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    Thread: It is going to be getting dark very soon - tell me about indoor trainers

    1. Member jnm2.0t's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 05:44 PM #1
      I know nothing about trainers but given the wide range in pricing I presume there is a wide range in quality and features. This isnt for anything competitive but I don't want to miss out on opportunities to build some stamina during the dark nights. I have quickly found that hills do some great things, so I would like something that can be programmed between incline and flat, if thats possible. Not really sure on budget... I don't expect it will be $100 but also dont want it to be $500. If something good is out there for $200 - $300 that would be about what I plan to spend.

      Advice?
      They're steppin' on my rhythm and they're stealin' all my lines

      Every day on the bike is a day not in the Fusion.

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      09-26-2012 06:08 PM #2
      picked up a CyclOps Wind trainer and climbing block off of Craigs last year for $100. It's pretty loud since its a wind trainer and not a mag one but it does the job.

    3. 09-26-2012 06:46 PM #3
      Rollers?
      Might as well work on form while grinding away for hours. Approved games include (in order of difficulty): Ride one-handed, ride no-handed, Eat a powerbar (bonus points if bar is frozen), take off jersey over your head while riding. Unclip one foot and repeat the sequence one-legged...

      kaNUK

    4. Member jnm2.0t's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 09:15 PM #4
      I am interested in rollers, how much resistance do they provide, or do you just spin and spin. I am looking for something that will simulate hills too, can rollers do that in some fashion?
      They're steppin' on my rhythm and they're stealin' all my lines

      Every day on the bike is a day not in the Fusion.

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      09-27-2012 09:18 AM #5
      If you're only going to get one indoor training device, get a trainer. I've got a cycleops magneto, and it works for just about everything except sprinting and you don't want to be doing that on a trainer anyways. Indoor training is way boring though, and you should buy some warm gear to do longer rides on the weekends or you'll go nuts riding inside. I always try to break up the boredom by doing intervals like 2x20min, 4x10min, or 5x 6min with incomplete recovery.

      Rollers are awesome, but they have pretty serious limitations. I've found, for one, that they don't have enough resistance to do real workouts on them. The normal roller size (4" maybe?) provides enough resistance to do a steady 180-200 watts, but if I put it into the 53x12, I'm still only pushing about 300 watts at 100 rpm. I've ridden smaller rollers too, and while they offer more resistance, its really tough to stay upright when you're riding normal/easy, say 150-180watts because you're going so slow at that effort level.

      So if you're doing primarily drills and steadier rides, a set of rollers works, but otherwise, I'd go with a trainer. If you've got the $$, get both. Also, if you've been riding for a while, the powerbar eating/one legged/standing is not that hard. I got into rollers late (been riding and racing 5 years already) but I picked it up in about 10 rides. Rollers will make you a better rider for sure though, inproving pedal stroke and helping you keep your line.

    6. Member jnm2.0t's Avatar
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      09-27-2012 09:51 AM #6
      Awesome, thanks for the input! It never gets too cold to do my weekend rides, those will just be later in the day instead of crack of dawn. There's only a few days it doesn't get over 50 by mid day during even the coldest months, but it can rain a lot. Will certainly still be riding outside but it will only be on weekends. I won't be able to ride to/from work or do anything when I get home midweek and I don't want the whole winter to be comprised of only weekends.
      They're steppin' on my rhythm and they're stealin' all my lines

      Every day on the bike is a day not in the Fusion.

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      09-27-2012 10:03 AM #7
      I'm very happy with my Kurt Kinetic trainer. They have a new power meter coming out that works with their resistance unit through an app on your phone (I think). They also have wired one on the cheap. Great options for those that don't want to fork over the cash for the other alternatives.

      Their trainers are usually just a little bit above your range but you can get them for less if you catch a sale, get a coupon, or whatever through the online retailer you use.

    8. 09-27-2012 03:34 PM #8
      You are correct. Rollers only provide a limited (gearing related) amount of resistance. I find that most of the time for long workouts in Zone 1 or 2 I can get enough resistance in the big chain ring. My rollers came with an add-on magnetic resistance unit:


      This creates plenty of resistance for intervals.

      I'd love to try a set of "floating" rollers, like these:


      kaNUK

      Edit: Ze Englisch... It was somewhat falsch.
      Last edited by kanukVariant; 09-29-2012 at 10:54 AM.

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      09-27-2012 04:16 PM #9
      Trainers and rollers suck. Buy a light!
      ... you're not a hipster. But you definitely have hipster tendencies. Stay vigilant... like diabetes, you can manage this.
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      09-27-2012 06:00 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by merckx56 View Post
      Trainers and rollers suck. Buy a light!

      This^ you live in Palo Alto... you can ride year round. Trainers and rollers are for warm ups and places that have real winters.

    11. Member jnm2.0t's Avatar
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      09-27-2012 07:56 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by withnail View Post
      This^ you live in Palo Alto... you can ride year round. Trainers and rollers are for warm ups and places that have real winters.
      I'm not interested in riding at night especially when its cold. I'd much rather be on a trainer in my house than dodging cars in the dark. There's nothing to see and enjoy at night, thats a big reason why I ride.
      They're steppin' on my rhythm and they're stealin' all my lines

      Every day on the bike is a day not in the Fusion.

    12. Member crashmtb's Avatar
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      09-28-2012 03:13 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      I'm not interested in riding at night especially when its cold. I'd much rather be on a trainer in my house than dodging cars in the dark. There's nothing to see and enjoy at night, thats a big reason why I ride.
      You live in Palo Alto. It does not get cold.
      Have you never gone outside when the moon is out?
      Riding inside on a trainer is the most boring thing ever. Worse than running.

      Taken in February, in Manitoba. -30F, I avoid pavement, but must share the trails with drunk snowmobilers, who are far worse than any motorist.
      Quote Originally Posted by Juniper Monkeys View Post
      If someone at GM is reading this, if you give me a Corvette and $28.5m, I'll hand-paint the body of it, I'll breed it with an AIBO, I'll convert it to a boat and drive across SF Bay, I'll drive it through the lobby of Mazda HQ in LA, I'll ship it to China and invade the Forbidden City in it, then I'll drive up to Baikonur in Kazakhstan and have it fired to geosynchronous orbit on a Zenit-3SL rocket.

    13. Member jnm2.0t's Avatar
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      09-28-2012 06:49 PM #13
      It isn't going to happen. Any input on what to look for in trainers is welcomed though.
      They're steppin' on my rhythm and they're stealin' all my lines

      Every day on the bike is a day not in the Fusion.

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      09-28-2012 11:41 PM #14
      Here's a Q related to this: I need a new computer for my bike and want to go wireless. I've noticed a lot of them mount to the front wheel. The problem with this is if you are on a trainer you have no idea what you're doing. Are computers like the Cateye Strada for example capable of putting the sensor on the rear wheel?

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      09-29-2012 07:25 AM #15
      I am pretty sure you can mount it on the rear instead of the front but you may run into some issues with the unit picking up the info from the sensor.

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      09-29-2012 07:15 PM #16
      If you were closer, I'd make you a great deal on a recumbent.
      Quote Originally Posted by apizzaparty View Post
      never thought once to use my lefty for the brake. sorry in my opinion it is dumb.

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      09-29-2012 08:46 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
      If you were closer, I'd make you a great deal on a recumbent.
      With cup holders and orange flags?

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      09-29-2012 09:31 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
      With cup holders and orange flags?
      No orange flags, but it has a shelf for your novel or tablet. Actually, I'd like this bike a lot more if the edge of the seat didn't cut into my leg. With no scenery to distract me, it gets very hard to ignore after a couple of hours.
      Quote Originally Posted by apizzaparty View Post
      never thought once to use my lefty for the brake. sorry in my opinion it is dumb.

    19. 10-02-2012 02:10 PM #19
      I have heard good things about cycleops but I went with Kurt Kinetic a few years back. it's a great trainer. Highly recommend, excellent customer service.

    20. Member Vee-Dubber-GLI's Avatar
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      10-07-2012 04:44 PM #20
      I'm considering a CycleOps Wind trainer as it's gotten good reviews, simple for my entry-level self, and hits a nice price point of around $150 new. Also, I'd like to ride at night and practice getting used to clipless pedals/shoes.

      ETA: Picked up a CycleOps Wind trainer for $143 plus free shipping. 11 left. Being in wine country, I don't trust the tourist drivers in the daytime, let alone at night after they've wined and dined for a few hours...
      Last edited by Vee-Dubber-GLI; 10-07-2012 at 06:39 PM.
      VW CEL Breakdown here.
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      10-08-2012 08:52 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Vee-Dubber-GLI View Post
      I'm considering a CycleOps Wind trainer as it's gotten good reviews, simple for my entry-level self, and hits a nice price point of around $150 new. Also, I'd like to ride at night and practice getting used to clipless pedals/shoes.

      ETA: Picked up a CycleOps Wind trainer for $143 plus free shipping. 11 left. Being in wine country, I don't trust the tourist drivers in the daytime, let alone at night after they've wined and dined for a few hours...
      Wind trainers are a decent economical option, and the resistance ramps up nicely. The only problem with them is noise, they sound like a jet engine when you really get going. Its not a big deal if you're doing intervals with your buddies in a garage with the music cranked, but it is a problem if you live in an apartment or something, or like to watch movies while riding.

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      10-08-2012 09:44 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by msrothwell View Post
      Wind trainers are a decent economical option, and the resistance ramps up nicely. The only problem with them is noise, they sound like a jet engine when you really get going. Its not a big deal if you're doing intervals with your buddies in a garage with the music cranked, but it is a problem if you live in an apartment or something, or like to watch movies while riding.
      I watched some YouTube videos on them and they didn't seem too bad. I plan on having headphones in as well. Plus, if my transition to clipless pedals doesn't go so smooth, I may not be on a bike for 8-10 weeks. One of the things I did have planned for it is helping that transition along in getting more comfortable with clipping in/out and mounting/dismounting.
      VW CEL Breakdown here.
      My GLI is dead, waiting for new headwork. AEM intake, APR R1, APR TIP, ST Coilovers, Eurosport Lower Front Stress Bar, BFI Stg. 1 Motor Mount Kit, .:R32/BFI LCA Bushings, Neuspeed 28mm RSB, Forge SS w/ S2S, 42DD shift linkage bushings, Verdict Motorsports shift bracket bushings.

    23. Member jnm2.0t's Avatar
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      10-22-2012 06:55 PM #23
      Had a gift cert + store credit + discount at the LBS where I bought my bike from, they sell CycleOps so thats what I went with. With the small place I live in + 10 month old as quiet as reasonable is important so I went with the Jet Fluid Pro, especially since I had ~ $250 of it taken care of already. Didnt have it in stock, comes in this week.
      They're steppin' on my rhythm and they're stealin' all my lines

      Every day on the bike is a day not in the Fusion.

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      10-23-2012 01:45 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      Had a gift cert + store credit + discount at the LBS where I bought my bike from, they sell CycleOps so thats what I went with. With the small place I live in + 10 month old as quiet as reasonable is important so I went with the Jet Fluid Pro, especially since I had ~ $250 of it taken care of already. Didnt have it in stock, comes in this week.
      Nice! I saw that one, but didn't want to put up the $$$$ for it if I didn't like the trainer. The Wind isn't that loud; think large room fan or vacuum cleaner. Not quiet enough to watch TV with at normal volumes, but definitely not noticeable when you have earbuds in. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it, though running it at my highest gearing still provides a somewhat easy ride; longer time then, no biggie.
      VW CEL Breakdown here.
      My GLI is dead, waiting for new headwork. AEM intake, APR R1, APR TIP, ST Coilovers, Eurosport Lower Front Stress Bar, BFI Stg. 1 Motor Mount Kit, .:R32/BFI LCA Bushings, Neuspeed 28mm RSB, Forge SS w/ S2S, 42DD shift linkage bushings, Verdict Motorsports shift bracket bushings.

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      10-25-2012 01:41 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by kanukVariant View Post
      Rollers?
      Might as well work on form while grinding away for hours. Approved games include (in order of difficulty): Ride one-handed, ride no-handed, Eat a powerbar (bonus points if bar is frozen), take off jersey over your head while riding. Unclip one foot and repeat the sequence one-legged...

      kaNUK
      How about juggling with fire?

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      10-27-2012 01:29 PM #26
      6 people have been killed this year in our city while cycling after dark (even with multiple lights and night gear). I feel unsafe unless I'm riding in a group, but I find it difficult to get friends to meet my schedule. Its actually been so bad I gave up cycling for a year. So I just bought a trainer and have just put 100 miles on her. I picked up a 1UP Trainer and the thing is a piece of art. I got it because it was arguably the quietest trainer out there, it folds for storage, and is compatible with wide range of bikes and tires. I'm actually limited to a track bike right now and the trainer even works with non-QR track bike skewer. One biggest negative of the trainer is probably the same for all trainers... it was one hell of a bitch to setup, took me probably 3 hours of tweaking. I could have probably done this in 30 mins if I had help. I highly recommend setting up with a buddy. Also, the 1UP has been updated... so the instructions are not exactly correct anymore.

      Anyway I'm starting to love this trainer. The only weird thing is that the resistance is not linear to actual road riding. 15mph feels a lot easier than 14mph road riding, while 20mph feels more difficult than 20mph road riding. The sensation is 15mph is slightly downhill grade and 20mph is slightly uphill grade. I have yet to actually sprint faster than 22mph but I have no slipping what so ever even when accelerating. To go back to the night riding... I actually feel like I get more of a workout on the trainer because I limit my speed on a dark road.

      As far as boredom is concerned... I have a Netflix account. I've heard of people gaming on PS3/XBOX but I have yet to try it. Right now, movies/series on Netflix, sports, or music keeps me boredom free.

      This is how quiet the 1up is:
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      10-27-2012 05:44 PM #27
      I had a generic fluid Performance Bike (or something trainer) last year.... hated riding inside. Luckily, last year, it was a mild winter so I did a lot of mountain biking over the winter.

      I ended up giving away the trainer to the base MWR, so they can do a rough fit for their customers
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      11-02-2012 07:06 PM #28
      I found that I do like riding outside more, but the trainer really allows me to ride whenever I have the time, especially with work schedule getting a bit out of whack.

      Pros:
      -Can ride whenever
      -Can read or watch TV while riding
      -Temperature is always perfect in the house

      Cons:
      -Even on highest gearing w/ wind resistance, it feels like a spin class

      Honestly, the only downside is that the resistance and bike's gearing aren't enough and I do feel like I'm in too low of a gear, but treat it like spin class and just hustle along. Overall, really happy with the purchase. EDIT: I second KrautFed's thoughts on the non-linear feeling of speed and resistance; he explained it way better than I did. Thank you.
      Last edited by Vee-Dubber-GLI; 11-02-2012 at 07:08 PM.
      VW CEL Breakdown here.
      My GLI is dead, waiting for new headwork. AEM intake, APR R1, APR TIP, ST Coilovers, Eurosport Lower Front Stress Bar, BFI Stg. 1 Motor Mount Kit, .:R32/BFI LCA Bushings, Neuspeed 28mm RSB, Forge SS w/ S2S, 42DD shift linkage bushings, Verdict Motorsports shift bracket bushings.

    29. Member choochoo's Avatar
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      11-02-2012 08:22 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      It isn't going to happen. Any input on what to look for in trainers is welcomed though.
      Don't let these non-Californians get you down

      I used to set up the trainer/rollers in front of the TV and pop in some racing videos and pretend I'm riding along in the peloton. Makes the time go by faster.

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      11-02-2012 11:51 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by choochoo View Post
      Don't let these non-Californians get you down

      I used to set up the trainer/rollers in front of the TV and pop in some racing videos and pretend I'm riding along in the peloton. Makes the time go by faster.
      Someone recommended http://www.thesufferfest.com. Does anyone have any reviews?
      Roll Tide & War Eagle but stuck in LSU Country
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    31. Member Navydub's Avatar
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      11-04-2012 04:57 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by KrautFed View Post
      Someone recommended http://www.thesufferfest.com. Does anyone have any reviews?
      I have a few of the sufferfest videos. They have decent music and alright footage. They're good for hard workouts, but if I'm just putting in easy mileage I spin to netflix. Seriously netflix is your best friend for getting through the winter miles indoors. Start burning through series after series of tv shows. But yeah, if you want a beat your ass into the ground interval type workout, grab a sufferfest video or two. Definitely good for that.

      As for the overall topic at hand here, I'm using a CycleOps JetFluid Pro. http://www.cycleops.com/products/tra...product_id=160

      It's pretty quiet unless you're really blasting like 30+mph. The ramp up on the resistance feels very much like riding on the road to me. Very similar effort levels based on speed. Overall, I'm a big fan and really would only trade it for a Computrainer, but since I'm not made of money I'll stick with this.

      I picked mine up for I think $305 Shipped and I'll tell you how (retails at $380 + Shipping). Sign up for Neuvation cycling's newsletter...they'll send you a coupon for 10% off any purchase. Which, if you plan to buy a bike or wheelset from them, save it for that otherwise you're going to use it on a trainer, but not yet, hold on to it......watch the newsletter daily, and occasionally once in a great while, they'll have trainers on sale. When I bought mine the marked the FluidPro down to $340, then I got in with the coupon and got it for $305 to my door.

      That said, I'd like to add a set of rollers to my basement too to work on balance.
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      11-05-2012 08:50 AM #32
      I've been using the same rollers for 33 years. Just change the belt and bearings as needed.

    33. Member lnoriel's Avatar
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      11-07-2012 12:41 AM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by choochoo View Post
      Don't let these non-Californians get you down

      I used to set up the trainer/rollers in front of the TV and pop in some racing videos and pretend I'm riding along in the peloton. Makes the time go by faster.
      Yup! Did that for a couple of winter seasons here in SoCal. Mountain stages in grand tours are best but I've also watched one day classics.

      Winters get dark and I often worked late. It's already dangerous out on the roads so I limit my riding at night. I'd get out once a week with a light and rode some on the weekends. But the other nights, I would workout on the trainer. Errands, meetings, and evening commitments are inevitable but with a stationary trainer, you can put in an hour of spinning before going to bed.

      Boredom will be your biggest enemy. I did spinervals and Train Right Videos until I couldn't stand them anymore. But it helped to focus training on certain strengths and techniques while captive inside. I then progressed on to bike race videos which is effective mentally at suppressing the boredom and makes me spin with enthusiasm.

      This is what I recommend for indoor training.
      1. Fan
      2. Fluid Trainer - Nashbar or Performance Bike sells these for around $150 (So far Lasted 6 winters)
      3. A steel rear wheel skewer.
      4. A sweat protector for your bike frame.


      Side note: Trainers are real tough on the rear wheel. It accelerates tire wear and will ruin your skewers.
      So if you are serious about training indoors I did this--I built a cheap rear wheel with a cassette just for training indoors. I installed the Continental Home Trainer tire which is designed for use on a stationary trainer. Its smoother, quieter, and dissipates heat build up compared to a conventional tire. it also preserves your expensive tires for your real rides. I simply swap rear wheels and place my bike in the trainer. I also keep the steel skewer on the trainer wheel. The trainer will clamp on to your rear skewer and will chew it up. So replacing it with a steel skewer will preserve your lightweight alloy skewer for your real rides. You can keep the steel skewer on the trainer wheel.

      Note: Bike computers that read off the rear wheel are beneficial on a stationary trainer if you want to keep tabs on your stationary data.

      Lastly -- a partner who also shares in your indoor training makes a world of difference. Boredom is your enemy--consistency is your goal. My riding partners and I would meet at one of our homes and spin together one night each week. It helped keep us motivated.

      Hope that helps
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