Author Topic: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.  (Read 3706 times)

Fennec

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2020, 01:36:21 pm »
I’ve been mulling over a smart trainer for a while now and pulled the trigger on a Wahoo KICKR this morning. Will it talk directly to an iPad or do I need an ANT dongle?

It will talk directly using Bluetooth. Enjoy!

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2020, 01:56:03 pm »
I'm close to pulling the trigger on a Tacx Neo 2T.  Just need to clear the space in the outbuilding, and get ready to hide the bank statement from my wife.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2020, 04:29:00 pm »
I got a Kickr at the start of lockdown (luckily, as they were rare as hen's teeth then).  It has revolutionised my training and rejuvenated my love of cycling.

I've mainly used it for TrainerRoad structured interval training so far, but dabbled with some of the VR stuff out there and loved it.  As said above, most of these have trial periods so you can get a feel for what works for you before shelling out.

Before I signed up to TrainerRoad I also used it with the Bolt for resistance training (as you would on a spin bike) and route-recreation.

So many options, so much fun!

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2020, 05:14:24 pm »
I got a Kickr at the start of lockdown (luckily, as they were rare as hen's teeth then).  It has revolutionised my training and rejuvenated my love of cycling.
<snip>
Before I signed up to TrainerRoad I also used it with the Bolt for resistance training (as you would on a spin bike) and route-recreation.

So many options, so much fun!

Yes does seem to be a supply problem with some models.

When you say route recreation do you mean repeating the wet and windy ride you recorded on your Bolt in the comfort of your own home?

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2020, 07:43:41 pm »
When you say route recreation do you mean repeating the wet and windy ride you recorded on your Bolt in the comfort of your own home?

Precisely  ;D

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2020, 08:35:42 pm »
I have a Tacx Neo 2 (pre T). I also invested in a fan, an Intel NUC and a tv for the shed. I use the Tacx desktop software to do their virtual rides, of which there are loads. I download in HD and some have been ridden multiple times. There are quite a lot of tours as well, so you can work through a series of rides in an area over a few days.

I tend to only ride inside if the weather is rubbish or I’m feeling time crunched, but this setup makes it more of a pleasure and less of a bind. I didn’t really engage with Zwift. Sometimes I play music while I’m riding to.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2020, 08:53:05 pm »
Are you saying that Tacx desktop software has a load of virtual rides just like the 9lderniMagic used to have?

And, does the trainer connect with a cable to the NUC or by other means?

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2020, 09:05:16 pm »
Loads of rides and it connects to the NUC by the built in Bluetooth (BLE I think). It’s all pretty seamless. The only thing I had to do was pick up a cheap ble/ant heart rate strap from Halfords, as my Garmin strap only broadcasts on Ant+.

The rides cover all sorts of territory too, including some flat and lots of hilly. There are even some of my local rides on it, although I haven’t yet ridden any of these to see if the bill simulation is that accurate. My next indoor adventure will be riding an 18 part (iirc) tour of the Pyrenees. The video is shot from an e-bike at usually sensible speeds. Although it speeds up and slows down to your pace. Descending can even be unnerving as you barrel into sharp corners at 80km/h. Even little dips in the trick your mind into ‘feeling’ your stomach at the bottom of the dip. But mostly, it’s nice sunny scenery in the middle of ❄️

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2020, 09:10:44 pm »
Oh, you pay an annual license fee for the video access but the software is free as are a few rides to try it out. There are also training plan options if you want and you can, for example, do an interval session with a video running over the top. Similarly, you can tell it to dial back the slope of hills so you don’t have to ‘conquer’ Ventoux at full steepness (I want to write stepth) if you prefer.

If you’re into Strava it will link directly and will send the map of your virtual ride as well as the other data. For some reason, despite being owned by Garmin, it doesn’t sync directly to Connect. That would be good if you could then use physio true up to keep everything synced. As it is, I tend to record on the 935 and then delete the repeated Strava file after the event. Strava is primarily social as I have friends and clients using it.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2020, 09:54:47 pm »
Sounds interesting.  Thanks.

Oh, how much is the annual licence fee please?  mllePB will want to know.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2020, 11:50:23 pm »
There’s a tiered structure - free, e99.99 per year and e139.99 per year. The highest gives you 1080p video instead of 720p. I’ve tried to copy the text below.

You can also import gpx files to recreate your outdoor rides, or mine if you fancy climbing in the dales without the views! It appears it also works in iPad or something. I’ve just used the NUC pc.

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Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2020, 08:31:15 am »
Quote
Similarly, you can tell it to dial back the slope of hills so you don’t have to ‘conquer’ Ventoux at full steepness (I want to write stepth) if you prefer.

WRT Zwift, this has a similar feature for full on smart trainers that is described here:

https://zwiftinsider.com/best-trainer-difficulty-setting/

Default is 50%. My last ride, hilly round New York, I whacked it up to 100%. I managed just over 30 minutes climbing lots out of the saddle and bothering muscles I forgot I had.

Sic transit and all that..

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2020, 10:02:17 am »
I’ve been mulling over a smart trainer for a while now and pulled the trigger on a Wahoo KICKR this morning. Will it talk directly to an iPad or do I need an ANT dongle?

And it's arrived! Very impressive service from Rutland Cycling and Parcelforce; the initial mail said "we'll despatch in 5 days" which was a little disappointing but hey ho. Then I got a mail saying it had been despatched by Parcelforce 48.

Fast forward to this morning; went to drop the car for its M.O.T. and came home to find the Parcelforce van blocking th edrive and the driver at a neighbour's dropping off the parcel.

Just need to finish work and get it set up...

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #38 on: October 23, 2020, 10:25:28 am »
I’ve been mulling over a smart trainer for a while now and pulled the trigger on a Wahoo KICKR this morning. Will it talk directly to an iPad or do I need an ANT dongle?

And it's arrived! Very impressive service from Rutland Cycling and Parcelforce; the initial mail said "we'll despatch in 5 days" which was a little disappointing but hey ho. Then I got a mail saying it had been despatched by Parcelforce 48.

Fast forward to this morning; went to drop the car for its M.O.T. and came home to find the Parcelforce van blocking th edrive and the driver at a neighbour's dropping off the parcel.

Just need to finish work and get it set up...

Don’t you mean ‘just need to get it set up and then go back to finish work.’

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #39 on: October 23, 2020, 11:13:43 am »
I’ve been mulling over a smart trainer for a while now and pulled the trigger on a Wahoo KICKR this morning. Will it talk directly to an iPad or do I need an ANT dongle?

And it's arrived! Very impressive service from Rutland Cycling and Parcelforce; the initial mail said "we'll despatch in 5 days" which was a little disappointing but hey ho. Then I got a mail saying it had been despatched by Parcelforce 48.

Fast forward to this morning; went to drop the car for its M.O.T. and came home to find the Parcelforce van blocking th edrive and the driver at a neighbour's dropping off the parcel.

Just need to finish work and get it set up...

Don’t you mean ‘just need to get it set up and then go back to finish work.’

Maybe ;)

gibbo

  • Riding for fun, cake and beer.
    • Boxford Bike Club
Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #40 on: October 23, 2020, 12:54:38 pm »
My 2 pence worth:-

In May this year I changed from a wheel-on TACX dumb trainer and watching Sufferfest videos and a 2 week trial of Rouvy to a KickR Core plus a monthly subscription to Zwift.

The Core is really quiet - noise is mainly the drive train. The auto increase/ decrease of resistance is great and a real game changer as far as I'm concerned. You will have to invest ~£700, worth it imo.

I started by doing a few Zwift rides with some friends and chatted via Discord which worked well until we started going out into the real world again. I then did a training program over 12 weeks and I was pretty much hooked. I started working my way through the different courses/ worlds available but more recently have got into racing. This is mainly because I didn't want to randomly ride around solo and the courses left to explore were either too long or the elevation was stupidly huge e.g. Ven Top & Alpe du Zwift. I'll investigate the group rides that fboab mentioned though as it's nice to ride with people of a similar level.

At the moment the above combo works well for me and I'm nearly at the point where virtual miles are more than road miles. I am tempted to maybe try Sufferfest in the not too distant future just to mix things up.


Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2020, 02:01:09 pm »
I am erring towards the Tacx Flux S, the lowest spec direct drive Tacx smart trainer.   It does far far more than we need but fits the bill perfectly for many features.

We might do some "training" but we have no aspirations to anything even close to elite or even progressive stuff, rather we simply want to wind our legs on a regular basis over winter with an element of entertainment to it. 

The decision is partly influenced by how much quieter direct drive units are compared to tyre drive.  The turbo room is also our office cum laundry room and because we are in a mid-terrace also shares a party wall with the neighbours on one side. 

So, Flux S unless anybody can persuade me differently.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #42 on: October 25, 2020, 07:29:35 pm »
I'd only add my experience of tacx software, which is, it stinks. Very painful licensing, huge monolithic applications that don't like underpowered kit. Problems shifting the license and ultimately a poorer experience than the competition. This was about 3 years ago, but was very instrumental in my choice of a direct drive elite, which seemed better value, too.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2020, 07:45:26 pm »
I was going to say the same, but my experience was a few years ago, so help my peace lest it had improved markedly. It seems not.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #44 on: October 25, 2020, 09:26:09 pm »
So, Flux S unless anybody can persuade me differently.

they work fine, until they don't. i've managed to kill four of them, just by doing normal training. didn't want to be stuck with yet another replacement post brexit, so upgraded to neo2t the week they came out, it has been fine so far. you've been warned! ;D

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #45 on: October 25, 2020, 11:37:55 pm »
So, Flux S unless anybody can persuade me differently.

they work fine, until they don't. i've managed to kill four of them, just by doing normal training. didn't want to be stuck with yet another replacement post brexit, so upgraded to neo2t the week they came out, it has been fine so far. you've been warned! ;D

Yes - the Flux has something of a rep. If budget isn't an issue and you fancy a Tacx, do yourself a favour and just go for the Neo.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #46 on: October 26, 2020, 06:15:58 am »
Hmmm, that's not good and thanks for the heads up on that.

You'd think they'd have sorted it by now though, wouldn't you?

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #47 on: October 26, 2020, 07:47:40 am »
Have to say that I’m impressed with the KICKR Core albeit only after 2 days. Easy to set up both the build and connecting to devices. Compared to the tyre on trainer it’s virtually silent and the feel is better. Started to dabble in the murky world of Zwift yesterday and the two work well together.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #48 on: October 26, 2020, 05:35:00 pm »
I'm very happy with my Neo, which is now 3 years old and going strong.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #49 on: October 26, 2020, 05:50:17 pm »
I'm very happy with my Neo, which is now 3 years old and going strong.
ditto