Author Topic: Smart trainer  (Read 886 times)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Smart trainer
« on: 14 May, 2024, 05:13:51 pm »

I got a Tacx flux 2 smart trainer for a very good price. I hadn't planned on buying a smart trainer, but this was right price at a rightish time.

So now it's sat in the middle of the living room and I'm wondering where to start. I primarily got it for the winter, so it's not exactly an ideal time to get it, but I'd like to try it out at least.

What sort of things can I do with a trainer like this ?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #1 on: 14 May, 2024, 05:21:01 pm »
Zwift of course, and I use FulGaz for VR rides.  You can stream them but I found downloading them more reliable.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #2 on: 14 May, 2024, 05:25:06 pm »
Zwift of course, and I use FulGaz for VR rides.  You can stream them but I found downloading them more reliable.

What else would I need to be able to use zwift ?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #3 on: 14 May, 2024, 05:27:18 pm »
I use BigRingVR

you need a laptop and possibly an ANT+ dongle
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #4 on: 14 May, 2024, 05:29:14 pm »
A recommendation for Rouvy.  There's a code for 3-months free premium doing the rounds ATM (search on HUKD website for details).

It combines real-life videos of routes (many hundreds to choose from), group rides and races complete with drafting if that's your thing, and also a range of TrainerRoad-style interval workouts (plus the ability to quickly create your own).

I've been using it for 2 years and actually look forward to sessions - unlike TrainerRoad which I developed a dread of - and am getting better results, probably for that reason.
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Pedal Castro

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Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #5 on: 14 May, 2024, 06:14:48 pm »
I use veloreality if I want to do 2h+, it's great as I can ride roads I've done in real life, recognising cafés I've had a drink in as I pass them. At least one route is free, then you can buy those you want.

For more intense stuff, which is what I normally do on the trainer, I use IndieVelo, which has had quite an influx of zwiftwrs since the price increase over there.

Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #6 on: 14 May, 2024, 07:40:27 pm »
To get started there’s a TACX app you run on Android or iOS smartphones or tablets. That automatically syncs any workouts you do, to Garmin.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #7 on: 14 May, 2024, 10:45:47 pm »
flux is almost a swearword for me, i've had four of them die and gone through associated hassle (replaced under warranty, but still..) - i wish you better luck with it. i mainly used them along with trainerroad for hiit, a very time-efficient way to get/stay fit.

finch

  • Hair today gone tomorrow
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Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #8 on: 14 May, 2024, 11:30:14 pm »
I think fulgaz is great

Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #9 on: 15 May, 2024, 09:23:01 am »
You'll need a tablet, laptop or smartphone to talk to the smart trainer in order to run any of Zwift/Rouvy/FullGaz/whatever.

ravenbait

  • Someone's imaginary friend
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Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #10 on: 15 May, 2024, 10:33:00 am »
I have the same trainer and have used it regularly for about 2 years now. I tried out zwift using the trial code, but didn't like it. I use the Tacx app. It's very handy for me as I can ride along to a video or use it to do one of the workouts from my Garmin training plan, which automatically syncs to Tacx. Also, miles on Tacx count towards Garmin badges, and I'm a sucker for the badges. Tacx also has inbuilt training if that's your bag. If you have some other form of garmin that will talk to the trainer, for instance a Fenix or Edge, you can use it to control the trainer. You can even ride a course you've previously recorded on GPS, or a course you would like to do in future (not with a movie, though).

For me, the best bits about the trainer are:

  • Being able to ride when my asthma is playing up, so I don't worry about having an attack in the middle of nowhere and needing rescue;
  • Being able to ride when the weather outside is so foul I'm more worried about careless drivers, or aggravating my asthma;
  • Being able to do structured workouts like intervals without road conditions being an obstacle; and
  • Having time to watch movies Mr Bait wouldn't want to watch while also doing something constructive.

I normally use my phone (Samsung S20FE) to control the trainer and play any tacx movies, and have the option of streaming a movie or something up on a telly on a trainer table. I don't have the space to have a dedicated set up with a laptop or tablet -- both my laptop and tablet are too old and slow to run the Tacx app, and connecting my PC to the telly is awkward. I have used Google TV to mirror my screen, but that tends to get laggy at the TV end because I have to set up so far from our router, so I gave up. When I first got it, I just used my phone and didn't have a table -- I listened to downloaded audio dramas on an MP3 player and had the phone sitting on my aerobars. You don't need a table and a telly, but they're nice to have.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #11 on: 15 May, 2024, 10:59:52 am »
Having used the same bike on the trainer for a couple of years I find that sweat is the enemy.  It's important to keep the bike clean of it and to protect parts that can corrode, including under bar tape and inside gear shifters/brake levers.  Electrolysis can attack aluminium in contact with steel. 

I'm putting the bike I used back on the road now and bought an old frame that I am fitting out to make maintenance as easy as possible.  Also bought one of these:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0BBF72HN9?ref=ppx_pt2_dt_b_prod_image&th=1

but I imagine it wouldn't be hard to fix up home-made protection a lot cheaper.  Will probably upgrade the fan too. 
Sheldon Brown never said leave it to the professionals.

ravenbait

  • Someone's imaginary friend
  • No, RB3, you can't have more tupperware.
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Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #12 on: 15 May, 2024, 11:24:16 am »
Agreed. I also have one of those (less fancy) and put a towel across the cockpit to protect everything.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #13 on: 15 May, 2024, 12:38:50 pm »
A decent fan(s) help a lot with sweat.
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ravenbait

  • Someone's imaginary friend
  • No, RB3, you can't have more tupperware.
    • Someone's imaginary friend
Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #14 on: 15 May, 2024, 12:53:17 pm »
Yeah. I really need to upgrade my fan!

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

BrianI

  • Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Lepidopterist Man!
Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #15 on: 15 May, 2024, 01:32:46 pm »
One thing about Smart Trainers, is they tend to need £££ subscriptions to Smart Trainer Software like Zwift / Rouvy, and also a decent enough Smart Phone / Tablet / Laptop / Computer and a compatible Operating System to run the aforementioned Smart Trainer Software.

Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #16 on: 15 May, 2024, 02:12:30 pm »
One thing about Smart Trainers, is they tend to need £££ subscriptions to Smart Trainer Software like Zwift / Rouvy,

Most if not all apps have free trials. Try them all and see what suits you.  That would give you a few months of free use. 
The sound of one pannier flapping

Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #17 on: 15 May, 2024, 02:31:49 pm »
Zwift of course, and I use FulGaz for VR rides.  You can stream them but I found downloading them more reliable.

What else would I need to be able to use zwift ?

J

I used a laptop and a dongle to connect trainer to same. I don't know Tacx but would assume BT dongle would work - Chris Bainbridge has a Tacx so could advise.  Some - lkie BigRingVR - use ANT+ only, others BT only, some both, but the dongles are pennies.

And to Brians point, FulgGaz is around £80 a year, and has literllay hundrefds of rides filmed that can be ridden as wallpaper or with "real world" resistance on climbs.  They're also getting into triathlon ccircuits for those wanting more endurance. A lot of FulGaz users use and AppleTV box and a TV screen. It also runs on PC's of course.

Sweat is an issue - I have a Wahoo Headwind - spendy but can be linked to speed / HR to vary intensity.

I never got Rouvy to work properly for me, and I didn't an app for training anyway (where things like TrainerRoad, sufferfest, and INO Zwift and Rouvy fit best) I just wanted a scenic workout, and FG fitted that to a tee,
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

ravenbait

  • Someone's imaginary friend
  • No, RB3, you can't have more tupperware.
    • Someone's imaginary friend
Re: Smart trainer
« Reply #18 on: 15 May, 2024, 04:12:11 pm »
Zwift of course, and I use FulGaz for VR rides.  You can stream them but I found downloading them more reliable.

What else would I need to be able to use zwift ?

J
I used to run it on my smartphone and mirror screen on Chromecast. Tacx Flux has native BT, so it worked fine (apart from aforementioned lag due to router distance), although I really hated the animated cartoon style of it.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."