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Hamster wheels aka the dreaded turbo trainer

By keveddy - Posted on 21 June 2011

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Hey all

It is with a heavy heart (not really) that i must announce my turbo trainer has given up the ghost (It cost all of $99 from a year ago, and it's the noisiest thing I've ever heard, so I'm not too sad).

This means I'm in the market for a new one... Any recommendations? I don't mind spending too much for a more robust model and better feel/resistance, but I'm not looking to go crazy and buy a Wattbike (about $500 max spend, but could go over if it's really worth it). It also should be relatively quiet, so ideally looking at magnetic or fluid trainers rather than 'wind' trainers. I used to use a magnetic Tacx in the UK, and quite liked that - any other recommendations/good models?

Any views on rollers instead? Are variable resistance rollers actually any good?


Not the quiest around (won't disturb the neighbours, but wife won't be happy if you use it during her preferred TV show), but with a great range of resistance (magnetic) and not being huge it is quite easy to store.
I got mine from Wiggle for around $250 on special, delivered with a DVD (useless), front wheel holder and a neat bag.
I've just looked the price and it's gone up to $290 though.

We've got a Kinetic Rock and Roll and love it.

Other local riders recommended the brand and so far it's been flawless. It's quiet enough to easily watch the TV while riding.

They are a bit exy though - somehow I managed to pick this up from CRC on special for a lower cost than the normal fluid model (CRC no longer sell Kinetic). Yes, they still shipped this almost 30kg monster for free (UPS through the US!). Comes with a very heavy flywheel - I can be off the bike, remove shoes and stretching before the rear wheel stops turning.

I really like how you can sway the bike while standing, check out this vid:

Anyhow - I guess the point is, if you don't want to or can't splash out for the Rock and Roll, the standard Kinetic fluid trainer (think they call it the Road Machine) is recommended and a fair bit cheaper - when specials can't be had Eye-wink

I purchased a Cyclops Jet Fluid Trainer ( & from Torpedo7 for what seemed like a pretty good special ($350). It's not super quiet but it's a lot quieter than a wind trainer and I can use it first thing in the morning when the family is still asleep without any issues. I have also been really happy with the performance of it.

I have seen it on special a few times so you should be able to pick it up for a price that is within your budget.

Hi there.

If I was in the market for a turbo trainer, the only model I would look at would be the Lemond trainer.
It allows you to use your MTB or your roadie, doesnt wear your tyres down to a square, and feels like a proper ride, rather than riding in a treacle puddle.
I know they have these at a couple of shops in Sydney CBD (I tested one at Jet Cycles).
Its a completely different approach to turbo training, but makes complete sense.
Take a look at this....

Currently I am borrowing Nikos' version and have found it very good. Nice heavy wheel as Rob has said which is good.

Btw on the subject of trainers, does anyone know how to get a Garmin 500 to record cadence etc, Mine doesnt seem to measure cadence or speed (speed I figure due to the lack of GPS) the other possibility is my cadence sensor is on the way out...

My 500 works fine. Have you thought that the battery might be flat in the sensor.

Is it paired to the device as I have 3 profiles on the 500 for 3 different bikes and it only picks up the sensor on the bike when I change the device to the correct one.

Awesome stuff - Didn't expect so many responses so quickly!

I like the look of both the Kinetic and the LeMond... will have to do some cost-benefit analysis on those. The Tacx Satori is what I used to use in the UK, so that's a decent fallback if I can't locate any good specials... Smiling

Yeah I think the sensor needs a new battery as it only recorded an average cadence of 44rpm for a road race last weekend, which didnt seem right.

@Logan: Yeah - that sounds a little fast for you, eh? Eye-wink

Another vote for Kinetic here. It's unfortunate that CRC no longer sell them.

44rpm is all you need when you climb everything in the big ring like a hardman.

Yeah, I wasn't going to comment since I do run compact gearing Eye-wink

+1 for my Kurt Kinetic Eye-wink
It was a few hundred from CRC with free shipping.

You should be able to get speed and cadence while on the trainer.
I think what you need to do is go to Menu:GPS:GPS Status and disable GPS.

you forgot to mention the bit about getting dropped and then getting passed by c grade. maybe running a cadence of 44 was why you got passed by the slow guys like me

Yeah, bad day in the office on Saturday. That's ok we are all entitled to those. Cadence on the turbo tonight was up around 90rpm.

A bad day on the bike is better than a good day off it Smiling

There was a small window of opportunity to take the piss before you get fit, things return to normal and I see you disappearing off into the distance again Eye-wink

@ps, if you want another window, just point out where he sits on the booth to booth challenge Evil

It's almost a year old that time now...maybe time for me to have another go in the near future...

Of course I wont mention the Bobbo Head South Climb...

Nah, reminding Andy that he's slower than Rob in a hot lap challenge is probably going a bit too far. Might just try my luck this Saturday though.

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