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Looking at indoor trainers

Old 11-03-19, 03:46 PM
  #1  
sirjag
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Looking at indoor trainers

With winter approaching looking at some trainers. Dont care about smart stuff...i just wanna work hard in the offseason at home.

https://www.amazon.com/Sportneer-Tra...ct_top?ie=UTF8

was looking at this guy above, but seems very low cost to me....can anyone share some thoughts? whats a good price point? Magnetic or Fluid?>?>

thanks yall,
JAG
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Old 11-03-19, 05:57 PM
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oh boy what a rabbit hole i found here...finding lots of info in other threads...quite a bit out dated though.....hoping someone will chime in soon.
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Old 11-03-19, 06:39 PM
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1- I wouldnt be interested in an off brand trainer from amazon for $150 when you can get a quality brand name at retail in a store for not much more.

2- why is that guy wearing a helmet indoors?

3- why is he watching mountain biking when training on a road bike? Just odd.

4- this is most important- why is there a baby sleeping on the couch?!?


That last picture on the product listing is why I dont take most amazon cycling products seriously that arent well known brands. It's amateur hour at the photo shoot so why would the product be better?
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Old 11-03-19, 07:16 PM
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If you can find a Kinetic Road Machine non-smart version (although honestly, the smart version just adds their inexpensive in-ride sensor not really a true smart trainer.)...either-way, those are super durable and have a very nice ride feel. Pickup an inexpensive power meter, like a 4iiii Precision etc. and/or HRM and you will have a pretty solid setup to use with most training apps, Garmin or however you want to conduct your training.

I ride indoors a lot, mainly on Zwift, and last Christmas I broke down and bought myself a Kickr 18 and when it works yes, it's amazing, but a year later I'm about to receive a third (and final) warranty replacement unit and honestly in that respect it's been a bit of a let down, to say the least. Meanwhile my trusty Kinetic road machine keeps on trucking after 3-4 seasons heavy usage.
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Old 11-03-19, 07:20 PM
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Yeah, $150 is a lot to pay for an off-brand roll of the dice.

I know that you said that you don't care about smart stuff... but you will. Trainers, you'll see, they suck. Even if you don't want to go all video game (Zwift), you'll at least want some power figures (or some reasonable approximations thereof) so that you can do some targeted intervals, which will a) help you make the most of your time and b) give you immediate goals which can help distract you from the monotony of riding the trainer.
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Old 11-03-19, 10:12 PM
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I bought a Kickr Core over a Memorial Day sale at 20% off (and they'll be 20% off again over Black Friday).

It was definitely worth the expenditure for the reasons WhyFi stated above.
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Old 11-04-19, 07:31 AM
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Go on your local Craiglist or Facebook Marketplace and buy a used CycleOps Fluid 2 or Kurt Kinetic. There are plenty used trainers out there for less than the Amazon one you're looking at. (Lots of people now on smart trainers are looking to unload their used fluid trainers, which has pushed the price down.)

I've seen ones near me practically new for $50-$75.

And if you don't want a smart trainer, don't get one.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Even if you don't want to go all video game (Zwift), you'll at least want some power figures (or some reasonable approximations thereof) so that you can do some targeted intervals...
I should clarify this - you don't need a smart trainer for power (or "power"); you can go about it a couple ways.

The easiest way is to get a dumb trainer and to simply buy a power meter, but that's probably going to be more money than you want to spend.

The budget route is to look at some training platforms with power estimated via wheel speed and resistance curve of a known trainer make & model. This is where buying off-brand could be a detriment.

Trainer Road is my off-season choice for training, and they have a great Virtual Power option. They've measured the resistance curves of various trainers (they'll have a list of supported trainers online) and can give you a close-enough power approximation that'll have you up and running on intervals that are more fine-grained than what would be available when relying solely on HR or just going by perceived effort. I used TR's Virtual Power for a few years (with a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine) before buying a power meter and, in my experience, the training experience and results, between VP and a real PM, were pretty much the same. Yeah, the numbers were a little different, still probably within 10%, but the important thing is that the results (improving or at least maintaining fitness) were similar.

Before buying a trainer, I'd at least do a little homework to see if Trainer Road, or something similar, looks appealing. Then I'd cross-reference your prospective trainers vs the supported trainers of your program. Something like a KKRM would be supported by anybody with an estimated power method and they're very robust, so the used market is a good option. I'm sure that the same could be said of some of the other fluid trainers from the major players, but my experience lies only with the KKRM.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:30 AM
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+1 on buying used. I picked up my "dumb" trainer for $60 on a local bike-specific facebook group (TravelTrac Fluid Comp). It's decent enough, but I got bored of spinning mindlessly so I ended up buying a used smart trainer (Cycleops Magnus) on the same group for about $150 less than they sell for new, and now I have a more interactive Zwift experience.

I still can't stand to ride the trainer for more than about 1:20 or so, but at least now it's more interactive and I can see real power data.
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Old 11-04-19, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by MagicHour View Post
If you can find a Kinetic Road Machine non-smart version (although honestly, the smart version just adds their inexpensive in-ride sensor not really a true smart trainer.)...either-way, those are super durable and have a very nice ride feel. Pickup an inexpensive power meter, like a 4iiii Precision etc. and/or HRM and you will have a pretty solid setup to use with most training apps, Garmin or however you want to conduct your training.

I ride indoors a lot, mainly on Zwift, and last Christmas I broke down and bought myself a Kickr 18 and when it works yes, it's amazing, but a year later I'm about to receive a third (and final) warranty replacement unit and honestly in that respect it's been a bit of a let down, to say the least. Meanwhile my trusty Kinetic road machine keeps on trucking after 3-4 seasons heavy usage.
This was my path. I've been on mag trainers for years, but time to up my game so to speak. I just bought a used Kurt Kinetic for cheap, and added the iNride sensor. ON'y been on it a couple days and the difference is interesting. Going from the mag trainer to fluid alone is an eye opener. And getting the Kurt Kinetic, I may add the Power Control head next year for true Smart interactive use in Zwift and Rouvy.

Lots of good nearly unused trainers in the thrift stores, but not always what you were wanting...
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Old 11-04-19, 09:41 AM
  #11  
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I poo-poo'd the smart trainer concept until recently when I described it to my wife, who thought it was cool and said she would use it. We got a KICKR Snap because of need to change between 10 and 11 sp bikes. Life-changing is too strong a term, but it really is good. 1. Training with a power measure is just a huge education, even for an old dog such as I, and after a couple of months I am way better calibrated and conscious of level of effort outdoors. 2. Ergo mode workouts are a stunningly efficient way to elicit effort and pack benefit into a short time. 3. The software provides a relatively rich experience with interesting visuals and loads of data, plus competition with real people if you're into that (we are), greatly lowering the threshold for getting on the thing.
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Old 11-04-19, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I should clarify this - you don't need a smart trainer for power (or "power"); you can go about it a couple ways.

The easiest way is to get a dumb trainer and to simply buy a power meter, but that's probably going to be more money than you want to spend.

The budget route is to look at some training platforms with power estimated via wheel speed and resistance curve of a known trainer make & model. This is where buying off-brand could be a detriment.

Trainer Road is my off-season choice for training, and they have a great Virtual Power option. They've measured the resistance curves of various trainers (they'll have a list of supported trainers online) and can give you a close-enough power approximation that'll have you up and running on intervals that are more fine-grained than what would be available when relying solely on HR or just going by perceived effort. I used TR's Virtual Power for a few years (with a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine) before buying a power meter and, in my experience, the training experience and results, between VP and a real PM, were pretty much the same. Yeah, the numbers were a little different, still probably within 10%, but the important thing is that the results (improving or at least maintaining fitness) were similar.

Before buying a trainer, I'd at least do a little homework to see if Trainer Road, or something similar, looks appealing. Then I'd cross-reference your prospective trainers vs the supported trainers of your program. Something like a KKRM would be supported by anybody with an estimated power method and they're very robust, so the used market is a good option. I'm sure that the same could be said of some of the other fluid trainers from the major players, but my experience lies only with the KKRM.
I like your response and information on using a smart trainer for measuring power without having one for the bike using TrainerRoad. I just went to the TrainerRoad web site and read up on how it works. It noted thatconsistent tire pressure and trainer resistance is a key to receiving accurate information of power. Can you please tell me how easy it was for you to maintain these to variables for accurate information about power?
Cheers
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Old 11-04-19, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by cycledogg View Post
I like your response and information on using a smart trainer for measuring power without having one for the bike using TrainerRoad. I just went to the TrainerRoad web site and read up on how it works. It noted thatconsistent tire pressure and trainer resistance is a key to receiving accurate information of power. Can you please tell me how easy it was for you to maintain these to variables for accurate information about power?
Cheers
It's a pretty easy pre-ride routine. Air up to the same pressure before each ride and tighten the roller against the wheel the same each time. On the roller, I'll give the wheel a spin and crank the tightening knob until it kisses the wheel - that's my zero. After that, I tighten 3 & 1/2 turns of the knob - that's just enough roller pressure to keep my wheel from slipping on hard jumps, but that will vary depending on the rider, tire, trainer, etc. Find the number of turns that'll work for you and stick with it until something changes.

Then, of course, there's the trainer itself. It has to have a predictable resistance curve.
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Old 11-04-19, 11:04 AM
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Kurt Kinetic (smart version) is the best bang for your buck. I have been using mine since 2015 and can't be happier.

https://planetcyclery.com/kinetic-fl...YaAsZTEALw_wcB

For $250 it's a no-brainer.
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Old 11-04-19, 11:15 AM
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Rollers with resistance.
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Old 11-04-19, 11:24 AM
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Another vote for Kurt Kinetic. If you want to start off with their non smart fluid trainer it's easily upgradable with the Inride 3 pod which will send date from your trainer to the app of your choice but not from the app back to the trainer. If you eventually want full app integration you can buy their Smart Control unit which will replace the original fluid resistance unit in a matter of minutes. Be warned though, I can almost guarantee that you'll eventually want a full on smart trainer to use with Zwift, Rouvy etc so it may end up cheaper to just to jump right in and go smart right away.
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Old 11-04-19, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by cycledogg View Post
I like your response and information on using a smart trainer for measuring power without having one for the bike using TrainerRoad. I just went to the TrainerRoad web site and read up on how it works. It noted thatconsistent tire pressure and trainer resistance is a key to receiving accurate information of power. Can you please tell me how easy it was for you to maintain these to variables for accurate information about power?
Cheers
@WhyFi explained this already, but from what I've seen it's worth noting that you aren't going to have massive swings in data if you forget to inflate your tire exactly the same amount or turn the tension knob an extra quarter turn, you're probably looking at very small percentage differences that may fall within the margin of error for normal power meters anyway, so it's not that hard to get reliable, usable data from "dumb" trainers when you are using a program that estimates power based on that trainer's specific resistance curve.

I used to use my dumb trainer with Zwift, and I'd leave the bike locked in on the trainer for a week or more at a time without adding any air to the rear tire. Sometimes it'd drop from 100 to ~70 psi in that time, and the data was still largely consistent for a given cadence on flat ground in the same gear.
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Old 11-04-19, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
I poo-poo'd the smart trainer concept until recently when I described it to my wife, who thought it was cool and said she would use it. We got a KICKR Snap because of need to change between 10 and 11 sp bikes. Life-changing is too strong a term, but it really is good. 1. Training with a power measure is just a huge education, even for an old dog such as I, and after a couple of months I am way better calibrated and conscious of level of effort outdoors. 2. Ergo mode workouts are a stunningly efficient way to elicit effort and pack benefit into a short time. 3. The software provides a relatively rich experience with interesting visuals and loads of data, plus competition with real people if you're into that (we are), greatly lowering the threshold for getting on the thing.
Next is a power meter for your bike for the same reference outdoors.
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Old 11-04-19, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by guachi View Post
I bought a Kickr Core over a Memorial Day sale at 20% off (and they'll be 20% off again over Black Friday).

It was definitely worth the expenditure for the reasons WhyFi stated above.
What's the difference between the one you bought and the regular Kickr for $1,200?
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Old 11-04-19, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Next is a power meter for your bike for the same reference outdoors.
If I were competing I would have done it long ago, but the boat's going to need a new mainsail in a couple of seasons...
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Old 11-04-19, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
What's the difference between the one you bought and the regular Kickr for $1,200?
Scroll down for the comparison: https://www.wahoofitness.com/devices/bike-trainers

IIRC, the new Kickr is a little more quiet, too.
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Old 11-04-19, 04:26 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
+1 on buying used. I picked up my "dumb" trainer for $60 on a local bike-specific facebook group (TravelTrac Fluid Comp). It's decent enough, but I got bored of spinning mindlessly so I ended up buying a used smart trainer (Cycleops Magnus) on the same group for about $150 less than they sell for new, and now I have a more interactive Zwift experience.

I still can't stand to ride the trainer for more than about 1:20 or so, but at least now it's more interactive and I can see real power data.
I couldnt get a buyer for my Cycleops at $100, when I tried to sell it 5 years ago. Then I had kids, so Ive kept it ever since and Im glad I didnt sell.

I train on heart rate, cadence and speed sensor, and I feel like I get a good workout in. A PM would probably give me a fuller experience, but its the furthest possible thing from my cycling intentions/budget. I have upgrades to do on some 16 bikes first
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Old 11-04-19, 04:43 PM
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$150 is a lot for a dumb trainer.
You might not want smart, but you do want quiet. You probably also want adjustable resistance or realistic road feel or to use it with zwift.

I'd point you to a used Cycleops Fluid or Kurt Kinetic.
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Old 12-29-19, 02:18 PM
  #24  
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Just bought a Kickr Core a few weeks ago. It's expensive (at least for me), but cheaper than the full-blown Kickr. It's silent, which is important for me, since I live in an apartment, with my spouse sleeping in the next room and other families living above, below, and next door to us. It was easy to set up with The Sufferfest and Zwift, and I assume it will be with any other training apps also, which, as WhyFi said, will make your indoor training sessions more fun and therefore more frequent. I prefer using it with The Sufferfest, which doesn't bother with a social element and is just about training. It has a fitness test that diagnoses your physical strengths and weaknesses, a collection of mostly 35-60 minute interval training sessions, and of course gives you real-time and historical performance data for each training session. You can find lots of compare/contrast reviews between the various training apps if you're interested.

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Old 12-29-19, 02:50 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by zjrog View Post
This was my path. I've been on mag trainers for years, but time to up my game so to speak. I just bought a used Kurt Kinetic for cheap, and added the iNride sensor. ON'y been on it a couple days and the difference is interesting. Going from the mag trainer to fluid alone is an eye opener. And getting the Kurt Kinetic, I may add the Power Control head next year for true Smart interactive use in Zwift and Rouvy.

Lots of good nearly unused trainers in the thrift stores, but not always what you were wanting...
Just thought I'd update my previous comment. I was off the bike most of November and the first week of Dec. due to minor surgery. But, set a a couple goals for the rest of December. Buying the older KK fluid trainer was a great idea, and adding the iNride 3 sensor was the ticket to Zwift and Rouvy. The known values of the KK fluid trainers and the sensor make Zwift a lot more fun, I did pony up the monthly subscription and have 200 miles on it this month alone.

My choice for next winter will be tough, continue with this "Half Smart" set up, swap the fluid head for the KK Control head, or jump to a different brand and wheel off trainer...

Oh, I'm also looking into a rocker plate for side to side movement. Wish I'd picked up a used KK Rock and Roll now...
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