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  1. #1
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    magnetic trainer not cutting it, need to replace

    my cheap mag trainer just doesn't offer enough resistance for me to get my hr up over 130 or so.

    what trainer has the best price/resistance ratio? i want to keep it as cheap as possible. its setup in the garage and i have noise blocking headphones so noise is not an issue. i just want something i can do a decent set of intervals on without destroying my new bike fund.
    something about the west coast...it makes me wanna ride

  2. #2
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    Check your sig.... Riding outside, on actual pavement, is reportedly great training.
    Sometimes, I question the value of my content.

  3. #3
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    Any fluid trainer ought to do the trick. Fluid trainers get harder exponentially as rear wheel speed increases, whereas mag trainers are more linear. I have a Blackburn fluid I got off craigslist for $100 and I've topped 194 on it. I can't even get that high on the road or gravel, just trails normally.

  4. #4
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    194 watts?

    i did quite a bit of searching on this topic, and without exception,there is always a reply saying 'ride outside!'. i'm glad this thread conforms.
    something about the west coast...it makes me wanna ride

  5. #5
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    I have a Kurt Kinetic but I don't use it with the mtn bike. I typically use it in conjunction with the road bike. I did take it to warm up before a race and was frustrated to find out that my 29er tire rubbed the frame where the flywheel mounts. I'd say whatever you get make sure your tire fits if possible. I see a lot of guys at races on the cycle ops trainers warming up.

  6. #6
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    I've got a Blackburn Fluid trainer that gives me plenty of resistance and allows you to set the tension against the rear wheel with a screw system. Other than the excessive vibrations that come as the fluid warms up, it's a great trainer. Usually happens around 7-10 mins after I start riding and last about 4-5 mins, then it smooths out and is really good for the rest of the workout.

  7. #7
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    I just got the e*motion rollers. Plenty of resistance for me, but, not cheap.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryguy135 View Post
    Any fluid trainer ought to do the trick. Fluid trainers get harder exponentially as rear wheel speed increases, whereas mag trainers are more linear. I have a Blackburn fluid I got off craigslist for $100 and I've topped 194 on it. I can't even get that high on the road or gravel, just trails normally.
    Heart rate. It's capable of 450-500 watts easy, much more than I can sustain for more than a few seconds.

  9. #9
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    It probably just needs a little maintenance just like a bike. If the resistance setting is set via a steel cable, it may have stretched just like derailleur cables do. My trainer bike did just that and replacing the cable plus a tuneup made it better than new. Open it up and see what it needs.

  10. #10
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    I have Performance rollers that I like a lot.....

  11. #11
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    don't mean to be a jerk but why are people suggesting rollers when he specifically says he wants to do intervals on them?

    2x20's can be done on rollers....but count me as one who doesn't want to worry about staying seated and balanced and not riding off the rollers and breaking a bunch of stuff when i'm going all out to end a 3x10 or 5x5 or tabata. i'd prefer to go nuts to butts and put all my energy towards pedaling, not staying upright. (i realize that doesn't mimic biking....but we're talking about training inside here to get stronger...which is different)

    kurt kinetics liquid trainers are the best reviewed, but they go for a little under $200 used....that may screw up a new bike budget. you can certainly find other trainers on craigslist that have virtually unlimited resistance....but they'll probably have a totally different feel than pedaling a bike outside which is hard to commit to regularly. other branded liquid trainers will do the trick too....but apparently they have the knack of leaking and the resistance will lessen as the liquid inside the device heats up. or like others have said, there's probably some way to increase the resistance on the one you have. get a new spring? let some air out of your tire?

  12. #12
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    Doing power intervals on rollers isnt that difficult.

    Its about like anything else......If you practice enough its doable.

  13. #13
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    Is anyone else dreading winter snow and time on a trainer? *barf*
    Get it unlocked.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by estabro View Post
    Is anyone else dreading winter snow and time on a trainer? *barf*
    Nope! I set it up by my good ol' Nintendo 64. Let's me be a couch potato without being lazy!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by estabro View Post
    Is anyone else dreading winter snow and time on a trainer? *barf*




    I'll do it vs. gaining 20 lbs. like I did last winter.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomit View Post
    don't mean to be a jerk but why are people suggesting rollers when he specifically says he wants to do intervals on them?

    2x20's can be done on rollers....but count me as one who doesn't want to worry about staying seated and balanced and not riding off the rollers and breaking a bunch of stuff when i'm going all out to end a 3x10 or 5x5 or tabata. i'd prefer to go nuts to butts and put all my energy towards pedaling, not staying upright. (i realize that doesn't mimic biking....but we're talking about training inside here to get stronger...which is different)
    A person can get pretty good at rollers, it just takes time. Last season was the first time I did a one-legged no-hander for a bit. Intervals at threshold power is no problem on rollers; even 1-2 minutes AC intervals (overheating is the main problem). If a person can't stay upright, then there are some serious problems with form, which rollers will eventually correct.

    Anything that is done seated can be done on the rollers. Stand sprinting and hitting 1000Watts, well, that can't be done safely, IMO. So in the winter, I'll use my rollers in the garage, and roll out onto the pavement for the sprints (while dodging patches of ice).

    I have a brand new 1UP trainer collecting dust, right next to my rollers.

    But I'm not recommending rollers to the OP, because rollers aren't cheap, and they take a long time to learn. Riding no-handed and standing is a big key to riding long periods on the rollers.
    Last edited by Poncharelli; 10-13-2011 at 01:31 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    Stand sprinting and hitting 1000Watts, well, that can't be done safely, IMO. .
    this is pretty much what i'm looking to do. it looks like the fan units max out at about 600 watts. i'm going to have to buy one of the pricey fluid units it seems.
    something about the west coast...it makes me wanna ride

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncreative View Post
    this is pretty much what i'm looking to do. it looks like the fan units max out at about 600 watts. i'm going to have to buy one of the pricey fluid units it seems.
    If you do, get the KK or the 1UP, just like everyone else says.

    The 1UP makes my old mag trainer seems like a total POS. I swear, the machining on that thing is incredible.....like Aerospace worthy machining.

    But i have read that the KK has a better road feel to it. Just doesn't look as cool.
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  19. #19
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    My Performance rollers were less than $200.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomit View Post
    don't mean to be a jerk but why are people suggesting rollers when he specifically says he wants to do intervals on them?

    2x20's can be done on rollers....but count me as one who doesn't want to worry about staying seated and balanced and not riding off the rollers and breaking a bunch of stuff when i'm going all out to end a 3x10 or 5x5 or tabata. i'd prefer to go nuts to butts and put all my energy towards pedaling, not staying upright. (i realize that doesn't mimic biking....but we're talking about training inside here to get stronger...which is different)
    I can do intervals on the rollers, and I've only rode on them 3 or 4 times so far. I just did 15 sets of 1x1's last week. You can really tell how your pedaling needs work, you have to balance, control your bike, etc. It works many things, other than just "nuts to butts" pedaling. Riding on the rollers will make me a better rider, in addition to better fitness. Where a trainer will just be better fitness.

  21. #21
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    one word...KurtKinetic trainers...they offer plenty resistance (3000watts) and have the most realistic feeling EVER. If you do buy the Pro Flywheel, be prepared to have 18lbs of pure momentum...just like riding on the street.

  22. #22
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    I have a Giant magnetic trainer, old beater rigid mtb bike with skinny slicks, and even at my horrible cardio I find I want more resistance or more gear. Pretty much sit at a mid high 60 cadence 18 mph on the biggest gear I have. Should I add more gear, more rpm, or is this cheapo trainer never gonna give me the resistance I want. I feel like I am just free wheeling.

    I don't have the experience yet to know whats a good resistance or cadence ect, thanks for any insight.
    Clydesdale: 315lbs (July 2010) now down 35 lbs on my journey from obese to triathlete...

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Tuna View Post
    I have a Giant magnetic trainer, old beater rigid mtb bike with skinny slicks, and even at my horrible cardio I find I want more resistance or more gear. Pretty much sit at a mid high 60 cadence 18 mph on the biggest gear I have. Should I add more gear, more rpm, or is this cheapo trainer never gonna give me the resistance I want. I feel like I am just free wheeling.

    I don't have the experience yet to know whats a good resistance or cadence ect, thanks for any insight.


    IME a fluid trainer would give you better performance. Mag trainers are pretty linear in their resistance levels.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Tuna View Post
    I have a Giant magnetic trainer, old beater rigid mtb bike with skinny slicks, and even at my horrible cardio I find I want more resistance or more gear. Pretty much sit at a mid high 60 cadence 18 mph on the biggest gear I have. Should I add more gear, more rpm, or is this cheapo trainer never gonna give me the resistance I want. I feel like I am just free wheeling.

    I don't have the experience yet to know whats a good resistance or cadence ect, thanks for any insight.
    Up your cadence too. Most people set a target cadence of around 90 RPM, with some roadies shooting for closer to 110.

  25. #25
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    Anyone try those new Lemond trainers where you take the rear wheel off? They look pretty slick....

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddre View Post
    Anyone try those new Lemond trainers where you take the rear wheel off? They look pretty slick....
    Looks cool. It made we wonder why no one else has thought of this yet. At nearly $600.00 its a little pricey.

    Amazon.com: Lemond Revolution Trainer - no cassette: Sports & Outdoors

    I just ordered a Kurt trainer for this winter when I'm buried under snow.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddre View Post
    Anyone try those new Lemond trainers where you take the rear wheel off? They look pretty slick....
    I have one, since last January. I have the Power Pilot power meter headunit too.

    I would not trade it for a second race bike, it's that good. Maybe the best investment I've made in training ever.

    I've done 4-hour trainer rides (long ride scheduled and we got an ice storm) and was fine.

    The damn thing feels like riding a bike on a flat road. In contrast, my fluid trainer feels like pedaling uphill through wet grass with a flat tire.

    The flywheel takes over a minute to coast down to a stop after I get off the bike. It takes the dead spot out of the pedal stroke and allows it to feel like pedaling a real bike outdoors.

    I will never ride a trainer without a big flywheel again.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    I have one, since last January. I have the Power Pilot power meter headunit too.

    I would not trade it for a second race bike, it's that good. Maybe the best investment I've made in training ever.

    I've done 4-hour trainer rides (long ride scheduled and we got an ice storm) and was fine.

    The damn thing feels like riding a bike on a flat road. In contrast, my fluid trainer feels like pedaling uphill through wet grass with a flat tire.

    The flywheel takes over a minute to coast down to a stop after I get off the bike. It takes the dead spot out of the pedal stroke and allows it to feel like pedaling a real bike outdoors.

    I will never ride a trainer without a big flywheel again.


    What is the noise level like?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    What is the noise level like?
    Louder than other trainers. Quite loud at high wattages. Sounds like a vacuum cleaner, sorta.

    Not bothersome for me at all, no louder than wind noise on the road at high speeds.

    Not great if you might bother others, though. Mine lives in my garage/training cave but didn't really bother my wife last winter when it was inside; she would simply shut the door to the room I was training in (maybe also because I had the door open and it was often very cold outside) and go to the den to watch tv.

    For me the noise is the only downside, and it's vastly overshadowed by the feel. Would not ride another trainer by choice now. Plus, no tire wear, and I was able to set up a trainer-specific bike with the same exact geometry as my road bike. Didn't need brakes obviously, and only a rear derailleur, very convenient to always have it set up to ride.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    Louder than other trainers. Quite loud at high wattages. Sounds like a vacuum cleaner, sorta.

    Not bothersome for me at all, no louder than wind noise on the road at high speeds.

    Not great if you might bother others, though. Mine lives in my garage/training cave but didn't really bother my wife last winter when it was inside; she would simply shut the door to the room I was training in (maybe also because I had the door open and it was often very cold outside) and go to the den to watch tv.

    For me the noise is the only downside, and it's vastly overshadowed by the feel. Would not ride another trainer by choice now. Plus, no tire wear, and I was able to set up a trainer-specific bike with the same exact geometry as my road bike. Didn't need brakes obviously, and only a rear derailleur, very convenient to always have it set up to ride.



    Very good, thanks for the reply. Will start looking for one to augment the rollers.

  31. #31
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    I got one of those Tacx I-magic trainers for $300, and it is really nice. I don't use the virtual reality stuff on it as it's kind of cheesy, but the power, and heart rate read out really help you get a good workout once you figure out what your capable of.

  32. #32
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    I got my Kurt Kinetic Road Machine and was happy with the way it felt and the noise level wasn't bad at all, I don't think I could deal with anything louder than a fluid trainer.

    The resistance felt very smooth, both standing and sitting, but I may need to put my big ring back on my 2x10 for a little more of a workout.

    The construction of the frame was very solid but there were a few very minor things I would have done differently with the hardware use to mount the resistance unit to the frame. It's nothing that detracts for the usability or durability just being nit picky.

  33. #33
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    I am also researching trainers and have it narrowed down to the 1Up and the KK Road Machine.

    Any thoughts on the better of these two? They both look sweet...the only complaints I have seen are the hardware on the KK and the 1UP heating up more (not sure why that matters). Really not sure on this one.

  34. #34
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    I don't have a KK, but I did have a 1UP and it got too hot to touch after 45 min (maybe less that's just when I stopped) and when I used it for over an hour my red trainer tire started turning black. I also had to clean the area that contacts the friction pad, and make sure the balls that spin were clean to maintain consistency in the resistance. That said, as long as I kept it clean it worked perfectly and was super quiet. The heating up part was only a problem if you forgot to disengage the wheel from the roller as it would kind of melt the tire.

  35. #35
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    For the people that can do hard workouts on rollers successfully (in terms of not falling off), are you using magnetic resistance-unit equipped rollers? Alternately, with rollers that lack a resistance unit, what kind of watt #s can you hit before running out of gears?

  36. #36
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    Tacx Satori work great for me, from there web site: It is for instance possible to generate 400 Watt at the relatively low speed of 27 km/h (17 m/h).

    Great compagnie great product, will last years, and if needed replacement part available! enought say.

    around 250$

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by jared_j View Post
    For the people that can do hard workouts on rollers successfully (in terms of not falling off), are you using magnetic resistance-unit equipped rollers? Alternately, with rollers that lack a resistance unit, what kind of watt #s can you hit before running out of gears?
    My rollers have a resistance unit.

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