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  1. #1
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    What to buy: Garmin 500 w/HRM vs Kurt Kinetic Trainer (fluid/mag)

    So a little bit of a 1st world problems.

    Right now I am computer less (old computer got sold w/my previous bike) and it's been nice to ride just paying attention to my body, but it's time for something.

    Right now I am looking at the Garmin 500's w/a heart rate monitor. This will come in around 240ish.

    As far as trainers, I am looking at both Kurt Kinetics fluid (normal road machine) and mag trainers, which will come out to be around 290/170 after taxes respectively.


    I am edging toward the trainer a little bit because between school and work, the only time I have to ride is on the weekends. At least the trainer will let me get up before everything starts and get an hour or two of spinning in.

    On the other hand, not knowing how far I am going, speed, ride time, etc is kind killing me


    Thoughts, suggestions, criticisms?

    Also, (for someone who wants to be budget friendly)is the KK fluid [I]really[I] worth the extra 100$ over the mag trainer?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Texas Tornado copswithguns's Avatar
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    Bro I hate the trainer so if you can handle that then more power to you. Personally, I'd go Garmin and ride outdoors. You're in California so I know you have riding weather. Why not ride outdoors?
    "Speed never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary...Now that's what gets you." -Jeremy Clarkson

  3. #3
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    Get the computer. Its great to be able to see how you're doing/riding with the computer (at least for me). Also, if you want to be competitive or simply track how you're progressing, the computer is really gonna help you see that. You don't have to drop that much money for a usable computer though. I ended up getting a computer for $40 and a separate watch HRM for around $50 (I also use it when I run too). If you need/like the GPS and additional ride information, then it may be worth it.

    Riding on a trainer is also terrible. It feels nothing like the road and it gets awfully boring and with no wind factor, you get incredibly hot and uncomfortable. I honestly can't spend more than 30 minutes without having to get off because it just isn't fun (and this is supposed to be fun right?). Alternatives would be to ride a bike to school/work so you get some ride time in there. Or you can hit up the school or local gym; most of them will have a handful of stationary spin bikes.

  4. #4
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    Week days I would only be able to ride early early morning or late late night. Night is a no go because of the number of tards on the road (Fresno has been named the drunkest city in America before) and I am iffy about early morning because in order to get anywhere truly worth riding out to, it takes about 45 minutes. I would rather have 90-120 minutes of solid trainer time than 90 minutes of patty-flafla riding through the city with the stoplights/signs/traffic/etc not to mention rush our traffic with rushing motorists.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Sarcasm View Post
    Week days I would only be able to ride early early morning or late late night. Night is a no go because of the number of tards on the road (Fresno has been named the drunkest city in America before) and I am iffy about early morning because in order to get anywhere truly worth riding out to, it takes about 45 minutes. I would rather have 90-120 minutes of solid trainer time than 90 minutes of patty-flafla riding through the city with the stoplights/signs/traffic/etc not to mention rush our traffic with rushing motorists.
    I hear ya. I still think the computer is the best thing to get. It'll make weekend rides a little more fun when you can check out your numbers. You mentioned you go to school; does your school have a gym you have access to?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnguyen0320 View Post
    Get the computer. Its great to be able to see how you're doing/riding with the computer (at least for me). Also, if you want to be competitive or simply track how you're progressing, the computer is really gonna help you see that. You don't have to drop that much money for a usable computer though. I ended up getting a computer for $40 and a separate watch HRM for around $50 (I also use it when I run too). If you need/like the GPS and additional ride information, then it may be worth it.

    Riding on a trainer is also terrible. It feels nothing like the road and it gets awfully boring and with no wind factor, you get incredibly hot and uncomfortable. I honestly can't spend more than 30 minutes without having to get off because it just isn't fun (and this is supposed to be fun right?). Alternatives would be to ride a bike to school/work so you get some ride time in there. Or you can hit up the school or local gym; most of them will have a handful of stationary spin bikes.

    I do want the gps, I have thought about getting a little 30$ basic computer in the mean time if I do go the trainer route. I live right across the street from school and work on campus so biking wouldn't really do much besides make me paranoid people are eying my bike

    I do try for 2 gym days a week, both legs days. I am not a fan of their gym bikes, not because I get bored or anything but because it feels like cheap plastic not worth my time haha. And I don't fit on them, my feet move in the platforms, seat post wiggles, etc.

    Thinking about it...a computer will probably make me have to get lights to ride in the morning, I (and you guys) may have just talked me self into a trainer.....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Sarcasm View Post
    I do want the gps, I have thought about getting a little 30$ basic computer in the mean time if I do go the trainer route. I live right across the street from school and work on campus so biking wouldn't really do much besides make me paranoid people are eying my bike

    I do try for 2 gym days a week, both legs days. I am not a fan of their gym bikes, not because I get bored or anything but because it feels like cheap plastic not worth my time haha. And I don't fit on them, my feet move in the platforms, seat post wiggles, etc.

    Thinking about it...a computer will probably make me have to get lights to ride in the morning, I (and you guys) may have just talked me self into a trainer.....
    Haha, I'm sorry to hear that. You will hear from many people that trainers aren't enjoyable but there is no doubt they help you improve your cycling skills. So are you contemplating a trainer because you think it will be as fun as riding your bike or to improve?

    Also, the way I look at it; the trainer will get you better purely from a physical standpoint (you're pushing yourself to build strength, endurance, etc.) but a nice computer will help you get better through psychology. Watching your speed will make you want to go faster or maintain a certain speed for longer, thus pushing your body in the same way you would be doing on a trainer anyway. The only difference is you will be able watch yourself progress as you go and this is probably one of the greatest feelings in the world.

  8. #8
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    No, I have heard that are worse than treadmills, I have only used them when getting fit. I have used bikes spin bikes at the gym before for 3 or 4 hours before and know...the struggle is real feeling of doing nothing with trying to make yourself do something.

    I am looking for physical maintenance/improvements in performance.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    Trainer. Especially if you ride with anyone that has a computer that can give you the basic data you're looking for.
    .
    .

    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Condor637's Avatar
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    FYI, performance.com has the Garmin Edge 500 for $179.99 with free shipping for this weekend only. I just ordered one as my Planet Bike 9.0 wireless stopped working.

    Use promo code weekend20.

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    I would get both. If I had to prioritize I would get a used KK first with an inexpensive wired speed sensor long enough to reach the rear wheel. Follow that up with a used Garmin 500 and speed/cadence sensor and finally the HRM strap.

  12. #12
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    Look for a trainer on craigslist.
    ...

  13. #13
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    REI had the KK mag for 159, didn't know it was a sale though or I would have hopped on it

    As far as buying used, just because the new one's have a lifetime warranty, I am willing to pay the extra for that. Otherwise, used all the way

    The lbs in my parents town has the 500's for 189. Unless the price difference it unjustifiable, I buy from the shop so 10$ is more than worth it to support the local guys (my college town shops don't carry the 500 anymore, just the 510)

    I will look into a used garmin.

    But I do have plans on getting both at some point in time.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Kopsis's Avatar
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    Get the trainer. Yeah, stationary trainers suck. But sitting on the couch wishing you could ride sucks more I'm in a similar situation with no weekday riding time during daylight hours. As a result, I spend about three hours a week on the trainer. Is it fun? Not really, though training videos like the Sufferfest stuff do help ease the boredom (and motivate you to push yourself).

    Keep in mind that the KK trainers are extremely well built -- enough so that buying used from EBay or Craigslist is a pretty safe move and will leave you with some cash to pick up an inexpensive bike computer (you'll want one with a rear wheel sensor so you can use it on the trainer too) and a couple of Sufferfest vids. My used KK Road Machine (fluid) has been totally reliable and one of the best cycling investments I've made.

    I've never tried the KK mag units, so I can't say how they compare to the fluid. I do know the KK fluid resistance unit resistance curve reasonably close to road riding (i.e. X watts will get you about the same rear wheel speed on the trainer as it would on the road). That's really helpful when you're starting and you're trying to gauge your trainer effort.

  15. #15
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    What are you trying to accomplish? If the goal is to get fitter, faster, and the only way you're going to be able to ride during the week is on a trainer, then the KK will do dramatically more for you, than a Garmin.

    Buy the KK, and a cheap cyclecomputer (i.e. $20) that measures speed off the back wheel.

    You can pace your workouts to "power", extrapolated from a known resistance curve for the KK from speed.

    Unless, you have a power meter, the only thing the Garmin is going to do for you is give you files to post on Strava. (other than HR, which you can also track for much less than $240.)
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  16. #16
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
    I would get both. If I had to prioritize I would get a used KK first with an inexpensive wired speed sensor long enough to reach the rear wheel. Follow that up with a used Garmin 500 and speed/cadence sensor and finally the HRM strap.
    +1. I should have read the whole thread before posting.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  17. #17
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    Another vote for the trainer. I own a KK and it was a great investment. If you can spring for the fluid trainer with the big flywheel I'd recommend it. For recovery or z2 stuff the flywheel is great. A computer is nice but it won't give you more time on the bike. If your schedule is hectic like mine a trainer can buy you more hours on the bike.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for the replies!

    Now that the price of the magnetic is now the same as a discounted fluid trainer....looks like I will be picking up a fluid trainer. Hopefully in a week or two

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