I have the Tacx foritus and can honestly say I love it. Spending hours on this trainer is absolutly no problem. In many ways, it is significantly BETTER than riding 'for real'. The Tacx trainer was some of the best money I ever spent. Here's some of the reasons I think it is so great.
1) You can ride anytime, day or night, regardless of the weather. I've done rides at 1:00 am, and once during a snowstorm when everyone was snowed in. It has enabled me to ride everyday, when that was once impossible with my schedule. The fortius is extremely realistic and feels just like riding my bike outside. It gets a little choppy on grades above 12%, but have done grades up to 20% successfully when using the the trainer tire and three turns on the roller pressure.
2) It's tremendously safer than riding outside. Thers's 0% chance of crashing, breaking down on the road, getting ran over, or of getting into a fight with a motorist.
4) You can see your power output graphed as you ride (along with heart rate, grade, speed and cadance). This is a biggie since you can train with power. There is nothing like it.
5) You have precision control over the workout intensity and length. When you ride outside, you have to live with the terrain in your geographical area. But with this you can control everything. For example, with the catalyst program, you can set the exact power, slope, or heart rate ranges you want for any part of the ride. This makes it easy to get the exact workout you have scheduled. In the real life video's (RLV), you can pick exactly where you are riding and adjust the slope by a percentage.
6) Everything is automatically recorded so you get an accurate trianing diary with no extra steps.
7) You can watch TV, listen music, play on-line poker, read, or even surf the net while riding. I often enjoy just riding, but it all depends on what kind of a ride I have scheduled and what is on TV.
8) Stop at anytime, and you're already home. Walk to the kitchen for a drink or go to the bathroom in a flash.
9) You can ride routes you'd never get a chance to otherwise. I have the Pyrenees stange from the Tour De France in wide screen and it is awesome.
There are some problems with the 120V version of the Fortius motor brake that cause it to limit the maximum speed to about 26 mph. You also get bogus power readings starting at about 22 mph. The power reading actually drops to 0 at around 26 mph, even though if you keep pounding on it you can get the speed above 26 mph, the power says 0, so you don't get any credit for it in your power averages. This make it impractical for online racing. The calibration also seems to drift with temperature as you heat the unit up by riding. There is reportedly a hardware fix for all of this soon to be released, along with some improved training software that supports GPS imports of routes. This remains to be seen and will only make the product better. I don't really have a problem with the speed limitations and bogus power readings, but you might.
Good Luck with your Trainer
Last edited by RudeDog00; 01-10-09 at 10:34 PM.