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Cheapest way for me to get started with Trainer road?

What’s the cheapest way for me to get going with Trainer Road please?
I have a bike and a Garmin Edge 1000.
I’ve had a turbo trainer years ago, the type where you take the front wheel off and mount it and then watch the rubber come off your back tyre super-fast, was n’t all that keen.


  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    You need a laptop and a turbo that's compatible with TR.
    Check out the list on trainerroad and then have a look online on eBay. Most turbos get very little use.
    You'll also need a speed sensor and a usb sensor to pick this data up.

    Depending on the turbo you may need a turbo tyre or you might get away with a bit of extra wear on your road tyre.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 11,177
    Not necessarily a laptop - any reasonably new Android or iPhone will work (I run mine on an S10 previously an S8). Marginally cheaper as you dont need to buy any adapters for the computer (for ANT+), but I find it more convenient anyway.

    All you need is a speed/cadence sensor (well speed really) and a cheap trainer to use virtual power. I trained like this for 3 years and it works well. Using a Tacx trainer which was £150 at the end of 2014, equivalent models are cheaper today.

    If you are worried about the tyre, you can get turbo-specific tyres. If you are swapping one bike on and off the trainer it is useful to have a spare back wheel for this purpose. Or you can get a wheel-off trainer (ie just has a cassette on it), although I think that type of trainer is generally more expensive.

    If you ask nicely and are willing to send someone your email address, I'm sure someone on here will send you a free trial referral (I think 1 or 3 months).
  • To get the best out of trainerroad without going to the expense of a smart trainer you really need a speed/cadence sensor and a heart monitor. I find that a phone is perfectly adequate for displaying the workout data, but very few (if any) have ant+ capability so you will have to make sure that the sensors are all bluetooth. I use a Tacx speed/cadence sensor and a Decathlon HR strap.

    It is worth investing in a half decent turbo trainer. You don't need to vary the resistance, you can do this with the gears, so you can use a fluid trainer which usually gives a better ride feel than magnetic resistance. I use an Elite Qubo which was nearly £200 when I bought it 3 years ago, and isn't much cheaper now, but there are plenty available secondhand.
  • So guys can I use Trainer Road with an IPAD and my old Kurt Kinetic fluid trainer(it’s not a smart one). I don’t have a speed sensor( have a Power2 Max crankset one the bike) so have power, cadence and a heart rate monitor. Will I need a speed sensor as well?
    I would also appreciate a link for a free trial if anyone has one please.
  • You won't need a speed sensor if you have a power meter so it sounds like you are good to go.

    Trainerroad has a bunch of speed/resistance graphs built into it for various trainers so it can convert wheel speed to power. It isn't very accurate in my experience, my power figures are well below what they should be, but as the training programs are based on % of your FTP that doesn't really matter except for bragging rights. I find that the resistance decreases as the fluid warms up, but again that kind of doesn't matter that much as it means that the effort needed drops off later in the session when your legs are starting to struggle anyway. A purist won't like it but it suits me.

    Sorry, I don't have a free trial link, I've not reactivated my account for this winter yet, I'm still getting out on the road. I didn't use it at all last winter, but it got a lot of use the winter before because of the apalling weather. I even did a bit of MTBing it got that bad!
  • Thanks Dave. I haven’t used a turbo trainer for a few years. Have to get my left scaphoid screwed next week so planning on turboing for a while to give it the best chance of healing.
    To flip things to positive a Trainer Road FTP builder may just be the ticket. I have lots of base miles in the legs.
  • As others have said all you really need is a basic wheel-on trainer and a speed sensor. TR has a system called VirtualPower which calculates your power exertion without the need for a power meter / smart trainer and works pretty well.

    In terms of a device, a smartphone will do fine. I actually find the iOS app much better to use than the desktop app for the workouts and pairing devices is really simple.

    If you're still in need of a trial code I think I have one and would be more than happy to give it to you if you would like.

    If it helps, I've recently done a review of TrainerRoad which might include some further info for you:

    I'd also thoroughly recommend you check out the TrainerRoad forum which is very active and people are always wiling to help / advise on an aspects of equipment set up and training.
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