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Recommendations for turbo trainer


As I have just completed my first year of Tri, I am hooked, and am looking to compete next season than rather just to complete. I know that to improve training needs to continue during the winter and as I live in a pretty rural place when things get cold the roads get icy around here. So a turbo trainer is the way forward to keep up my cycling, however I know very little about these, so which would be a good first timers turbo trainer?


P.S during winter training for cycling everyone says long slow rides, but how long is long??


  • I would look on evans and pick the midrange about 400 pound trainer. These are usually good quality and not too expensive. With all gear and kit buying the cheapest always means it breaks or soemthing isnt quite right which mans you have to buy the midrange one afterwards anyway! (biggest learning whilst training for my ironman was to buy quality cause it lasts and works!) Most of them have speed, cadance and some sort of resistance element to it which are you basics; everything else is a nice bonus.

    long starts at 100km I think. Although over 3 hours indoor gets very boring unless you park yourself infront on a tv with some long films! I used indoor training for the speed interval training even during the sunniest of days - I managed one 100miler indoors but not out of choice and never again!!!

    thanks, nick
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    You are gonna get loads of different view points for your question.

    Just remember this

    Get a magnet one as the fans are so LOUD its hard to hear the telly or Ipod!
  • I think it would help if you defined what you see as being competitive and over what distance of race.

    The truth is that to be near the top of your age group in any decent level event you are going to have to mix it with some pretty good bikers. And this equates to consistently putting out a decent power output over the durration of the bike leg. If this is what you see as being competitive then having a turbo trainer is a very good investment, and I would suspect like many of us you will see it as a tool for use year round. The main benefit of a turbo trainer is that given its resistance you have something to work against in developing your strength on the bike. In this respect you get what you pay for but if you are training properly you are going to need to put some effort into this type of training and so a strong and sturdy piece of kit is esential.

    The second point is what are your natural motivation levels like. Some of us you can point at a steep hill and say blast up that a few times and give it 100% and we will. Others amongst us probably need more stimulus and would find it easier in a group or might need to have someone behind us in a car with a loudhailer shouting abuse at us to get us to do the work. Being on a bike trainer is very much about this question, what are your natural levels of mental toughness?

    I own a Tacx i-magic Fortius, which though a bit old these days is an all singing dancing trainer connected to a computer of mine. At one level I can write my own programmes of up to an hour or so, and faced with simple blocks of work to get through I can force myself through a pretty hard workout. If I need to train due to very bad weather I can use one of a number of dvd courses and train for a few hours in some far off scenario such as classic alpine climbs. This all helps with motivation. There are other systems out there which rely on matching the trainer with a dvd to work through off the TV. What the top systems do is allow you to record the power outputs off the bike which is important if you want to see progress and also test yourself on a reasonably regular basis.

    The point I am making be honest about your own motivation levels and what you want to achieve and be prepared to pay the price for the kit you need. You don't want to spend too little and have something gathering dust because it doesn't do what you want it to or it doesn't provide the motivation after a bit for you to climb on it and go through a tough training session. If you really don't see 'compete' as being at this level of training then save the cash for something else. There are a number or really good brands out there Tacx, CycleOps and Elite all have a solid line up and there is not a lot of difference between quality of build, it is more down to features at a price point, and they have all caught up with each other in this respect.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Keep an eye out on Wiggle, CRC and Decathlon.

    I picked up a Tacx Flow for £200 out of Decathlon last year. that bad boy measures power etc.

    How long is long. Depends on your point of view
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