Direct drive smart trainer

I am looking to purchase a smart trainer - a direct drive one. I feel like I am overcomplicating this but do I need to have any other equipment in order to train with power and record speed and distance (estimated)? I have a power meter on my bike but no speed sensor, and i know I’ll need a cassette and possible a skewer. I tried a trial of swift a few months ago and synced my power meter but nothing else and I was getting est speed and distance thru the app. Not sure if that will happen with a smart trainer and the descriptions are vague on this.

Also for those of you with direct drive trainers, what brand/model would you recommend (or avoid)?

Thanks!

Posts

  • Tacx Neo is still the benchmark for trainers.

    I'd avoid the Tacx Flux.

    You don't need a speed sensor as it's direct drive you're rear wheel will be stood up against a wall somewhere. You will however want a cadence sensor.

    I generally just use the cassette off my wheel as it is worn with the chain so works well. You can use a new cassette though. The QR skewer will be provided with the trainer.

    Zwift bases its speed and distance on the power you output mixed with their formula for rider weight, rolling resistance, gradient and position.

    When you're on the turbo that's outputting power, you don't need to know the speed/distance as they are irrelevant training metrics.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,051
    TACX Neo. Original ver 1 is still up there as one of the best direct drive smart trainers. Advantage of a smart trainer is ERG mode for auto resistance making workouts easy to follow. Built in power meter on the Neo is very accurate and the trainer doesn't require calibration. No belts to fray or break either.
    Marin Sausalito hybrid, Merida Ride SRAM Rival 22 winter trainer, Merida Reacto Di2 main bike, Planet X Exocet 2 TT.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,390
    Neo is the gold standard. Elite Drivo and Wahoo Kickr next. However, the Elite Direto is significantly cheaper than the Drivo and almost as good - you can pick one up for about half the price of a Neo at the moment, if go for that. You don't need any other sensors - the turbo will do cadence for you, and the speed is worked out by the program you're using (Zwift, Sufferfest etc).
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 3,740
    I’m on my third Flux, the support from Tacx has always been 1st rate as has my LBS. I’m out of warranty and Tacx are fixing FOC and the shop has lent me their demo Neo which is great but it’s a debatable point regarding which one is best. There are tech differences between the two trainers but in essence they both do the same job.

    You’ll need a cadence metre, either a stand or table to mount your laptop or IPad. The table or mount aren’t necessities as you’ll need a sweat guard and there are versions you can slip your phone in and see the screen for data. A couple of fans to keep your temperature down as it’s surprising how warm you run.

    A monthly subscription to either TrainerRoad, Sufferfest or Zwift.

    And God created the bicycle, so that man could use it as a means for work and to help him negotiate life's complicated journey.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 9,967
    slowmart said:

    ...You’ll need a cadence metre, either a stand or table to mount your laptop or IPad...

    I found phone streaming to a TV a much better solution but battery life, mild buffering and connecting cables to resolve was annoying enough to get an Apple TV which is hard wired to power and the TV. I'm sure there are alternative devices which will run your preferred apps.
    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.
  • yellowv2yellowv2 Posts: 108
    cruff said:

    Neo is the gold standard. Elite Drivo and Wahoo Kickr next. However, the Elite Direto is significantly cheaper than the Drivo and almost as good - you can pick one up for about half the price of a Neo at the moment, if go for that. You don't need any other sensors - the turbo will do cadence for you, and the speed is worked out by the program you're using (Zwift, Sufferfest etc).

    cruff said:

    Neo is the gold standard. Elite Drivo and Wahoo Kickr next. However, the Elite Direto is significantly cheaper than the Drivo and almost as good - you can pick one up for about half the price of a Neo at the moment, if go for that. You don't need any other sensors - the turbo will do cadence for you, and the speed is worked out by the program you're using (Zwift, Sufferfest etc).

    I have a direto and whilst it’s not perfect it’s good enough for my needs. However the biggest issue I have with it is cadence if you rely on the direto the readings fluctuate terribly, so I use a separate sensor which solves the problem.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    I'd avoid the drivo - it is old and slow to react to changes in sim mode and erg mode and suffers from random drops in power. It has put me off elite trainers really - perhaps unfairly but once bitten...
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,051
    slowmart said:

    I’m on my third Flux, the support from Tacx has always been 1st rate as has my LBS. I’m out of warranty and Tacx are fixing FOC and the shop has lent me their demo Neo which is great but it’s a debatable point regarding which one is best. There are tech differences between the two trainers but in essence they both do the same job.

    You’ll need a cadence metre, either a stand or table to mount your laptop or IPad. The table or mount aren’t necessities as you’ll need a sweat guard and there are versions you can slip your phone in and see the screen for data. A couple of fans to keep your temperature down as it’s surprising how warm you run.

    A monthly subscription to either TrainerRoad, Sufferfest or Zwift.

    There's a huge difference between the Flux and Neo. The resistance levels, watts able to be reached and more importantly for me, the Neo's ability to do sub 10s sprints in workouts without missing a beat. Nothing goes wrong with the Neo either.
    Marin Sausalito hybrid, Merida Ride SRAM Rival 22 winter trainer, Merida Reacto Di2 main bike, Planet X Exocet 2 TT.
  • slowmart said:

    I’m on my third Flux, the support from Tacx has always been 1st rate as has my LBS. I’m out of warranty and Tacx are fixing FOC and the shop has lent me their demo Neo which is great but it’s a debatable point regarding which one is best. There are tech differences between the two trainers but in essence they both do the same job.

    You’ll need a cadence metre, either a stand or table to mount your laptop or IPad. The table or mount aren’t necessities as you’ll need a sweat guard and there are versions you can slip your phone in and see the screen for data. A couple of fans to keep your temperature down as it’s surprising how warm you run.

    A monthly subscription to either TrainerRoad, Sufferfest or Zwift.

    There's a huge difference between the Flux and Neo. The resistance levels, watts able to be reached and more importantly for me, the Neo's ability to do sub 10s sprints in workouts without missing a beat. Nothing goes wrong with the Neo either.
    This.
    I also went through 3 Tacx Flux and was offered a Neo cheap by them after the 3rd failure.
    The Neo is leagues above the Flux.
    On the flux I could smash up the hills in Zwift without much effort as it maxes out at 10% sim. The Neo does 22% so you really feel everything.

    Because the Neo doesn't have a weighted flywheel, it doesn't suffer from a wattage floor (minimum watts) like other trainers. So it you want to do 10W at 100rpm you can.

  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 7,778
    Check out DC Rainmakers very detailed comparison:

    https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/10/the-smart-trainer-recommendations-guide-winter-2019-2020.html

    I went with a Kickr Core and it's working out well. You wouldnt need anything else except a phone to get things onto the various apps.
Sign In or Register to comment.