Viewing 37 posts - 1 through 37 (of 37 total)
  • What “Cheap” smart trainer
  • Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    I’ve decided Santa is bringing me a new turbo trainer for Xmas – its what the Baby Jesus would want after all.

    I’m currently enjoying TrainerRoad, with a speed and cadence sensor and an ancient Minoura Trainer but its a bit crap I’m sure the virtual power is miles out and it takes an age to respond to changes in speed and power.

    There is no way I can justify spaffing 900 quid on a Tacx Neo or similar so I think wheel on smart trainer is the way to go. Whatver I buy is going to be a big improvement over the current set up.

    So, any suggestions? CRC have the Tacx Vortex for £250. Halfords have the Tacx 2240 for £165, they also have the Elite Turbo Muin for £275, but this looks look a basic direct drive trainer with just some sensors rather than a proper interactive trainer.

    Experience with any smart trainers around (preferably below) the £300 mark are greatly received

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    The Zumo would be £370 with a BC discount – https://www.halfords.com/cycling/turbo-trainers/trainers/elite-zumo-smart-interactive-turbo-trainer

    ..and the Turbo Muin and Volano are in the ball park on Wiggle.

    Or I think PoopScoop is selling a Kickr Snap for £200?

    Premier Icon zigzag69
    Free Member

    Put 6300km on my TACX 2240 since I bought it 3 years ago. It just keeps on trucking.

    Premier Icon daviek
    Full Member

    CRC had the votrex on sale for 200 the other day, not sure if it still is though.

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Full Member

    BKool are discontinuing their hardware line, if you can get one of them cheap that would be a decent solution – I’ve had a Smart Pro (wheel on) trainer for the past couple of years and while it’s nothing like as nice as a direct drive trainer it’s perfectly adequate for what I need (Zwift/Sufferfest/BKool etc), and a lot lot cheaper.

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Full Member

    A year into a 2240 and no complaints. It did get very noisy and I was about to take it back, but noticed that the case had just come unclipped. I’m sure better trainers are better but I’m not sure how.

    Premier Icon tiim
    Full Member

    Another vote for the 2240 here, 240 hours on mine since february 2017, mostly on trainer road. Has made me fitter, kept me active during the cold months, helped me dial positions in etc. Do it.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    Thanks guys

    What does “spin down” calibration involve and how often do you need to do it?

    Premier Icon gringo
    Free Member

    Another happy 2240 owner here.

    Premier Icon Alex
    Full Member

    I bought a 2240 as my first turbo. It worked really well with Zwift, etc. I think I paid about £190 in a Halfords sale.

    The calibration is pretty simple. You need to warm trainer up (10 mins or so) then spin up to 30kmh to start calibration. All done in TACX App. I think it’s recommended you do it every month or so. Important to keep your tyre inflated to same pressure.

    I have Flux 2 now and while I much prefer a direct drive, it’s hard to justify three times the money for one.

    Premier Icon stumpy01
    Full Member

    I’ve got a Tacx 2240. Not being a particularly ‘serious’ cyclist and definitely at the lower end of roadie fitness, it works fine.

    The limitations are power it can sustain & equivalent gradient for things like Zwift. But, the reality is I have never found it to be an issue – even a couple of yrs ago when I was using it a few times a week to try & get some proper training in.
    I would imagine that more expensive ones would react more quickly to gradient changes, but you quickly get used to the slight lag & react accordingly.

    I get an occasional bit of tyre slip, but think thats’ probably down to the really old, crap tyre on it more than anything to do with the trainer.

    Premier Icon sargey
    Full Member

    Tacx 2240 flow is £165 in halford now.
    I’ve been thinking about getting a trainer for the shed but know nothing about them. I would be putting it in the shed which a fair distance from the house so no WiFi so do you connect to your phone through an app or laptop?

    Sorry I really am clueless!

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Full Member

    Depends a bit what you are trying to connect, but connection to the trainer itself is Bluetooth (maybe ANT is an option too, but not sure). So you can connect an iphone or an ipad (say) to the trainer without a wifi network. However, if you wanted to use both (which can be useful, but not essential in my experience) then they need to be connected to the same wifi network. I think connecting a laptop may require a dongle of some sort, but I’ve not tried that.

    So, tacx using either an iphone or ipda as the screen should work without wifi.

    Remember that you will need a power source for the trainer though. Tacx do have another model where the power comes from your pedalling, so that would be an option for a shed without power I guess.

    Premier Icon sargey
    Full Member

    @roverpig
    Cheers, I have power so no reason not to then.

    Premier Icon tiim
    Full Member

    @richmtb, spin down / calibration consists of spinning up to an indicated 32km/hour, then freewheeling to a stop. Takes about 20 seconds total, I do each time I am doing a session that follows a plan (rather than 30mins of ‘just turn legs over’). Trainerroad (TR) explanation here

    I mostly use the turbo in erg mode on TR, power seems close enough to the 4iiii I use outside and the main limitation is that it is not great for very short bursts of power (i.e. a 15s sprint, takes the first 5-8 seconds to get to power) makes no difference for the vast majority of trainer road sessions and no difference at all for all the sweetspot / longer intervals.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Remember if buying from halfords then BC 10% discount, and your employer may have a deal where you can buy vouchers at ~9% off the face value (I’m tempted by a Diretto which would effectively be £450, but realistically I’d rather spend £450 on parts for my road bike).

    Premier Icon fossy
    Full Member

    T2240 – had one 3.5 years. Halfords sale plus BC 10% got it to about £146. It’s been great, and does the job.

    Premier Icon avdave2
    Free Member

    thisisnotaspoon I was thinking of upgrades for my road bike and it really could do with lighter wheels but instead I decided on upgrading the engine and bought the Diretto. It’s been a much better upgrade than wheels would have been and has made all my bikes faster 😊

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    I went from wheel on to direct drive. The one thing I notice is that I ride it a lot more for a lot longer. It really was worth the considerable extra investment. The “smart” bit isn’t that exciting. Ok it makes Hills a bit harder but you change gear for that. Erg mode is my revelation. Steady efforts are better for my training.

    If you can stretch to even the cheapest direct drive, I would do that. Smart though is over rated. The upgrade from your Minoura to the wheel on Tacx would not be huge. The Muin would be my choice.

    I also ride rollers with a pedal power meter on a fixed wheel track bike. That is every bit as much fun and definitely the dumbest of dumb trainers.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    thisisnotaspoon I was thinking of upgrades for my road bike and it really could do with lighter wheels but instead I decided on upgrading the engine and bought the Diretto. It’s been a much better upgrade than wheels would have been and has made all my bikes faster 😊

    Yea, I get the logic.

    But equally ~£450 would buy* a couple of pairs of thermal water resistant bibs-longs, a Castelli Gabba jacket and some northwave boots.

    I’ve got a dumb trainer and a set of rollers with resistance. And have used them quite a lot some winters. But even on a miserable evening I find it easier to motivate myself to go out for an hours thrash on the singlespeed than to sit on the turbo.

    I ride for fun (and would like to think I’m at least ‘quick’ albeit not racing quick), so would rather have some degree of fun riding in sub optimal conditions and get quicker/fitter naturally than swap that for indoor training which can be bearable, or have an endorphin hit, couldn’t be described as fun, just functional.

    I know quite a few people who have got heavily into Zwift, to the point they’ve stopped coming outside unless it’s not raining and the trails are dry, and the group suits them, and the route is one they like and ………… basically they don’t come out anymore and when they do they don’t seem to have gotten any quicker despite their virtual palmares. Like Tim Minchin says, having a big goal is great, it takes you all your time and dedication to achieve it and after that you’re …….. mehhh. Much better to be micro-ambitious and get a sense of achievement from a mini-epic lunchtime CX ride every week than spend 6 months on the Turbo so you get that sense of achievement once on a sportive in April.

    Having said that, I’m lucky in that there’s plenty of riding group options locally so can ride sociably 6 days a week if I fancied it. If I was only a member of one club/group it might be harder to fill the gaps.

    *or in my case some dhb leggings and an aldi jacket.

    Premier Icon steve_b77
    Free Member

    Don’t bother with the ELite Zumo, I’ve just killed my 2nd one in as many months!!

    First one went up the swanny, giving massive resistance for tiny shown power outputs, so Halfords replaced that one. The 2nd one was working absolutely fine up until last night, on Wednesday I did 90min on Zwift and all was good. Last night, set it up, got on it, started to pedal, resistance went through the roof and a lovely electrical burning smell rose from the trainer!!

    Off to Halfords after work to give it back and hopefully swap for a Tacx Flux 2 as I don’t want another one of these.

    I get what TINAS is saying, but after spending all last winter riding after work in the dark, cold, wet & snow I really CBA’d and know I can gain just as much benefit fitness wise from proper trainer sessions coupled with racing a full season of CX, so only have to clean the bikes and kit and dry the shoes out once every couple of weeks as opposed to every other day this time last year.

    Premier Icon avdave2
    Free Member

    But equally ~£450 would buy* a couple of pairs of thermal water resistant bibs-longs, a Castelli Gabba jacket and some northwave boots.

    If you are talking spending money on good clothing then I’d agree with your logic, money spent on being comfortable is always money well spent.

    Premier Icon stumpy01
    Full Member

    TiRed

    I went from wheel on to direct drive. The one thing I notice is that I ride it a lot more for a lot longer. It really was worth the considerable extra investment.

    What is it about the direct drive that makes it better that you ride it a lot more, for a lot longer?
    I have only ridden on a wheel-on trainer & wonder what the difference is that makes it such an improvement?

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    What is it about the direct drive that makes it better that you ride it a lot more, for a lot longer?

    15 kilo fly wheel gives good road feel (it’s a KICKR), lack of pfaffage setting it up (I keep a bike on it all the time), ease of calibration, no wheel swapping from my previous turbo tyre.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    Thanks for the advice guys.

    I bought a Tacx Vortex in the end. The cheaper 2240 got lots of good feedback and I found a really positive review on youtube by some bloke called GP Lama.

    Only used it once for a TrainerRoad ramp test but it already feels like a massive improvement over my Minoura RDA – It actually feels like it has a flywheel and standing up feels totally normal as opposed to scarily unstable.

    Sticking a skinny tyre on was a bit of a PITA but its done now.

    null

    Premier Icon stumpy01
    Full Member

    richmtb

    I bought a Tacx Vortex in the end.

    Just seen this – looks like you could do with one of those sweat catcher things for your top tube.
    I got mine ready to go last weekend & did a Zwift session on Sunday. It was harder than I remember it being!

    One thing to note, although I am not sure how much difference it makes (I suspect minimal) – Zwift states that it’s calibration is set-up for a 700x23c tyre. So if you intend to use Zwift your numbers might be a bit out; I guess that could be the case for other programs.
    Probably nothing to really worry about though.

    TiRed

    15 kilo fly wheel gives good road feel (it’s a KICKR), lack of pfaffage setting it up (I keep a bike on it all the time), ease of calibration, no wheel swapping from my previous turbo tyre.

    I see.
    I keep a bike on my wheel-on turbo so there’s no swapping about needed & have to say that after a few issues with calibration early on it seems to work pretty consistently.
    When I set it back-up again at the weekend it hadn’t been used since May, but I just pumped the rear tyre up to 100psi, rode it for a few mins, tried to calibrate & it worked first time. The Tacx calibration app is a bit cak because if you are too far off the scale it doesn’t tell you which way (too loose or tight) so you can end up going further from the set point with no way of knowing. I think once you have it though, it doesn’t wander too much.

    I can see how a heavier flywheel helps with realism.

    Premier Icon coppice
    Free Member

    Don’t you need a turbo trainer tyre for wheel on trainers? My thread wore through a std tyre pretty quick

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    Just seen this – looks like you could do with one of those sweat catcher things for your top tube.

    Nah! The sweat puddle is a badge of honour.

    There is a wheel circumference setting in TrainerRoad, I’ve altered it to the measurement for 26″ x 1.5″

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    It was harder than I remember it being!

    One thing to note, although I am not sure how much difference it makes (I suspect minimal) – Zwift states that it’s calibration is set-up for a 700x23c tyre. So if you intend to use Zwift your numbers might be a bit out; I guess that could be the case for other programs.
    Probably nothing to really worry about though.

    I never know whether these things are really correct, but I put out lower numbers in Zwift on my Direto since I’ve had it, about 5% through all power ranges.   I guess is doesn’t matter as long as your working in the correct zones – and I’ve offset my 4iiii to compensate outdoors – for all your training.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    Don’t you need a turbo trainer tyre for wheel on trainers? My thread wore through a std tyre pretty quick

    Its an old Conti commuting slick that’s past it’s best anyway. If it does wear quickly i’ll swap it for a dedicated trainer tyre. I’m not planning to use the bike for anything else anyway

    Premier Icon avdave2
    Free Member

    Don’t you need a turbo trainer tyre for wheel on trainers?

    When I had a wheel on trainer I just used an old tyre and it didn’t wear particularly quickly. I have my set up in the warehouse at work so noise was never an issue.

    Premier Icon stumpy01
    Full Member

    coppice

    Member
    Don’t you need a turbo trainer tyre for wheel on trainers?

    I’ve never used one & haven’t considered the wear high enough to warrant coughing up for a turbo trainer tyre.
    BUT – when the current tyre wears out, I will probably replace it with a turbo tyre, just because it stays on all the time.

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    I had a blue tyre for my dumb Tacx. I never calibrated but ran on speed. I did manage to puncture the inner tube once. I keep the wheel on the trainer. Then I bought a KICKR. Road feel was the biggest improvement. Now I alternate between rollers and KICKR.

    Enjoy the new trainer. I just put a towel across the top of the bike. I have one of those top tube protectors. And an iPad stand too, but. A towel works fine and I now have TT bars on the turbo bike.

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Full Member

    I’ll be selling my mint/ boxed Version 2 Kickr Snap for well under £300 soon.😉

    Premier Icon winston
    Free Member

    Halfords do a cheap turbo tyre for 13.50 with BC discount

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    Used Erg mode last night for a 1 hour session.

    It was **** brutal. There is nowhere to hide.

    Couple of things I noticed though, for a given power output it feels easier in a higher gear I suspect this is down to the flywheel helping a bit. The cadence readings don’t seem as steady as when I used separate speed and cadence sensors on the dumb trainer. Can I still use the sensors I have with the smart trainer?

    Premier Icon robbo1234biking
    Full Member

    use an external cadence sensor but I don’t think the speed sensor matters for TrainerRoad as the speed data doenst make any difference. It is generally quieter to run in the small or middle ring on the front depending on what your gearing is. I just got an Elite Direto and can leave the gears along during ERG workouts in TR but I am finding it feels more difficult to have the small gear a the front (but more like my MTB). With a wheel on trainer depending on the wattage ceiling you might not have a choice but to use the large ring on the front to get some of the higher wattages required on some of the workouts.

Viewing 37 posts - 1 through 37 (of 37 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.