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Which trainer to get? Rollers, basic, or smart?

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Which trainer to get? Rollers, basic, or smart?

Old 10-26-16, 10:26 PM
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Which trainer to get? Rollers, basic, or smart?

I'm completely on the fence about this. I've used a trainer in the past and it was dreadfully boring. It was before Zwift. I'm getting serious about my riding and want to start training for the upcoming race season and need to be able to ride at home. Trying not to spend a ton either. I will be using Zwift this go-round. Thoughts? Advice? Thanks in advance.

Here are some that I'm looking at:
Elite Qubo Power Smart B+ Trainer

Travel Trac Technique PRO Alloy Rollers

Elite Qubo Adjustable Fluid Trainer

A bit more than I want to spend:
Kinetic Road Machine Smart Fluid Trainer
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Old 10-26-16, 10:46 PM
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Rollers with resistance, like SportsCrafters.
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Old 10-26-16, 10:54 PM
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I bought a very simple Cyclops fluid trainer years ago. (Late '90s?) No electronics, no adjustment. (You can sorta adjust the resistance by varying how hard teh contact is with your tire.) All it does is resist, feeling quite similar to the road. And that it has done very well. It was probably ~$240. I have spent $0 on maintenance.

I have the same issues with boredom. I use a simple heart monitor, cadence computer and a cheap used desktop computer to play DVDs Then I plug in a racing DVD and ride to the HR and cadence I have chosen.

Ben
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Old 10-27-16, 09:54 AM
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I don't have a lot of experience with fluid trainers, but after doing extensive reading I settled on a Cyclops Mag+. I had the SportsCrafters rollers for my trike and didn't think much of it.

Coupled with my HRM and Netflix I can keep up the intensity without getting too bored (up until about an hour anyway).
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Old 10-27-16, 11:59 AM
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I've been very, very happy with the Performance Bike branded rollers you listed for many years! They're a great value. I see they're on sale for $160 right now which really can't be beat.

If you have the money though, some rollers with a resistance unit are what I consider the crown jewel of indoor trainers! You're looking at $350 and up.

Something like this: https://www.cycleops.com/product/rollers
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Old 10-27-16, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
I don't have a lot of experience with fluid trainers, but after doing extensive reading I settled on a Cyclops Mag+. I had the SportsCrafters rollers for my trike and didn't think much of it.

Coupled with my HRM and Netflix I can keep up the intensity without getting too bored (up until about an hour anyway).
Yeah, riding rollers on a trike kinds voids the whole superiority of rollers over trainers thing. But what didn't you like about the SportsCrafters? You had the Pro with resistance?
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Old 10-27-16, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BloomBikeShop View Post
I've been very, very happy with the Performance Bike branded rollers you listed for many years! They're a great value. I see they're on sale for $160 right now which really can't be beat.

If you have the money though, some rollers with a resistance unit are what I consider the crown jewel of indoor trainers! You're looking at $350 and up.

Something like this: https://www.cycleops.com/product/rollers
I still use my old set of Performance rollers with ABS drums and a fluid resistance unit. I've put about 2000 miles/year on them for 20 years and they're still going strong. I wore the tread of the drums long ago and have had to change the oil in the fluid unit a couple of times. It's nice to just throw the road bike on there and ride, regular road tires, etc.
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Old 10-27-16, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Yeah, riding rollers on a trike kinds voids the whole superiority of rollers over trainers thing. But what didn't you like about the SportsCrafters? You had the Pro with resistance?
Yea, I had the progressive resistance, but I'd still spin out at times (trike specific model). And I had to concentrate really hard on my pedal stroke or I'd bounce. I think the rear suspension added to the issue.

But it was real easy to put on... just lift up the rear wheel and slide it under.
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Old 10-27-16, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I still use my old set of Performance rollers with ABS drums and a fluid resistance unit. I've put about 2000 miles/year on them for 20 years and they're still going strong. I wore the tread of the drums long ago and have had to change the oil in the fluid unit a couple of times. It's nice to just throw the road bike on there and ride, regular road tires, etc.
I remember almost buying some of those!
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Old 10-27-16, 03:16 PM
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I am very happy with my Cateye Cyclosimulator CS-1000. I would suggest this if you can find one used that still works. I bought mine for 20 bones. Complete steal. I did have to re-calibrate the power measurement sensor, but other than incorrect power output display it is perfect. Now that it is calibrated, it is quite accurate.

I understand that you probably cannot find one of those. So I would just get a simple used trainer with a resistance adjustment remote and save the money for another upgrade to your bike. The bells and whistles don't do much for me. Just park yourself in-front of the big screen whilst playing a recording of a famous bike route. Set your resistance according to the video. That's the only way I can indoor train. Otherwise it is a complete bore and I'd rather go jogging.
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Old 10-31-16, 09:59 PM
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Thanks for the replies all. I'm really on the fence about this and thinking that rollers would certainly be more fun, but maybe not as efficient when training. Choices, choices.
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Old 11-01-16, 07:17 AM
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A few years back, I bought used Kreitler rollers for about $130. I then bought a $20 magnet on Amazon. Stuck it on the frame (Fe based) right next to but not touching the Al roller drum. Cheap DIY resistance that is relatively quite and can be folded up to take to races for warmup. I can perform interval workouts hitting easily over 500W and not spinning out. You could put two magnets on there for even more resistance but for me that is basically sprinting and that workout happens outside.
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Old 11-01-16, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by robabeatle View Post
A few years back, I bought used Kreitler rollers for about $130. I then bought a $20 magnet on Amazon. Stuck it on the frame (Fe based) right next to but not touching the Al roller drum. Cheap DIY resistance that is relatively quite and can be folded up to take to races for warmup. I can perform interval workouts hitting easily over 500W and not spinning out. You could put two magnets on there for even more resistance but for me that is basically sprinting and that workout happens outside.
Here's a blog of this DIY resistance sort of thing: Bike Stuff
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Old 11-01-16, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Here's a blog of this DIY resistance sort of thing: Bike Stuff
That setup is way more complicated than needed. Seriously, take a cube shaped strong magnet, stick in on the frame near the drum and done. That is it.
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Old 11-01-16, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by robabeatle View Post
That setup is way more complicated than needed. Seriously, take a cube shaped strong magnet, stick in on the frame near the drum and done. That is it.
Cool. Link to magnet?
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Old 11-01-16, 06:07 PM
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This would likely do:

https://www.amazon.com/Neodymium-Per...+magnet+2+inch

*edit* just be careful with magnets such as these, they are incredibly strong; you can break fingers.
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Old 11-02-16, 08:31 AM
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If you plan on using it with Zwift, why wouldn't you get a smart trainer?

The whole point of Zwift is to use the resistance given by a smart trainer to simulate hills and to help adjust your watt output during workouts. That's not going to happen on rollers or a mag trainer.
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Old 11-02-16, 08:53 AM
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I don't see the point of Zwift and the like. I suppose if you don't know what you're doing, why you're training, what you're training for, or who you are, software like that might be useful. But better to figure those things out and train more specifically for yourself and your goals. When I ride my bike, either indoors or outdoors, I'm constantly adjusting my power output according to how I'm feeling and how, why, when and how much I want to suffer. Maybe I'm just a control freak.
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Old 11-02-16, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
If you plan on using it with Zwift, why wouldn't you get a smart trainer?

The whole point of Zwift is to use the resistance given by a smart trainer to simulate hills and to help adjust your watt output during workouts. That's not going to happen on rollers or a mag trainer.
As much as I'd like to get a fully integrated smart trainer, spending $800 on one isn't in the cards at this point. The couple that I mentioned are smart, but don't change the resistance automatically. I'm thinking that a trainer with manual resistance and a power meter, I can certainly get a great workout in. Zwift will be primarily there to help pass the time as trainers are dreadfully boring.
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Old 11-02-16, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I don't see the point of Zwift and the like. I suppose if you don't know what you're doing, why you're training, what you're training for, or who you are, software like that might be useful. But better to figure those things out and train more specifically for yourself and your goals. When I ride my bike, either indoors or outdoors, I'm constantly adjusting my power output according to how I'm feeling and how, why, when and how much I want to suffer. Maybe I'm just a control freak.
I do all of that, but I do it on Zwift with my smart trainer. Or at least when doing longer, sub-threshold stuff. For the shorter stuff I just go straight to it, but the shorter stuff won't be happening in the next three months or so.

What I like about Zwift: Say I want to do some tempo work. I can do it outdoors and deal with stop lights, cars, bad pavement, etc. (which I still do plenty of btw) or do it indoors and avoid all of that. When indoors I can do it on my rollers and just spin at x cadence/power for the duration I intended (would be the same on a fluid trainer) or I can do it on Zwift, where I will not have to deal with stop lights etc. but I still need to deal with the changing terrain, which I like. Twenty minutes of tempo climbing and twenty minutes of flat tempo riding are not quite the same, even if the power requirement is the same. Now, I could do something somewhat similar with the rollers and/or fluid trainer by shifting gears, but I find the smart trainer more 'realistic' in that the resistance changes constantly and I have to account for it by changing my riding style.
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Old 11-02-16, 01:15 PM
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^ Thanks!
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Old 11-02-16, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by BigPoser View Post
As much as I'd like to get a fully integrated smart trainer, spending $800 on one isn't in the cards at this point. The couple that I mentioned are smart, but don't change the resistance automatically. I'm thinking that a trainer with manual resistance and a power meter, I can certainly get a great workout in. Zwift will be primarily there to help pass the time as trainers are dreadfully boring.
If you're not in a hurry, I bet you can find a better deal on one. Last year, I bought a Tacx Bushido from Ribble for around $350.

Performance Bike has the Elite Qubo Power Smart B+ Trainer on sale right now for $250 and DC Rainmaker says a lot of nice things about it.

https://www.performancebike.com/bike...3_-1___1975511

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2015/11/...endations.html
https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2015/08/...-trainers.html
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Old 11-02-16, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
If you're not in a hurry, I bet you can find a better deal on one. Last year, I bought a Tacx Bushido from Ribble for around $350.

Performance Bike has the Elite Qubo Power Smart B+ Trainer on sale right now for $250 and DC Rainmaker says a lot of nice things about it.

https://www.performancebike.com/bike...3_-1___1975511

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2015/11/...endations.html
https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2015/08/...-trainers.html

Thanks for that. I actually saw that earlier today. Although it doesn't change resistance automatically, it uses algorithm from Zwift. I'm hoping to have a real power meter here soon anyway.

To my knowledge Ribble, or any of the other UK shops won't ship trainers to the States anymore.
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Old 11-03-16, 01:04 PM
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Okay I think I've narrowed it down to one of these. Thoughts are appreciated.

Something more simple like this with resistance:
Elite Qubo Adjustable Fluid Trainer

Or something like this?:
Elite Qubo Power Smart B+ Trainer
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Old 11-03-16, 02:02 PM
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