Hey gang, I am looking to purchase a new indoor trainer and thought I would seek out your opinions on what is the best one on the market for under $500. I am looking at the CycleOps Fluid 2. Opinions? Recommendations? Fluid vs Magnet vs Tension?
You apparently have done your homework. The Fluid 2 is the most popular trainer and for a lot of reasons. Fluid trainers are so infinite on how you want to conduct your workout. From 20 min to 11/2 hrs., interval or “long-distance cruise.” It’s really what you feel like doing and you can change up your workout without stopping. Just adjust your cadence, or shift, or both and you can go from a cruise to a brutal uphill climb.
I have one and love it. This will be my 3rd winter riding it. It’s quiet; I ride in the early morning and it does not wake anybody else in the house. After riding the trainer all winter you won’t believe how easy it is to ride your road bike in the spring. You’ll maintain all of the muscle tone and cardio capability you had in the fall and thensome.
The indoor trainers have improved a lot over the years.
Last year I was eyeballing one trainer that only cost about $200. I tried it out at my LBS and as far as I was concerned it worked every bit as good as the cylclops fluid trainer. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the brand name. Lotta help I am, huh?
As for the type of trainer, I would recommend a fluid based trainer instead of an magnetic. The fluid forces an exertion graph similar to actual riding. i.e. as you ride faster it gets more difficult (i.e. going from 10 – 15 mph is easier than going from 15 -20), whereas a magnetic is a linear graph. I also have the Cyclops Fluid 2 it is a great trainer and quiet.
Also I would get multiple holders for the front wheel. If you change the height of the front wheel it actually will simulate more real world riding and that will also use slightly different muscles since your body will slightly shift on bike.
All trainers have disadvantages over just buying a spin bike. 1) They are louder. 2) the salt you sweat messes up your bike and can cause some things to seize. 3) They use up tires. 4) They are much less stable when standing. 5) They cause ware on a much more expensive drive train.
I use a Cyclops spin bike 10 years ago and it is very durable and stable. I’ve even needed to replace parts over the years which are available from Cycleops and are very cheap. I needed a new drive side crank/chainwheel which at $75 was a lot cheaper then a quality chainring. I’ve replaced chains and the drive cog also, all much cheaper then road components.
DS ~ +1 on the Cyclops Fluid II
I purchased (7) of them for our gang five years ago. Everyone is
happy, no failures.
Advise for use: A roller contacts your tire, keep the tension very
light, even slipping a little when you start. When the tire gets warm
it’ll stop slipping. This adds a lot to the life of your tire and the
trainer’s bearings and seals. You can tell by how warm the oil housing
gets at the end of your workout.
BTW ~ I use my old steel Bianchi on the trainer. I’ve got the
Cyclops ‘bib’ for sweat, 5-years on the same tire, never had
an issue with stability or the drive train (I clean & lube 1x per year)
Not saying a spin bike is no good ~ I just like being able to
use the Bianchi bike when bike rider friends visit.
I have a Kinetic by Curt Road Machine Fluid Trainer. Amazon has them for about $340 right now. It works great. Probably not much different compared to the CycleOps as far as the workout is concerned.
Kinetic does have another version called the Rock and Roll, that actually lets you lean the bike side to side as your ride. I would think that would add some additional muscles into the workout since you need to concentrate more on staying somewhat upright.
My local Scheels at Jordan Creek Mall has the Rock and Roll set up on display for people to try out. It runs about $530 on Amazon.
Consider as smooth a tire as you can get to reduce noise. There is more noise from the wheel, than from the fluid on my Kinetic. I have a Schwalbe Kojack I am going to try this winter to see if that quieter than the Kinetic trainer specific tire I use now.
I switched from a trainer to rollers 3 years ago and love them. I got bored on the trainer. Rollers require additional attention and focus which keeps you interested. They also improve your riding technique tremendously. They are much quieter than a trainer.
Some misconceptions about rollers are that they are to hard to stay balanced on and that if you ride off, you will go flying through the wall! They are easy to get used to riding on. I ride with the rollers next to a wall so I can just lean on the wall to get clipped in and then just start peddling away. If you ride off the side (which I have done) the tires just stop. Since there is no forward momentum, you just tip over (comical).
Last fall, I bought a CycleOps Fluid 2! I found it to be superior for hanging wet clothes for drying!!! I even got my butt on it for A training ride (Mid January). However, I did have to move my wet clothes before I could ride it!! This year I’m moving my cooler next to the trainer and do some real RAGBRAI training this winter!!!!