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Anyone using a smart trainer?

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Anyone using a smart trainer?

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Old 03-11-17, 12:57 PM
  #1  
Barrettscv 
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Anyone using a smart trainer?

After a 80 day backorder delay my Tacx Flux direct drive arrived. I'll need a few more days before It's ready for regular use.

I've always hated the monotony of indoor training, but I need to supplement my 300 miles of outdoor riding if I'm going to achieve my fitness goals. Smart trainers are able to electronically control the resistance on the trainer based on wireless or wired connectivity, virtually and continuously. The software provides numerous modes, including interval training, virtual routes, virtual racing, and GPS routes based on google earth or Garmin history. Not only are workouts structured for improved benefit, the variety of modes should reduce boredom.

It will require some months of use to see if the goals are attainable. Anyone using a smart trainer? Share your tips and experience!
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Old 03-11-17, 02:46 PM
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Old 03-11-17, 03:41 PM
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I use a Wahoo Kickr Snap with Zwift. Zwift definitely beats the monotony of indoor training -- even indoor training with a television. Besides suggested workouts, it offers group rides, challenges and races. Or, you can just ride your own pace. You ride with/against riders from all over the world on semi-realistic animated roads and topography. Flats, hills, mountains with some control over the route. You ought to give it a try. I think they offer a free trial and, even after the trial is over, the cost is $10 a month with no commitment beyond the month.
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Old 03-11-17, 05:09 PM
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Yes - I just picked up a Wahoo KICKR from my LBS a month ago. I wish I done it sooner.
I'm finally adding structure to my winter training and signed up for Trainerroad.
The ERG mode will lock you into a specific power for intervals, such as 250 watts & hold you there. It's very challenging and so far I haven't been bored by it.
I have Zwift too; but that's mostly for fun and to relieve boredom. The ERG mode of a smart trainer will add realistic resistance when climbing hills and allows drafting, adding a element of realism to virtual riding and racing. It can absolutely destroy my legs. As such, I actually like Trainerroad better to manage training stress.

Prior to this, I employed rollers with resistance. It worked OK but I really like the benefits of the smart trainer ERG mode. I haven't been on the rollers since.

I live in the southern USA and have year-round training & mountains on-hand, but the trainer fills in for the week and rainy weekends. I expect that when the days get longer I'll be on the trainer much less.
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Old 03-12-17, 06:52 PM
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I have an old Brian Wind Trainer -- the old kind that had a stand you attached your bike to without the front wheel and wrecked your frame. Well I just kept the wrecked frame on it and made the whole thing a trainer.

This winter I invested in a pair of PowerTap P1 pedals and attached them to the bike on the trainer to give me a smart trainer. The pedals are both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart compatible, so I can use my iPad and PowerTap app on my iPad indoors, and then a Garmin head outdoors.

I like the pedal metrics it provides and they have been a great help to better understand how different approaches to my pedal stroke can improve performance. The other advantage of the pedals, of course, is I can change them out to any bike I own and still have a power meter.

I find the constant feedback very engaging, making the training session seem shorter. I like the idea that I'm chasing watts indoors where I can't chase another rider.

Cheers!

Rick
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Old 03-12-17, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rickbuddy_72 View Post
This winter I invested in a pair of PowerTap P1 pedals and attached them to the bike on the trainer to give me a smart trainer.


Smart trainers vary the resistance according to a plan or program. How do your pedals do that?
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Old 03-13-17, 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by rickbuddy_72 View Post
I have an old Brian Wind Trainer -- the old kind that had a stand you attached your bike to without the front wheel and wrecked your frame. Well I just kept the wrecked frame on it and made the whole thing a trainer.
I've still got my Tacx version of the Brian Wind Trainer, it's like Duracell batteries and just goes on and on and on

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Old 03-13-17, 07:48 AM
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Mine was stupid, I sold it.
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Old 03-13-17, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
Smart trainers vary the resistance according to a plan or program. How do your pedals do that?
Yes, I see your point. I've misunderstood exactly what a smart trainer is. It's been 33 years since I've done anything close to any kind of cycling so it's taking me some time to understand all the new technology and terminology. Thank you for straightening that out for me.

To me the metrics I'm getting are still a lot smarter than simply using an HR monitor alone.

Since I'm a track sprinter I'm really not all that interested in the programs with scenery and hill climbs since track scenery is not much more than a red and blue line and banks aren't really hills. But doing intervals at set time/power the setup works fine for my needs.

Plus, with those subscription programs that offer virtual training up hills, there is no option for sprinters to turn around and get back on the flats.

Thank you,

--Rick
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Old 03-13-17, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by 47p2 View Post
I've still got my Tacx version of the Brian Wind Trainer, it's like Duracell batteries and just goes on and on and on

I love it! Did you refinish your trainer? Mine is a combination of chrome and black paint. I've been thinking about refinishing mine. I haven't been all that good at cleaning up the sweat after the workout and there are some spots of superficial corrosion.

-- Rick
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Old 03-13-17, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Mine was stupid, I sold it.
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Old 03-14-17, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by rickbuddy_72 View Post
I love it! Did you refinish your trainer? ... I haven't been all that good at cleaning up the sweat after the workout and there are some spots of superficial corrosion.

-- Rick
Haha no I didn't Rick, it's been photoshopped to hide the lack of paint and surface rust. I did think about having it powder coated, still may go down that route yet. Will try and remember to post the original rusty picture later today
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Old 03-14-17, 06:29 AM
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Oops, think I should seek some medical help.

When I were a lad and before the invention of turbo trainers I researched training rollers for some high intensity indoor workouts, they were expensive, almost impossible to buy and only the Pros had them, I eventually built a set made with rollers from a disused roller conveyor system. Then with the invention of turbo trainers I bought the yellow Tacx which I've owned it since the mid 1980s. (hanging up awaiting some paint and yes it's still used now and then).




In an attempt to update my training I bought the Minoura VFS turbo trainer around 12 years ago, but I never did like it so it's not been used much and has sat unloved in the garage for most of that time.




Fast forward to a few years ago and I took a yearning to rekindle my youth and bought a set of Tacx Antares and with being in my senior years I enjoyed the easy spinning they provided, but they didn't really give me much of a cardio workout.




I decided to upgrade from the Tacx to the Kreitler 4.5" Rollers with Killer Kool Headwind Fan . They certainly have the resistance to get a good head of steam on but spinning away watching Youtube for an hour or two is as entertaining as watching paint drying.




Step into the 21st Century and I purchased a Wahoo Kickr, subscribed to Fulgaz (my personal favourite) and Zwift (full of young speedsters who hang onto your back wheel before blasting past, only for you to catch them up and pass them on the first climb) and BigRingVR (still on beta) (tough climbing) (I'll need to change my cassette to a granny gear before I complete the climbs)




To the OP, get yourself a smart trainer, subscribe to an app that works for you (they all provide free trial) and enjoy dry, wind free, traffic free training.
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Old 03-14-17, 10:51 AM
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I took the plunge and replaced my Kinetic Rock & Roll Trainer with a Tack Neo. At first I thought I made a big mistake since it had issues right out of the box. I returned it to the vendor who sent me a replacement. IMO it was worth the effort. It has totally changed my indoor training. Spinnervals on the dumb trainer have been replaced with Trainer Road (in ERG mode) and Zwift. I'm in the midst of following a training program on Trainer Road that gives me all I can handle. Once or twice a week I ride on Zwift for fun. BTW I don't use ERG on Zwift unless I'm doing a workout. ERG will keep you at a specific wattage so you won't feel the varied terrain. I'm a flatlander so I get to ride some pseudo mountains on Zwift which the Neo simulates nicely. The Neo also simulates road feel like pave, gravel and boardwalks. Not a game breaker but pretty cool.
Anyway it's sleeting sideways in my neck of the woods today but no matter I'm off to do some sweet spot intervals on Trainer Road.
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Old 09-30-17, 07:30 AM
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Has anyone tried riding their own rides on the Kickr or Neo? The wahoo elemnt has the ride history mode which supposedly will drive the kickr to simulate the stored route ! Does it work as advertised - if this works it sounds really exciting and useful to have.

Outdoors is great - there's no denying that - but then outdoors can also be boring. Where i live i have about 4-5 routes i can choose and there are times i couldn't decide as i'm bored with them.....but I still want to cycle.....so being able to do it indoor gives me another option.
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Old 09-30-17, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Machoman121 View Post
...Where i live i have about 4-5 routes i can choose
Wow, I guess I'm lucky. I've done 31 rides totaling 727 miles since July 2 of this year. Not a single one has been a repeat. Granted, one of them was a charity ride that I drove 30 miles to start, and maybe 6 were ones that I drove a short distance from home to start, but I come up with rides all the time that are different. I imagine I will eventually do a repeat, but it will have been so long ago, and things will be so different (time of year, bike, my state of mind and/or body) that it won't feel the same. Oh, and maybe I will just have forgotten. I've been told that happens to people over 50
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Old 09-30-17, 08:38 PM
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We opted for the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control because it would take the width of our tandem. The reviews for this trainer are not particularly good but it has worked fine for us in combination with Zwift.
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Old 10-11-17, 11:04 AM
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I've got a Wahoo KICKR that works really well with Zwift. It simulates uphill, downhill, even drafting. Very amusing and engaging. I've used Trainer Road which is excellent if you want to do serious training. Currently I'm more interested in just putting in miles so Zwift fits my needs. Zwift will give you a 25 km free intro and it runs well on an iPad or computer.

An app to check out is Kinomap. They have videos from all over the world which sync to the KICKR (or your TACX). You get the look and feel of riding with some great scenery. It displays and records all sorts of metrics like speed, climb feet and %, cadence (with HRM) so you can keep track of your efforts and compare with other riders over the same course. You can integrate it with Strava and Ride w/GPS.
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Old 10-19-17, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
I use a Wahoo Kickr Snap with Zwift. Zwift definitely beats the monotony of indoor training -- even indoor training with a television. Besides suggested workouts, it offers group rides, challenges and races. Or, you can just ride your own pace. You ride with/against riders from all over the world on semi-realistic animated roads and topography. Flats, hills, mountains with some control over the route. You ought to give it a try. I think they offer a free trial and, even after the trial is over, the cost is $10 a month with no commitment beyond the month.
This is the same setup I use trainer is very quiet, love Zwift, but I find the group rides even the no drop groups way to fast. One ride started at 17 mph and after 5 mins went up to 22 mph, in fairness the leader kept telling them to slow down, but could not get the group to listen.


Now just ride solo and pick flat days or hilly courses as I feel like completing at the moment.
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Old 10-19-17, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Ranfrol View Post
This is the same setup I use trainer is very quiet, love Zwift, but I find the group rides even the no drop groups way to fast. One ride started at 17 mph and after 5 mins went up to 22 mph, in fairness the leader kept telling them to slow down, but could not get the group to listen.


Now just ride solo and pick flat days or hilly courses as I feel like completing at the moment.
Ugh, sounds like our local meatspace groups. They advertise 15-17 mph on the B group. In reality it's usually 18-20 mph. And some rides they merge with the A group and drop us 15-16 mph slowpokes.

What's the point of a virtual reality trainer if you get dropped by your virtual group as well?

I'm thinking about a Cycle Ops fluid dumb trainer. I can pretend I'm fast riding solo against my napping cat.
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Old 10-20-17, 03:58 PM
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I have a Kickr Snap and use it with Zwift. I ride indoors pretty infrequently but they are quality rides now. Previously on the "dumb" trainer I would ride unwillingly, really just out of desperation during bad weather, and not that hard, give up from boredom after 45 minutes or so. I get a quality ride now and find myself riding harder than I would expect on Zwift. Like real life, I usually ride by myself on Zwift, occasionally chasing someone up a climb. I tried a race once, but it was silly.

I use a Tacx trainer tire also. Holds up well and even though I have a box of almost dead tires, I like it better - no burnt rubber smell and small bits of rubber sprayed behind the flywheel.
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Old 10-21-17, 09:32 AM
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Pardon the mess, but I just setup my Kickr3 and Zwift. A fan is a must, just set that up last night.

Doesn't replace riding outside, but is convenient in the evenings now that it get's dark quickly.

Cadence and Power I'm just learning to use, but this should really help up my riding and training.

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Old 10-21-17, 09:38 AM
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I plan on buying a KickR soon. Now that I am retired, nothing is ever going to stop me from riding again (if I can help it).
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Old 10-21-17, 09:44 PM
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Hire a Spinning Class Dominatrix..?
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Old 10-22-17, 03:59 AM
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Just hook a generator up to your trainer and use it to power the television
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