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  • Turbo trainer help/advice
  • markspark
    Free Member

    After years of using a dumb trainer I’ve decided to treat myself to something a bit more fancy to maybe start doing some zwift sessions.

    Is there a particular brand of trainer that’s considered better than the rest?
    And also is direct drive the way to go over wheel on? They both seem to have the same functionality so what does the extra cost get you?

    Thanks

    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    I think you just need to decide how much you want to spend in reality. Direct drive is much better with a mart trainer as no slip on the wheel.

    I splashed out and went for a Wahoo Kickr – I like the fact in needs no calibration you just get on and ride, it can do inclines as steep as any on the market. The best thing about it is that it is very compact for a turbo and in the summer it has been easily stored away.

    mrchrispy
    Full Member

    direct drive is a mush (IMO)
    agreed Kickrs are great, rock solid.

    crosshair
    Free Member

    As a counter- I’ve ridden a few different direct drive trainers over the years but none have made me sway away from my Kickr Snap wheel-on. The tyre doesn’t slip if it’s tensioned correctly and I believe the flywheel power measuring system was ultimately added to the direct drive kickrs because it works so well. (I think the early ones had a strain gauge 🤔).

    The reason I say that is inertia! Even a really heavy flywheel doesn’t have as much inertia as an equally heavy flywheel + an entire wheel spinning around!
    The ‘road feel’ if you like: just feels that bit nicer to me.

    I think many direct drives are quieter now, and of course you don’t have to have a trainer wheel/tyre setup or check tyre pressures before a ride. And loads of other people love the road feel of their chosen DD brand.

    But I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything with mine.

    n0b0dy0ftheg0at
    Free Member

    No idea who still has BF sale promos, but few decent looking prices at https://www.tredz.co.uk/smart-turbo-trainers/xsrt/priceasc

    miky2341
    Full Member

    The Zwift trainer looks a great deal – its interest free over 2 years too and comes with the correct size cassette ( you spec what speed you want).

    jonba
    Free Member

    Another direct drive vote. Wahoo Kickr.

    Far quieter. More accurate and consistent (tyre pressure needs to be constant on wheel on types).

    The tacx ones are likely just as good. There are loads of comparison reviews online. Decide your budget and then pick one. I don’t think it matters that much theres not a lot of difference in features between them.

    I’ve got an old canti cross bike on mine so it is a permanent setup. When I come to get a new trainer I’ll seriously consider a full bike. Really waiting to see if steering kicks off. Doesn’t look like it will.

    markspark
    Free Member

    Thanks for the responses everyone. Looks like a wahoo direct drive is on the cards then. The only bike on it will be my road bike but doesn’t really get used outside in winter so not a problem to put the wheel back in for the occasional proper use

    rhayter
    Full Member

    I vote direct drive, too. Wahoo stuff is lovely, but pricey. Have a look at Elite. They have a wide range and the Suito T is pretty inexpensive (but you have to provide the cassette). It’s quite compact, too.

    uponthedowns
    Free Member

    I’ve just started using a Wahoo Kickr Core after using a wheel on fluid Kurt Kinetic Road Machine for years. I’m using the Kickr with the Wahoo Systm app and so far I’m very impressed. In erg mode the Kickr is incredibly responsive to increases in power for example when doing a work out with sprint intervals. Nice quiet, stable and compact too.

    sparky1uk
    Full Member

    Another vote (if needed) for direct drive. I dipped my toe with a cheapish Tacx Flux S. Had it 11 months now and using it 3x a week, it’s really quiet and works really well. It did develop a hardware fault after a few months but Tacx support was great and they sent a new one. I think Wahoo are probably thought as the best.

    joebristol
    Full Member

    I started using a dumb wheel on trainer with a speed sensor and heart rate strap to see if I could stick at turbo training. The actual trainer was pretty noisy (Cyclops) and I didn’t love it. Would assume the likes of the kickr snap would be much better.

    I went direct drive and it’s quiet and the changes in resistance are nearly instant. I think the main brands all make decent trainers so I’d just see which has the best deal on. I went Kickr Core as it was in stock at the time but I had a look at a Tacx trainer and an Elite Directo and they generally seemed well reviewed.

    davidr
    Full Member

    I bought a second hand Tacx Flux S from Ebay as I couldn’t really justify the cost of new just now and it’s great. Streets ahead over the old wheel on dumb trainer.

    andeh
    Free Member

    Had a cheapo Tacx Flow (wheel on) as I didn’t know if I’d really enjoy it. I did, and it quickly became inadequate, unreliable with variations in tyre temp etc/loud/went out of calibration a lot/overheated on long, steep sections. Bought an Elite Suito just before covid and it’s been ace. Packs up easily and small (fits in a bag for life as a dust cover), pretty quiet, seems accurate.

    Defo get direct drive if you can, it’s just less faff and far quieter. DC Rainmaker seems to review every single turbo ever released Clicky – last winter, but still useful.

    jonba
    Free Member

    Summer road bike is fine but get one of those top tube towel things and wipe it down.

    I ended up buying a cheap 9 speed canti cross bike to go on mine. Sold everything I wasn’t using (brakes, wheels as I had an old front wheel). Means I don’t have to faff at the start and end of the season when I’m still doing hill climbs or early season TTs but am also on the trainer in the evening. It surprised me how manky it got after a winter. Bar tape, top tube, steel bolts – it actually needs a service. Part of why I would get a complete bike next time. I use it 2-3 times a week for 5 months of the year.

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