Author Topic: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.  (Read 3709 times)

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #50 on: October 26, 2020, 07:02:52 pm »
I have just been ploughing through DCRainmaker's content on smart trainers.  The Flux, Flux S and Flux 2 don't fare particularly well.   Having said this he cites issues with almost every single trainer which is a tad depressing.  I'm drifting towards the Kickr Core at the moment.

A new pc might be required and I noted Sojournermike's comment upthread about using a nuc.  What spec please Mike?

What may happen is a shuffle of existing PC's depending upon the sort of pc processing power required for a smart trainer.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #51 on: October 26, 2020, 07:23:27 pm »
I think you'd be happy with a Kickr (Core).  I've always had excellent response from Wahoo when I've had issues in the past (though none at all with the Kickr to date).

I personally went for the Kickr rather than the Core due to its foldability as I have limited space, but the Core is reckoned to be just as good and a lot cheaper!

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #52 on: October 26, 2020, 07:57:05 pm »
someone on the internet was saying that the whole cycling tech field is characterized by immature products, prematurely released with frequent failures. it's made worse by feature creep taking dev time away from qa and bug repair. the only thing preventing disasters is good customer service*. maybe the immature products will not leave us with bad feelings, but unless you want to learn advanced repair and enjoy it, the current releases of trainers and bike computers are often disposable beta products.

* fwiw, i've had four flux replacements and two edge replacements. my friend had two kickr belts snapped in two years..

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #53 on: October 26, 2020, 08:45:26 pm »
The 2018 KickR got quieter because they switched to a toothless belt which needs a lot of tension. This is credited with causing a lot of failures due to the high tension this requires. There are a lot of unhappy owners who have multiple replacements. I’m not sure if they have addressed the fundamental issue.



Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #54 on: October 26, 2020, 09:18:50 pm »
True there were a lot of problems with the 2018 Kickr initially.  I wouldn't have bought mine in April 2020 if I wasn't pretty damn sure it had been resolved by then.

In any case, as I say Ive always found Wahoo to be exceptional with issues arising, to the extent of replacing a Bolt well out of its 2 year warranty period.  Sadly that isn't the case with most manufacturers.  That was what decided me on Wahoo when dropping £1k on a trainer.

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #55 on: October 27, 2020, 08:23:29 am »
My laptop wasn't powerful enough to cope with the zwift or trainer road so I bought an Apple TV- this is the cheapest way to get Zwift on a big screen. If you start having to buy a laptop as well as the trainer it becomes quite an expensive project. Depending what software you choose you may not need a PC - lots of the apps run off iPads/ tablets (assuming you already have one you can use). My tablet doesn't have ANT+ which is worth checking.

I'd agree Wahoo have a good reputation for aftersales. Mr Smith had a replacement internal electrics for his Elite Drivo. In contrast, Tacx don't always have glowing reviews.

I'm irrationally put off Wahoo as they don't spll prprly.

TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #56 on: October 27, 2020, 09:19:30 am »
On some Android tablets, you just need to install the Ant+ plugin. That's a BKool help page, but there's nothing there specific to that brand - or indeed to connecting to a trainer, as opposed to speed, cadence and HRM sensors. Of course, that's not going to work if the tablet doesn't have the underlying capabilities, but it's worth a try.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #57 on: October 27, 2020, 09:35:11 am »
I have just been ploughing through DCRainmaker's content on smart trainers.  The Flux, Flux S and Flux 2 don't fare particularly well.   Having said this he cites issues with almost every single trainer which is a tad depressing.  I'm drifting towards the Kickr Core at the moment.

A new pc might be required and I noted Sojournermike's comment upthread about using a nuc.  What spec please Mike?

What may happen is a shuffle of existing PC's depending upon the sort of pc processing power required for a smart trainer.

I’ll try to have a look at the spec later - can’t remember to be honest. It was a bit of a project, but they are nice bits of kit - it sits on top of a big external drive that has the videos and a music library on it. An indulgence, but it makes the turbo palatable.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #58 on: October 27, 2020, 11:37:32 am »
Thanks Mike.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #59 on: October 27, 2020, 11:50:07 am »
On some Android tablets, you just need to install the Ant+ plugin. That's a BKool help page, but there's nothing there specific to that brand - or indeed to connecting to a trainer, as opposed to speed, cadence and HRM sensors. Of course, that's not going to work if the tablet doesn't have the underlying capabilities, but it's worth a try.

My Android phone doesn't have Ant+ built in. Loading the drivers, then plugging in a generic Ant+ dongle via a USB On The Go cable works with my trainer and Garmin HR belt. Not as neat, having a three inch tail on my phone, but it works.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #60 on: October 27, 2020, 03:31:20 pm »
Especially an issue since I want to use the USB socket on the tablet for an external battery pack (a generic one), after several instances of the tablet's own battery going flat before I'd finished a route.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #61 on: October 27, 2020, 05:27:26 pm »
Started the turbo NUC now and the spec is:

Core i5-8259U @ 2.3GHz
110Gb SSD
8Gb ram (2x4Gb iirc)
1Tb external hdd (that I had from the days before the NAS...)

I use an old wireless keyboard and mouse as controller. Runs Windows 10 64 bit, of course.


Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #62 on: October 27, 2020, 05:35:44 pm »
This looks like the same one

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07K3XWCPX/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_DJfMFb809MMJR

Although mine didn’t come from there.

You need to add memory and ssd of course.

Mine runs Tacx desktop app and outputs 4K at 60hz quite happily, while playing music.

Since adding the mesh wifi even that just about reaches the shed without an extender:)

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #63 on: October 27, 2020, 05:56:05 pm »
Thanks Mike.  I have been looking at them.

And an OS I guess?

I presume that you link the tacx using Bluetooth built in to both nuc and tacx?

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #64 on: October 27, 2020, 06:13:27 pm »
Yes, but you can download a bootable win 10 installation from Microsoft. I’ve tried various low cost codes, but haven’t managed to register it yet, although it sits perfectly happily in my ms account alongside various other registered win 10 installations. Think I booted from sd card.

Yes, the nuc has internal Bluetooth, so links to the trainer using that. I also bought a dual band heart strap from Halfords that I only use on the trainer.

The only thing that isn’t seamless is that garmin haven’t got Tacx cloud to sync with garmin connect yet. Hence it goes direct from Tacx to Strava, but I have to use a garmin device to record the training for connect, and then delete that version from Strava - first world problems!

Also, on Garmin and it’s first world problems, they updated the first beat analytics between the edge 1000 and the 530. As a consequence, with physio true up my 530 gives me different training loads to my forerunner 935! Connect now has two records of training status to separate the devices, although both do account for all activities after syncing.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #65 on: October 29, 2020, 12:10:30 pm »
We're definitely interested in getting a smart trainer so I've been watching this thread.

How easy is something like the Kickr to set up for the technically/mechanically inept? And presumably you have to buy the appropriate cassette for the bike that's going on it and fit that too? Apologies if this is a really thick question.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #66 on: October 29, 2020, 12:20:16 pm »
Yes, you'll need an appropriate cassette.  I don't recall any particular hassles setting up my Elite Direto with Zwift.  Start up Zwift, turn the pedals and see what HRM/cadence/speed/power sensors pop up. Agree and off you go.  Possibly an earlier step to tell Zwift to look for the ANT+ sensor, I have a USB stick on an extension from the laptop to close to the turbo.

Oh, and do buy a front wheel riser (unless you get that fancy one with a rising front wheel attachment or steerer system of course). I bought an Elite one because it allows the front wheel to swivel slightly as well as raising it so the bike is "level".

In addition, I bought some 1cm thick foam interlocking floor tiles (about 60cm square) on which to stand everything, and it's also wipe down and noise damping, if that's an issue.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #67 on: October 29, 2020, 12:27:08 pm »
The biggest faff with getting a smart trainer set up is working which physical stuff you need and where to place it - TV, phone, water, fans, remote controls, sweat catchers, mats, riser blocks, etc.

That and figuring out what you actually want to do with Zwift et al.

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #68 on: October 29, 2020, 12:33:24 pm »
How easy is something like the Kickr to set up for the technically/mechanically inept?
Depends how inept you are. I GAMI - the only thing I do myself to my bikes is lube and punctures. At least one of the smart trainers now comes with a cassette - I can't help thinking if I lived alone I might well have bought that one.

We have bikes we leave on the trainers. I'd've broken something if I kept trying to take it on & off, such is my level of ineptitude.

The biggest faff with getting a smart trainer set up is working which physical stuff you need and where to place it - TV, phone, water, fans, remote controls, sweat catchers, mats, riser blocks, etc.
^is not much of an exaggeration. We use music stands - well, he does, I have a handy windowsill. You really can't get away without a fan- even bimbling generates masses of heat, and I'm not just saying that because I'm a sweaty mess.

I do appreciate not everyone has a dedicated room they can put all this stuff in.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #69 on: October 29, 2020, 12:39:57 pm »
I have an unheated shed, which is a challenge on the fan front in the winter - I really need a "smart" fan heater I can voice control to start off warm and gradually reduce heat as I get sweatier. And boy, as fboab says, do you ever sweat on a turbo. My last session I forgot my towel, and I don't wear mitts on the turbo, and by the end I could barely grip for the slick of sweat.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #70 on: October 29, 2020, 12:44:04 pm »
A kickr comes with a cassette and is fairly easy to get going on , I have had mine for 3 plus years and it’s been very good I would buy it again .

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #71 on: October 29, 2020, 12:46:34 pm »
We're definitely interested in getting a smart trainer so I've been watching this thread.

How easy is something like the Kickr to set up for the technically/mechanically inept? And presumably you have to buy the appropriate cassette for the bike that's going on it and fit that too? Apologies if this is a really thick question.

The Kickr comes with a Shimano-compatible 11 speed cassette already fitted.  If you buy the Kickr Core you need to supply and fit a suitable cassette.

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 #72 on: October 29, 2020, 12:50:49 pm »
A kickr comes with a cassette and is fairly easy to get going on , I have had mine for 3 plus years and it’s been very good I would buy it again .

They don’t anymore! Or at least thE KICKR Core that I bought last week didn’t.

Set up is easy: bolt on the legs with the supplied spanner and fit the cassette. Setting the electronics is even easier you just need to turn it on and search for it in whatever app or computer you use.

Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #73 on: October 29, 2020, 02:23:26 pm »
Thanks everyone, that's useful.

How easy is something like the Kickr to set up for the technically/mechanically inept?
Depends how inept you are. I GAMI - the only thing I do myself to my bikes is lube and punctures. At least one of the smart trainers now comes with a cassette - I can't help thinking if I lived alone I might well have bought that one.

We have bikes we leave on the trainers. I'd've broken something if I kept trying to take it on & off, such is my level of ineptitude.

The biggest faff with getting a smart trainer set up is working which physical stuff you need and where to place it - TV, phone, water, fans, remote controls, sweat catchers, mats, riser blocks, etc.
^is not much of an exaggeration. We use music stands - well, he does, I have a handy windowsill. You really can't get away without a fan- even bimbling generates masses of heat, and I'm not just saying that because I'm a sweaty mess.

I do appreciate not everyone has a dedicated room they can put all this stuff in.

The bolded words pretty much describe me. I've tried very hard to be better but it literally led to blood sweat and tears so now LBS does the bulk of any work needed.

Bike would be in the living room corner near an existing built in cupboard housing the meters which would also provide a handy ledge for ipad and fan. Not ideal (my mother would be horrified) but we both want it and aren't likely to have visitors over winter given the current situation. It's handily next to a plug socket. We'd put my road bike on it and leave it there because it will fit both of us and that bike isn't likely to see much outdoors in winter when I prefer the tourer or hybrid. Noise is not too much of a worry because we live in a house built later than the rest of the terrace and for some reason they decided to leave it detached, which I am forever grateful for given my next door neighbour likes a moan.

It's fitting the cassette that's worrying me - how easy is that?


Re: Turbo / smart trainers - what to buy and what to avoid.
« Reply #74 on: October 29, 2020, 02:41:47 pm »
We're definitely interested in getting a smart trainer so I've been watching this thread.

How easy is something like the Kickr to set up for the technically/mechanically inept? And presumably you have to buy the appropriate cassette for the bike that's going on it and fit that too? Apologies if this is a really thick question.

The Kickr comes with a Shimano-compatible 11 speed cassette already fitted.  If you buy the Kickr Core you need to supply and fit a suitable cassette.

Road bike has 10 speed Campag veloce as fitted by Charlotte before I bought it from her, so looks like I need one without a cassette in any case.