thus they're aren't as effective at keeping me fit through the winter.

    Where can I find the directo for £567
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    Try Athlete Shop, they were advertising it at that a couple of days ago.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    joey54321 wrote:
    I care more about feel (which impacts how much I ride it) and specificity (how much of the training is translated to the road).

    Shane Miller not too impressed with it and he knows his onions with regards to turbo trainers.

    A popular classic. Current RRP of AU$699... step away from the Road Machine. When comparing these to low end smart trainers and other wheel-on smart trainers such as the Rampa and SNAP, the Road Machine is way too expensive. The ride feel on the Road Machine is ok-ish. It provided me enough resistance and training stimulus for a few years prior to the LeMond Revolution coming along. Virtual power estimates from the Road Machine are again in the 'ok' ball-park assuming all the ducks are lined up with tyre pressure and roller tension.

    Pricing:
    USD $327 (Amazon)
    AUD $699

    GPLama Rating: 5.5/10

    Rating Comment: It's a good workhorse that will outlast you. That's about it. Picking one up cheap second hand might be an option for low milage indoor riders.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.