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Best indoor trainer under $200

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Best indoor trainer under $200

Old 10-14-14, 05:25 PM
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GravelMN
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Best indoor trainer under $200

What is the best indoor trainer available for $200 or less? I know I'm not going to find anything great at that price, but I ride bike and go to the gym all winter so I'd only use it on days when the weather and roads are so bad that I absolutely don't want to go outside. All I need is sturdy, fairly durable, and smooth enough not to suck so I can put in an hour or so on days when I can't ride outside and don't want to go to the gym.

Thanks
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Old 10-15-14, 08:45 AM
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bonz50
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used Kurt Kinetic or Cycleops Fluid2
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Old 10-15-14, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by bonz50 View Post
used Kurt Kinetic or Cycleops Fluid2
+1 to this.

Unless you don't care about noise. Then the Kurt wind trainer with 2 fans works very well but it sounds like an old windup siren. PM me if you want to buy one cheap.
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Old 10-15-14, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by canam73 View Post
+1 to this.

Unless you don't care about noise. Then the Kurt wind trainer with 2 fans works very well but it sounds like an old windup siren. PM me if you want to buy one cheap.
FTR - I use a Cycleops Wind, noise isn't as bad as some make it out to be, I run a fan on high in front of me anyway and turn on music for the ride so it really doesn't bother me much. and the wind trainers are half the price, I think I got mine used for like $80
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Old 10-15-14, 09:42 AM
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canam73
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Originally Posted by bonz50 View Post
FTR - I use a Cycleops Wind, noise isn't as bad as some make it out to be, I run a fan on high in front of me anyway and turn on music for the ride so it really doesn't bother me much. and the wind trainers are half the price, I think I got mine used for like $80
I've never been around the Cycleops wind, only the Kurt Cyclone, and it is very loud.

In power meter comparisons against my Kinetic it is actually very close and follows a similar curve. Basically, one gear shift lower all the way up. And the design is so simple but heavy duty that I can believe it might be the most durable trainer ever built. From a mechanical use point of view it is damn near perfect.

But the noise from the dual fans severely limits it's usefulness for me. I already had the Kinetic for my self when I bought the Cyclone (also used for $80) for my wife to use for Ironman training. Even doing steady state stuff at power levels of 100-200 watts it makes following a video workout very hard. I started looking for a second used KK after her first workout on it. I've jumped on it, and pushing it up to 400w gets so crazy I never went higher in my house. I also took it along to warm up before a race and it will turn a lot of heads in the parking lot.

Basically, I would only recommend it for people who can put at least one full room (2 closed doors) between themselves any other people. Like a corner basement room. Using it in a detached garage with headphones would probably be best.
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Old 10-15-14, 10:04 AM
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OP - check out the Travel Trac Fluid at Performance Bike. Gets good reviews there. I have one and it seems solid - but it's my first trainer and I really haven't used it much yet.

Travel Trac Comp Fluid Trainer
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Old 10-15-14, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by canam73 View Post
I've never been around the Cycleops wind, only the Kurt Cyclone, and it is very loud.

In power meter comparisons against my Kinetic it is actually very close and follows a similar curve. Basically, one gear shift lower all the way up. And the design is so simple but heavy duty that I can believe it might be the most durable trainer ever built. From a mechanical use point of view it is damn near perfect.

But the noise from the dual fans severely limits it's usefulness for me. I already had the Kinetic for my self when I bought the Cyclone (also used for $80) for my wife to use for Ironman training. Even doing steady state stuff at power levels of 100-200 watts it makes following a video workout very hard. I started looking for a second used KK after her first workout on it. I've jumped on it, and pushing it up to 400w gets so crazy I never went higher in my house. I also took it along to warm up before a race and it will turn a lot of heads in the parking lot.

Basically, I would only recommend it for people who can put at least one full room (2 closed doors) between themselves any other people. Like a corner basement room. Using it in a detached garage with headphones would probably be best.
maybe the dual fans is the difference, the Cycleops Wind is a single fan. maybe i'm less sensitive to it, who knows.
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Old 10-15-14, 10:52 PM
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I purchased a Ascent Fluid from Nashbar for $129.00, and waited for them to run their 20% off sale. which paid for the shipping and taxes. Had it for about a month and it works perfect. Very quite.
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Old 10-15-14, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by GravelMN View Post
What is the best indoor trainer available for $200 or less? I know I'm not going to find anything great at that price,..... All I need is ........ so I can put in an hour or so on days when I can't ride outside and don't want to go to the gym.
Not everyone really enjoys trainer time. For me.... an hour would seem like a very long time. I got a used Cycleops Fluid at a yard sale for $40. A lot of people buy trainers... find using them too boring... then sell them. You may want to check the local Craigslist
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Old 10-16-14, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
Not everyone really enjoys trainer time. For me.... an hour would seem like a very long time. I got a used Cycleops Fluid at a yard sale for $40. A lot of people buy trainers... find using them too boring... then sell them. You may want to check the local Craigslist
I agree. I'd much rather ride outside, even at below zero F. I find the stationary machines like the elliptical trainer, spin bike or a treadmill tolerable only in small doses and I don't anticipate using a home cycle trainer a lot, which is why I'm trying to keep the cost down. It is definitely Plan B (or maybe C) for those winter days when storms, extreme cold, or very bad roads make going outside even for a trip to the gym unappealing. Good advice about Craig's list and I do check there often, but haven't seen anything but absolute bottom end trainers for a while. I missed one at the local bike co-op a while back but a friend there is keeping an eye out for another one.
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Old 10-16-14, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jareed58 View Post
I purchased a Ascent Fluid from Nashbar for $129.00, and waited for them to run their 20% off sale. which paid for the shipping and taxes. Had it for about a month and it works perfect. Very quite.
I'll second this. It seems well built for the price.
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Old 10-16-14, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by GravelMN View Post
I'd much rather ride outside, even at below zero F. I find the stationary machines like the elliptical trainer, spin bike or a treadmill tolerable only in small doses and I don't anticipate using a home cycle trainer a lot, ....... It is definitely Plan B (or maybe C) for those winter days when storms, extreme cold, or very bad roads make going outside even for a trip to the gym unappealing. ....
We seem to be thinking alike. The weather has been so cold and wet this year. I tried a mountain bike last winter trying to add more winter miles but without much real success. This year I bought the trainer and established a rain/trainer bike. Now at least..... I am absolutely confident That I will reach my cycling mileage goals for 2014.

Last winter I also added a little weight training and calisthenics routine. And was surprised at both the good results and enjoyment of the workout.
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