Turbo trainers and bike computers

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  • Turbo trainers and bike computers
  • poly
    Member

    It is mind numbingly boring. Rollers are slightly better because you have to remain awake to not fall off! You have to be very motivated to ride turbo for any length of time. I actually prefer to just get cold and wet on the road!

    I don’t have a garmin but assume it is GPS based so won’t provide “distance” or “speed” data (but would pick up heart rate, cadence etc if you have the right sensors). A cheap cycle computer (on the back wheel) would provide distance/speed.

    I did consider building something clever to feed speed into a raspberry pi and possibly even control playback speed of a cycling video to motivate me. Then I realised I was just procrastinating riding.

    Premier Icon Johnny Panic
    Subscriber

    If your equipment broadcasts wirelessly on an ANT+ frequency have a look at trainerroad website. They can emulate a lot of the common tt’s to produce an approximation of a power meter and they’ve got loads of training plans for a smallish outlay. All your efforts are stored online so you can keep track of your progress and there’s even integration with some of the sufferfest videos.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    Best to use sufferfest videos and trainer road, it gives an on screen readout of power etc. I have mine setup in the living room in front of the big screen television (some wives/girlfriends may not approve).

    Haze
    Member

    Laptop, Garmin speed/cadence sensor, Hrm and Ant+ stick (you don’t need the head unit), Sufferfest and TrainerRoad.

    No more boring turbo trainer moments.

    (edit…as above!)

    Premier Icon JAG
    Subscriber

    I’ve got a Turbo and use it every Winter for a couple of times a week. It helps stop the legs and lungs giving up.

    I’ve used Powerpoint to drive my work outs and last Winter I bought a couple of Sufferfest videos. I prefer the Sufferfest videos if I’m honest 😀

    They’re pretty good – I’ve got “There is no try” and “The Hunted” both are good.

    Looks to me the Trainer Road and their Virtual Power software is what I looking for! No need to spend money on a TT with an on board computer.

    Now many hours of winter torture and boredom to look forward to.

    Thinking of getting a turbo trainer to keep fitness this winter. Lost all riding interest last winter when everything came a mudfest.

    I have never had a TT before, but I am guessing that it is quite boring, and that you don’t want to do more than an hour a time on the bike. For me my main motivation is likely to be keeping an eye the various performance data – time, heart rate, cadence, speed and power plus of course watching my favourite soaps!

    Was thinking of getting one of the more expensive TT’s with a built in computer such as a Tacx Flow. Then it it occurred to me that I should be able measure all this data on my Garmin – with the exception of power – can’t afford a power meter. Plus the Tacx data does not seem to be downloadable.

    So why buy a more expensive TT?

    Anybody got any experience or wisdom?

    Thanks

    Do trainer road charge for just for hooking up into their software? Or is it for their training plans? How much is it?

    DanW
    Member

    If you have the speed and cadence sensor for your Garmin then along with a HR monitor you have everything you need to get the most out of any Turbo Trainer with respect to recording data.

    I got thinking about Trainerroad… as nice as seeing a virtual “power” number is and hopefully seeing your virtual FTP increase with time, all the software is essentially doing is using the relationship between speed and resistance setting on the trainer to estimate power. Whether or not the power number means anything is irrelevant as far as I’m concerned as you would do a FTP tests then do the sessions as some percentage of the FTP “power” depending on your goals. If that FTP number is 100 or 1000 means nothing but training to specific percentage of that number is what matters.

    Now since the trainer resistance and speed relationship to estimate “power” is linear why not just train by speed? So long as the resistance does not vary from the FTP test (for example resistance setting or trainer/ wheel contact force), is there any issue with training to a percentage of your FTP speed?

    For example if you do and FTP test on resistance setting 4 and find you have an FTP of 25mph can you use speed do an endurance, Z2 session (56%-75% of FTP) by riding in the 14-18mph range on resistance setting 4?

    Am am missing some really big obvious problem? I can see how Trainerroad adds the convenience of set plans and integrating on screen with various videos but at the end of the day training by a % of your FTP speed for a given resistance seems just a good, no?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    +1 for trainer road

    Premier Icon benji
    Subscriber

    Depending what garmin you have you can program workouts in, ideal for doing intervals, or steps of increasing resistance (they’ve probably got some fancy name). Don’t see the point of knowing speed, as it’s a bit irrelevant as you are not actually going anywhere, heart rate would be best, that way no matter how you set the turbo up/change tyres/tyre pressures you get the same workout.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Am am missing some really big obvious problem? I can see how Trainerroad adds the convenience of set plans and integrating on screen with various videos but at the end of the day training by a % of your FTP speed for a given resistance seems just a good, no?

    It gives a variety of plans for those of us that like to follow something, the feedback and lines on a screen give me something to aim for, rather than watching a clock or trying to last x mins I can see the end line etc.

    Considering how much the missus pays for a gym to go to Spin/RPM classes this is a fraction of the cost and always there with a structure to the training plans and a lot of variety.

    It comes with a month free so if you have the kit give it a go and see if it works with your motivations.

    TiRed
    Member

    You need the speed sensor for cadence and speed, if you want to measure this. You don’t actually need a power meter. If you buy a magnetic resistance unit, it will have a pretty linear resistance-power curve. You will want something to watch. And a fan.

    I have a Tacx Sartori.

    Premier Icon Johnny Panic
    Subscriber

    squealingbrakes, Have a look on the website. It’s 10$ a month after the first month. You can pay less if you’re happy to pay annually. You have to pay to get the software & plans (you can’t choose just one or the other).

    I’ve only just started with it, did my ‘8 minute test’ the other night. my first thought after finishing was that I wasn’t keen to repeat it 🙂 – but I will make myself. Start on one of the proper plans next week.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    also you can cancel/pause I’m just dropping in and out depending on the weather currently

    TiRed
    Member

    Am am missing some really big obvious problem?

    No you aren’t. Trainer Road has the above callibrations for multiple TTs and presents the virtual watts for your speed. No speed, no watts. It also gives you some level to aim at i.e., discipline. I prefer the X/10 for sufferfest (and the comments and music), but this is personal.

    Trainer Road looks too much like a gym workout for me.

    DanW
    Member

    Trainerroad does indeed look like a good bit of software and good value.

    However, for me the appeal is the “virtual power” aspect since there are tons of plans on the internet, tons of individual sessions on the internet and if not planning the session out with this information I would use the occasional video like Sufferfest or similar.

    Since speed can be easily calibrated in the same way as Trainerroad’s “virtual power” to train by power rather than HR then Trainerroad loses the appeal for me personally.

    Garmins can have workouts programmed in to them very easily so you can easily plan and store lots of different sessions and you can also programme speed zones (and give them custom names) in the same way you set heart rate zones to effectively plan sessions by “power” (speed), get feedback of the power zone you are currently in and see what power zone you should be aiming for and for how long. Also by setting these speed zones on the Garmin according to an FTP test it is easy to make the most of the various videos by training to power rather than the pretty variable heart rate.

    I can see how Trainerroad appeals and the feedback and ease of use is pretty nice but everything can be done on a Garmin which is something I hadn’t really considered until looking at Trainerroad in the first place.

    Can’t go wrong either way OP- whatever looks easiest and motivates you best I guess 😀

    CraigW
    Member

    For software, you could try Golden Cheetah. http://goldencheetah.org/
    Its free, and can do a lot of stuff, ie connect to ANT+ sensors for speed/cadence/heart rate, then give you virtual power. Plus workouts with video or Streetview, and tools for analysing your data etc.

    It is mind numbingly boring…. I actually prefer to just get cold and wet on the road

    So much this. We have a couple of bikes on Tacx turbos at work and they are soul destroying. Not much to do as an alternative though…

    Happily, we’ve persuaded the powers that be to invest in one of these: Proform Tour de France Training Cycle
    so it might not be quite so boring when it gets delivered. I’m not holding my breath though.

    hitman
    Member

    Graham Obree – “The first and most important piece of advice I give to anyone who wishes to improve in the field of cycling is to get set up with a proper static trainer”.

    To improve power and overall speed then the turbo is a must.
    I was of in the “I would rather do anything else than go on a turbo” camp, until I performed structured intervals on one linked to my relevant power outputs.
    Now an hour will fly by – if you find it mind numbly boring then you’re probably not working hard enough!
    If you’re prepared to pay for a high end trainer, get the wahoo kickr and if you want connect it to trainer road and have the turbo set exact relevant power outputs for you.

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