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  1. #1
    Ms. Monster
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    Trainers?

    So, my parents just asked me for advice on what trainers are good, as they want to use their new bikes as stationary bikes in the winter. I really couldn't answer. We have a set of rollers that get used once or twice a year but otherwise ride outside or ski. Educate me! What's out there? What should they look for?

  2. #2
    Team NFI
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    Couple of questions first,

    Budget?

    What type of bike? Important if they are a mountain bike or some 29ers that use the cowled style drop out like on my old Peace 9r which would interfere with a regular axle mount turbo trainer. There is a solution but takes a bit of effort searching Ebay or Kijiji.

    One thing to factor into this would be buying some rubber for under the trainer to lessen the vibration. My inlaws can attest to this.

  3. #3
    snowbound
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    I have the Kurt Kinetic road machine - No issues with it at all after 3 or 4 winters of use. Very quiet, smooth, and progressive resistance.

  4. #4
    bi-winning
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    Kurt Kinetic

    Reviews: Kurt Kinetic Trainer Trainer Reviews

    My brief summary / impressions. Top notch product, not particularly cheap. Stable / heavy. Smooth, realistic resistance, with larger than average flywheel. It feels like riding your road bike down a flat road. Excellent design ensures it will never leak fluid. Reasonably quiet. Larger diameter drum than most helps fight tire slipping. Mounts easily to bikes with standard quick release rear wheels. It's an item you could buy used without worrying about its remaining lifespan.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  5. #5
    All my faucets is Moen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    So, my parents just asked me for advice on what trainers are good, as they want to use their new bikes as stationary bikes in the winter. I really couldn't answer. We have a set of rollers that get used once or twice a year but otherwise ride outside or ski. Educate me! What's out there? What should they look for?
    My father started riding his 'comfort bike' on a trainer last winter. We bought him a Blackburn Mag3 for about $120. Nice and cheap as far as trainers go. Its nothing fancy but its easy to set up and adjust.

    I think cheap would be good since they aren't on it 3 hrs a day doing high intensity intervals.
    TECH MAG 3 TRAINER - Trainers

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__ View Post
    Kurt Kinetic .
    Another vote for the Kinetic. I think I've had mine six years without an issue.

  7. #7
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    +1 for Kurt Kinetic road machine ,on the 4th season with no problems. solid stand and easy to use and it feels almost like you are pedaling on asphalt.(i also set up a big fan to make it feel like i am really going fast). we also use it with a tandem bike and it works great so more the one person can be training at once.

  8. #8
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    I thought I saw a fork stand for the rollers once. My memory is foggy about where.
    It would get them out of your basement though. I have a set as well they have been in vertical mode for a few years.
    Other wise I would recommend the most economic choice until someone knows they will use them.
    m2c

  9. #9
    Ms. Monster
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    Oh, we have a fork stand, but I'm not giving away my rollers, even though I don't (yet) use them often. I'm thinking they might be handy now I have the baby.

  10. #10
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    I haven't tried the stand, but I've had mine for about 8 or 9 years, 1st year maybe 5 hours just fun learning, 2nd year less than 2 hours maybe this trainer stuff isn't for me, 3rd year 20 minute 4th 0 and that tells the story for the rest of my training indoors anyway. I guess I'm just not cut out for that kind of thing.

  11. #11
    Lemmy Rules!
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    My thought is to get a wind trainer rather than a mag trainer. I have tried both, but found the wind trainer was more comparable to actually riding.

    That said, I am not aware of your folks' living situation. If they are in a condo rather that a house, their neighbours may appreciate it if they bought a fluid trainer.
    Strava made me do it....

  12. #12
    More than a little slow
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    I have a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, and love it. If the Nerdparents didn't have bikes already, I'd be tempted to advise them to get a spin bike.
    Cheers, Dave

  13. #13
    bi-winning
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    I think most will agree the Kurt Kinetic is awesome as far as trainers go.

    But, if considering lower priced models, maybe people could chime in with certain things to avoid, if they have experience in that department. Can you go wrong? Are they all good?
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  14. #14
    Ms. Monster
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    Thanks for the info! I've passed the link to them. They had an exercise bike previously that they found really uncomfortable, so a trainer with properly fitted bikes (thanks, Duke's!) should be an improvement.

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  16. #16
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    I have a Cyclops Fluid that I am very happy with.

  17. #17
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__ View Post
    But, if considering lower priced models, maybe people could chime in with certain things to avoid, if they have experience in that department. Can you go wrong? Are they all good?
    Other considerations, some specific to selecting more economical units;

    1) Noise Level - be aware of different types of resistance units (magnetic, fluid, fan/wind) and the pros and cons of each. All are fairly reliable now (fluid models used to be subject to leaks, but not so common these days) but they may create very different noise levels, from fan resistance units potentially being the loudest to fluid being the quiest and magnetic usually in the middle. That isn't even a firm rule since some mag units really whine or howl, and fan units aren't that bad until you crank up the RPMs at the blades. If testing in a shop, consider how that noise level may translate to your actual environment where you will use it.

    2) "Feel" - fan units are very realistic in their resistance curve as wheel speed increases. Quality fluid models like the Kinetic can be pretty good in this area also. Entry level fluid units, and mag units typically require some sort of adjustable resistance controls to maintain a good feel of progressive resistance as wheel speed increases. If you are doing any intense intervals, especially those in a standing position, adjustable resistance can be useful anyhow. "Feel" can also be enhanced by a heavier flywheel. In budget units, more weight (frame and flywheel) is usually morer betterer!

    3) Absolute resistance capabilities - many budget trainers simply don't have enough resistance. This is a function of user fitness and user weight. Remember that we're not actually working against gravity, and therefore some larger bodied riders (even if they aren't of comparable on-bike fitness) will blow through available resistance very quickly as it's absolute power, not power-to-weight ratio, that is working against the trainer's available resistance. Especially important with riders who are both large AND very fit.

    4) Stability - if the frame is wobbly or flexes excessively during use, that's a bad sign. Probably time to move on to the next candidate. On value models some are definitely better than others for stability.

    5) Clamping compatibility - Check whether the clamping mechanism of the trainer mates well with whatever is on the ends of your axles (quick release skewer ends or other). I usually advise to buy a QR specifically made for trainer use. Some trainers will include this in the package. They are cheap, mate very solidly with the clamping mechanisms, and prevent your fancy schmancy alloy ends from being marred. I have no experience with newer 142mm rear ends that I can share, if your only bike is MTB with this configuration in the rear and you want to use it on a trainer.

    6) Trainer tire - not to be used outdoors, but those designated as trainer tires have different casing construction designed for greater durability and lifespan to a normal tire casing (which will often have a very short life as a trainer tire before the casing self-destructs). If you are using an MTB wheel, and larger 1.5-2.0 bald/slick street tire will usually work great too (big enough to control the extra heat generated by trainer use).

    7) Fan, fan, fan - while it may seem like you are getting a better workout when you have buckets of sweat dripping down everywhere, if you overheating you will probably not be getting a very good workout in as you are likely to reduce your output. Stay cool with a fan, and have a better workout!

  18. #18
    X-Ray Guy
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    I also have a cycleops fluid trainer. I have no complaints about it. I like their triangle front wheel stand that has multiple positions. Neutral, slightly up and slight down. Also you can stack 2 triangles (have not tried this) for a mountain climb stance. Might be a touch loud but all depend on your idea of loud.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Other considerations, some specific to selecting more economical units;

    1) Noise Level - be aware of different types of resistance units (magnetic, fluid, fan/wind) and the pros and cons of each. All are fairly reliable now (fluid models used to be subject to leaks, but not so common these days) but they may create very different noise levels, from fan resistance units potentially being the loudest to fluid being the quiest and magnetic usually in the middle. That isn't even a firm rule since some mag units really whine or howl, and fan units aren't that bad until you crank up the RPMs at the blades. If testing in a shop, consider how that noise level may translate to your actual environment where you will use it.

    2) "Feel" - fan units are very realistic in their resistance curve as wheel speed increases. Quality fluid models like the Kinetic can be pretty good in this area also. Entry level fluid units, and mag units typically require some sort of adjustable resistance controls to maintain a good feel of progressive resistance as wheel speed increases. If you are doing any intense intervals, especially those in a standing position, adjustable resistance can be useful anyhow. "Feel" can also be enhanced by a heavier flywheel. In budget units, more weight (frame and flywheel) is usually morer betterer!

    3) Absolute resistance capabilities - many budget trainers simply don't have enough resistance. This is a function of user fitness and user weight. Remember that we're not actually working against gravity, and therefore some larger bodied riders (even if they aren't of comparable on-bike fitness) will blow through available resistance very quickly as it's absolute power, not power-to-weight ratio, that is working against the trainer's available resistance. Especially important with riders who are both large AND very fit.

    4) Stability - if the frame is wobbly or flexes excessively during use, that's a bad sign. Probably time to move on to the next candidate. On value models some are definitely better than others for stability.

    5) Clamping compatibility - Check whether the clamping mechanism of the trainer mates well with whatever is on the ends of your axles (quick release skewer ends or other). I usually advise to buy a QR specifically made for trainer use. Some trainers will include this in the package. They are cheap, mate very solidly with the clamping mechanisms, and prevent your fancy schmancy alloy ends from being marred. I have no experience with newer 142mm rear ends that I can share, if your only bike is MTB with this configuration in the rear and you want to use it on a trainer.

    6) Trainer tire - not to be used outdoors, but those designated as trainer tires have different casing construction designed for greater durability and lifespan to a normal tire casing (which will often have a very short life as a trainer tire before the casing self-destructs). If you are using an MTB wheel, and larger 1.5-2.0 bald/slick street tire will usually work great too (big enough to control the extra heat generated by trainer use).

    7) Fan, fan, fan - while it may seem like you are getting a better workout when you have buckets of sweat dripping down everywhere, if you overheating you will probably not be getting a very good workout in as you are likely to reduce your output. Stay cool with a fan, and have a better workout!
    8) Towel draped over bars/stem/ headset area. Human sweat has salt and salt is corrosive ..eats paint and such.

  20. #20
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    I've had a Minoura V150-2 for a few years now. Magnetic but with a decent size flywheel, and adjustable resistance. I think it was about $160.

    The 4 leg design rocks if the floor is uneven, but it folds and stores nicely. It comes with the special skewer, and adjusts to fit a wide range of wheel and axle sizes.

    At low speeds and high resistance, it doesn't feel realistic. I can describe it as riding up a steep hill covered in glue. At higher speeds and lower resistance it's fine.

    Bike and tire noise exceed any noise my trainer makes. A blue TacX trainer tire on a 26" wheel is nearly silent, a little quieter than a slick road tire on a 700c wheel. The mildly treaded 10-20 year old 27" city tire on the wife's townie that's about to split it's carcass makes some noise. Knobbies are ridiculously noisy. I should try it with my Intense micro knobbies one day, just to see what it sounds like. I expect it'll sound like a car tire at speed on a concrete US interstate, but not as loud.

    I don't have any experience with fluid or wind devices.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickboers View Post
    I've had a Minoura V150-2 for a few years now. Magnetic but with a decent size flywheel, and adjustable resistance. I think it was about $160.
    Probably the same one I have. Got mine used for....$30 from Sports Junkies.

    One thing I learned to do is to always have the resistance set at the higher settings. I found anything less felt like nothing. Like running on a treadmill set at zero incline.

  22. #22
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biobanker View Post
    Rollers are only good if they have a resistance module. Otherwise you're spinning in your 53/11 at 100rpm.
    Easy - just buy a set of rollers with smaller drums. Something like a Kreitler 2.25 will dispel any desire for a resistance unit very quickly.

  23. #23
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    The Kurt is good and I've also had great success with the cycleops fluid two.

    Rollers are only good if they have a resistance module. Otherwise you're spinning in your 53/11 at 100rpm.

    Best I have found, by far, is my cycleops pt 300 spin bike but a spin bike may not be what they're after.

    I'd get either if those two trainers. Make sure that they protect the bike from sweat and use a good fan and something underneath. Watch out what's behind because rubber particles may make a stripe. They may want to put trainer rubber on (I never bothered).

    If they've got money to burn a computrainer may keep them entertained!

  24. #24
    Ms. Monster
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    Dukes has treated them very well with the bikes (thanks, Mike!) and ended up hooking them up with a cycleops trainer (plus skewer, mat, bike bikini thingy). Hopefully they use it! Gotta try to get my mom out to Joyride Women's weekend too.

    Thanks again for all the suggestions and info - very helpful. Hopefully others are finding it informative too.

  25. #25
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    i know i have found it useful! thanks all!

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