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Smart Trainer solid, suitable, for sprinters?

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Smart Trainer solid, suitable, for sprinters?

Old 07-10-20, 10:33 AM
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Clythio
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Smart Trainer solid, suitable, for sprinters?

Hello - I'm used to spend a big part of my training, indoor, even when I was only on the road racing (up to 2016).
I have a nice roller (last gen InsideRide eMotion) which I use for recovery, endurance or heavy gear seated efforts (road things), and a dumb (not "smarted") Kurt Kinetic Road Machine permanently equipped with a fixed alu bike, for standing starts (I have a hub powermeter on this old alu bike).

But I need a direct drive/smart trainer for all other kind of efforts, since it's rock solid, accurate on power measurements, and capable of holding real standing sprint efforts - simulating flying sprints, lets say.

Putting aside things like SRM bikes, Cycleops spinning devices (I know Carleton advices, but it's impossible to find here in Brazil), and Wattbike (costs like $4000-$5000 here), and considering I want to keep "a bike" connection - real handlebars, frame, seat feelings, etc., I'm thinking about these Elite, Wahoo, Tacx, Cycleops on the market.
The Tacx Neo is too flexible (read lots of reviews and watched videos), Wahoo I've read a lot of problems, from Elite I had two other models, and a lot of problems with calibration, interface, power values accuracy, etc.,... and I'm looking toward to the Cycleops Hammer, that seems to be very solid and reliable on power values - I'm a Powertap user since 2005.

Any suggestions, of personal experience reports, are welcome.
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Old 07-10-20, 12:05 PM
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I have a Cycleops Magnus. It's been reliable for the 3 years that I've had it.
I had to build a wooden frame screwed to the wall to keep it from walking across the room when sprinting. It does ok for standing start efforts, but I can tip it over if I go hard enough.
My wife has had the Hammer for as long as I've had mine and its also been reliable. She doesn't have any trouble sprinting on it. I can make it move, but it's much more stable than mine. I haven't done any standing starts on it.
Hope this helps!
Paul
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Old 07-10-20, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Clythio View Post
Hello - I'm used to spend a big part of my training, indoor, even when I was only on the road racing (up to 2016).
I have a nice roller (last gen InsideRide eMotion) which I use for recovery, endurance or heavy gear seated efforts (road things), and a dumb (not "smarted") Kurt Kinetic Road Machine permanently equipped with a fixed alu bike, for standing starts (I have a hub powermeter on this old alu bike).

But I need a direct drive/smart trainer for all other kind of efforts, since it's rock solid, accurate on power measurements, and capable of holding real standing sprint efforts - simulating flying sprints, lets say.

Putting aside things like SRM bikes, Cycleops spinning devices (I know Carleton advices, but it's impossible to find here in Brazil), and Wattbike (costs like $4000-$5000 here), and considering I want to keep "a bike" connection - real handlebars, frame, seat feelings, etc., I'm thinking about these Elite, Wahoo, Tacx, Cycleops on the market.
The Tacx Neo is too flexible (read lots of reviews and watched videos), Wahoo I've read a lot of problems, from Elite I had two other models, and a lot of problems with calibration, interface, power values accuracy, etc.,... and I'm looking toward to the Cycleops Hammer, that seems to be very solid and reliable on power values - I'm a Powertap user since 2005.

Any suggestions, of personal experience reports, are welcome.
The Canadian National Track team all use Wahoo Kickr. I have used it for 4 years and it has been 100% reliable.
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Old 07-11-20, 11:15 AM
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I've been using my wife's Kickr the last few weeks. It works pretty well, though I did have to put some bags of concrete on the legs to keep it from lifting on starts.

Velobike makes adapters for many direct drive trainers to put your track bike on there. If you want a cheap option, try to find a used Lemond Revolution.
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Old 07-11-20, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I've been using my wife's Kickr the last few weeks. It works pretty well, though I did have to put some bags of concrete on the legs to keep it from lifting on starts.

Velobike makes adapters for many direct drive trainers to put your track bike on there. If you want a cheap option, try to find a used Lemond Revolution.
Strong guys... screwing on the ground or walls, putting concrete bags.. :-)
Thanks for the suggestion about Lemond Rev - will check here but it's very hard to find the brand here in Brazil. I think they never had a seller here.
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Old 07-21-20, 04:09 AM
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I 100% would not bother chasing a Lemond if you already have the KKRM. The Kurt with the heavy flywheel was one of the best trainers prior to the smart revolution and is much much much quieter than the Lemond. I’ve done literally thousands of standing and rolling full gas efforts on my KKRM. I retired it to upgrade to a 2nd gen Kickr and would 100% recommend one of those too. The kickr has a toothed belt (not sure if they still do) which eliminates slippage that other trainers may have with their v belt on high resistance efforts, plus the Kickr had the highest resistance at the time IIRC
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Old 07-21-20, 07:59 AM
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I tried a Lemond recently with a Velobike adapter. It is very loud. But, they are pretty easy to find near me and the going rate is about $200-$250, which is a lot less than a Kickr.

I've used a KKRM but with the normal freewheel. It's fine, but wheel slippage has been an issue for me. (I hear trainer tires, knurling the drum or the heavier flywheel can help with that.) There is no slipping on the Kickr. The manual resistance settings are nice for starts, but I found that with that, once I get the flywheel going, the power required to keep pedaling plummets. I often just plug it in and use it like a regular trainer and avoid the manual setting options.
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Old 07-23-20, 07:45 AM
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Speaking of Kickr's, anyone's experience with the original (2014) model?
One locally at a fair price, but I know the way of measuring power and flywheel changed after the original. Not really a deal if it's immediate buyers remorse, but my computrainer is getting a little long in the tooth.
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Old 07-23-20, 08:28 AM
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topflightpro
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My understanding is they made some substantial improvements between Gen 1 and Gen 2. I think we have Gen 2 (maybe 3?). If you plan to put a Velobike adapter on there, I think some of the older Kickrs work better/are easier to set up, but you'll have to double check that.
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Old 07-23-20, 08:48 AM
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thanks, yeah wasn't sure but I remember the OG ones having some issues although I heard firmware had helped.

I will probably hold out for a later gen or just suck it up and buy a new/refurb
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Old 09-20-20, 08:26 AM
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Adding some info here.

1) I have a KKRM with the heavy flywheel, with a "permanently attached" old alu Fuji Track frame on it, TT handlebar/setup, for standing starts only (sometimes I take the bike outside, it has brakes, safe for non-velodrome standing starts accelerations sessions on other kind of places).
Found that with 48/15 it simulates very well the power/cadence acceleration curve that I get with real race gear 51/14.
Had some slippage problems, solved with.... large tire on rear training wheel - with a 25mm "soft rubber" tire (Vittoria Rubino), the contact area gets larger and eliminated slippage (since I have only 1300w peaks usually). First I turn the bolt, then I pump to 120psi. It's working well and I'm just asking myself why I didn't think on a larger tire earlier...

2) Bought a Saris H3 and after a month of tests, I'm already selling it... it was intended to replace my Elite Drivo, for use on many different kind of training, like flying efforts high cadence, heavy gear low cadence, etc., with a geared road bike on it (geometry setup similar to the track bike).
Reasons to give up and get back to the Elite Drivo:
a) No Saris Campy compatible free-hub conversion available (still using 10sp, there's a difference between Campy and Shimano, shifting never gets ok);
b) No resistance curve if not controlled by apps like Zwift - taking time loading app just to make some "flat terrain" efforts - and sometime getting annoyed by the circuit profile variation inducing some resistance variation during a high cadence sprint.. (the Drivo offers very nice "real feel" resistance curve only if plugged on power, no app link required);
c) Power accuracy below pair, if compared with reliable Vector 3 on same bike. Drivo was always 1-3% below the pedals, very reasonable, but Saris H3 floated up to 5-10% deviation range, too high even considering the transmission power loss.
d) The "axle" contact pieces holding the frame on H3 aren't knurled as it's on the Drivo (on the left side) and in a real rear wheel axle. On the Saris H3, it's made of very well polished aluminum, allowing vertical frame slippage when sprinting. Even with a "carbon braking" tight rear skewer I had a bad event, almost braking a carbon frame during a seated, 100rpm 1000w sprint effort;
e) H3 is said to be one of the most "silent" trainers, much better than previous Cycleops Hammer H1 versions, etc... Ok, true. IF AND ONLY you do not stop pedaling.. never! If you stop, the cle cle cle cle loud sound will fill all the room space for long seconds (heavy flywheel) and even my wife came from the other end of the apartment to ask "what changed on your training device?".

Last edited by Clythio; 09-20-20 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 12-22-21, 05:05 AM
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For those that have wahoo kickr's how do they perform on standing starts? Currently I have a wahoo core and its pretty poor, no matter the mode it seems like I get slippage/odd resistance behavior in the low RPM range.

I'm leaning towards the tacx neo 2T, just because it has the promise of Isokinetic training (I can't post a link but google tacx isokinetic app for details) which in theory lets me try some of the recent published workouts (google 'mehdi kordi Quasi-Isometric Cycling') from mehdi kordi - anyone have any hands on experience? Checking out the few youtube clips I can find of someone using that mode, its pretty vague as to how successful it would be for recreating that particular training session (min speed seems too high to get instant resistance in the right pedal range).

The neo 2T and kickr are also getting very close to the price of used wattbike trainer/pro models in the UK. Should I just take the leap and grab one of those (only thing with real stability for efforts?)? I just want something for sprint work/standing starts etc. would be great if it sets up for mehdi's isokinetic workouts also.
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Old 01-30-22, 09:16 AM
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So after a fair amount of digging around and speaking with velobike (I would be using one of their adapters for whatever I get), I'm basically at - top choice: wait for a lemond revolution or used wattbike pro/trainer to pop up for sale or second place: a kickr v5 with the velobike adapter (or first place if nothing is turning up s/h for the others).

Does anyone here have experience on the wattbike (not the atom) and the lemond? If so which has the better realism for standing starts/gate practise or sprint erg work generally? Is there much meaningful difference between the two? Its going to be impossible for me to try both at any point in time close to each other and likely I would just have to buy something used without the ability to try it anyway so if there are some views out there from folks with hands on experience I would love to hear them.

Thanks in advance
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Old 01-30-22, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by RobertPaulson View Post
So after a fair amount of digging around and speaking with velobike (I would be using one of their adapters for whatever I get), I'm basically at - top choice: wait for a lemond revolution or used wattbike pro/trainer to pop up for sale or second place: a kickr v5 with the velobike adapter (or first place if nothing is turning up s/h for the others).

Does anyone here have experience on the wattbike (not the atom) and the lemond? If so which has the better realism for standing starts/gate practise or sprint erg work generally? Is there much meaningful difference between the two? Its going to be impossible for me to try both at any point in time close to each other and likely I would just have to buy something used without the ability to try it anyway so if there are some views out there from folks with hands on experience I would love to hear them.

Thanks in advance
I have used an older version of the Lemond Revolution called the Road Machine. I did 2000W standing starts on it. It is not quite as stable as the Wahoo Kickr base, but is strong enough to handle starts. The noise is very loud. It blows air on you. It feels much more realistic than any cheap trainers.
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Old 01-31-22, 07:19 AM
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I have a Kickr Gen 1 with a VeloBike adapter on there. It works ok for starts.

I had to use chain tensioners to set it up and it holds ok with the QR system. The Kickr resistance curve is odd. I've used it in standard mode and adjusting levels and percent resistance. I've struggled to find the sweet spot where the initial load is sufficiently challenging but that does not allow me to get the freewheel spinning to quickly.
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Old 02-08-22, 10:37 AM
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thanks folks, looks like I am waiting for a used wattbike pro then. A few trainer models out there at kickr v5 prices but from the single one I had a go on at the local velodrome they see waay too easy to spin up for start work
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Old 02-08-22, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by RobertPaulson View Post
thanks folks, looks like I am waiting for a used wattbike pro then. A few trainer models out there at kickr v5 prices but from the single one I had a go on at the local velodrome they see waay too easy to spin up for start work
You're saying you tried a Kickr?? If so, then check your settings - there's quite a few options on how to make them work. I would 100% recommend a Kickr. They have a toothed belt (at the time all other options were smooth belt = slippage at high resistance) which means even on the highest of resistance they'll hold. Do yourself a favour and have another go with a standing start at 100%
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Old 02-09-22, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by brawlo View Post
You're saying you tried a Kickr?? If so, then check your settings - there's quite a few options on how to make them work. I would 100% recommend a Kickr. They have a toothed belt (at the time all other options were smooth belt = slippage at high resistance) which means even on the highest of resistance they'll hold. Do yourself a favour and have another go with a standing start at 100%
Sorry I didn't write that very well, I had a go on a wattbike trainer model (like the pro but lower resistance) at our velodrome, its a pretty old and battered one which nobody seems that sure if its working ok or not BUT fan 11 and magnet at 7/8 was still too easy to spin up to 120rpm from a start which its not like I should have the watts to do (1600w max, but 18s first lap from gate so I do have a fair amount of torque), either way it felt nothing like a real gate start. Thanks for the reply though, I'm trying to find a wattbike pro to have a spin on so might as well seek out a kickr v5 at a shop and jump on that too, I just assumed from topflightpro's reply above that it wasn't night and day vs the core. Hopefully I don't bend the chainring of the bike they have on it!

Basically the kickrcore works ok enough that I can do near any other intervals outside of starts, so if a new trainer isn't going to let me practice the hips on those first 3/4 'deadlift the bars' type revs out of the gate I might as well stick with that rather than drop big (for me) cash on a new trainer. Granted I could just get a cheapo fixie set-up with a hacked together gate and do reps on a quiet road, but I would have to drive to get the right spot and being WFH sprint work on the turbo is just so easy to fit in vs the outside alternative.
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Old 02-09-22, 09:16 PM
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You should probably not be so concerned with chasing the specificity from a trainer. The core and upper body coordination and strength required in a good standing start won't be gained from a fixed trainer. Rather, use the trainer to build your strength and endurance and then once you can get out on track or road, then work on the last points of your start. You can bodge up a start gate type setup or just roll to a stop and then take off. You can train the strength and coordination in a roll-stop, just not the push off
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Old 02-10-22, 09:56 AM
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Agreed. And if start gate practice is that important, but you don't have access, easy enough to build one. I'm on prototype 3 of an adjustable hitch mounted start gate, which works great (pardon the poor welding).

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Old 02-11-22, 04:46 AM
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Good work!!
At risk of hijacking the thread... what have you used for the seatpost mount/clamp/holder?
Might be worth a new thread and some closeups if you'd be happy to share? Something like this is definitely on my list of winter-stuff-to-do.

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Old 02-11-22, 06:52 AM
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Dfarlow - I may need to talk with you about building me one of those things.
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Old 02-16-22, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by brawlo View Post
You should probably not be so concerned with chasing the specificity from a trainer. The core and upper body coordination and strength required in a good standing start won't be gained from a fixed trainer. Rather, use the trainer to build your strength and endurance and then once you can get out on track or road, then work on the last points of your start. You can bodge up a start gate type setup or just roll to a stop and then take off. You can train the strength and coordination in a roll-stop, just not the push off
Cool, you sold me. converting my first track bike frame into a road rollstop special and just grabbed a velobike adapter for the kickrcore. Now I can 'invest' my savings from no new trainer into a pair of s/h discs!
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Old 04-24-22, 03:35 AM
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after all that a lemond revolution popped up for sale at a great price, now have that plus a road roll stop frame for way less than the price of a used wattbike. The lemond is great, feels better than a wattbike to me and a million times better than the kickr for those first 2 or 3 revs of a big gear from standing, but I need to mount it for better stability - planning on cobbling together something like the attached photo. Anyone done anything similar? Any tips before I go out and spring for all the timber? Thanks in advance


I did this to my miche pistard airs so I would rather go overkill with the strength of the platform!


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