Newbie on the Indoor Training

plastic_cyclist

Active Member
Location
Angus
Okay, with the weather and the dark causing my training to crash, I am now looking to set up some sort of indoor riding in the garage....I have no clue what the best thing is to do, so I've heard of Zwift, but need to get my head around what kit to buy and which is the best thing....and what bike to use? (I have a carbon Giant and a tri-cross sport)

Anyone swear by a particular model of turbo ? Or should I hunt the Aldi middle aisle ?
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
I've had a turbo for the best part of 30 years. It doesn't get used that much, but when I get a spell of not being able to get out, I have a few sessions. Never had a "smart" trainer. They didn't exist when I bought mine.

A basic trainer for around £100, will full fill the function of keeping fitness once or twice a week through the winter. It only takes 30 minutes to feel some goodness being done. For the type of cycling that is my main target - 10 mile time trials, a 20 to 30 minute session is more than ample to keep me going.
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
Depends on your budget and what you want to do. If you want to do things like Zwift, RGT, Bkool, Rouvy, BigRingVR etc etc then you will (probably*) need a "smart" trainer. This is one where the resistance is controlled by an app and the app also provides some kind of display (eg a virtual world where you are riding wih increased resistance for uphill sections, or your progress through a set of hard/easy interval workouts)

Some of these services use ANT+ to connect to the trainer, some (most?) use Bluetooth. I know BigRingVR is ant+ only, so if going for a smart trainer then connectivity is a feature to consider.

The other option is wheel-on vs direct drive. Wheel on is where you clip your bike into the trainer with the back wheel in place. Direct drive has its own cassette, and you remove the back wheel and mount the bike onto the trainer. Higher end models are direct drive. Also, if you have bikes with different gearing setups (eg an 8 speed and a 10 speed) it's much harder for them to share the trainer with direct drive.

So: Smart vs dumb, wheel on vs direct drive are probably the basic choices. For smart, check the connectivity.

* Some of these things may work with a dumb trainer too, but maybe to a limited extent, I don't know.

Some good reading (refers to smart trainers only): https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/10/the-smart-trainer-recommendations-guide-winter-2019-2020.html
 
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Colin Grigson

Manager of The Month
Location
Slovakia
This will give you an idea of what you’ll need - a smart trainer, bike, fans ( as many as you can get) , screen , device for connection - I use an iPad out of shot, and headbands and towels .... you won’t believe how much you sweat :wacko:. Good luck ... Zwift is very addictive :okay:
556258
 

Colin Grigson

Manager of The Month
Location
Slovakia
Whats the general price for a smart trainer (I presume you need a SMART one to use Zwift and the like?)
A decent quality one will be north of £500 .... up to about £1200 … I love mine and having used it for some time I appreciate why they cost what they do - great piece of kit :okay:
 
Having a quick glance on Wiggle UK shows the Tacx flow smart trainer at 265 pounds:

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/tacx-flow-smart-trainer

They get good reviews and a couple of folk on here use them with Zwift with no issues. I couldn't get hold of one myself in September, stocks in Germany were constantly sold out, so I bought the more expensive Wahoo Kickr Snap, a wheel on trainer like the Tacx.

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/wahoo-kickr-snap

It has a slightly higher specification than the Tacx and it works really well on Zwift. Riding through the roller coaster terrain of Titans grove feels really realistic on it and for the money I'm really happy with it.
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
Check out the max incline that can be simulated. The Tacx flow is relatively low at 6%. I don't have one so I don't know if that's an issue at all but it's something to compare. Kickr snap is 12%
 
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Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
I have a Tacx Bushido which cost me £230 last year, I'm very happy with that. But it appears that Tacx aren't doing them any more (can't find it on the Tacx website ... or perhaps it's just me).
 
IME the cheaper smart turbos aren't great. Searching for sensor, reboots, calibrating each time you put the bike on.

Unless your spending £600 - I wouldn't go there .

I also find being locked into one position very hard on my joints. I have a history of back problems and riding turbos brings it on.

FWIW - I've got on better with a £200 spin bike. It's no zwift rival - but it's small, clean enough to keep in bedroom - load up a YouTube vid and you're ready to go. I've gotten more use out of that than any turbos I've brought over the years.
 
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