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Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers - Page 2

post #16 of 33

Re: Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers

Quote:
Originally Posted by RapDaddyo
I still feel as though this discussion of which trainer to get for extensive indoor training (as opposed to occasional use for race warmups and the like) is not adequately considering the power meter issue. If one has a PT or SRM, it is a non-issue. But, if one doesn't have a PT or SRM, I think it should be a very big issue because it's an opportunity to train with power at a relatively small incremental cost. Increasingly, trainers are being offered with power data. Unfortunately, many of them are highly inaccurate as other threads on this subject have pointed out. If I still lived in a climate that forced me indoors for several months a year and if I did not have a PM, I would only consider trainers with accurate PMs.
I think PM's are important, but the only trainer gives accurate power output is the computrainer, right? You can get a powertap and a cheap trainer for less $$ than a computrainer.
post #17 of 33

Re: Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoawhoa
I think PM's are important, but the only trainer gives accurate power output is the computrainer, right? You can get a powertap and a cheap trainer for less $$ than a computrainer.
I don't know which trainers have accurate power. I haven't researched them in detail because my bike has a PM and all I need is a simple, cheap trainer. I only know that some of them with power are apparently not accurate and consistent throughout the power range. This will be a rapidly evolving area, due to the increasing popularity and recognition of the training value of PMs. I don't know which mfgrs. will introduce trainers with accurate power, but I would anticipate a multitude of choices in the near future and there may be good choices today. I'm basically saying that if one doesn't have a PM on their bike, a trainer with power should be considered for winter training.
post #18 of 33

Re: Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers

I've been using my Cycle-Ops Mag for over a year now. I put in around 6000 miles last year and over half of them went on the trainer.

I'm looking to upgrade and I want something that offers a setting with high resistance. Any opinions on certain brands/models?
post #19 of 33

Re: Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers

If you only get one indoor unit, go with a good trainer. I have a 1Up and like it, and the Kurt Kinetic Fluid looks nice. I also have Kreitler Rollers (large drum, very little resistance) that I haven't ridden recently. They'll probably come out for "epic" weekend rides paired with DVD marathons, but any short workouts will be done on the trainer.

I believe only the most expensive trainers, e.g. Computrainer or Velodyne, have accurate power. I've read reviews from which I've inferred that the Tacx i-Magic does not have accurate power. Kurt Kinetic offers a "power" computer that merely does the conversion from wheel speed to power using an assumed speed/power curve for their trainers. I assume that this method is definitely used on any trainer less than $500 due to its inexpensive execution. It would work fine, except that informal studies using on-bike PMs have shown that resistance varies widely between different units of the same make and model as well as the existence of heat-related fade, where resistance decreases as the unit heats up. Resistance also depends on tire pressure and how tightly the roller is pressed against the tire. I plan on recording my own speed/power graphs using my PT, and doing it for my friends' trainers if they're interested.
post #20 of 33

Re: Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers

Have Tacx rollers for 17 years. They didn't get used much early but alot last 4-5 years. I have mag resistance but use seldom.(I need to look into fluid resistance.) I tend to watch Spinerval videos or else spin for an hour. My time is limited with work and family so I tend to use them in the winter or at night when everyone asleep or when weather bad outside. I used to race but now I ride for enjoyment (though I may start track riding.) I can get good leg speed and a pretty hard workout with the videos. They keep me in aerobic shape over the winter ( I have climbed Mts Rainier, Hood, etc and they kept me in shape for those.) My jump and sprint are as good as they were 10 years ago. Just my 2 cents.
post #21 of 33

Re: Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers

My uninformed 2 cents.... There are 2 aspects to riding. One is fitness level, the other is technique. Fitness is something that seems easily gauged; you ride a course faster this month than you did last month, obviously you're in better shape. Well that's not necessarily the case. Applying better technique can have an enourmous effect on your performance and this is something we all tend to forget. Riding a "wind" trainer & rollers, as archaic as they may seem, can be a great benefit to your riding technique and that translates into going faster. Fluid and Mag trainers as effective as they may be in providing an excellent training resistance, do little for you technique. Personally, I feel that fluid and mag trainers are the poor relatives of riding outdoors. Rollers, with a wind trainer attachement, can provide you with a means of training that you can't get anywhere else. You'll get a good resistance workout, but you'll also learn how to transfer your energy to the wheels efficiently and it will make you more comfortable on the bike.
post #22 of 33

Re: Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Budnik
Riding a "wind" trainer & rollers, as archaic as they may seem, can be a great benefit to your riding technique and that translates into going faster.
Ok, I've never ridden on rollers. That said, is it *harder* to ride rollers than it is to ride a bike outdoors on a narrow path (width equal to that of the rollers)? I can't imagine why it would be, but like I said, I've never ridden on rollers.

I'd be interested to know what technique benefits there are to rollers, that aren't available while balancing during outdoors rides. I sometimes practice riding *on* the white line for as long as I can (more for entertainment, than training). Am I getting roller benefit from that? I've never really thought it would make me any faster.
post #23 of 33

Re: Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers

Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchyge
Ok, I've never ridden on rollers. That said, is it *harder* to ride rollers than it is to ride a bike outdoors on a narrow path (width equal to that of the rollers)? I can't imagine why it would be, but like I said, I've never ridden on rollers.

I'd be interested to know what technique benefits there are to rollers, that aren't available while balancing during outdoors rides. I sometimes practice riding *on* the white line for as long as I can (more for entertainment, than training). Am I getting roller benefit from that? I've never really thought it would make me any faster.
The reason rollers are harder to ride, is that steering input is greatly exagerated and causes the bike to react MUCH more quickly than on the road. So, you are trained by the rollers to have a lighter, more exact touch when applying steering input (leaning or turning the fron wheel). This makes you a safer and more confident rider in a paceline or peloton. This training is not something you choose when you go on rollers (like choosing to stay on a white line) this is something that you will learn in order to stay on the rollers for any length of time. That's the balance steering aspect of rollers. The other aspect, is that it also forces you to spin more evenly and smoothly, otherwise you're in for a wild ride. To accentuate that aspect of training, I have a wind trainer attachment for my rollers and therefore I can actually hear when my cadence is uneven and gain the benefit of the resistance from the wind trainer. As for making me faster, I went from being the crappiest hill climber to throw a leg over a bike to being one of the strongest hill climbers in club, just from the changes in my pedaling efficiency caused by riding rollers. I've also seen significant TT benefits as well.
post #24 of 33

Re: Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Budnik
The reason rollers are harder to ride, is that steering input is greatly exagerated and causes the bike to react MUCH more quickly than on the road. So, you are trained by the rollers to have a lighter, more exact touch when applying steering input (leaning or turning the fron wheel).
This is because the front roller contacts the wheel forward of where the road would. It's like riding with a much steeper head tube angle. You learn to steer more with your shoulders than your hands.
post #25 of 33

Re: Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers

Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchyge
Ok, I've never ridden on rollers. That said, is it *harder* to ride rollers than it is to ride a bike outdoors on a narrow path (width equal to that of the rollers)? I can't imagine why it would be, but like I said, I've never ridden on rollers.

I'd be interested to know what technique benefits there are to rollers, that aren't available while balancing during outdoors rides. I sometimes practice riding *on* the white line for as long as I can (more for entertainment, than training). Am I getting roller benefit from that? I've never really thought it would make me any faster.
According to what I've read online, the curved surface of the roller magnifies steering response. It makes sense that there would be some difference, since the wheel axle sits 0-1" behind the roller axle. When you turn the front wheel, the effective wheelbase shortens slightly, and the roller contacts the tire higher up. This observation only covers wheel-turning steering, not leaning. I don't know if the overall claim is true or if it's somehow related to the legalese "rollers are dangerous" disclaimers.

I was distracted once while I was riding my rollers, and rode edge-to-edge a few times before riding it out successfully, but that took a lot of luck. I don't think the rapid weaving/bobbing is even possible on the road. Having your body's momentum moving in the rough direction you want to go (forward) makes some sort of contribution.

Regarding the white line drill, I find it far easier to ride the white line than to ride a similar width strip on my rollers. My form isn't great, and road riding seems to allow more gross balance correction than rollers.

My feeling on rollers is that they provide a substitute for real riding, training balance at a low intensity. They may have additional skill benefits, but I own them so that my form won't substantially worsen during the winter.
post #26 of 33

Re: Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatscan
My feeling on rollers is that they provide a substitute for real riding, training balance at a low intensity. They may have additional skill benefits, but I own them so that my form won't substantially worsen during the winter.
I'm pretty much the same way. I know I can get a higher intensity workout on a trainer, but I find the feeling too unnatural. Back to the original question of prices, I have the standard Nashbar rollers. I think they were about $100, and so far they've held up very well through several long winters.
post #27 of 33

Re: Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoawhoa
I think PM's are important, but the only trainer gives accurate power output is the computrainer, right? You can get a powertap and a cheap trainer for less $$ than a computrainer.
Ever heard about Tacx Flow Ergotrainer? Do you think power output is accurate, given that you can calibrate the unit?

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I'm kinda shy of sharing the story with you guys, but so far, the indoor tool that impressed me the most, is actually a spinning bike.

It has a 50 pound weel. It uses a chain instead of a strap. It is manufactured using shimano groupset. You can stop pedalling, the wheel just keeps going on and on (making a click-click sound), even at high resistance.

The seat post contains no whole (it is 100% adjustable). It is has a reversed L shape. The top part (parallel to the floor) is so long, that you can recreate just about any bike angle (by moving the seat up/down front/back). You can install a real bike seat on it. And you can install a real handle bar set. You can clip the pedals.

I'm probably not gonna buy it. That is a spinning bike after all. But I still have not found a trainer that gives me that Roadlike type of feeling.
post #28 of 33

Re: Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatscan
......
Regarding the white line drill, I find it far easier to ride the white line than to ride a similar width strip on my rollers. ......
I agree. You can't compare the two. I find that riding a roller is the most difficult cycling drill to perform. Just remember the first time you tried it? Me I was in a bike shop, and I could not do it. I bought it, without actually knowing if I could ever ride it properly.

But to be honest, once I could master it, I got bored. I saw no real benefit of keeping that gear in my appartment. Now that my pedal stroke is even and fluid, and that I can ride outside in a straight line, with no speed variation, I see no reason of continue working with a roller. I sold it.
post #29 of 33

Re: Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarEnergy
Ever heard about Tacx Flow Ergotrainer? Do you think power output is accurate, given that you can calibrate the unit?
This link was posted in the Power Training forum, it plots resistance curves for various trainers:
http://www.geocities.com/almost_fast/trainerpower/
It has a link (http://home.comcast.net/~rwwells/Tacx/DOEFlow.html) near the top that analyzes a Tacx Flow vs PT readings, conclusion is that the analyzed unit's measured power is nearly worthless.
post #30 of 33

Re: Trainers: Mag vs Fluid Vs Rollers

Quote:
Originally Posted by RapDaddyo
I still feel as though this discussion of which trainer to get for extensive indoor training (as opposed to occasional use for race warmups and the like) is not adequately considering the power meter issue. If one has a PT or SRM, it is a non-issue. But, if one doesn't have a PT or SRM, I think it should be a very big issue because it's an opportunity to train with power at a relatively small incremental cost. Increasingly, trainers are being offered with power data. Unfortunately, many of them are highly inaccurate as other threads on this subject have pointed out. If I still lived in a climate that forced me indoors for several months a year and if I did not have a PM, I would only consider trainers with accurate PMs.
I believe this is a discussion geared toward extensive indoor training as many of us unfortunately have to deal with fairly harsh winter months. I don't think I would even bother with an indoor trainer otherwise since I'm out on my bike every single day in the warm, and very hot & humid weather. So, at the risk of sounding extremely ignorant, what is PT, SRM, & PM? How much cash are we talking about laying out for them. Why is it important to have these features? Do trainers show cadence & MPH? Fluid sound like the better trainers, how do you feel about that? What are the pros & cons of mag and fluid? I also want to get a trainer which will accomodate both my daughters mountain as well as my road bike. I have been told most trainers will accomodate both but "knobbies" or mountain tires are a problem. What sort of tire would one put on a mountain bike if the tire is no good on a trainer. Also, what is your feeling on simply getting a stationary programable exercise bike, or even something very simple that works your upper body by moving the handles back and forth? Would you get anywhere near the workout you do on the stationary mag or fluid trainer using that type of bike? I'm not a millionaire by any means, would you happen to have knowledge of price differences between all? Thanks for any information you can provide!
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