Thoughts on this trainer?
I ride a hybrid and looking for ways to ride in the dark - so indoors might be the way to go. At most I ride 15 miles at a time, but usually around 8 or 9.
If you don't need much of a work out and not going to use it often it should be fine. That unit is a very inexpensive trainer that just will not have the work out capablity of even lower priced CycleOps that will cost about $115 for the wind trainer. If you want something that will give you decent workout then read this (I saved my word doc because this question comes up all time):
Like you, I too about 24 months got started researching trainers on forums such as this one. I found consistently that the Cyclops brand was mentioned the most and the Fluid 2 was the preferred model. So I went to an LBS and tested 4 of their models, and one Minoura with the rim drive.
The cheapest Cyclops was the Wind, which I immediately did not like due to high noise and unnatural road feel, and the max work out watts level was low at 150. The next was the Magnetic, again a bit loud, did not feel natural and the max watts level was around 250. Next was the Magneto, this one was quiet, felt natural with excellent wattage ramping the faster the rear wheel goes, and was rated at 450 watts max; this is a best buy model for most riders. The next and most expensive (excluding the computer trainer) is the Fluid 2, same results as the Magneto but with a max wattage rating of 750. Keep in mind that Lance Armstrong can do about 705 watts consistently for up to an hour, just to put things into perspective for you on this watts thing. I opted for the Fluid 2 (but probably should have gotten the Magneto), thinking that I could eventually grow more into it then I would with the Magneto. The Minoura I didn't like the feel of if as much as the Magneto or the Fluid 2...but better than the Wind or Magnet, but a bit louder then the Magneto or the Fluid 2.
If you’re not training for racing and just want to maintain your physical shape when you can't ride outdoors, I strongly recommend the Magneto, it cost about $210 whereas the Fluid will cost about $260. If you do a web search you should be able to find them cheaper.
All Cyclops have a lifetime warranty, comes with a spare skewer (so you don't mar you good one), and a training video.
You may have to buy a front wheel stand but they only cost $15. The wheel stand allow the front wheel to be more stable PLUS you can put it on top a concrete block set your wheel into it and simulate hill climbing. You’re also going to need a fan to blow head on to you for sweat control and entertainment because indoor riding is BORING!
Here is a letter from Road Bike Ride Publishing on this subject:
Rollers or Stationary Trainer?
Question: Now that it's getting dark so early, I'm thinking a lot more about riding inside. Would a set of rollers be better than a stationary trainer? I've heard there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
-- Tim R.
Coach Fred Replies: The "rollers vs. trainers" question is a real quandary. But if I could buy just
one indoor training device, I'd definitely get a good fluid trainer.
A model that clamps the bike by the rear dropouts and leaves the front wheel on is much less likely to stress the frame than a model that clamps the front fork and bottom bracket. That's the original design, which thankfully is rarely seen today.
By the way, Cycleops is the brand the that Lance Armstrong and the Postal crew all used...of course they used the more expensive computer version.