Power trainer of choice

John Sirabella

New Member
Dec 27, 2019
I used to come to forums daily in another life but getting back into more serious training. I took my old computrainer out and it bit the dust. Racermate went out of biz so what is the trainer of choice for power training.

thank you and sorry but thought may have posted in wrong forum. So sorry double post.
A smart trainer is required - this allows you to interface with the many internet applications now available.

I have a Wahoo Kickr Snap but there are many others. I also tend to use The Sufferfest and Zwift (internet applications) but there are also others.

Good luck.
Thank you Sir for your response and side note great avatar. I know Yojimbo well.

May I ask one last question as it seems you do not absolutely need an additional bike but with the gearing probably being different than on your current bike that this works best?

thank you again
There are two main categories of trainers:
  1. Traditional, "wheels on" trainers, where your bike is held by the rear wheel, which runs against a roller that applies resistance. All inexpensive and mid-priced trainers are this type.
  2. Newer "wheel off" trainers for which your remove your rear wheel and mount the frame directly to the trainer. Price-wise, these are the upper midrange and high-end trainers.
  3. There's actually a third category that has burst onto the market recently and that's dedicated trainer bikes. These are standalone bike simulators that are really interesting, and really expensive.
In terms of interactivity, less expensive trainers will be "dumb", meaning that they have no connectivity options. You adjust the resistance by changing gears (and perhaps with adjustments on the trainer) and choose your preferred form of entertainment to keep you motivated.

At the higher end of the spectrum, you'll find "smart" models that offer computer connectivity that allows apps to control the trainer's resistance and simulate real-world road conditions. This includes actual videos of rides through services like Rouvy, or simulated rides and races through services like Zwift. The smart trainer experience is much more immersive, to the point that you'll find yourself trying to steer and lean the bike into corners. It's really a huge leap from older trainers and actually makes indoor riding - dare I say it - fun! The two leaders in smart trainers are Wahoo and Tacx, but Saris (formerly CycleOps) and others make similar products. If you want to geek out on reviews, I recommend going to https://www.dcrainmaker.com/, as there's a wealth of good info there. FWIW, my girlfriend and I both have the Tacx Neo and they're great, but they should be for what they cost. Some of my cycling buddies have the Wahoo Kickr and they swear by them.
Thank you for all the detail and I most definitely want the “smart” as to make sure still into it been using a “dumb” cyclops model which does the job. Now I want what I had from my computrainer, basically control resistance (watts). I do not want to have to take off back wheel or dedicate a bike to it so thinking the wahoo snap may work well. I will look at cyclops if they have a version in same price and specs. I will also look into the brand you use.

Thank you again for putting in the time and detail to the response.
Tacx makes three wheel-on smart trainers, with the Vortex being one of the nicer ones on the market.

I'm curious why you're opposed to taking the rear wheel off the bike? It's not difficult and there are advantages to direct-drive trainers that make it well worth the minor inconvenience.
Excuse my ignorance here but if the cassettes are different from my bike to the trainer than switching gears would not work correctly or the answer is buy the same cassette for the trainer or I am just wrong here.
You just buy whatever gearing you want for the trainer, but it has to be compatible with whatever your drivetrain is (brand, number of cogs, rear derailleur capacity). For example, I run a slightly lower low-end on the trainer than I do on the road, but they're both Campy 10 speed. It's no different than swapping rear wheels.
I see so the trainer you buy can be bought with the same gearing as my bike so than I can simply just attach my bike to the trainer with no adjustments needed. Hmm ... now I have some thinking to do. I will look into Tacx. Definitely sound pretty good.
Exactly. You can buy an identical cassette, if you like. Trainers come with Shimano/SRAM compatible freehubs on them, but you can get Campy-compatible freehubs for most of them if need be.