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Trainer Resistance

Old 01-22-15, 04:09 PM
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auslo
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Trainer Resistance

Hey everybody,
I just bought a tacx blue motion trainer (magnetic) and love it. I'm wondering if anyone knows how the resistance levels would compare to the real streets...I'm assuming level 1 would be flats, and each level of resistance adds another X degrees of simulated grade? If resistance works differently let me know. Thanks!
Also looking for any funny experiences or other related stories about tacx blue motion or any trainers in general. When I'm using it I always imagine the bike coming loose and me launching into my tv at 30kph. Does this ever happen to people?

Cheers guys n gals
~Auslo
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Old 01-22-15, 06:40 PM
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mrtibbs_here
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Difficult to compare a trainer to even the same trainer used by another because of variations in set up. Different bikes, tires, tires sizes, tire pressure etc. effect the real and perceived resistance. Even more variables are introduced when the bike is taken outside, ...the terrain, wind, weather, lights, riding position.,.

A better way to compare across platforms is to measure how hard you are working at a given level of pedal revolutions. The cheapest way to get some basic feedback would be with a bike computer that measures pedal revolutions per minute combined with a basic heart rate monitor. If you are spinning the pedals at 90 revolutions per minute and your heart is beating at 140 beats per minute, you are doing roughly equivalent amounts of work, whether indoor or outside.

Choose a setting on your trainer and note your heart rate at a given pedal per minute revolution. Then note (the terrain, the gear, the conditions, the position on the bike) what it takes to recreate this heart rate at similar pedals per minute while on the road.

Your heart rate gives a somewhat clumsy measure of how hard you're working,...but its a lagging indicator (has to catch up to what you were actually doing some moments before) and also unfortunately varies with your physical condition - its still useful though. Most would say that measuring the watts generated is a better tool, but such facility is more expensive (a lot more).

Last edited by mrtibbs_here; 01-22-15 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 01-23-15, 12:48 PM
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auslo
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I have a HRM and a cadence/speed sensor so I will continue to get an idea of the comparison. I guess I was hoping there was some sort of equation where level X resistance = X degrees of climb or something.

I'll ask this now, I've noticed that when I'm on a lower resistance but a higher gear (50-12), my trainer is loud as hell, but if I go with a higher resistance and a low gear like 34-28, the trainer is much more quiet. Both require the same effort and HR. Because it's so much quieter, I stay in easier gears with higher resistances. Is there any advantage to lowering the resistance and pedalling at higher speeds in harder gears?
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Old 01-23-15, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by auslo View Post
I have a HRM and a cadence/speed sensor so I will continue to get an idea of the comparison. I guess I was hoping there was some sort of equation where level X resistance = X degrees of climb or something.

I'll ask this now, I've noticed that when I'm on a lower resistance but a higher gear (50-12), my trainer is loud as hell, but if I go with a higher resistance and a low gear like 34-28, the trainer is much more quiet. Both require the same effort and HR. Because it's so much quieter, I stay in easier gears with higher resistances. Is there any advantage to lowering the resistance and pedalling at higher speeds in harder gears?
Yes. Higher gears better simulate pedal forces on the flat. Lower gears the same for climbing. So do some of each.

No, you don't have to worry about launching off your trainer. Your rear wheel has very little inertia. You'd just fall over or have a clumsy dismount. Sometimes one hears stories or speculation about this, but it is the Internet.
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