Bike Forums

Bike Forums (https://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php)
-   Track Cycling: Velodrome Racing and Training Area (https://www.bikeforums.net/track-cycling-velodrome-racing-training-area/)
-   -   My $400 "WattBike" (CycleOps Indoor Cycle) (https://www.bikeforums.net/track-cycling-velodrome-racing-training-area/1152595-my-400-wattbike-cycleops-indoor-cycle.html)

carleton 08-14-18 10:09 AM

My $400 "WattBike" (CycleOps Indoor Cycle)
 
It seems like a lot of track racers and teams are going for the WattBike as an indoor training solution.

3 times I've converted an old CycleOps spin bike to a world class track sprinting workstation. I found 2 of them for $400 or less on local craigslist ads. All had working power meters.

The key is to get your favorite bars on to the bike as to standard "aero bars" or 44cm drops with fake hoods are not great for standing start efforts. With my mods, you can use any bars (road, track, or aero bars). You simply add a 1 1/8" "steerer" to the unit.

Note the thick silver sliding rails for adjustment. The handlebar rails are the same as the seat rails. To create a steerer tube, simply buy a replacement Long Seatpost (which oddly isn't on their website anymore...crap) and take it to your favorite welder (Seth Snyder of Snyder Cycles did mine). Have him/her lop off the bent part and then weld on a 1 1/8" sleeve. That is your steerer tube.

https://www.tredz.co.uk/prodimg/75998_1_Zoom.jpg

Now you can attach any stem. I suggest a stem that points downward. The only downside is that it might not go low enough for riders of much shorter than average height. It'll still be very useful, but if you want suuuuuper deep, it may not work.


https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...f630f86c60.jpg

https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...bb16e2bacb.jpg

https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...fd2a6a1568.jpg


https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...16c35a85c1.jpg

Depending on how old the spin bike is, it may have the friction control on the top tube or via cables. Top tube is good because you don't have to deal with cables. Cables are good because you can now use a bar-end friction shifter to control the resistance at the bars. Great for modulating resistance while still in the drops during the effort (e.g. simulating motor pacing).

Let me know what you think!

carleton 08-14-18 10:14 AM

And, yes, they can take a beating.

I'm over 230lbs and make over 2000W and pull on these rigs like I'm trying to rip my arms off. They don't budge.

Here is one pic from a unit that I made when I lived in Portland (you can see it in the background).


https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...c3ee96602a.jpg


This pic is from a workout that I did in Kirk Whiteman's studio on a CycleOps indoor cycle (not modded).

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...b82bebcf80.jpg


They can handle abuse.

Morelock 08-14-18 10:27 AM

elegant solution!
I did something similar many years ago to our Serotta fit machine so we could use aerobars / 31.8 bars.

carleton 08-14-18 10:55 AM


Originally Posted by Morelock (Post 20505917)
elegant solution!
I did something similar many years ago to our Serotta fit machine so we could use aerobars / 31.8 bars.

Thanks!

I think it's a good option for serious trackies who can't get to a velodrome regularly but would like to do all-out efforts. Most rear wheel home trainers can't handle over maybe 700w before slipping.

The 50lb flywheel makes it great for steady efforts, too. Feels the most natural of any system I've tried (I haven't tried them all, though).

I also like the fact that one doesn't have to attach/detach the track bike to it. This was a pain with the Cateye CS1000. The downside is that you need space to put a gym quality (and sized) spin bike.

My guess is that it's at least 200lbs. Two strong people are needed to lift it. But, it tilts and rolls easily on the hind wheels (rollerblade wheels).

carleton 08-14-18 11:16 AM

Found a better photo:

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...122ecd95b6.jpg

rensho3 08-14-18 12:26 PM

Beautiful and useful mod! Bravo!

carleton 08-14-18 05:55 PM


Originally Posted by rensho3 (Post 20506209)
Beautiful and useful mod! Bravo!

Thanks! :D

lean88 01-03-19 11:18 PM

carleton that is a great mod.
i have an old spining bike, i match the position like my track bike but the handlebar is 12cm higher and cant get lower. the wide is 1cm more.

do you think is better have the exactly same position or is no diference for tranfer to the track bike?

for do that i need to create a mod too.

carleton 01-05-19 12:59 AM


Originally Posted by lean88 (Post 20731866)
carleton that is a great mod.
i have an old spining bike, i match the position like my track bike but the handlebar is 12cm higher and cant get lower. the wide is 1cm more.

do you think is better have the exactly same position or is no diference for tranfer to the track bike?

for do that i need to create a mod too.

Thanks!

It's hard to say if your setup would be ideal or not without seeing anything. But, know that anything is better than nothing. Also, it's more about the legs than getting low. You can always bend your elbows to get lower.

FinkFloyd 01-05-19 04:52 AM

That is a great idea. The new direct drive trainers (Wahoo Kickr / Tacx Neo / etc) mitigate the wheel slip problem completely - my Neo can handle power outputs of up to 2200W, which is more than enough (by about a factor of 2) for me. That plus an aluminium bike to put on it (carbon bikes don't much like that level of power when they're anchored as on a turbo) seems to work well, but the issue with sprint bars remains and it's a much more expensive solution than yours is.

lean88 01-06-19 12:24 PM

Thanks for your answer :thumb:

zammykoo 07-22-20 11:39 AM

carleton I know I'm digging up an old thread, but I wanted to see how the handlebars have been holding up. Do you still like it? Is there anything you would do differently now that you have spent some time with the mod?

I recently picked up the exact same 300PT secondhand and want to do the same mod. I could just buy a set made for it, but that price is very steep considering I paid a just little more than that for the entire bike. I don't have access to a welder so I'd have to source one if I took the path of doing this mod. I have a spare drop bar and tape ready to go, so I just need this modded stem and I'd be good to go.

carleton 07-22-20 04:45 PM


Originally Posted by zammykoo (Post 21601260)
carleton I know I'm digging up an old thread, but I wanted to see how the handlebars have been holding up. Do you still like it? Is there anything you would do differently now that you have spent some time with the mod?

I recently picked up the exact same 300PT secondhand and want to do the same mod. I could just buy a set made for it, but that price is very steep considering I paid a just little more than that for the entire bike. I don't have access to a welder so I'd have to source one if I took the path of doing this mod. I have a spare drop bar and tape ready to go, so I just need this modded stem and I'd be good to go.

My setup is still doing great. The only complaint I've heard was from a shorter rider who had a hard time getting the bars low enough for his tastes.

The drop bars from CycleOps won't work for this trainer as you won't have anywhere to mount the wire and friction lever to adjust the friction on the flywheel. Those bars are made for machines that have the friction knob on the top tube (in later models). So, you must use the setup as described above.

I'm pretty sure you can find a welder in any city. Just look for a shop that works on exhausts/mufflers. They all require welding to install. If you take the welder the pipe, I'm sure they can make it happen for a few bucks. Maybe print out this thread, too.

The guy that did it for me was a bike frame builder. So, if you have one of those around, that person can do it, too.

zammykoo 07-22-20 08:13 PM


Originally Posted by carleton (Post 21601849)
My setup is still doing great. The only complaint I've heard was from a shorter rider who had a hard time getting the bars low enough for his tastes.

The drop bars from CycleOps won't work for this trainer as you won't have anywhere to mount the wire and friction lever to adjust the friction on the flywheel. Those bars are made for machines that have the friction knob on the top tube (in later models). So, you must use the setup as described above.

I'm pretty sure you can find a welder in any city. Just look for a shop that works on exhausts/mufflers. They all require welding to install. If you take the welder the pipe, I'm sure they can make it happen for a few bucks. Maybe print out this thread, too.

The guy that did it for me was a bike frame builder. So, if you have one of those around, that person can do it, too.

Ah, you're right about the friction knob. I know for the most part the design of these bikes are similar between generations, but the knob placement changed. Good to know that your setup is still going strong, and I appreciate your feedback!

carpediemracing 07-22-20 10:21 PM

I cut the head tube down on my CycleOps 300. It was pretty straightforward. I thought I posted it somewhere in this forum but I don't remember.

The "before" picture - this was me thinking in picture:
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xAs28QeNX...ModsSketch.jpg
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...4de7c8f0f2.jpg
Planning. Note the top cast piece held on by a few spot welds (not sure if that's the right term). Also note how tall it is. I'll need to cut it down.

Next was the doing. It's a modular system as I hoped. I didn't think such a frame would be made with hand built loving precision stuff. No, it would be cast and tacked/welded/glued. And it was.

https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...48e6208894.jpg
The cut original head tube (in front), the stuff I had to mod in the rear.


https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...03ad0263e7.jpg
The top cast piece in front. It came off the black painted area of the tube in the rear. Once I cut through a few spot welds and pried through some epoxy it popped right off. I had to cut down the cast piece to make it as low in height as possible. Don't lose the black plastic spacer that goes in front of the spring.


https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...28598f8a18.jpg
Finished and nicely low. Note how the top cast piece is much shorter than original. I cut the head tube down to minimum and trimmed the cast piece so it would stay on. I also had to cut through some stuff at the bottom of the head tube since the "stem" now drops well below the bottom of it. Now for the stem mod.

carpediemracing 07-22-20 10:33 PM

Weight 135-140 lbs
 
Weight. It weighs 140 lbs for shipping purposes, 135 lbs I think is the actual weight.

I moved mine myself. I didn't realize how heavy it was, but it's possible to do it solo, it's just not pretty. It took some doing, especially loading it and unloading it (Suburban). I broke the computer mount, glued it back together with proper cement.

Getting the thing into the bike room was a pain also - it's a very long and tortuous route to get into the bike room in the basement. There's no direct access from outside so up the long walk way / stairs to the front door, then to one end of the house, down the stairs, then other end of house (u-turn and a couple doors). I had to do with with the mini home gym setup I have now, as well as all the cat litter (we go through 35-70 lbs a week for 6 cats, and the litter boxes are just outside the bike room. I do a lot of "weighted walking" as part of my workout routine, including doing 2 sets of stairs each way.

I need to anchor the rear or create long, forward pointing braces so the bars are not behind the front feet. Right now it's a recipe for flipping forward (I have the super low stem, the stem is all the way forward also). The first time I did a practice standing start with shifting my butt from way back to way forward, and really punching the first downstroke, I almost ended up on my face. The rear went up into the air, I shifted back quickly, and it slammed into the floor.

carleton 07-29-20 02:43 AM

That's amazing work, @carpediemracing!

DMC707 07-29-20 08:17 AM

Uggghhh - try finding one of those beauties for $400 now ! I saw one for $700 a few months before Covid and should have jumped on it

Oh well - re-habbing a horrid knee injury now so im currently content to do long, slow spin rides on my Lemond -- bars set at a comfortable "movie watching" height , but they'll get low enough ----- Id have to put some Garmin pedals or something similar to get any power readings from this one though

https://i.imgur.com/knV7bBA.jpg

carpediemracing 07-29-20 11:49 AM


Originally Posted by carleton (Post 21612649)
That's amazing work, @carpediemracing!

Thanks. Honestly though I think it's a 60 minute job once you know what to do, and if you have a Dremel with a HD cutter blade. I spent most of my time trying to figure out what to do (before cutting anything) then gathering courage to cut and such. I couldn't find my Dremel for a week and finally borrowed one. Had to go buy bigger cutting blades. Etc. If I were to do it again it would be much quicker, much more straight forward.

ncyue 11-25-20 08:55 AM

I purchased a used Cycleops 300PT on ebay with local pickup partly based on this thread but the owner did not know about the Power capabilities. Indeed, there were no batteries in the hub cap at all. Since this is a wired console I had to specially order the E90 batteries. Can you tell me how to get the batteries seated in the Powertap hub cap? And the positive/negative orientation? I have taken off sequentially both of the hub covers (non drive side) but cannot figure it out. There is no real slot for the batteries and the batteries just roll around in there and stick to the magnet. I am presuming that the magnet is for the cadence and speed calculations, and they display accurately on the console (but do not need the batteries in the hub to do so) . The space is tight but if someone could post pictures to help me (or a video) I would GREATLY appreciate it!

carleton 11-26-20 11:35 AM


Originally Posted by ncyue (Post 21805611)
I purchased a used Cycleops 300PT on ebay with local pickup partly based on this thread but the owner did not know about the Power capabilities. Indeed, there were no batteries in the hub cap at all. Since this is a wired console I had to specially order the E90 batteries. Can you tell me how to get the batteries seated in the Powertap hub cap? And the positive/negative orientation? I have taken off sequentially both of the hub covers (non drive side) but cannot figure it out. There is no real slot for the batteries and the batteries just roll around in there and stick to the magnet. I am presuming that the magnet is for the cadence and speed calculations, and they display accurately on the console (but do not need the batteries in the hub to do so) . The space is tight but if someone could post pictures to help me (or a video) I would GREATLY appreciate it!


When you get a chance, will you post pics of what you are describing about the inside of the hub cover?

ncyue 11-28-20 09:23 AM

thanks Carleton. Hopefully these pictures show the issue.

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...6c26ccb807.jpg
This is the instruction and diagram from the manual that I found online about replacing the hub batteries.


https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...8e27eb0e87.jpg
On the non drive side of the bike, this is the screw to loosen to take off the half cap for the hub.

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...9502703986.jpg
When the half cap is pulled out, the loose batteries that i had previously placed come with it since they are attracted to the magnet that I presume is there for the cadence sensor. There is no obvious battery bed, and no battery terminals at all. These are AAA's but I had also previously tried the E90's and they were even looser.





https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...d9978d0697.jpg
Close up view of the other half cap. Also no battery terminals, and no good place to seat the batteries.


https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...ce07e153fd.jpg
You can see how the removed half cap aligns to fit with the other half. Problem is that the batteries do not really have a bed and there are no battery terminals.
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...4d2d1f3630.jpg
This is the original manual; definitely a Pro 300PT
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...5735da0f6b.jpg
Instructions in the original manual on how to change the hub batteries .
his is the screw for the half cap that is to be taken off.

carleton 11-30-20 10:08 PM

9 Attachment(s)
@ncyue, it appears that your unit doesn't come with a power meter. Here are pics of mine (see attached).

There is hope, though. CycleOps has really good technical customer service. I'm willing to bet that they can outfit you with the components to convert this to a power meter.

ncyue 11-30-20 10:51 PM


Originally Posted by carleton (Post 21812988)
@ncyue, it appears that your unit doesn't come with a power meter. Here are pics of mine (see attached).

There is hope, though. CycleOps has really good technical customer service. I'm willing to bet that they can outfit you with the components to convert this to a power meter.

Thank you for solving my mystery Carleton!
I think that might cost more than the bike cost me. Oh well. I am certain that the original owner/seller had no idea, he was going by the paperwork that came with the bike.
Really appreciate your help!!

carleton 11-30-20 11:06 PM


Originally Posted by ncyue (Post 21813017)
Thank you for solving my mystery Carleton!
I think that might cost more than the bike cost me. Oh well. I am certain that the original owner/seller had no idea, he was going by the paperwork that came with the bike.
Really appreciate your help!!

No problem. Happy to help!

Yeah, it might not be worth the effort and money.

An easy, modern, and flexible solution would be to simply use power meter pedals. How much are those these days? $600-700 new? Plus you can use them on any bike after the winter.

I wouldn't look to change out the cranks. It's possible, but it uses an odd bottom bracket (ISIS?), then you'll have to find some BMX cranks with the same BB and with a power meter...then a chainring. More than it's worth.

One maintenance item you can do is to replace the chain with a quality single speed chain and hope that your steel chainring isn't "sharktoothed" (replacing it is about $100. The chainring and right crank arm are a single steel unit). Depends on how much use it saw (home use or in a public gym).

You'll have to buy 2 chains, 1 isn't quite long enough. Just use 2 master links to join them all together.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:57 AM.


Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.