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Netathlon vs. Computrainer

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Old 12-18-06, 10:35 AM
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pletcgm
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Netathlon vs. Computrainer

I would appreciate some feedback on both of the above mentioned trainers. I was set on buying the Computrainer until I heard about the Netathlon. I realize the Computrainer has far more analysis of the ride than the other, but the price of the Netathlon is considerably less. I assumed a new role at work and now have hardly any time to ride in the daylight and commuting is out of the question because I never know how long I will be at work and it may be dark by the time I leave.

Does the Netathlon increase/decrease resistance as the screen shows the terrain changing? The advantage to the Netathlon is that you can compete with others across the internet, whereas the Computrainer can compete only in a LAN environment. Thanks
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Old 12-18-06, 10:04 PM
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shoerhino
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Netathlon is software that can be used with many different trainers, such as a computrainer or an Imagic and does not include a trainer, although you can buy the software with some additional hardware sensors that is used to input your speed to Netathlon, although you would still need a trainer of some type. I'm assuming that you are comparing the Netathlon software with it's hardware speed sensors to using a computrainer with it's included program.

The advantage of having a computrainer or an Imagic is exactly as you've stated - when the terrain changes, the resistance changes. If you use Netathlon with trainer that is capable of varying the resistance (such as the computrainer), it will vary the resistance when climbing a hill or drafting a rider. If you are using Netathlon with the optional speed sensors and a normal trainer, the resistance will not change as the terrain changes but everything else should work.

The computrainer does have a lot more analysis built in but I think that the Netathlon software is more fun to use. You can setup quite a few different pacer types and can ride online with other people. I think the out of box software used with the Computrainer is limited in comparison. I use an I-Magic with the Netathlon software and really enjoy it. The Netathlon software is very good although sometimes the support and communication is lacking.

The bottom line is how much the variable resistance is worth? In my opinion, it makes riding much more interesting.

A good place to learn more about the software is the Yahoo Netathlon user group.
http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group...s/messages?o=1
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Old 12-20-06, 08:07 AM
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We just bought a Computrainer as our xmas gift. Once I figured out how to get the software up and running it was great. One of the included courses was the loop of Central Park which I ride regularly, and when I got to the hills I am familiar with it really felt like it!. I also liked the fact that it comes with topo gps software that allows you to generate courses from mapping software or your gps. There is some learning curve with the software and the hardware itself. The biggest drawback for me is that we switch bikes, and while mounting and cabling is easy - 10 minutes or less, you need to calibrate the rolling resistance for the bike before using for accurate measurements and workouts. That process involves filling tire to max pressure, setting drag on the roller, riding for a while to warm up the tire, then getting your speed up to 25mph and letting it coast to a stop. That alone is bit of a workout. Even with using a single bike this needs to be done every time the unit has been turned off.
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Old 12-21-06, 02:59 PM
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Netathlon is a disaster.

I have CycleOps Electronic+ trainer which comes with Netathlon 1.0. The biggest probelm with the software is that it is simply not usable. It sporadically changes resistance on the trainer even if you are on the flat terrain. I have tried everything - no effect. I am not only one who experienced this problem. Just google CycleOps Electronic trainer , Netathlon and you will see.

The company that makes it - Fitcentric is known for not providing any customer support.

I would not recommend anybody this product or any other products from FitCentric. It is a waste of money.
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Old 12-25-06, 10:35 AM
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I just got a big surprise Christmas present as well... a Computrainer! I have a couple of questions...

I'm trying to decide which computer to hook it up to. The manual says it will run on a Pentium II. Has anyone had luck with a machine that old?

What resolution will it run at? From the screen shots on the RacerMate web site it doesn't look like it runs at high resolutions (1280x1024 and up). How high can it go? If I hook it up to our newest PC then I would run it at 1920x1200 on an 24" LCD panel.

thanks!
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Old 12-26-06, 02:10 PM
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No problem at 1280 x 800, as high as I can go on my laptop. I have a newer core2duo, but Linda uses one of those cheap sub $600 amd cpu laptops with only 256mb of memory, and it runs fine on hers as well. It crashed on both computers until I read the readme file that came with it. You'd probably get more concise answers directly from Racermate's forum. I would also recommend downloading the more current beta versions of their software.
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Old 12-26-06, 08:16 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I hooked it up to and older PC with a 1.4 GHz Celereon processor and an nVidia card from a couple of years ago that has 128mb of video ram. The PC only has 512mb and has XP on it. It runs great at 1280x1024.

This thing is totally cool. It also came with the GPS mapping software. I have a Garmin eTrex Vista GPS receiver that I can use to record courses that I ride in my area. I'm looking forward to creating my first course.

Do you know if there is a way for two people with CT's to race/ride together via online linking over the Internet? A good friend of mine has a CT and we'd like to try to ride together without bring all the geat to the others house.
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Old 12-26-06, 08:22 PM
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I think rhey are working on it. they have a place for suggestions on their forum. Actually I was amazed at how little there is to carry around. You'd just need to bring the stand cables and your bike.
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Old 08-24-11, 09:40 AM
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Has anyone tried to retrofit an old stationary bike with a bike kit (PC or console). I wanted to see if I cam make it more interesting.
I have found some different kits, however I am not sure which one is the easiest to use. Has anyone tried them and can comment:


Cyber ExerCycle
http://www.cyberbiking.com/


XR Game Kit
http://www.xrgamekit.com/


XR Game kit appears to be quite pricy and I do not like the head steering feature. They both support NetAthlon. Has anyone used this?


Thanks,


rmf
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