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BKool or Wahoo Kikr Snap or Tacx Vortex

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

BKool or Wahoo Kikr Snap or Tacx Vortex

Old 12-17-16, 03:02 PM
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surgeonstone
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BKool or Wahoo Kikr Snap or Tacx Vortex

Going nuts not cycling with this weather and tired of the old cycleops dumb. Looking for the best indoor experience for under 700 dollars. Was very interested in the Bkool at first but many contradictory reviews and possible quality issues. looking at Tacx, better possibly or wahoo.
Any suggestions and experience and and suggestions abut the best most fun smart apps to use.
Also looking for laptop stand. Ideas?
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Old 12-17-16, 03:16 PM
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I felt the same way, wanting something different from my KK road machine. I decided to buy the Wahoo Kickr and ended up returning after a couple of weeks. I just found that I preferred the old trainer and it wasn't worth the money for the upgrade. Not trying to change your mind, just my experience with the smart trainer route.
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Old 12-17-16, 03:51 PM
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I have the Tacx Genius. I like it. I had considered the Wahoo but got a great price on the Tacx early this year.
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Old 12-17-16, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tjk23 View Post
I felt the same way, wanting something different from my KK road machine. I decided to buy the Wahoo Kickr and ended up returning after a couple of weeks. I just found that I preferred the old trainer and it wasn't worth the money for the upgrade. Not trying to change your mind, just my experience with the smart trainer route.
Which Wahoo the kickr or the Kickr snap.
Did you try any of the rides or routes, i.e. Zwift.
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Old 12-17-16, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by GSJon View Post
I have the Tacx Genius. I like it. I had considered the Wahoo but got a great price on the Tacx early this year.
Which online apps do u use with it.
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Old 12-17-16, 04:28 PM
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I had the Kickr, wheel off version. I used it with Trainerroad and the Cycleops Virtual training site. Both were good but not that much better than using my old trainer. Erg mode to me just feels like pedaling in mud.
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Old 12-17-16, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by GSJon View Post
I have the Tacx Genius. I like it. I had considered the Wahoo but got a great price on the Tacx early this year.
I have the same and am also very happy with it.

Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
Which online apps do u use with it.
I pretty much only use Zwift nowadays. Don't do any of the 'social' stuff, just workouts. I don't do them in workout mode though, I just do free ride and deal with power requirements myself. I figure this way I get rid of the main thing that makes training outside complicated, which is stop signs and lights (apart from weahter, of course,) yet I still get terrain change which, imo, makes intervals more entertaining and probably even more applicable. For example, when I do SS intervals, some of them end up taking place on the mountain, others on the flats, others on rolling terrain, you get the idea. I prefer that over pedalling at steady power and cadence for the prescribed period of time, which can get really dull.

From the others I tried, Trainerroad is probably the best if you are into structured workouts. Perfpro seemed good too, but I only used it briefly. Both Bkool and VirtualTrainer (I think? The Cycleops one) had the videos of real routes which were actually pretty cool, but they didn't allow me to use my power meter as an input while still controlling the trainer, which is a bit of a deal breaker for me. Bkool's interface was pretty terrible but I think they upgraded it recently. VirtualTrainer's one was a bit better, but the videos where out of sync once in a while (video showed you on a downhill but you were still climbing.)

I'd say Zwift and TrainerRoad are the two most polished programs.

Originally Posted by tjk23 View Post
I had the Kickr, wheel off version. I used it with Trainerroad and the Cycleops Virtual training site. Both were good but not that much better than using my old trainer. Erg mode to me just feels like pedaling in mud.
I couldn't get on with ERG mode at all. I know some people love it, but I ditched it after the first week with a smart trainer.

Last edited by PepeM; 12-17-16 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 12-17-16, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
I have the same and am also very happy with it.



I pretty much only use Zwift nowadays. Don't do any of the 'social' stuff, just workouts. I don't do them in workout mode though, I just do free ride and deal with power requirements myself. I figure this way I get rid of the main thing that makes training outside complicated, which is stop signs and lights (apart from weahter, of course,) yet I still get terrain change which, imo, makes intervals more entertaining and probably even more applicable. For example, when I do SS intervals, some of them end up taking place on the mountain, others on the flats, others on rolling terrain, you get the idea. I prefer that over pedalling at steady power and cadence for the prescribed period of time, which can get really dull.

From the others I tried, Trainerroad is probably the best if you are into structured workouts. Perfpro seemed good too, but I only used it briefly. Both Bkool and VirtualTrainer (I think? The Cycleops one) had the videos of real routes which were actually pretty cool, but they didn't allow me to use my power meter as an input while still controlling the trainer, which is a bit of a deal breaker for me. Bkool's interface was pretty terrible but I think they upgraded it recently. VirtualTrainer's one was a bit better, but the videos where out of sync once in a while (video showed you on a downhill but you were still climbing.)

I'd say Zwift and TrainerRoad are the two most polished programs.



I couldn't get on with ERG mode at all. I know some people love it, but I ditched it after the first week with a smart trainer.
If using Zwift, does it feedback into the trainer to simulate climbs?
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Old 12-17-16, 05:14 PM
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It does.
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Old 12-18-16, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
Going nuts not cycling with this weather and tired of the old cycleops dumb. Looking for the best indoor experience for under 700 dollars. Was very interested in the Bkool at first but many contradictory reviews and possible quality issues. looking at Tacx, better possibly or wahoo.
Any suggestions and experience and and suggestions abut the best most fun smart apps to use.
Also looking for laptop stand. Ideas?

Honestly your best bet is to get the TACX Flux for about $800 if you can find coupons or $900 retail I think.

It's direct drive and after purchasing a DD trainer I'm pretty much never going back to anything less. It's a world apart and ahead. You're already budgeting $700. For an extra $100-$200 depending on your online skill at finding a deal you can get something so much more complete.

I actually enjoy Zwift as much as I do outdoor group rides now and training is infinitely better. Check my recent posts for what my setup looks like. It's so worth it. So so worth it to go DD.
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Old 12-18-16, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by SevenTwentyNine View Post
Honestly your best bet is to get the TACX Flux for about $800 if you can find coupons or $900 retail I think.

It's direct drive and after purchasing a DD trainer I'm pretty much never going back to anything less. It's a world apart and ahead. You're already budgeting $700. For an extra $100-$200 depending on your online skill at finding a deal you can get something so much more complete.

I actually enjoy Zwift as much as I do outdoor group rides now and training is infinitely better. Check my recent posts for what my setup looks like. It's so worth it. So so worth it to go DD.
https://www.merlincycles.com/tacx-t2...ner-97830.html

Flux from merlin under $700.

I personally have the vortex from bike-discount.de for right around $300 (when I got it). If I was buying now and had an increased budget I would go w/ the flux.
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Old 12-18-16, 05:07 PM
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Can anyone compare Zwift with a smart trainer to an Expresso HD.

Aside from the obvious fact that Expresso HDs are not a road bike with road bike geometry, how does the elevation changes on an Expresso compare to Zwift. I feel like on an Expresso all you're doing is shifting because there is so much lag and it's so gimmicky. I have a $50 mag trainer now but the virtual shifting thing seems like an annoyance based on my loan experience with Expresso.

Zwift with a smart trainer worlds better? Thinking about just going with a KK RM2.0
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Old 12-18-16, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Suffelch View Post
Can anyone compare Zwift with a smart trainer to an Expresso HD.

Aside from the obvious fact that Expresso HDs are not a road bike with road bike geometry, how does the elevation changes on an Expresso compare to Zwift. I feel like on an Expresso all you're doing is shifting because there is so much lag and it's so gimmicky. I have a $50 mag trainer now but the virtual shifting thing seems like an annoyance based on my loan experience with Expresso.

Zwift with a smart trainer worlds better? Thinking about just going with a KK RM2.0
There is no comparison between a smart trainer and Zwift compared to the Expresso. The Expresso was pretty innovative and interesting for it's time, but doesn't hold a candle to Zwift. For a gym bike, it's pretty neat, but like you say, you have to shift a lot and the resistance up inclines doesn't feel all that realistic. The graphics are awful and the machine was constantly being repaired at my gym.

That said, Zwift is just a good mental distraction from the fact that you're riding a bike inside. The group rides, races, and other people is a good way to keep your mind off the boredom of riding a trainer. At the end of the day, you can get just as good of a workout staring at a wall with a stop watch and a HR or power meter. A smart trainer can make you feel slightly more like you're riding outside since the resistance changes with terrain, but it's not like you couldn't just simulate an incline by upshifting. A smart trainer and Zwift provides effective training tools, but it isn't more fun than riding outside. But for many people, it makes inside training a lot more mentally stimulating than otherwise, allowing you to ride all year around, for longer hours, not worry about traffic, daylight, etc., providing more effective training for the time spent (less external factors). I've become a much stronger cyclist since starting Zwift 1.5 years ago just because it's hell of a lot more entertaining than watching the same boring Spinervals, Sufferfest or watching the boring bar move in Trainer Road.
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Old 12-18-16, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by lupy View Post
https://www.merlincycles.com/tacx-t2...ner-97830.html

Flux from merlin under $700.

I personally have the vortex from bike-discount.de for right around $300 (when I got it). If I was buying now and had an increased budget I would go w/ the flux.

Saw that link, didn't consider it in price because it's sold out on their website and you never know when it'll come back. Online stores with the Flux currently in stock are hovering around $800 +/-.
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Old 12-18-16, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Suffelch View Post
Can anyone compare Zwift with a smart trainer to an Expresso HD.

Aside from the obvious fact that Expresso HDs are not a road bike with road bike geometry, how does the elevation changes on an Expresso compare to Zwift. I feel like on an Expresso all you're doing is shifting because there is so much lag and it's so gimmicky. I have a $50 mag trainer now but the virtual shifting thing seems like an annoyance based on my loan experience with Expresso.

Zwift with a smart trainer worlds better? Thinking about just going with a KK RM2.0

Never used Expresso but before Zwift I used to use Computrainer a lot. Zwift is the best I've used. Keep in mind I'm using a TACX Neo with it so your mileage and your experience may vary based on the trainer you're going to be using but nonetheless riding is so seamless on Zwift.
I often forget I'm on a trainer and can ride 2+ hours easily without realizing it and when I'm done I have that high you get from a good ride outdoors. Zwift changed everything for me.

I held of on Zwift and a smart trainer for ages but it was the best indoor training decision I could ever make.
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Old 12-18-16, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Xherion View Post
There is no comparison between a smart trainer and Zwift compared to the Expresso. The Expresso was pretty innovative and interesting for it's time, but doesn't hold a candle to Zwift. For a gym bike, it's pretty neat, but like you say, you have to shift a lot and the resistance up inclines doesn't feel all that realistic. The graphics are awful and the machine was constantly being repaired at my gym.

That said, Zwift is just a good mental distraction from the fact that you're riding a bike inside. The group rides, races, and other people is a good way to keep your mind off the boredom of riding a trainer. At the end of the day, you can get just as good of a workout staring at a wall with a stop watch and a HR or power meter. A smart trainer can make you feel slightly more like you're riding outside since the resistance changes with terrain, but it's not like you couldn't just simulate an incline by upshifting. A smart trainer and Zwift provides effective training tools, but it isn't more fun than riding outside. But for many people, it makes inside training a lot more mentally stimulating than otherwise, allowing you to ride all year around, for longer hours, not worry about traffic, daylight, etc., providing more effective training for the time spent (less external factors). I've become a much stronger cyclist since starting Zwift 1.5 years ago just because it's hell of a lot more entertaining than watching the same boring Spinervals, Sufferfest or watching the boring bar move in Trainer Road.
Thank you for your reply. It is a direct comment towards what I have been trying to research.
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Old 12-18-16, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by SevenTwentyNine View Post
Never used Expresso but before Zwift I used to use Computrainer a lot. Zwift is the best I've used. Keep in mind I'm using a TACX Neo with it so your mileage and your experience may vary based on the trainer you're going to be using but nonetheless riding is so seamless on Zwift.
I often forget I'm on a trainer and can ride 2+ hours easily without realizing it and when I'm done I have that high you get from a good ride outdoors. Zwift changed everything for me.

I held of on Zwift and a smart trainer for ages but it was the best indoor training decision I could ever make.
Thank you for your reply
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Old 12-18-16, 06:32 PM
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I've got Tacx Vortex smart and i'm happy with it. For the price I paid, this was the best value I at the time (still might be...). Don't get me wrong, i would love to step up to a DD like the Neo or Flux, etc. but just don't have the budget for it. Was going from a Travel Trac fluid trainer to the Vortex so it was already night and day difference. I also use it mainly for Zwift. I tried other software, but like few others mentioned, Zwift just makes the time fly by and get that high after if u work hard enough. Overall, i dont think u can go wrong with what you are looking at now but check out DC Rainmakers site, if u haven't already, for very detailed reviews and his pick's for your budget.
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Old 12-19-16, 01:44 AM
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Zwift

Similar question... I'm planning on starting Zwift. Should I go with the kickr snap or the cycleops Magnus?
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Old 12-19-16, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Dewey1480 View Post
Similar question... I'm planning on starting Zwift. Should I go with the kickr snap or the cycleops Magnus?
I just went through a similar decision process and decided on the Magnus-it was backordered, so no ride reviews yet. DC Rainmaker's comparison of the two (the Magnus was pre-production) favored the Wahoo, in large part due to the smoothness of the bigger flywheel, but said you couldn't go wrong with either.

I went with the Magnus for a few reasons--1. Great prior experience with CycleOps products and customer service; 2. Manufacturing plant in Wisconsin (couldn't tell where Wahoo was made); 3. Shopping pre-Christmas sales, the Magnus was available for almost $150 less than the best price I found on the Snap.

Happy spinning.
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Old 12-19-16, 08:22 AM
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I am looking too. My favorite is the Wahoo Kickr but I simply will not pay MSRP or almost-MSRP for it (or really anything) so that and the Snap are out. How is the TACX US customer service, if needed? The one thing I know if I cannot stand the CycleOps Fluid II type of trainer (which I sold) and prefer the magnetic resistance (and the quieter operation) of the Minoura I have. Basically I do not like any trainer that only increases resistance the faster I pedal. These smart trainers seem to simple inclines by increasing resistance, which sounds good. The main thing I want is a bunch of virtual routes (based on real routes is a plus) and the ability to ride with others (Swift, I guess). So is the TACX CS any good here? If I buy from a UK site and something goes wrong, am I out of luck?
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Old 12-19-16, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Chandne View Post
I am looking too. My favorite is the Wahoo Kickr but I simply will not pay MSRP or almost-MSRP for it (or really anything)...
Uh, okay... Interesting approach to commerce you have.

Originally Posted by Chandne View Post
How is the TACX US customer service, if needed?
I wouldn't know, thankfully. Riding a Neo and haven't had any problem with it and pray I don't ever.

Originally Posted by Chandne View Post
The main thing I want is a bunch of virtual routes (based on real routes is a plus) and the ability to ride with others (Swift, I guess).
A smart trainer is the route to go if you want the most fulfilling experience in this.

Originally Posted by Chandne View Post
If I buy from a UK site and something goes wrong, am I out of luck?
Don't do this. If you're lucky enough to escape the import TACX (see what I did there) you'll probably be SOL in the sense that replacements will take a while with international and if you have to ship that thing back across the pond it will cost you more than a pretty penny... Or pence.

Buy it domestically.

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Old 12-19-16, 08:58 AM
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Well, my approach works well for me. I bought my last four bikes at ~35% off new price. I simply buy too much stuff to pay full price on big-ticket items like bikes, build kits, wheels, gear, etc. Sometimes it may not work but I can wait or buy a competing product. I appreciate the tup on not buying a TACX from an overseas store...will avoid doing that and paying TACX...that was nicely done by you.

I only asked about TACX CS because I read it was not very good in the US, at least in the recent past. I'd prefer a wheel-off option but will read up more on the cheaper wheel-on options. That may be a good choice...just hard to tell without riding them.
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Old 12-19-16, 09:24 PM
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Yes Tigat. I'm going through the same thought process. Cycleops is locally manufactured. Kickr is manufactured in Taiwan I believe. I also found the cycleops Magnus for 150 less. What site did you find it on? Was it a reputable site?
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