Which indoor power training option?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by hmronnow, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. hmronnow

    hmronnow New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Earlier this year I bought a PowerTap and am hooked to training with power, especially the motivational benefit of being able to look at ride data in WKO+.



    Now, as days grow short and weather bad, I am considering an indoor training option. Even after searching and reading many usefull threads, I have some questions.



    There seem to be 4 main options:

    1) trainer, simple, using my PowerTap wheel as power meter

    2) trainer with integrated power meter

    3) rollers using my PowerTap wheel as power meter

    4) indoor-bicycle with power meter (e.g. CycleOps pro300PT),



    1) would be the simplest and cheapest option, but does it wear my bike, wheel or powertap? From reading posts, I’m not too worried about damaging the frame (Cervelo Soloist aluminium), or the powertap (must keep force between wheel and roller low enough). But, I’m worried about my carbon zipp 303 rims (ST Swiss Aerolite spokes), and the hazzle of having to change tubulars. Apparently wheels wear fast on trainers. Any opinions on this?
    If you believe there is no risk to my PowerTap, which is your recommendation for a trainer?


    2) There exist several trainers with independent power meters. I found :

    a. CycleOps PowerBeam Pro $1200

    b. Tacx Cosmos ($1000) and Fortius multiplayer ($1400). Are they compatible with WKO+ ? Fortius apparently has ‘virtual reality’ and online functions. Does anyone have experience with this? Is it a useful motivation/training tool, or silly? Tacx seem to have VR of the alps, while computrainer seems only to have various ironman routes in the US.

    c. Computrainer $1650 Also has VR style software – useful?

    d. KurtKinetic $400-500. These claim to have such reproducible speed/power ratios that measuring speed you can compute power. And they offer a power-display for only $50. But, can you record power and download it in e.g. WKO+ ? Or, given that the speed-to-power formula is publicly available, one could use any bike-computer, which records the speed, and then convert that into power in a format that WKO+ can read. KurtKinetic also has a ‘rock’n’roll’ model, which allows to flex from side to side – any experiences/opinions?

    e. Any other?

    3) There exist a variety of rollers, including some with variable resistance. I found a nice review: www.fixedgearfever.com/modules.php?name=Roller_Tests
    Questions:


    a. Do rollers also wear tires fast?

    b. Would rolers damage my wheels?

    c. Rollers have the advanteage that you need to steer. This can also be a disadvantage if you would like to mindlessly pedal. I certainly found rollers requiring more concentration than normal road cycling. I found only the Keitler offering a fixed stand for the front-fork, giving the option to pedal without keeping balance. Would such a front-fork-lock wear on the fork (my cervelo team has a carbon fork)? Do you know of others that have front-fork-lock, or could one use the Keitler lock with a different roller?

    d. Amongst rollers I found these interesting:

    - InsideRide E-motion

    - TruTrainer

    - Kreitler

    Opinions and alternatives?

    4) An indoor bicycle is probably above the price level I have in mind, but the CycleOps pro300pt is with $2000 not so much more expensive than the power-enabled trainers. And it would have the benefit of being completely independent of my road bike. Would it have the same benefits?



    Thanks for whatever input you might have

    Henrik
     
    Tags:


  2. strader

    strader New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a Kurt Kinetic and a Computrainer, and I much prefer the Computrainer. I like the ability to create a workout with predefined wattage intervals so all I have to worry about is turning over the pedals. I like being able to zone out during the workout (obviously I don't use rollers for this reason). With the Kurt Kinetic you need to concentrate on keeping the power output the same which gets difficult especially during the hard intervals. Another thing I like about the computrainer is I can export the workout to a file and then upload it to WKO+ without needing an on-bike power meter. I keep a cheap mountain bike hooked up to the computrainer, which leaves my powertap equiped road bike free for outdoor rides. Last point in favor of the computrainer has been rear tire life. It has a smaller roller than the KK, so I expected it to produce more tire wear, but I have found the exact opposite. My computrainer has produced almost no tire wear on the michelin carbons and XCR road slicks I use. The KK seemed to shred tires in about 2 months.
     
  3. hmronnow

    hmronnow New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for fast feedback.

    I just realised that the speed-to-power formula for the KK is available. So any bike-computer which records speed for subsequent download would be able to give WKO+ data.

    Could this be because of smaller inertia in the CT? With large inertia, there might be more risk of short slips between tire and roller.

    Henrik
     
  4. strader

    strader New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    I used to do this. It becomes quite a chore getting the average power for each interval and manually calculating TSS. Once you figure it out for an interval session though, you can just take a swag and use the same TSS value for future workouts. It still WAY better than nothing.
    If you get a powertap later on though you are set.

    Could be... I actually like lower interia trainers because I train primarily for mountain bike and cyclocross. The computrainer feels just like grinding up a steep hill in the dirt with nobby tires. :D
     
  5. LT Intolerant

    LT Intolerant New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Henrik -

    I purchased a TACX Fortius 2 years ago because of the VR capability. Climbing the Pyrenees or the Alps or doing the Tour of Lombardy or Flanders course was too good to pass up. I also owned a 1st generation Computrainer at one point which I no longer have.

    To be quite honest I am terribly disappointed in TACX and the Fortius. In fact it's probably my MOST disappointing purchase in my 20 years of riding an racing, and I've bought a lot of stuff over the years.

    The software is flaky and crashes often; Vista support took forever; the support is inconsistent and getting precise advice is tough; keeping my tire from slipping on the flywheel is a constant battle; and the general communication w TACX is weak at best. I recently contacted their US support arm (sent 2 emails), and I didn't even get the courtesy of a return email. :mad:

    I've invested well north of $ 1500 in this thing and I'd give it away for $ 500 at this point including the above VRs that I mentioned and the steering unit.

    If you are seriously considering the TACX, I would advise that you go to the forums and look at the various posts from all the frustrated users.

    I'm probably going to buy a KK or some eMotion rollers and just use my SRM as my power monitoring device for indoor rides this winter. Given how frustrated I am w the Fortius I guess I'll just watch old TdF footage to keep my mind occupied when I have to ride the trainer. The sad thing is the VR was incredible, a real time-passer, when it worked.
     
  6. rob of the og

    rob of the og New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2003
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd say that this is your best option. You won't do damage your wheel; the worst thing that tends to happens is corrosion of the frame because of the amount of sweat, so clean it thoroughly or get one of those 'bike thongs' to keep the sweat off. Tyres do wear quite a bit more quickly though. If you're going to use the turbo exclusively then get a trainer-specific tyre. If you're doing the occasional 2x20 and the rest of the time on the roads then don't worry about it.

    mmm, as above, Fortius has its problems. If you're looking for the Virtual Reality stuff I'd recommend the old iMagic set-up from Tacx. It measures power, but you'll need to use your Powertap to calibrate it. Mine is such a hassle to keep calibrated that I just use my PT on it all the time anyway. The VR stuff is good for motivation though if you're planning on spending hours on the thing.

    Getting sufficient resistance is the problem with rollers. You realise with a powermeter that rollers don't get anywhere near the resistance levels of a turbo trainer.

    I guess the money is the only downside here.
     
  7. Squint

    Squint New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2003
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    0
    If your rollers have a resistance unit then you should be able to get plenty of resistance. Sprinting is just as problematic though.

    You can go a lot more expensive than the 300PT. I actually consider them kind of a bargain since you get power measuring, a flywheel, and chain drive (to avoid tire slippage).
     
  8. hmronnow

    hmronnow New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    The thing is my PowerTap is mounted on wheels with tubular tires.
    1) It would be a bit of a nuissance to change tubular tires often
    2) Are you sure that it doesn't damage the wheel (I have zip303 tubular with the relatively flexible DT aerolite spokes).

    Thanks for all the input,
    Henrik
     
  9. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,471
    Likes Received:
    20
    How about a 2nd PT wheel? Just build up a bomb proof wheel with a PT Pro (cheapest PT hub) and train on that.
     
  10. acoggan

    acoggan Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Messages:
    3,047
    Likes Received:
    9
  11. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have been thinking about this too as my trainer really sucks and it has been a chore holding anything above 300 W for more than a minute or so. It's a long story but suffice to say that I find the resistance curve with respect to power to be very unrealistic compared to a typical flat road feel and I have to kill myself to get the power that I need while riding it.

    A friend of mine who also trains with a power bought some E-motion rollers and he loves them. He doesn't use his trainer anymore. I borrowed his rollers for a week and used them for a couple rides and it (they) were a huge improvement over my trainer. It has four resistance settings and those should give any normal human plenty of resistance. 320 W at ~90 RPM was no problem for me in resistance setting 1 (setting 4 being the hardest). Supposedly you can get up into the 600 -700 W area at "normal" cadences in setting 4.

    My other option is to get a Computrainer. The VR aspect totally appeals to me but last year I bought some DVDs of rides up mountains (e.g., the Tacx Real Videos, the Coach Troy stuff, etc.) and riding with those a bit was interesting at first but eventually they were no big deal. The experience taught me that I can get sick of anything and if I am riding indoors, regardless of the stimulation level on the screen, I will lose focus and interest eventually. The problem is the format (riding indoors) and not really the instrument used. For that reason, I decided to pass on buying a Computrainer for now. I realize that I can provide myself a bit more variety in stimulation with enough Computrainer files as opposed to a few VR DVDs but I really feel that I would become bored with that too. Not only that but the E-motion rollers are much less expensive than a Computrainer.

    So my current plan for this winter is to ride outdoors as much as I can, get some E-motion rollers, and my strategy for indoor riding is to use the rollers for short, harder efforts. I can hit a reasonable long duration (1 hour +) power on my trainer so it's still an option for longer sessions and the consequences of zoning out are less traumatic (I can watch a movie or something, which I like to do).
     
  12. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would go with the E-motion rollers it might not work well for sprint training but 3.25 inch rollers have plenty of resistance for everything else. There is an added core strength benefit to free motion rollers and with FMRs the rear wheel stays in the pocket when you're out of the saddle so you maintain your speed. I have some home made FMRs and I like them almost as much as outdoor riding.

     
  13. LT Intolerant

    LT Intolerant New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Steve, why did you feel the E-motion were such a huge improvment?

    I couldn't agree more with your statement about getting sick of ANYTHING when riding indoors. I'm good for about 45 minutes no matter what the device.
     
  14. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    0
    Take a look at my edits but bascially it was an improvement in terms of being able to deliver high power at a relatively "comfortable effort". By that I mean, 105% of FTP on the E-motion does not require something like a 53x12 at 70 RPM like my trainer does. The numbers are swags from memory but you get the idea - my trainer requires me to struggle too much (IMO) to get to high power and it feels unrealisitic. The 105% hill intervals I do outdoors are much more "comfortable" by comparison as I can keep up a normal cadence. I could never find at comfortable gear/cadence combo for high L4 and above on that thing. (I was thinking of putting a 55 big ring on the bike but that's pain for outdoor riding too.)

    As for the boredom: yeah, I mean, there's going to have to be times to ride indoors. I'm going to make the best of it with the the smallest cash outlay I can handle. I will try to keep the sessions what I call "short and violent" (SAV) but there will be times for 90-120 minutes of L3. When that happens, my trainer and an action flick that captivates me on DVD will be the weapon of choice. Diverting my attention for most of the time period is the only way I can get through it.
     
  15. Porkyboy

    Porkyboy New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi

    I agree with this entirely. I use a PowerTap on the road and a CompuTrainer indoors in a similar way to Strader and I wouldn't swap the setup for anything. I also did a lot of tests comparing the PowerTap and the CompuTrainer and published the results on my blog if you are interested. The results were too close to call and knowing that the power figures for both units were comparable was something I was keen to establish.

    If you've got the money I'd go for a CompuTrainer, I had a TACX trainer and hated it, the CompuTrainer is, in my opinion, much more of a proper training tool. Oh yes, I use a Continental trainer tyre on my CompuTrainer and it's brilliant, no mess, very long life, no tyre slip.

    Cheers,

    PBUK
     
  16. hmronnow

    hmronnow New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the link. The web-site is not very informative. Do you have any information on what this trainer has, that the others don't? It seems similar technology - maybe better quality build. There would have to be something to justify the exorbant price of $2900 for the cheapest model.

    Thanks,
    Henrik
     
  17. bigwillie013

    bigwillie013 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm using a Tacx Trainer (old I-Magic not the Fortius). I'm happy with it especially the VR and the DVD's help me a lot with motivation. I've even bought into the idea of the VR League and it's fun competing on VR when you have downloaded a virtual opponent and see him in front of you - or better - loosing ground on you being behind.

    There's an old soft (green) and a new (blue). The green gives quite accurate power data but the blue overestimates power dramatically. You have the option to calibrate, though and as I have an ergomo that's what I did.
    I presume until I get someone to donate a CT to me ;) I have to wait for the funds being available and use the Tacx. It's nothing bad but not ideal either. With the Continental trainer tyre wear isn't a problem at all.
    And above all, the CT isn't really easy to get in Germany!

    Cheers,
    bigwillie013
     
  18. acoggan

    acoggan Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Messages:
    3,047
    Likes Received:
    9
    Reasons to consider the Velodyne:

    1. Accurate power measurement (see my "white paper" on their website).

    2. High inertia (10 kg flywheel spinning rapidly).

    3. Built like a tank (I've been using mine 3-5 d/wk for almost 20 y).

    4. Things happening behind the scene that I can't talk about. ;)


    (Note: I have no financial affliation with the company or product.)
     
  19. Bailsibub

    Bailsibub New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    0
    When I return to the US someday, I plan on getting an ergo. Just out of curiousity, I hopped on ebay and did a search. There are a bunch of Monarks (the weighted anaerobic testers) on there. I know they've been popular for quite some time. Might be something worth looking at, especially if you can get a deal on a second-hand one.
     
  20. 9606

    9606 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a PT and CT set up in front of my tv. The CT is hooked up to an old computer. Fan nearby.
    Best setup I can imagine. CT & PT usually agree. Design erg files based on training plan.
    Watching LA &TdF dvds and doing VO2 intervals has never been better.
    Mimimal tire wear.
    Check out prices of CT on eBay. There is a reason why they hold their resale value.
     
Loading...
Loading...