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Kit for just riding indoors - Not "training", just burning calories, for £500.

Hey all.

I'm normally a "cycle commuter", and due to CV19 am completely missing out on my ~10 mile each way rides, and have been fattening the curve.

So I'm looking at a basic setup that I can use to motivate me to get on and burn calories in the evening without leaving the house once the kids are in bed - I like the idea of the gamification of zwift etc.

I'm trying to work out which way to go to get the kit that's needed, from a basic exercise bike (bork) to some form of turbo trainer + pub hack bike (I'm not willing to put my normal commute bikes on a trainer, I've broken enough frames already).

Got a reasonable PC and ANT+ speed cadence sensors already, so hoping for some pointers/recommendations on how others have set themselves up. I'm really not that fussed by accuracy of power calcs etc, just need to get those legs turning again.

Any suggestions really appreciated. I'm aware that buying cheap such as a wheel on (such as a wahoo kickr snap, ~ £430) may be false economy if I like it and want to upgrade to a direct drive trainer later, but I'm hoping that I'll eventually get back out on the bike commuting to work, or at least a pre-work from home ride instead!

Thanks in advance.
Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...

Posts

  • Couldn't tell you how they fare compared to other direct drive turbo trainers, but https://www.halfords.com/cycling/turbo-trainers/smart-turbo-trainers/elite-zumo-smart-interactive-turbo-trainer-244622.html are £480 before any discount such as British Cycling 10% and can be ordered just west of you in SO18 for store collection or home delivery.
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  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,965
    That looks pretty good based on the road.cc review (https://road.cc/content/review/271073-elite-zumo-smart-interactive-turbo-trainer)

    Not sure if trainers were included in BC or Cycling UK discount though - (may need to join BC again if it's offered)
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • super_davosuper_davo Posts: 552
    You should be able to use BC discount on Turbo Trainers, and the Zumo is a great shout.
    I think well worth getting a direct drive these days. Kickr Core is as good as wheel ons get, but there is an inherent disadvantage in noise, accuracy, wear etc vs DD.
    I never thought indoor training would be something I'd get into but with a good DD turbo and the right app I really enjoy it. I'm not a Zwift user, I prefer Rouvy and riding on "real roads" but there will be something for you.
    But buy a good fan. A very good fan.
  • thistle_(mbnw)thistle_(mbnw) Posts: 3,870
    edited 15 October
    Direct drive is the way to go, but if you can find a second hand wheel on trainer cheap (or borrow one) that will get you started and it's not that bad really.

    For zwift, all you need to get started is a trainer/rollers and a BLE/ANT+ speed sensor for your back wheel and something to run the software - Android/iPhones work ok too.

    If you have a power meter you'll get a better experience. Next step is a smart turbo.
    I built a little box of tricks that meant Zwift could control the resistance of my dumb turbo, to make it a bit more fun.

    I think for RGT you need a power meter. I haven't tried it yet.

    Other accessories you'll need to get at some point are:
    A fan
    A mat (try PlanetX unless you want to spend ££££)
    A bike thong (sub £10 on Amazon)
    A turbo tyre (unless you go direct drive)
    A rocker plate
    A kickr climb
    A kickr headwind....

    You could easily spend £1000s on a turbo setup if you wanted!
  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 927

    Direct drive is the way to go, but if you can find a second hand wheel on trainer cheap (or borrow one) that will get you started and it's not that bad really.

    For zwift, all you need to get started is a trainer/rollers and a BLE/ANT+ speed sensor for your back wheel and something to run the software - Android/iPhones work ok too.

    If you have a power meter you'll get a better experience. Next step is a smart turbo.
    I built a little box of tricks that meant Zwift could control the resistance of my dumb turbo, to make it a bit more fun.

    I think for RGT you need a power meter. I haven't tried it yet.

    Other accessories you'll need to get at some point are:
    A fan
    A mat (try PlanetX unless you want to spend ££££)
    A bike thong (sub £10 on Amazon)
    A turbo tyre (unless you go direct drive)
    A rocker plate
    A kickr climb
    A kickr headwind....

    You could easily spend £1000s on a turbo setup if you wanted!

    You should market your dumb turbo box of tricks. I bet plenty of people would want them!
  • CargobikeCargobike Posts: 294
    Walk up and down the stairs a 100 times and save £500.
    Probably burn just as many calories.
    Fooked if you live in a bungalow though :lol:
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 8,805
    You won't break frames on the turbo (my old alu Defy has been turbo-only since about 2016 and is absolutely fine. First wheel-on, but since last October wheel-off). But moving the bike on and off the turbo does get a bit old, which is what I did pre-2016. It's much easier if you can have it permanently set up (and less of a barrier to doing the workout...)

    Moving to a smart trainer (Kickr Core) has made the whole thing a lot better, as you get feedback from the game (Zwift) or can do workouts in erg mode (so it adjusts the resistance to make sure you do the target watts).

    But, I got by just fine for 3+ years using a "dumb" trainer coupled with a regular Garmin speed and cadence sensor. Most apps (Sufferfest, Zwift, TrainerRoad etc) contain power curves for most reasonably common/recent dumb trainers so unless you get one that's really old or one of the super cheap Halfords specials etc it should work. They probably publish lists of supported trainers.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 8,805
    Oh your PC may need an ANT+ dongle. I think these are £20-30 - I've had the same one since say 2015 (garmin)...
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,965
    Cargobike said:

    Walk up and down the stairs a 100 times and save £500.
    Probably burn just as many calories.
    Fooked if you live in a bungalow though :lol:

    Funnily enough, the later applies.

    I'm also a lot more likely to fall over if try and climb stairs while watching a movie... carrying the TV around with you is a right PITA.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,965

    You won't break frames on the turbo (my old alu Defy has been turbo-only since about 2016 and is absolutely fine. First wheel-on, but since last October wheel-off). But moving the bike on and off the turbo does get a bit old, which is what I did pre-2016. It's much easier if you can have it permanently set up (and less of a barrier to doing the workout...)

    Moving to a smart trainer (Kickr Core) has made the whole thing a lot better, as you get feedback from the game (Zwift) or can do workouts in erg mode (so it adjusts the resistance to make sure you do the target watts).

    But, I got by just fine for 3+ years using a "dumb" trainer coupled with a regular Garmin speed and cadence sensor. Most apps (Sufferfest, Zwift, TrainerRoad etc) contain power curves for most reasonably common/recent dumb trainers so unless you get one that's really old or one of the super cheap Halfords specials etc it should work. They probably publish lists of supported trainers.

    Thanks - interesting. I've broken a road bike and a gravel bike frames in the last few years just riding to work - I understand that not being able to rock causes a lot of stress on the rear quarter, and more likely to break ( another reason for a cheap pub hack bike for this).

    Hearing that it was ok for 3 years with a dumb trainer with sensors is useful - I'd not considered the need for a permanent installation, and the faff of setting it up each time - urgh, OH isn't' going to be happy with the idea of leaving that out, which i'd like to do, as i'd want to use it most, if not all evenings.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 2,879
    edited 16 October
    I have a 12 yo giant alu framed road bike on my turbo. I've done over 20,000 turbo miles on it with no issues about the frame. It's also done over 9,000 miles outdoors (that's 1,476 hours in the saddle on that frame).
    Not sure how you manage to break frames 'just riding to work'.

    If you want the full immersive feel offered by Zwift and other programmes, don't waste your money on a dumb trainer.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,686
    My advice to anyone new to static training would be spend as little as possible so cheap mag trainer from Halfords and something to watch, ride daily for an hour at a time with no real plan just time on the bike, after a few weeks ask yourself can I stand this for any length of time? If you even slightly think you can or you enjoy it start all the free trials of the different services that support non smart trainers.

    After a month or so if you haven’t given up look for a factory refurbished smart trainer, most have them on their websites, I used a wheel on tacx for 2+ years and would have kept it if not for it’s terrible elevation changes.

    I now have a wahoo kickr and boy is it way harder than my mag and tacx trainer, I have mine set at 70% of realism which feels about right.
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
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    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,965
    itboffin said:

    My advice to anyone new to static training would be spend as little as possible so cheap mag trainer from Halfords and something to watch, ride daily for an hour at a time with no real plan just time on the bike, after a few weeks ask yourself can I stand this for any length of time? If you even slightly think you can or you enjoy it start all the free trials of the different services that support non smart trainers.

    After a month or so if you haven’t given up look for a factory refurbished smart trainer, most have them on their websites, I used a wheel on tacx for 2+ years and would have kept it if not for it’s terrible elevation changes.

    I now have a wahoo kickr and boy is it way harder than my mag and tacx trainer, I have mine set at 70% of realism which feels about right.

    Thanks - that's a pretty good idea - and I'm pretty sure that If i decided i liked it and wanted to upgrade, then the kids would like to "race" with me with a wheel on trainer..
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,965

    I have a 12 yo giant alu framed road bike on my turbo. I've done over 20,000 turbo miles on it with no issues about the frame. It's also done over 9,000 miles outdoors (that's 1,476 hours in the saddle on that frame).
    Not sure how you manage to break frames 'just riding to work'.

    If you want the full immersive feel offered by Zwift and other programmes, don't waste your money on a dumb trainer.

    Hampshire's potholed roads does a lot of damage, especially when riding at the weight limit of the bike.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • thistle_(mbnw)thistle_(mbnw) Posts: 3,870

    I have a 12 yo giant alu framed road bike on my turbo. I've done over 20,000 turbo miles on it with no issues about the frame. It's also done over 9,000 miles outdoors (that's 1,476 hours in the saddle on that frame).
    Not sure how you manage to break frames 'just riding to work'.

    If you want the full immersive feel offered by Zwift and other programmes, don't waste your money on a dumb trainer.

    Hampshire's potholed roads does a lot of damage, especially when riding at the weight limit of the bike.
    I find the occasional detour via the BMX track helps them on their way too :wink:
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,965

    I have a 12 yo giant alu framed road bike on my turbo. I've done over 20,000 turbo miles on it with no issues about the frame. It's also done over 9,000 miles outdoors (that's 1,476 hours in the saddle on that frame).
    Not sure how you manage to break frames 'just riding to work'.

    If you want the full immersive feel offered by Zwift and other programmes, don't waste your money on a dumb trainer.

    Hampshire's potholed roads does a lot of damage, especially when riding at the weight limit of the bike.
    I find the occasional detour via the BMX track helps them on their way too :wink:
    Only do that with the hardtail mtb...
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
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