Bike Trainers Buying Advice

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Uawadall, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking into getting a bike trainer and their seems to be too many choices for someone who's never used one. Based on the brief research that i've done and price, I'm thinking about getting either a

    Cycleops Magneto Trainer:$188

    Cycleops Jet Fluid Pro: $292

    Cycleops Super Magneto Pro:$331

    My main purpose for the trainer will be to get in some base miles during the week and doing speed, power intervals. Im not trying to break the bank, but i'm also not looking to buy something thats as loud as a lawnmower.Any advice will be helpful.
     
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  2. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Of the 3 I would go with the Jet Fluid Pro because it has a lot smoother and a tad quieter operation along with a more road like feel, plus Fluid trainers have more resistance even though you have 4 choices of resistance with the Supermagneto it still won't reach the levels of resistance that the Fluid can reach, plus with the Supermagneto you have to dismount your bike mid training and change the resistance setting.

    I've owned a Fluid 2 for 13 years and I like the machine, but it bores me to tears.

    The issue with a Fluid trainer leaking has been resolved years ago, mine has never leaked and it's old.

    If you want a trainer made in the USA 1UP is a very well made and a highly reviewed fluid trainer that cost $309 and it rivals anything built, all other trainers including the Cycleops (who were the last holdouts besides 1UP, mine Cycleops was made in the USA) are all now made in China. If I was buying a trainer today I would get the 1UP because it's made here in the USA. https://www.1upusa.com/product-trainer.html

    Make sure you have a fan blowing toward your frontal area to simulate wind blowing on you when riding or you could overheat, have a large mat under your machine and bike to protect the carpet from sweat, have water bottles on hand of course.
     
  3. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Go fluid. More resistance than mag and way more quiet than wind.

    Cyclops is a perfectly good brand, but take a look at Kurt Kinetic.

    https://kurtkinetic.com/products/kinetic-road-machine/

    It's in the same price bracket, IIRC. Kurt is possibly the best quality ChinaMart can produce and the warranty is as good as it gets. Lifetime and they really don't give a shit how you trashed their chicom junk.

    You crashed it through a wall and down a flight of steps while trying to out-spring Cav on a SufferFest? No problem! We'll have a new unit over-nighted to you!

    My fluid arrived with a busted fluid turbine mount and Kurt sent me an entire new unit and told me to keep the first one...don't bother with a return. One phone call...BOOM! New trainer the next day. And I repaired the original.

    I'm not a fan of the 1UP design, but it gets great reviews.
     
  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Cycleops and the 1UP also have lifetime warranties.
     
  5. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    I know before hand that using a trainer will be extremely boring compared to outdoor riding. I think the only positives will be having the ability to listen to music and being able to train hard without stops or worrying about safety. As much as I know it will be a bore, I want to get faster for next season.


    I always here how expensive bike equipment is, but a lifetime warranty is something that most products don't and will never have. I'm on my 5th computer in 8 years and the amount I spend on car repairs....I looked up the Kurt Kinetic and the 1up and they seem to be rated pretty high. I'll go with a fluid one based on both of your comments and will think about what brand.

    Thanks!
     
  6. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Froze, There's many products out there with 'Lifetime' warranties. In my experience many are not worth the paper they are written on. I also know my one time experience with Kurt is anecdotal, but hot damn did they take care of me like I was a Saudi prince (Norelco Phillips did the same thing this week for me with a beard trimmer). I hope CycleOps and 1UP stand behind their products as well as Kurt. We consumers deserve nothing less for our money. I like the CycleOps design and almost bought one their fluid units when I bought the Kurt Road Machine 2. Based on construction, both are top quality units. And like I said, the 1Up does not impress me nearly as much as CycleOps or Kurt.

    Kurt has this crash policy that's both hilarious and awesome. No matter how you manage to destroy the trainer Kurt will stand behind it. Yeah, their warranty is written to excluded damage caused by abuse, neglect and all the usual legalese crap a warranty has in the fine print, but you can read the stories of what Kurt has backed up. Kurt tooling products are among the finest manufactured today. I stock my shop with Kurt products.
     
  7. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    CampyBob, you sound like you have an axe to grind with Cycleops, spill the beans man. On one hand you say a lifetime warranty is useless with CycleOps and 1UP but not so with Kurt...that's BS. When Cycleops patented the resistance fluid method for trainers they had some problems with leakage from seals failing due to heat generated, and CycleOps replaced all those units as they failed with no questions asked or any money exchanged, and replaced it with an improved version that has never leaked and cost more than the original version.

    All Kurt did was copy cat the device that CycleOps first patented back in 1997.
     
  8. glenncz

    glenncz Member

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    It all depends on your budget. i ordered a Kurt Kinetic Smart trainer9$569) but there were delays in shipping(it just came out0 and I cancelled it.
    I ended up getting this $62 model after reading someone saying it "seemed" just good as their friends $300 trainer.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004I576SM?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

    I've been using it for a week i think it works just fine for my purposes. It has 5 or 6 resistance settings and the lower 2 are very smooth.
    It's certainly stable and by no means a piece of junk.
    Indoors is boring as I thought it would be and I can't see myself staying on it an hour, but for now it'll do the trick.

    If I want to upgrade sometime to a smart trainer where I can ride roads with resistance I am going to get the Tacx Vortex Smart.
     
  9. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by Froze:
    "CampyBob, you sound like you have an axe to grind with Cycleops, spill the beans man."

    Nope. I have no axe to grind. You must have missed the part where I stated I was very close to purchasing a CycleOps fluid trainer. Their design is solid. I also clearly stated it was a top quality unit, the same as Kurt. Learn to read the words and less of the trying to read what isn't there into them.

    "On one hand you say a lifetime warranty is useless with CycleOps and 1UP but not so with Kurt...that's BS."

    I never said that CycleOps warranty was useless. I KNOW Kurt backs theirs up from experience. I said that I hope CycleOps and 1UP back their products up as well as Kurt and the we, as consumers, deserve nothing less. You somehow read that as a slight towards CO's and 1UP??? Please read the actual words I typed and put less effort trying to read something into them that is not there.


    "When Cycleops patented the resistance fluid method for trainers they had some problems with leakage from seals failing due to heat generated, and CycleOps replaced all those units as they failed with no questions asked or any money exchanged, and replaced it with an improved version that has never leaked and cost more than the original version."

    That's the least they could do after selling an obviously defective and poorly tested design. I'm glad to hear they stood behind their failure and turned it into a success.


    "All Kurt did was copy cat the device that CycleOps first patented back in 1997."

    Kurt, prior to 2000, ​built trainers sold by competitors. CO's is based out of Wisc. Kurt, at the time, was based out of Mn. It's not only possible, but likely, that Kurt was involved in building some or all of CO's trainers. And as far as copycat'ing goes, it would be impossible to copy a patented design or the lawyers would have a field day.


    Kurt was the first company to offer a 'leakless' design sealed fluid unit, if the web history is to be believed. So, did CO's copy what Kurt did with their sealed, magnetically coupled fluid unit?

    Again, I have no axe t​o grind in this discussion. Both CO's and Kurt offer good quality fluid trainers today. And for the last time I will state that it is the design of the 1UP unit that I, personally, do not care for. Not their warranty or how well they address warranty issues.

    I do appreciate the ​fact that Kurt trainers can be used with my track bikes. It appears that CO's trainers do not accept 120 MM hub spacing. That's probably not a deal breaker for most potential purchasers, but it was one of several factors in my decision to go with Kurt's Road Machine 2.
     
  10. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    Yeah....I'm as indecisive as they come, i'm the kind of person who will think about it for 20 minutes before buying a pair of pants...I ended up going in the opposite direction and ordered a cycelops aluminum roller with resistance. I thought about it and going fast hasn't been my glaring problem. Ive gotten more skilled then when I started, but my technique and handling skills still need some work. Hopefully, a few months balancing on rollers will help shore up some of my weaknesses and not bore me to death.
     
  11. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Rollers will show you how good or poor your setup position on the bike is as as improve your pedal stroke and balance. They are far less boring than magnetic/wind/fluid trainers.

    Now...if you had asked me about rollers I would have told you to skip CycleOps and Kurt rollers and go straight to Kreitler rollers with a fan option.

    Here's a handy roller Watt chart that you might find interesting: http://www.kreitler.com/wattage-information/

    Enjoy riding your rollers. They are lots of fun. When you get a few hours on them, try practicing peeling off upper layers of clothing while you ride them as you warm up in your cold garage or basement.
     
  12. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    There isn't anything wrong with taking your time making a decision, it took me 3 years to decide on which TI bike I wanted, then the one I decided on (Motobecane) went out of stock for 18 months with no assurances from Bikes Direct they were ever coming back so I decided on a Lynskey over my only other choice which was the Habanero, and then the decision was made because I could a made in the USA TI frame with 105 Lynskey for the same price as the made in China frame with 105 Habanero. It took me about 3 months to figure out which Trainer I wanted, and then it boiled down to price which I got the Fluid 2 on a closeout sale at my LBS for cheaper than online...huh? something cheaper from an LBS than online? in this rare case it's true.
     
  13. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys, it will be a while before I'm acclimated....I wasn't thinking about the fact that I'm 6'4"...Barely making it in the house, so i'll be using it on the deck in front of the house. Another thing, what is the most affective way to get on and off rollers? It feels like the seat was too high to easily get myself and the bike on the rollers. Currently, I wouldn't even dare to clip in yet.
     
  14. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I'm not real hip on rollers, they're good for getting you better at balancing and cadence but the work out isn't as good as a trainer because they don't have variable resistance, you can't do full on out of the saddle sprints or intervals because it will throw you off balance, thus the roller is all about speed but not strength.
     
  15. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Many rollers have mag and wind options. Seated intervals are not bad. Sprinting on rollers is insane...coming off is very likely.

    Now, using a fork stand and rollers, sprinting is easy.

    Look at the Watt chart. With just bare rollers, you can hold 300+ Watts (large drums) to over 600 Watts (small drums)? I came out of the basement this Spring in damned good condition with a mix of rollers and fluid trainers.

    A fan and small drums on the Kreitler rollers will get you over 1500 Watts worth of pain. I'm not pro enough for that.


    Quote by U:
    "Another thing, what is the most affective way to get on and off rollers?"

    Position your rollers near a wall or 4x4 post on your deck that you can lean on...use a step/box next to the rollers to balance one foot on...build a cross-platform for your rollers (look at the commercially available units that are options for some brands of rollers)...after a while mounting becomes second nature.
     
  16. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    The one I bought has magnetic resistance with 5 dial options. Hopefully it will improve my balance, probably the biggest area I need to progress in.


    On my second go,I was able to get on ok. I think my problem was not angling the bike enough, I watched a few videos on youtube that helped me out. I used it for a little under a half an hour before work and enjoyed it. Its too early for me to ride unassisted, I leaned on a wall for most of it, but started to improve towards the end. I have never been a natural at anything, but become good by perseverance. I was thinking about getting a fork stand for sprinting/power training. How does a roller with a fork compare to a trainer?
     
  17. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Rollers with a fork stand is still going to be a more realistic 'feeling' ride than a stationary trainer.

    If you are comparing the ability of your magnetic resistance rollers to soak up Watts...they be the equal of or slightly more energy sapping than a stationary trainer with an equivalent magnetic unit due to increased friction from the two points of contact from the rear tire and belt/front wheel friction losses if you use the full roller compliment. Additionally, there will be Watts required to accelerate the mass of the rollers, themselves (which may or may not be equaled by any flywheel mass included in some stationary trainers).

    Now...depending on the quality and design specs of any given trainer or roller setup it could be that any specific mag or fluid or fan trainer (or combination of the three primary resistance modes used on one training device) could out-Watt a bare roller set or a roller set with a resistance unit. The reverse could also be true, depending on what we are actually comparing.

    A small drum diameter roller set with a kick ass fan or fluid option can be a hellova tough workout machine and while I've never tried a mag optioned roller set of any diameter drum setup, I'm sure that with your mag unit set to maximum you will need two fans blowing on you to keep the dripping sweat from forming a lake under you.

    Bare, large drum rollers will kill my legs if I push it hard enough. I alternate between a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine 2 and a set of Al Kreitler large drum classic rollers...mainly due to the boredom using any one unit too much over the Ice Age Winters we've seen recently in Ohio. In the end, ANY training aide that keeps you awake and not wanting to commit suicide after using through a nasty Winter while stuck in your basement/garage/driveway (tribute to Maydog training outdoors on a stationary rig through a Minnesota Winter!) is a worthwhile investment.

    And do pay attention to your position on the bike and smoothness of your pedal stroke as you get used to those new rollers. They are one of the best tools I've used to self-evaluate my position on the bike. They will amplify setup errors and make them easier to tune.
     
  18. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    3 weeks later and I can use the rollers unassisted, kind of.... I use a wall to lean until I am at a high enough cadence, but can now fully balance on the rollers after that. I wasn't using my core enough to stay balanced before. I have a pretty strong core and finally realized that I must use it to stay balanced. Just by subtly shifting my core, I can correct myself when the bike seems to be slipping off the rollers. Still not a pro, but can use it for 10-15 minute intervals with a 30 second break in between for hydration or to change a tune on my iPod. I've worked myself up to 45 minutes to an hour session.
     
  19. Djordje87

    Djordje87 Member

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    My friend actually had both, magneto and jet fluid and he told me he enjoyed more the later. It was smoother and it gave him a more realistic feeling but when i came at his place and tried them i felt otherwise. After telling him that he told me i can actually have more resistance with jet fluid. That didn't bother me much but then he told me it was easier to adjust everything with jet than with magneto and that is something i really liked. So i didn't feel that big a difference in order to be able to say this one is better ,but i will trust my friend who has been using them both and say to go with Jet fluid pro.
     
  20. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I saw something weird the other day, a guy was riding his bike on his running treadmill! He claimed it worked better than rollers with all the same benefits of rollers and trainers, he also said it took a while for him to adjust to riding on it. But with a treadmill he could raise or lower it and simulate much more realistically climbing up and down mountains, or set it on it's built in computer based running where it increases and decreases intensity automatically and ride the bike with it doing that by itself. It was kind of cool to watch.
     
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