Lately it seems to me that my stationary bike is not really cutting it and I would like something that simulates a real bike better. I don't have room for a trainer inside since the setup is too long for the room it's in and for various other reasons I like a stationary bike. I have been using a Lifecycle magnetic trainer. THe only problem is that I can't ride out of the seat because it's highest setting isn't hard enough and the non adjustable handlebar position makes it even more difficult.
It also has the same problem that almost all stationary bikes have. The resistance does not increase with the speed like with a real bike. The only stationary bike that I have seen that can do this is the Kaiser M3.
At the Innercycle forum there is a long discussion on the wattage readouts on the Kaiser vs. a CycleOPs power tap. Does anyone have experience with the Kaiser. There seems to be the notion that the power meter on a bike will be more accurate because it is calibrated to the cyclist. But I have good reason to believe that this is not the case.
It's true that a power meter on a bike needs to be calibrated to the rider. That is because the riders weight effects the force being moved since the bike is moving through space. And will vary when going up a hill since gravity becomes involved as a force. But on a stationary bike this is not the case. The only things that effect the wattage are the moving parts friction, the weight of the flywheel which is constant, the strength of the magnetic resistance, and the distance of that resistance from the flywheels center of rotation. Since the rider is not moving through space his mass will not effect the wattage calculation very much. Though, I assume the weight of his/her legs will have some small effect on the total calculation. All the variables on the stationary bike are knowns that can be measured once at the factory. And calibrated at the factory. So the Kaiser should be rider independent and it's wattage should be even more accurate than a bike power meter which varies a little bit due to road undulations.
Any cycling engineers out there that can verify this?