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Thread: Computrainer

  1. #1
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    Computrainer

    Looks like a pretty good training system for the winter's here since it snows. Does anyonelse use one of these? How do they like it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atown117
    Looks like a pretty good training system for the winter's here since it snows. Does anyonelse use one of these? How do they like it?
    I ride one from time to time. My home set up is a PT wheel with a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. If I had to choose between either set up, it would be a PT and Kurt Kinetic hands down. This lets you train with power in the summer months.

    The compu trainers are solid, but your power training is limited to indoors. There are some issues with the compu-trainer. They don't seem to like high speeds. If you're a beast it's best to simulate an uphill course to keep the speed down. Also the watt function can be off by as much 20W. Apparently this has to do with how you warm them up before calibration. All in all a good trainer. If you can get a deal, go for it.
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  3. #3
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    other features

    The comments above on power readout comparisons with PT are acknowledged by Computrainer (the company).

    There are some other features a computrainer has that I think would be difficult to replicate with a PT.

    1) Race course replication (grade, length and turns) from GPS files.
    2) Racing against previous performance files
    3) Interactive training video

    I can't ride outside consistently for at least 4 months every winter, so these features keep me from going batty on the trainer. But, as mentioned above, we are talking a significant chunk of change that would buy a PT setup that could be used all year.

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    Anyone have experience with a TACX virtual reality trainer? Here is a link to their website:

    http://www.tacxvr.com/

    I'm tired of the afternoon Florida rains getting in the way of my training, so although I get much less enjoyment riding on a trainer I'm starting to research computrainers and other options and was told about this company's product when visiting a cycling store today. They don't carry any in stock, so I basically have to research.

    Do these things really make riding indoors much better than sitting there staring at whatever is on TV?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregz12
    There are some issues with the compu-trainer. They don't seem to like high speeds. If you're a beast it's best to simulate an uphill course to keep the speed down.
    People have trouble with the computrainer load generator over-heating because they put their bike into too low of a gear. The fan moves at the same rpm as the load generator axle, causing less cooling with the lower wheel speed. The lower wheel speed forces the load generator to produce more torque to produce the same wattage, which in turn generates more heat. The best way to use a computrainer is to put it in the 53 ring up front (or 44 on the mountain bike) and pick the gear in back which gives you a straight chain line. If you are going to do gradient simulation instead of erg mode, just pick a gradient which allows you to stay in the 53 chainring.

  6. #6
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    75% of my training is on CT

    People have trouble with the computrainer load generator over-heating because they put their bike into too low of a gear. The fan moves at the same rpm as the load generator axle, causing less cooling with the lower wheel speed. The lower wheel speed forces the load generator to produce more torque to produce the same wattage, which in turn generates more heat. The best way to use a computrainer is to put it in the 53 ring up front (or 44 on the mountain bike) and pick the gear in back which gives you a straight chain line. If you are going to do gradient simulation instead of erg mode, just pick a gradient which allows you to stay in the 53 chainring.
    I've got better than 2200 miles on mine since Jan 2008. I do about 75% of my training on it per week. Most sessions start at 0500 and last to 0600-0630. I can't tell you how valuable I think this tool is for those who are time constrained, or weather constrained. I keep my 650cc TT bike mounted on it, and have matched my setup to mimic my EPIC geometry. Big ring 53t, straight chainline to 15t in the back, 90rpms.

    The key is calibration and keeping the speed in the correct zone for accuracy and repeatability. I'm typically between 21-22mph for all my rides, including all interval work. I use it to test and re-test athletes as well. I believe it's a very good platform for testing in a controlled climate room. I've ran a PT on it and agree with Ray's demonstration that we are comparing apples to oranges. While I can jack up the wind load to get "a match" between PT and CT, I do not find that it's portable across bike setups, or athletes. Relative changes as compared from CT to CT session are what I consider "deadly accurate" for the athlete.

    There can be a little temp drift going from cold to hot, but you can recalibrate at anytime during ERG sessions. My habit is to WU 120watts for 3 minutes, recalibrate. WU another 12-15 at 135 ramped to 170watts, recalibrate. Typically, these numbers are within +/- .02 ... pretty darn close. After every 20 minutes of effort, I usually recalibrate but I've missed recalibration many times and seen no differences across 40-60 minutes. I believe my stability is due to multiple running fans, and I have a pretty stable room environment. When winter temps are here, the workout area was 40-50degrees, and it took a full 15 minutes above 150 watts to get thermal stability.

    I've built several dozen ERG workouts for athletes. They have tremendous flexibility even though you can't ride them outside. I'm up .52 watts per kg for CP30 in 6 months. The CP6 numbers are even higher.

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