Turbo recommendation - Potentially moving away from the smart environment

supermurph09
supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
At the moment I am potentially looking to move away from smart trainers as unless you are spending £500+ I’m not confident the accuracy and functionality is quite there, I don't have £500. I currently have a TACX Flow smart which is fine for longer intervals (4 minutes upwards) where I can produce anywhere between 280 and 350W at a reasonable cadence. The Tacx however is useless at Tabata style on/off high to low power stuff. The lag is poor and I don't trust the accuracy, I want the power recorded coming from my powermeter.

Essentially what I want from a turbo trainer right now is for it to handle hard intervals. So for example Tabata style with 20s or 40s on then 10s off, by handle I mean it applies resistance (probably not in ERG mode) so I am not having to spin up to 130RPM to hit that power. I have a power meter so I do not “need” the trainer to tell me my output I just want it to be able the handle the accelerations so I can go hard (500+ watts) at a reasonable cadence (let’s say between 70 and 90) then recover and then go again. I appreciate I will have to change gear but that’s not an issue.

Over the winter my turbo work is likely to 80% very easy sessions with an interval session thrown in so again I do not need a trainer with ERG mode, I’m happy to stick YouTube on or stare at the wall.

Happy to purchase 2nd hand but not sure of the best turbos to be looking for. Many years ago I had a Cyclops dumb trainer that quality wise I couldn’t fault so that could be an option.

Input appreciated.

Comments

  • timothyw
    timothyw Posts: 2,482
    Elite Turbo Muin or similar fluid direct drive turbo then?

    Has enough resistance for full on sprint intervals, doesn't slip with direct drive.
  • TimothyW wrote:
    Elite Turbo Muin or similar fluid direct drive turbo then?

    Has enough resistance for full on sprint intervals, doesn't slip with direct drive.

    Looks a good option, I'll keep looking.
  • dannbodge
    dannbodge Posts: 1,152
    As above.
    Basically you want something with progressive resistance based on its "flywheel" speed.
    Kinetic and Cyclops make them too.
  • joey54321
    joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    I'd say the only disadvantage of an older style kurt kinetic is the lack of direct drive, other than that is a fantastic trainer.

    I have a rock n roll for sale, but regardless many can be found second hand at a decent budget.
  • With this style of trainer in mind and noise not being an issue, direct drive is not really key for my needs is it? (would be nice though).

    As I said I'm a fan of the Cyclops brand, which model would give me what I need?

    This? http://www.wiggle.co.uk/cycleops-basic-fluid-trainer/

    Certainly considering the Muin still as it looks a really nice piece of kit but budget wise not ideal...

    I should also state, it'd be great to use for hill climb warm up's too so the muin might be a bit bulky.
  • joey54321
    joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    With this style of trainer in mind and noise not being an issue, direct drive is not really key for my needs is it? (would be nice though).

    As I said I'm a fan of the Cyclops brand, which model would give me what I need?

    This? http://www.wiggle.co.uk/cycleops-basic-fluid-trainer/

    Certainly considering the Muin still as it looks a really nice piece of kit but budget wise not ideal...

    I should also state, it'd be great to use for hill climb warm up's too so the muin might be a bit bulky.

    Yes, it'll work. And I know there was some collaboration/re-selling of ideas from Kurt to Saris so the impellor design on the cycleOps fluid should be as reliable as the units I have used from Kurt (the frame is also the same as the older kurts). However, that flywheel looks pretty small, which leads me to assume that the inertial load would be pretty low which may affect how nice it is to ride and possibly even how 'transferable' the gains are to the open road.
  • APIII
    APIII Posts: 2,010
    You could look at a 2nd hand non-smart Tacx Genius? It handles up to 2000w. Ok you would need to get the TTS4 software to make best use of it and build workouts on power/slope to give you the resistance needed for hard intervals. They are switching over to the desktop app so there are some offers on the TTS software bundled with films, but you can get the basic software for £57 if you're not bothered about the films. Only issue is you need a pc to run it.
  • I have a cycleops fluid II that does what you are looking for. I am moving the other way and getting a smart trainer but the fluid II has been excelent.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,705
    For a non-smart turbo then I can’t see past a Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roll as I hate the feeling of a fixed bike. That is why I won’t go full on smart.
    I am away from home so can’t check but I am sure all my apps allow choosing which sensors to use. Simply choose your power meter over the turbo?
    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.
  • Cyclops Jet Fluid Pro? I have one and have no complaints. Think it has a heavier flywheel than the non-pro models giving better ‘feel’, plus it also has higher peak resistance if I recall correctly.

    A quick google shows they’re available for £180 online.
  • Just to provide an update.

    Simpler workout today, long L2 session followed by 30 minute sweet spot. Workout was synced from training peaks.

    For today what I did was run the tacx in “target power” mode but I also ran my wahoo fitness app using my power meter only, I did my effort based on the numbers from my power meter.

    For the L2 effort it tracked quite closely apart from when I alternated my cadence. It sometimes took a while for the tacx to bring the watts reading back down, often 20W difference. In the end the overall was roughly the same.

    The issue was during the sweet spot. The target power setting on the tacx meant I was way under what was shown on my Stages. 285 target, showing 330w on the tacx against 285 on my Stages. Again I did my effort based on the fitness app that was reading my Stages power, as i said I hit my target power.

    During the sweetspot I changed it very early on from target power to level (6) power as this enabled me get a good cadence to hit my ACTUAL numbers. So the tacx is fine to use in level mode to hit my power targets being recorded from Stages on a different app, in target power mode it’s of no use.

    If I unpair the tacx totally then the resistance being applied is just totally wrong so I can’t do that and base my BOLT readings from the Stages, it’s simply awful.

    Summary, I can use the tacx in level mode but view and record the data elsewhere but certainly looking around at options like the Jet Fluid Pro as the resistance that will create should just allow me to clip in and then use the power reading on my BOLT coming from my Stages.

    I’m tired!
  • I do not need a trainer with ERG mode, I’m happy to stick YouTube on or stare at the wall.

    Interesting I find it easier to just stare at the wall using ERG mode because trainer keeps power fixed for me.
  • joey54321
    joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    I think you are over thinking it. If you have a powermeter on the bike any trainer on the market will allow you to just ride.
  • I do not need a trainer with ERG mode, I’m happy to stick YouTube on or stare at the wall.

    Interesting I find it easier to just stare at the wall using ERG mode because trainer keeps power fixed for me.

    But the issue for me is the ERG mode power is not accurate enough.
  • joey54321 wrote:
    I think you are over thinking it. If you have a powermeter on the bike any trainer on the market will allow you to just ride.

    I think I've pretty much decided on the Cyclops Fluid 2 or whatever it was, but not so much overthinking it, just wanted to get something that is good quality, good road like feel and applies appropriate resistance.
  • joey54321
    joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    joey54321 wrote:
    I think you are over thinking it. If you have a powermeter on the bike any trainer on the market will allow you to just ride.

    I think I've pretty much decided on the Cyclops Fluid 2 or whatever it was, but not so much overthinking it, just wanted to get something that is good quality, good road like feel and applies appropriate resistance.

    Buy a Kurt kinetic then, well, that'd be where my money went 100%
  • joey54321 wrote:
    joey54321 wrote:
    I think you are over thinking it. If you have a powermeter on the bike any trainer on the market will allow you to just ride.

    I think I've pretty much decided on the Cyclops Fluid 2 or whatever it was, but not so much overthinking it, just wanted to get something that is good quality, good road like feel and applies appropriate resistance.

    Buy a Kurt kinetic then, well, that'd be where my money went 100%

    Which model were you thinking of?
  • joey54321
    joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    Any of the dumb fluid ones, the resistance unit is the same so the real decision is if you want the rocking that comes with the rock n roll or not, in which case the road machine.
  • joey54321 wrote:
    Any of the dumb fluid ones, the resistance unit is the same so the real decision is if you want the rocking that comes with the rock n roll or not, in which case the road machine.

    cheers
  • joey54321
    joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    I should say, this is just my opinion, but I haven't heard anyone say anything bad about a KK. As I said, I used one for ages and even preferred it to a Wahoo Kickr that I sent back as I wanted to use the KK.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,705
    joey54321 wrote:
    I should say, this is just my opinion, but I haven't heard anyone say anything bad about a KK. As I said, I used one for ages and even preferred it to a Wahoo Kickr that I sent back as I wanted to use the KK.
    But if you want the most realistic feel, then it has to be the Rock n Roll.
    Nobody rides a bike in a fixed position on the road.
    Plus, although you can chuck it about, it is best used like rollers to let you know of sloppy technique. You don’t get that on a fixed turbo.
    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.
  • I have a Kurt R&R also, and really like it. I have an old tart of a bike set-up on there permanently with some archaic Shimano Ultegra/ 105 gear on there! Nice in that I don’t have to mess about with set-up, and it’s more likely to inspire (?), me to just get in the garage and jump-on! Running the cadence and speed sensors (Wahoo), it talks to the desktop PC I have set-up in the garage via the Suunto Ant+ dongle, and runs Trainer Road great. Another advantage of having the dedicated iron on there is I don’t have to adjust/ change the tension control knob that puts the roller on the tyre, so all workouts are there or there about the same with tyre pressure kept at 100 psi. I think Kurt’s virtual power algorithm’s aren’t a million miles off, although I think read a little high when I’ve compared to real-time figures from my Infocrank. Doesn’t bother me though, as it’s all relative if I stick to using the virtual power for the winter.

    The Rocking and a Rolling effect is nice when sat in the saddle throwing the bike about a bit. It doesn’t really replicate out-of-the-saddle movements that well though (climbs or sprints), can’t quite describe….but it doesn’t.

    That said, if you don’t have a dedicated turbo bike that isn’t your “best”, bike, I think the R&R action goes someway to being “kinder”, to your frame as opposed to fixed drive systems that don’t really allow for the yaw movements etc.

    Road feel is very good, although I imagine the optional larger flywheel would improve this even more so.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,705
    Agreed they it is not perfect.
    It is one hell of an improvement though.
    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.
  • I do not need a trainer with ERG mode, I’m happy to stick YouTube on or stare at the wall.

    Interesting I find it easier to just stare at the wall using ERG mode because trainer keeps power fixed for me.

    But the issue for me is the ERG mode power is not accurate enough.

    Really? I've never heard this. Or do you mean that is varies too much from your on bike power meter?
  • I do not need a trainer with ERG mode, I’m happy to stick YouTube on or stare at the wall.

    Interesting I find it easier to just stare at the wall using ERG mode because trainer keeps power fixed for me.

    But the issue for me is the ERG mode power is not accurate enough.

    Really? I've never heard this. Or do you mean that is varies too much from your on bike power meter?

    As quoted above, I did a sweetspot session that was 285W for 30 minutes on my power meter, 320+ on the TACX. I've been training for long enough to know that the 285W is the right(er) number.

    Currently just checking around for turbo's will report back on purchase.
  • zeee
    zeee Posts: 103
    Tacs flux direct drive currently £450 at halfords. 416 with NHS voucher.

    Not tried it yet but according to reviews its within a couple % of top power meters.
  • rdt
    rdt Posts: 869
    A second hand Kinetic Road Machine, often available for not much over 100 quid from ebay, would serve you very well. Its sealed fluid chamber means it'll very likely outlive any other fluid trainer you buy (and perhaps you also), plus it has a reasonably natural feeling power curve.
  • shazzz
    shazzz Posts: 1,077
    KK Rock n Roll (with the heavy flywheel) plus powermeter for me. Does what I need it to - flywheel can easily be removed for sprint effort sessions.