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  1. #1
    my nice bike is at home kraftwerk's Avatar
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    Indoor Trainer : Magnetic, Fluid or Wind Resistance?

    I am in the market for an indoor trainer. I have usually just ridden in all kinds of weather and enjoyed it. Right now though, I have JUST had a hip re-surfacing (last week) and good news #1. it went well, good news #2. the Dr. WANTS me to get on a trainer ASAP. Thats cool. He is cool. So please keep me from hopping on my road bike and point me in the direction of the best low resistance trainer. Keep in mind it would be a plus if it was something I could "grow with" and use year after year... My normal riding habit is between 10 and 35 miles per day with 70 mile ride tossed in now and again. I am a 47 yr old former/occasional racer.. and am currently flat on my back on heavy pain medication. I would also appreciate any link to threads where this has been dealt with thoroughly.
    search / spelling are not so easy on my current medication.

    Thanks!

    Rollers are fun but are not allowed as of yet. I am a bit skeptical about putting my carbon bike on a stand, In which case I have other lesser frames I could use ...
    Last edited by kraftwerk; 02-22-13 at 06:29 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member WhyFi's Avatar
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    I'm guessing that you'll get more recommendations for a Kurt Kenetic Road Machine more than anything else. Relatively quiet, resistance ramps up with speed in a very predictable manner, will not leak, build quality good enough that it may be the only trainer you'll ever buy. I got one about a month ago and am happy with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    I would wager that not riding in Minnesota is just as fatiguing as not riding in New York.

  3. #3
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    In general, fluid is more quiet than magnetic is more quiet than wind.

    I've heard fluid feels better than magnetic, but I've only ever used fluid trainers.

    How much do you want to spend? What features are you thinking about?

    Good luck!

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Brew1's Avatar
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    There seems to be a KK Rock and Roll in the Classifieds... Don't ask me how I know this Worked great for me after I had my hip replaced...

  5. #5
    Maximus
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    Fluid > magnetic (I used both). If you decide to (or are forced to) use it more regularly or intesively, you won't "outgrow" it.
    Another option (other than the KK) is the Cyclops fluid 2

    http://www.amazon.com/CycleOps-Fluid.../dp/B000BT7HWY

  6. #6
    Senior Member ClydesMoose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
    I'm guessing that you'll get more recommendations for a Kurt Kenetic Road Machine more than anything else. Relatively quiet, resistance ramps up with speed in a very predictable manner, will not leak, build quality good enough that it may be the only trainer you'll ever buy. I got one about a month ago and am happy with it.
    +1.

  7. #7
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
    I'm guessing that you'll get more recommendations for a Kurt Kenetic Road Machine more than anything else. Relatively quiet, resistance ramps up with speed in a very predictable manner, will not leak, build quality good enough that it may be the only trainer you'll ever buy. I got one about a month ago and am happy with it.
    +1 I got an old one on CL about a year ago, and it's been flawless. If you get a Kurt, you will not want for anything in a trainer. Others may match it one day, but I don't know what could be improved.

    off-topic: I also don't get how people are wearing out tires on trainers. I have just my regular all-around tire on my indoor wheelset. I do commute every week or so on the tires, but after several months of trainer use, I can still see the original center seam on the tire. It's just fine. I figured that if I wore it out then I would get a trainer tire, but this is easier for wheel pits, and it's not wearing down at all, from what I can tell.

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I've tried magnetic, fluid, wind resistance, and spin bikes ... and from that experience, I'll rank them in order of best to worst ...

    1. Spin bikes
    2. Fluid
    3. Magnetic
    4. Wind resistance

    I rank spin bikes as best because I really enjoy riding them, and I get a good workout on them. And when an indoor bike is actually appealing, and I actually want to ride it, that gives it high marks.

    As for the others, I found the fluid to be quieter and more stable/solid. So I've got a fluid trainer at home.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Genaro's Avatar
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    I purchased an Elite fluid from performance and was just not happy with it. Never felt like it was smooth. Ended up taking it back and getting a Cycleops fluid 2 and I'm very happy with it. The flywheel gives you that forward momentum ride feel. If I had the extra cash, I would have gone with the Kurt Kinetic as I've never heard anyone complain and they're regarded highly. I got a really good deal at performance though. 20% off and double points back for the purchase.

  10. #10
    Senior Member snidely's Avatar
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    My wife bought the Travel Trac Comp Fluid recently. It was just returned last night. Not smooth at all. The guy at Performance said that it was the second return in a week for him for the same reasons. The nice thing is that Performance is good about returns.

    I have an older (15 years) Travel Trac that I love. It's a shame the new one wasn't as good. My wife is taking my old one because she really likes it, and I just picked up a Kurt Kinetic from the classifieds here.

    OP, I would say buy as nice a trainer as you can afford, so that you don't dread getting on it. Sorry, I have no experience mounting a CF framed bike on a trainer. Hope you have a speedy recovery!

  11. #11
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    Another vote here for fluid trainers.

  12. #12
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Fluid.. KK Road Machine or KK Rock n Roll. Or Cyclops fluid.

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  13. #13
    Underwhelming MrTuner1970's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
    Fluid.. KK Road Machine or KK Rock n Roll. Or Cyclops fluid.
    +1. Road Machine if you ever want to use a trainer for pre-race warmups. I have the KK R&R. Love it, but it's not very portable.

  14. #14
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Dear sweet Holy Mother of God, why must we even see this thread again . Mods, direct this poor lost soul to the many thousands of posts that have made this topic only slightly less common than the book of prayer by the same name. OP, learn first what OP means, then accept this post not as a personal rant against your ignorance or lack of familiarity on this all too common topic and take it instead as a gentle nudge to lean how to use the search function, spare all of us slightly old timers from having to see another reiteration of this nauseatingly familiar topic.

  15. #15
    just ride
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    KK road machine FTW
    what is this 'road tax' you speak of?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
    Dear sweet Holy Mother of God, why must we even see this thread again . Mods, direct this poor lost soul to the many thousands of posts that have made this topic only slightly less common than the book of prayer by the same name. OP, learn first what OP means, then accept this post not as a personal rant against your ignorance or lack of familiarity on this all too common topic and take it instead as a gentle nudge to lean how to use the search function, spare all of us slightly old timers from having to see another reiteration of this nauseatingly familiar topic.
    Why should the mods waste their time on something you're too lazy to do yourself? Create your own list of relevant posts and share it with the OP if these threads are too bothersome for you.

  17. #17
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    I've said it before, but the Lemond Revolution is an awesome trainer. It has great road feel, easy to hook the bike up, and you don't have to worry about the tire wearing out. It gets noisy, but I live in an apartment and feel fine riding it until 9:00 pm. I really like the road feel, it's great for intervals. I can be riding, get off and adjust my cleat, and it'll still be spinning when i get back on. That's a lot of spin down.

  18. #18
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    Fluid has a great feeling that simulates the road. As you speed up it gets harder. I use the Cycleops Fluid 2 and have no complaints. It can be ridden very hard or very easily so it would fit the bill for a trainer to "grow with".

  19. #19
    Senior Member Genaro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
    Dear sweet Holy Mother of God, why must we even see this thread again . Mods, direct this poor lost soul to the many thousands of posts that have made this topic only slightly less common than the book of prayer by the same name. OP, learn first what OP means, then accept this post not as a personal rant against your ignorance or lack of familiarity on this all too common topic and take it instead as a gentle nudge to lean how to use the search function, spare all of us slightly old timers from having to see another reiteration of this nauseatingly familiar topic.
    Relax sweetheart. you saw the topic and chose to open the thread and as you can see, there are plenty of non bitter members who don't mind answering questions and providing positive feedback. Have a nice day!

  20. #20
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross11 View Post
    Fluid has a great feeling that simulates the road. As you speed up it gets harder.
    Magnetic trainers do this as well. The difference is that magnetic trainer resistance goes linearly with speed, where with fluid, it's just like air (another fluid), and goes as the square of the speed. This air-like progression makes the trainers significantly nicer to use than magnetic.

  21. #21
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
    Dear sweet Holy Mother of God, why must we even see this thread again . Mods, direct this poor lost soul to the many thousands of posts that have made this topic only slightly less common than the book of prayer by the same name. OP, learn first what OP means, then accept this post not as a personal rant against your ignorance or lack of familiarity on this all too common topic and take it instead as a gentle nudge to lean how to use the search function, spare all of us slightly old timers from having to see another reiteration of this nauseatingly familiar topic.
    He did add wind trainers into the mix ... we haven't seen a question about them in a while. Gives the thread a sort of retro feel.

  22. #22
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    So my take.
    Rollers are nice for the novelty and for a new rider are probably not a bad idea.
    Magnetic I have no experience with nor with wind.
    Fluid are great as far as trainers but bear in mind that trainers basically suck.
    If committed to a trainer the Kirk is a great machine with great support and the Kirk Rock n Role to me makes the trainer bearable for up to 2 hours. With the other fixed trainers my butt wears down by 1 hr.
    however riding outside, even in winter , rain, and dark far surpasses riding indoors.
    Cheers and good luck in your decision, apologies for the snarky and sarcastic post above

  23. #23
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    My contrary view to surgeonstone is that the trainer is a high quality, can actually be a reasonably enjoyable method of getting regular training in.

    With my bluetooth headphones, laptop with DVDs/spinervals, and Peripedal (or Trainerroad), I would take the trainer over riding outdoors in dark, extreme cold, rain, or non-low traffic conditions 100% of the time and be very happy about it. (I still greatly prefer outdoor rides in sunny weather in lovely locales, but then again, who doesn't?)

    I do all my weekday rides on the trainer and in winter, most of my weekend long rides on the trainer as well. Has worked great, and I just got a powermeter to make it a close estimate between indoor/outdoor efforts.

    In inclement weather or unfavorable riding conditions, I think my trainer is the shiz.

    I have ridden all 3, and if you're averaging 17+mph on hour rides outdoors on flat roads, you should go fluid. The fan trainer is so loud it's literally been tested at 100db+ which is jet engine levels by DCRainmaker. I rode one and no joke, at at effort of 250+ watts it sounded like it was really a jet engine it was so loud - drowned out all the other sounds in the bike shop completely. Mags are pretty good and fairly quiet but still louder than fluid and have a non-roadlike acceleration (linear) but I really didn't notice it as a problem since I ride trainer steady-state, not accelerating constantly.

    KK and CYcleops Fluid2 are great - I would go KK though for its more proven consistent virtualpower readings (with Trainerroad) across units, which suggests a higher level of build.
    Last edited by hhnngg1; 02-25-13 at 07:21 AM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Genaro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
    My contrary view to surgeonstone is that the trainer is a high quality, can actually be a reasonably enjoyable method of getting regular training in.

    With my bluetooth headphones, laptop with DVDs/spinervals, and Peripedal (or Trainerroad), I would take the trainer over riding outdoors in dark, extreme cold, rain, or non-low traffic conditions 100% of the time and be very happy about it. (I still greatly prefer outdoor rides in sunny weather in lovely locales, but then again, who doesn't?)

    I do all my weekday rides on the trainer and in winter, most of my weekend long rides on the trainer as well. Has worked great, and I just got a powermeter to make it a close estimate between indoor/outdoor efforts.

    In inclement weather or unfavorable riding conditions, I think my trainer is the shiz.

    I have ridden all 3, and if you're averaging 17+mph on hour rides outdoors on flat roads, you should go fluid. The fan trainer is so loud it's literally been tested at 100db+ which is jet engine levels by DCRainmaker. I rode one and no joke, at at effort of 250+ watts it sounded like it was really a jet engine it was so loud - drowned out all the other sounds in the bike shop completely. Mags are pretty good and fairly quiet but still louder than fluid and have a non-roadlike acceleration (linear) but I really didn't notice it as a problem since I ride trainer steady-state, not accelerating constantly.

    KK and CYcleops Fluid2 are great - I would go KK though for its more proven consistent virtualpower readings (with Trainerroad) across units, which suggests a higher level of build.
    I live in socal and trainers are not very popular, but due to daylight savings and my time crunched schedule and helping my wife out at home, I picked up a trainer and got on trainerroad and really do enjoy riding indoors. I only do my long weekend ride outdoors and it is usually a handpicked nice route in the mountains or remote area that I could really enjoy.

  25. #25
    Senior Member WhyFi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Genaro View Post
    ...I picked up a trainer and got on trainerroad and really do enjoy riding indoors.
    TR is about the only thing that makes a trainer bearable (maybe even enjoyable?) for me. Soooooo monotonous without the goals and pace changes.
    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    I would wager that not riding in Minnesota is just as fatiguing as not riding in New York.

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