What Smart Trainer?

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  • What Smart Trainer?
  • Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Sigh.

    Right, I’m running out of gears* so I want sub £400 Smart Trainer that doesn’t have a tension knob system.   I have a 4iiii crank which I swap on to my turbo bike, but if I’m going to rely on the Trainers power instead I don’t want the tyre/pressure/knob disparity.   I want to jump on and ride, and the resistance to change especially when I go up Zwift hills.

    Whats good?

    *…on 54/11 105 – I could upgrade the rings?

    Premier Icon mos
    Subscriber

    Wheel off?

    Tacx Flux £400 from halfords with BC discount seems a good buy.

    https://www.halfords.com/cycling/turbo-trainers/trainers/tacx-flux-smart-trainer

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Samba or Stan Smith, depending on the colour of your suit.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Any comments on the Bkool Smart?

    jonnyboi
    Member

    If that’s your budget area you’d be as well looking at the tacx 2240 for £200.  decent smart turbo but a bit slow to respond to sudden power changes. But at that price you can’t complain

    Premier Icon nemesis
    Subscriber

    Pretty sure that all wheel on trainers will have a tension adjuster of some sort or it could never accurately read power.

    FWIW I just jump on my Tacx flow most of the time, I check weekly but it seems to stay in calibration pretty well and I rarely actually need to adjust it

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Maybe the knob issue isn’t so important as I’m not using it for Power, I have the 4iii crank which is more consistent indoors vs outdoors.   I want the auto resistance on Zwift hills.

    Halford also have a Kurt machine for the £338, that looks good.   They have an Elite Muin for £300 also, that might be OK if I’m only looking for resistance changes?

    Premier Icon nemesis
    Subscriber

    The elite muin doesn’t do resistance change for hills, I thought.

    blader1611
    Member

    I would just stick to the tacx flow 2240, it does everything you want at a value price. I have had one for 2 years without issue.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Ok thanks, one question – whats meant by Max resistance at 800w?   Because I’m putting out roughly 1100w on sprints, so want to ensure it’ll cope…  and it only goes up to a 6% slope?   So what happens on a Zwift 10% climb?

    Premier Icon akira
    Subscriber

    I’ve got a bkool smart, easy to set up and works very well with zwift. Bkools own software was a bit kak so I don’t use it anymore. Any questions let me know.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I do have another question for both – I’m assuming either can be controlled by Zwift, yet power can still be measured from my crank and not the trainer by choice?

    Premier Icon akira
    Subscriber

    I think you should be able to pair your 4iii as the power source and then pair the trainer as controllable. I know you can do it with some turbos, not tried that with the bkool as I don’t have a power meter. Maybe check first.

    chrisa87
    Member

    You can use the 4iiii as the power source and use the feedback from the trainer no problem.  I started doing it last week with my PowerTap pedals, but my t2240 has developed the well reported clicking noise at slow speeds so I’ve started trying to return it back to cycle republic.

    Hope I can get the full refund (10month old) and use it to offset the cost of the wheel off Tacx flow at 450.

    Dango
    Member

    I have BKOOL smart trainer that works with Zwift.

    £130 collected. Surrey hills

    fossy
    Member

    Tacx 2240 here, got it for about £150 from Halfords in sale with BC discount. Works well, and I’m a sweatty mess on Zwift.

    Spend more, dunno, despite my injuries, I’d still rather be out and about, so under £200 for a smart trainer is OK. £500 no in my eye.

    Premier Icon nemesis
    Subscriber

    Ok thanks, one question – whats meant by Max resistance at 800w?   Because I’m putting out roughly 1100w on sprints, so want to ensure it’ll cope…  and it only goes up to a 6% slope?   So what happens on a Zwift 10% climb?

    A 10% climb won’t have any more resistance than a 6% climb basically so you’ll just go slower for the same effort and feel as on a 6% slope. It’s not really a problem but it does mean the steepest climbs aren’t actually harder than shallower ones but then you’ve got gears for that anyway.

    The flow will read well over 800w – I’ve been well into the thousands.

    tomvet
    Member

    I have just bought a Cyclops Magnus for about £300 from CRC with BC discount.  I have been happy with it so far, power seems to be reasonably accurate I  did an FTP test on a friend’s power meter and on trainer and they were within the same ballpark.  It replicates slopes up to 15% and has up to 1500 watts resistance.  I think some climbs in zwift hit 19% (radio tower climb).  If I was spending more I would have got one with a bigger flywheel.

    dazzzzbo
    Member

    I’ve had a Tacx flow from Halfords for a couple of year .  It’s been fine and works with swift Bkool etc.

    As mentioned it only goes up to 6% gradient but I just put it in a higher gear if I want too use hard.

    The best app I have found for virtually free is indoor cycling workout on android.

    Daz

    bigwatts
    Member

    Those sort of wattages I wouldn’t be looking at the tacx flow. Some of the intervals I do currently involve holding 580w for 2 mins and the flow tops out at about 520. It also lags to the point where short intervals are pointless. By the time it gets up to resistance the interval is over. I gave mine away as it was useless. I have a neo now and intervals on that feel similar to on the road.

    If you have a low ftp the flow would be fine but higher than 300 and look at something else.

    dirtyrider
    Member

    Flux is the no brainer at 400 quid – minimal faff

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Well quite.   I’ve 2 years (at least) training in front of me and having Erg mode would be a huge advantage…  but £400….

    jonnyboi
    Member

    It also lags to the point where short intervals are pointless. By the time it gets up to resistance the interval is over.

    this is true. You need to consider what kind of training you’ll be doing on it. For steady state blocks  the 2240 copes fine but I will struggle with short duration changes in power.

    buenfoxa
    Member

    I have a brand new Flux – unwanted gift – £385 delivered or £375 collected from N.Wales.

    Premier Icon trailwagger
    Subscriber

    Check out the Elite Qubo Digital smart b+ for £250.

    I ave used mine for 2 years, still going strong, works great with zwift, trainerroad, bkool or Elites own apps.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    The Elite beats the Tacx in resistance lag, but thats about it.   TBH im a but hung up on the 6% max incline on both.   If im climbing up Alp du Zwift i want to be able to feel it…

    Premier Icon nixie
    Subscriber

    Elite direto, yeah its more but feel Alp du Zwift you will (15% max from memory) and it’ll cope with your 1000+W

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    So, Wiggle loyalty will give me 17% off until 5:30 toinght.  That puts a Kickr Snap at £414 or £405 for the Tacx at Halfords…

    aaarch decisions…

    Premier Icon nemesis
    Subscriber

    Those sort of wattages I wouldn’t be looking at the tacx flow. Some of the intervals I do currently involve holding 580w for 2 mins and the flow tops out at about 520.

    Mine doesn’t. Are you sure you had the updated firmware?

    It also lags to the point where short intervals are pointless. By the time it gets up to resistance the interval is over.

    It does lag – 2 seconds is my reckoning. No good for proper short intervals (<10s) but fine beyond that IME.

    I gave mine away as it was useless. I have a neo now and intervals on that feel similar to on the road.

    I am intrgued by this – I got my flow on the recommendation of several people who’d all had them for a while. I’ve been using mine for a year now and my experience just doesn’t seem to match up with yours at all. It really sounds like yours wasn’t working right or didn’t have the updated firmware.

    If you have a low ftp the flow would be fine but higher than 300 and look at something else.

    311 for me…

    Haze
    Member

    Thought the general idea was to switch to slope mode for short intervals anyway?

    Kryton, could you not save for a bit longer and go for a reconditioned Kickr?

    jonnyboi
    Member

    So, Wiggle loyalty will give me 17% off until 5:30 toinght.  That puts a Kickr Snap at £414 or £405 for the Tacx at Halfords…

    aaarch decisions…

    Have you read the DCrainmaker reviews?  I just pulled the trigger on the Tacx after reading them.  although I have a 20% discount card for Halfords which helps a bit

    Premier Icon Del
    Subscriber

    check out dcrainmaker for comparisons of all of them and more detailed reviews than you could ever want.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Have you read the DCrainmaker reviews?

    I am doing so yes.

    I’ve put the Tacx Flux on order to Halfords as that my current choice, although its not as easy to store.  I could also look at an Elite Rampa for £375 but am put off by the sounds of the fiddly software, over £30 for the Flux.

    It does seem as though the Tacx is close enough on power for me to not bother changing my crank either, and at £405 for a coached rider seems a worthy and consistent investment.

    could you not save for a bit longer and go for a reconditioned Kickr?

    The 2016 units wahoo have are till £699.   Will I really get £300 better service from it, especially considering I already have a 4iiii for the power element?  I’m not so sure…

    jonnyboi
    Member

    It does seem as though the Tacx is close enough on power for me to not bother changing my crank either

    this is what sold it for me, and getting it for £360!

    Haze
    Member

    The 2016 units wahoo have are till £699.   Will I really get £300 better service from it, especially considering I already have a 4iiii for the power element?  I’m not so sure…

    Fair point, I’ve just ditched my Stages for a second hand Kickr and it’s so much better.

    But that said the Stages was only ever used indoors and struggled to maintain a decent bluetooth connection with my iPad, I had a good price on the trainer from a mate so sold the Stages to finance it.

    I don’t regret it for a second but you may have had no trouble with the 4iii

    blader1611
    Member

    The tacx flux may get even lower in price over the coming months as the Flux 2 is out next month,just saying.

    how is flux 1 for noise levels?

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I don’t regret it for a second but you may have had no trouble with the 4iii

    I haven’t no, its been brilliant.  No issues indoors connecting to Zwift, or outdoors, ever.

    bigwatts
    Member

    I had 2 2240s before giving up. The first one constantly slipped the wheel even with the tack turbo tyre. The casing was also out of alignment so something inside clicked to the point of distraction. The second one also had wheel slip under high power which I fixed by removing the tension screw and replacing with a longer bolt and a couple of locking nuts. The main issue with the second one as mentioned above is that it will not hold high enough power. I gave up on doing short intervals and ended up only using it for sweet spot with erg mode holding it at 360 ish Watts for 20 mins.

    I gave it to a mate who has an ftp of 150watts and he finds it perfect for the Zwift structured workouts but without trying to sound nasty his high power 10 second efforts top out at similar wattages as my 20min intervals.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Well I picked up the Halfords Flux -10% no issues.

    Set it up, did a quick spin on the Surrey hills and yes it got harder as the hills got steeper.   Not sure how to switch it to Erg mode yet…  otherwise all good!

    jonnyboi
    Member

    sounds like it is in erg mode. What app were you connected to?

    You should also do a spin down calibration before each ride, and even 8 mins in according to dc rainmaker.

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