Well it looks like no one wants to buy my torture machine (Computrainer) so I was wondering about using it with my track bike this winter. Is this a bad idea and are there any track specific videos out there about 1 hr long? TIA
Lots of people train for track using indoor trainers (and spin bikes). You won't be able to get much low-end torque training (like standing starts), but you will be able to do flying type efforts like flying 30 seconds and longer.
Originally Posted by popeye
I would keep it. It could prove very useful. On most programs, the winter isn't about standing starts anyway. But, you live in southern California, so you don't really have to worry about rain, snow, cold, or ice. So, it may not be as useful to you as others who have rough winters. But, if you have a tight work/family/life schedule, then it may be very useful.
There are lots of variations of what trackies do with trainers in the winter. Generally speaking, sprinters do high intensity efforts from 30 seconds to 20 or so minutes with breaks in-between. Enduros do normal roadies type stuff on the trainer.
Lots of great trainer workout templates here: http://upupup.aboc.com.au/the-book
I used my Computrainer with a track bike. The inertia is really low so I much prefer using a high inertia automated trainer, I have one of the old Tacx Grand Excel (same as iMagic) units and you just set it to negative slope. You could set a downhill course on the Computrainer, or use a low wattage load for a flying effort but it's not really enough. Low inertia trainers are not great for pedalling mechanics and you can't change gear on the fly so something with an easily controllable slope and high inertia would be better.
However, if you have one of the bits of software that allows slope adjustment real time on the Computrainer (I think PerfProStudio and Golden Cheetah allow you to) then that's worth a go. Get the Tacx track bolts as well to keep everything solid.
I found using a higher gear to increase the wheel speed helped with the inertia. Erg mode allows picking the cadence while keeping the load the same. The lack of inertia makes starts/jumps not so good and there seems to be half a second or so of lag between the speed change and the load generator kicking in so a jump is a rapid change to max speed then hitting the brick wall when the load increases. And if you have a better rolling tire the fixed offset from calibration is lower so you can get high speeds at low loads if doing spinouts.
But in terms of trainers it is probably one of the better ones for a fixed gear due to the cadence options.
I use our CompuTrainer with my track bike during the winter. TrainerRoad plus Sufferfest videos are a great combo. ERG lags and you really notice it when doing something 5sec on 5sec repeats, I switch to Slope mode for workouts where there are raid changes.