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Best Bike Computer Set Up for Indoor Trainer

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Best Bike Computer Set Up for Indoor Trainer

Old 09-24-12, 09:40 AM
  #1  
el nicho
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Best Bike Computer Set Up for Indoor Trainer

So I bought a bike at the tail-end of summer and living in Michigan I'm facing the fact that pretty soon it will be dark at 5pm, cold and generally, my outdoor biking options will be limited. I'm completely hooked on cycling right now and want to get in shape for bike races & duathlons next Spring (we'll see how a couple of weeks on the trainer influences that motivation).

After I got my bike I jumped the gun and bought a Cateye Strada wireless computer - it works great, but doesn't show cadence and only has a front fork sensor, so it's going to be worthless all winter long.

In your experience, what is the best set-up for an indoor trainer (I have a Kinetic road machine, if that makes a difference). Ideally, I would like HR + Cadence, but should I also look to get a power meter? I already have a Garmin HR strap.

I feel like my options are:

-Wahoo Fitness Ant+ for my iphone ($129)
-Cateye double wireless (no HR) for cadence ($90)
-Kinetic Inride (supposedly coming out in October) ($225) (https://www.kurtkinetic.com/news.php?...es&news_id=106)
-Kinetic makes a wired power meter but it has TERRIBLE reviews
-Garmin Edge (pricy!)

Has anyone used anything else? Can I simply buy the Garmin cadence sensor for $39 and link it with Strava via my iphone?

Any good/bad experiences or ideas on the above are appreciated - thanks!
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Old 09-24-12, 10:49 AM
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At this point I wouldn't recommend spending the $ on a power meter of any sort. HR+Cadence will give you enough data for now. There's an Ant+ adapter for the iPhone (about $50). That plus a Garmin cadence sensor and the HR strap you've already got will get you there for under $100. You might want to find a mount for the iPhone, too many options to choose from When spring rolls around and you get out on the road more an Edge may start looking tempting but certainly wait and see.
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Old 09-24-12, 12:20 PM
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I believe (no 1st-hand knowledge) the Kinetic trainers have a calibrated power-speed curve, so if you can get "speed" you have a rough estimate of power. That and HR will be plenty, especially for steady-state trainer sessions. Cadence is a nice to have if you want more precision than spining vs. mashing. See if you can move the Strada speed sensor to the rear wheel - it may have enough range to work. For HR, since you have a Garmin strap, anything that will receive the Ant+ signal will work. f7h's suggestion is a good one to accomplish that.

Save $$ for a Garmin Edge and, if you want it, power, for later (but watch for sales on Edge 500). There were a bunch of power measuring systems shown at Eurobike and Interbike that are planned for initial sales between now and spring, that plus folks upgrading and selling used but servicable Power Tap wheels, for example, will give you some less expensive alternatives, assuming you decide power is worth the sheckels.
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Old 09-24-12, 03:37 PM
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You do not need a power meter for a Kurt Kinetic trainer. Their power equation is given on their site. So you can just use the graph to know what power you are doing. It might be approximate and should do the job. I use an Edge 500 along with Sporttracks. There is a plugin for that which can graph your power output given the formula - but that is post ride. A dedicated sensor (on the hub/crank) is a different ballgame as it can be used on the road.
I agree with ks1g on saving for a Garmin Edge 500. That has my vote.

Last edited by rajarajan; 09-24-12 at 03:39 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-10-12, 10:18 PM
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Ant+ speed/cadence sensor, HR strap, and a Garmin Ant+ stick. Hook it up to your computer (pc or osx) with trainer road. It will do virtual power as well and walk you through workouts.
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Old 10-12-12, 05:25 AM
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Hi jdott.
I'm new to cycling after a 25 year hiatus and technology has come a very long way since the mid - 80's.
I have a kurt kinetic trainer on order and want to setup some sort of "computer" . I would love to be able to utilize my real pc but from what I have read so far only something about computrainer which is very $$$.
Could you elaborate a little on my options for enhancing my indoor "riding" with a bike computer. I would like to be able to track as many stats in real time as possible.
speed
power output
times
distance
calories burned

I don't know about Ant+ I will Google it(as well as trainer road). And I don't know how to go about purchasing a good heart rate strap so a recommendation if possible.
Thanks!
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Old 10-15-12, 07:54 AM
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I have a Garmin 500 (< $200 new on eBay that measures cadence, speed, hrm, calories, various time displays etc. Now for power output, you either need a power meter ($$$) or a kinetic trainer computer (good for use on the trainer but can't to the best of my knowledge be used on the road). The cheapest non-tech way is as follows. Kinetic publishes the power equation for its kurt trainers. Use this formula/equation to plot a graph that can be used as a reference. You don't get an instantaneous digital readout - but you get the idea.
Calories- there is a huge variation in how accurately this is calculated by various hrm computers. I use the calorie calculator on Sport-tracks and it is always different from what Garmin shows by about 10-20%. You always have to take those numbers as an approximation.
Using something like Sport-tracks or Garmin Training Center (GTC) always allows you to analyze your stats after the ride in a million ways.
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