how much resistance can I expect from a mag turbo trainer?

Dan B

Disengaged member
Odd question, maybe, but I'm wondering if mine is broken

I'm coming back from a broken arm and after two months plus of no exercise at all I figured to take pretty much any opportunity to get some fitness back - so, I enrolled in a lunchtime spinning class at a gym (got a good two week introductory offer). Their stationary bikes have bands, and it's possible to wind the resistance on until you can barely turn the pedals while standing on them.

Anyway ... back home and playing with my turbo, which I believe to be a CycleOps Mag (I bought it a few years ago, so it may not be exactly that model, but it's definitely that make and definitely mag resistance) and wondering if it's normal that I can't get enough resistance on it to pedal out of the saddle without perpetually feeling like I'm about to come crashing down on the top tube. Do other resistance technologies (e.g. fluid) provide more of it, or is this one broken? It has four resistance settings and I've tried them all in 50Tx12, maybe I should get a bigger chainring
 
why do you need to be out of the saddle on the turbo..?
 

amaferanga

Veteran
Location
Bolton
Your tyre is probably slipping on the roller since when you get out of the saddle there's less weight on the rear wheel. But as above, just don't do it. Sit your arse on the saddle and pedal - it's not a bloody spinning class :thumbsup:
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
why do you need to be out of the saddle on the turbo..?
Agree mostly, it is awkward to stand on the turbo anyway.

That being said, I have started doing standing drills on the turbo (trying to pedal smoothly when stood up, albeit not very often) and up any short inclines in a harder gear than I normally would when out on the road because I seem to fatigue very fast when out of the saddle, doing this has given some improvements so far. On the turbo, you can do it, but it is quite limiting because you can not rock the bike and it feels very awkward and unnatural, and it you aren't smooth it is likely bad for the frame!
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
I'd often thought about how they actually work.
I have a Cycleops mag, but it doesnt have different resistance settings (that i'm aware of)...the harder you pedal, the more resistance you get. Just cruise along, its easy, get out the saddle, it soon works you.

Slipping on the roller ?..i can usually feel mine, i'd assume you could too Dan.

Sorry, nothing useful to offer, but mine definately ramps up as you increase the pressure on the pedals.
 
I had a Cycleops Mag trainer a few years ago when I had less power than I do now; it had 5 variable resistance levels...it wasn't enough whichever gear I put the bike into.

Fast forward to this autumn and a few weeks ago I bought myself an Elite Fluid (this isn't meant to be an advert for Elite by the way but fluid over mag) and it's awesome. When you change gear on the bike you feel the difference and so is therefore much better than a magnetic turbo IMO. Magnetic though, are generally the cheaper option but I'd go for a fluid given my own experience with both.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
Agree, fluid is a nice natural feeling, better than mag turbo's (never owned but have used)! I use a Cyclops Fluid 2, it is nice and smooth, and not too noisy and there is plenty of resistance for sure! I would say the resistance curve yields a higher resistance for a given speed than the road (assuming flat and no wind.... yeah right). My speeds on the turbo are generally a few mph less than the road (speed is irrelevant on the turbo really, time spent and HR are better measures of the effectiveness of a turbo sessions, just stating the speed comparison for comparison of resistance vs the real world). You change resistance using your gears and the turbo reacts naturally.
 
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