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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:26 pm 
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Location: Wherever there's a mountain beckoning to be climbed
Here’s real footage rolling up Alp d Huez and the trainer is adjusting itself. Of course it needs mentioning that while the trainer is adjusting very smoothly, this is still Alp D Huez. The KICKR is adjusting the resistance without any mercy or compassion.
Increasing the resistance on flat riding is NOT the same as climbing. Climbing works muscles differently and brings different muscles into play. It doesn't matter how much programming and videos the device has - if it ain't climbing, it ain't climbing. That doesn't mean it's not a good trainer, but it ain't climbing.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:43 am 
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HammerTime2 wrote:
Here’s real footage rolling up Alp d Huez and the trainer is adjusting itself. Of course it needs mentioning that while the trainer is adjusting very smoothly, this is still Alp D Huez. The KICKR is adjusting the resistance without any mercy or compassion.
Increasing the resistance on flat riding is NOT the same as climbing. Climbing works muscles differently and brings different muscles into play. It doesn't matter how much programming and videos the device has - if it ain't climbing, it ain't climbing. That doesn't mean it's not a good trainer, but it ain't climbing.


yes in a lot of ways "real climbing" is easier… at least to me. Maybe it's the outside.. the 3mph breeze of my slow climbing :)… anyways kicker faux climbing is tough.


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Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:43 am 


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:54 am 
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HammerTime2 wrote:
Here’s real footage rolling up Alp d Huez and the trainer is adjusting itself. Of course it needs mentioning that while the trainer is adjusting very smoothly, this is still Alp D Huez. The KICKR is adjusting the resistance without any mercy or compassion.
Increasing the resistance on flat riding is NOT the same as climbing. Climbing works muscles differently and brings different muscles into play. It doesn't matter how much programming and videos the device has - if it ain't climbing, it ain't climbing. That doesn't mean it's not a good trainer, but it ain't climbing.



Yes, and there's no substitute for being out on your bike actually riding either. Anything that isn't actually on a road, riding your bike, is a simulation - and not the real thing. I think everyone who users a trainer gets that "it's just a trainer".


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:02 am 
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Location: Back in the saddle...
+1
Unless you're a sadomasochist, trainers are simply a necessary evil. Unfortunately, this winter has been pure evil itself. Someday all this ice/snow will melt...

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:11 am 
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Wait a minute! I'm a sadomasochist?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:16 am 
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Riding on a trainer can by no means subsitute riding your bike on the open road. However, todays with the new trainers, riding inside can be done without being as boring as it may sound.

One more thing that you can do on the KickR and has not been mentioned is training with power. You can set a target output power -say 180W or 70% of your FTP- and the trainer will adjust resistance based on the power you produce. If you produce too much, it will give you less resistance and vice versa. This way you can follow a very specific power based training, which seems to be the most efficient way of training.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:33 pm 
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Wait a sec, don't you live in AZ?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:07 pm 
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I'd assume Arizona has winters too cold for riding and summers too hot for riding. Desert environments can be pretty extreme.

I'm sure Charles sees near-100 degree heat swings from season to season.

-Tim


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:20 pm 
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Location: Phoenix Arizona
I do (the change from top to bottom here is a 106 degree swing, 16f as a low versus 122 as a high)...

But I can ride most of the winter and I can commute to work most of the winter.

It gets cold (Phoenix actually has some altitude and it even snows here every year or two) but the super cold days (at least too cold for my sissy/thinblooded azs to ride) are not super frequent. It also warms up well, so riding to work at 5:30 am and rolling back in the afternoon works out. I rode in yesterday at 44 and came home at 78 :)...

In the summer I can't commute a lot of days. It will be riding in traffic with 100+ air temps and streets that sit at as much as 160F. It's pretty nasty...

I'll ride a trainer more in the summer than winter. But that's not the norm for the country.



HammerTime2 wrote:
Increasing the resistance on flat riding is NOT the same as climbing. Climbing works muscles differently and brings different muscles into play. It doesn't matter how much programming and videos the device has - if it ain't climbing, it ain't climbing. That doesn't mean it's not a good trainer, but it ain't climbing.



You're right... You're talking vs a point I wasn't making... But you're right.

That said, the variability and ability to adjust resistance by course / maps / programs to suite you is an advantage this (and a few other trainers) have that I find pretty useful...


Re the twist in the general post, I don't think anyone here like riding trainers versus the road (or mtn or what ever else is outside). That really misses the point. Trainers are a tool... I just think this tool is better than most of the others.



And yes... they're just a simulation.


Just like this used to be a racing simulation you could easily run at home:

Image

handled by this hardware...


Image


And now...

This is a simulation you can easily run at home



Image

And I run it using this:


Image


I'm sure we would all love to drive round real roads in cars like these, but we can't...

That doesn't mean most can't appreciate having a modern simulator... Or a updated trainer with quite a bit better tech, operation and graphical interface(s) running un much improved hardware.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:08 am 
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Hi Charles,

I enjoyed the review, and I was pleased that PEZ managed to publish two reviews of comparably priced but dramatically different training devices (i.e., the Kickr and TruTrainer Rollers). I'm guessing the authors of the respective reviews didn't have a chance to cross-compare the devices.

Anyway, it left me wondering whether comparing your existing trainers to this one is as appropriate as considering what other training tools you might obtain with the same money. At $250-350 with no power/video/data-logging, most trainers allow easy apples to apples comparisons to each other, but they're almost a slam-dunk reject against the Kickr solely on the basis of the extra content an $1,100 price tag permits.

Once the price rises over $1,000, I feel like only other ultra-high end training devices are reasonable alternatives to this unit. How would you compare this to what Tacx offers in the same price range, an option like the TruTrainer rollers, or a left-field $1,000+ training alternative like a Stages FSA crank (699.99) and a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine ($225-325, depending)?

I just feel like the kind of rider who is looking at hardware like this probably cross-shops fairly esoteric and high-dollar options, and as you've said many times, most top-end stuff tends to be nice. Your T1 and T2 comparo devices probably didn't stand a chance against something like Kickr designed with a target MSRP of 3-5 times their prices. Speaking strictly of the $1,100+ price class, is the Kickr what you would buy every time for indoor training?

-Tim


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:56 am 
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SpinnerTim wrote:
Hi Charles,

I enjoyed the review, and I was pleased that PEZ managed to publish two reviews of comparably priced but dramatically different training devices (i.e., the Kickr and TruTrainer Rollers). I'm guessing the authors of the respective reviews didn't have a chance to cross-compare the devices.

Anyway, it left me wondering whether comparing your existing trainers to this one is as appropriate as considering what other training tools you might obtain with the same money. At $250-350 with no power/video/data-logging, most trainers allow easy apples to apples comparisons to each other, but they're almost a slam-dunk reject against the Kickr solely on the basis of the extra content an $1,100 price tag permits.

Once the price rises over $1,000, I feel like only other ultra-high end training devices are reasonable alternatives to this unit. How would you compare this to what Tacx offers in the same price range, an option like the TruTrainer rollers, or a left-field $1,000+ training alternative like a Stages FSA crank (699.99) and a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine ($225-325, depending)?

I just feel like the kind of rider who is looking at hardware like this probably cross-shops fairly esoteric and high-dollar options, and as you've said many times, most top-end stuff tends to be nice. Your T1 and T2 comparo devices probably didn't stand a chance against something like Kickr designed with a target MSRP of 3-5 times their prices. Speaking strictly of the $1,100+ price class, is the Kickr what you would buy every time for indoor training?

-Tim


This is a HUGE task, most of the high end equipment has already been reviewed to death and particularly in comparison to other similar devices, usually to acrimonious overtones.

The inventory of equipment you'd test for this review would be a long one:

Kreitler Kompact
Kreitler Classic
TruTrainer
eMotion
Velodyne
Computrainer
SRM trainer
BT trainer
Kettler trainer
various Lemond trainers
various high-end Cyclops trainers
Wahoo Kickr
and how many others?

Then add all the computer simulation programs. Add the analytic data systems (including the various third-party systems that may or may not do the job, such as Training Peaks, SRM, etc.). And then consider all the various use patterns and circumstances that these different systems are subjected to.

Plus you have some items that are out of production but worth considering, such as a Cateye 1000 (the preferred trainer for high wattage training for power track cyclists) and the various Monark ergometers (which you can rebuild at nominal cost into a superb dedicated trainer.

When we're finished ... we have written a book. And all of it polemic, because you'll have to have some level of comparison and no two people seem to compare these different approaches in the same way.

I'd love to see something like this, but it would really be something like a separate forum on this site with multiple threads for each product, that individuals start and everyone contributes to. That way you get everyone's opinion or experience included and also add to a thread as a product gets revised or upgraded. Hey, mods, how about doing this? The "training" sub forum is more about techniques than equipment, but we could use something about training products.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:23 pm 
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?

I was just asking for his off-the-cuff impression, not an opus.

-Tim


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:42 pm 
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Location: Finland
LiKuid wrote:
One more thing that you can do on the KickR and has not been mentioned is training with power. You can set a target output power -say 180W or 70% of your FTP- and the trainer will adjust resistance based on the power you produce. If you produce too much, it will give you less resistance and vice versa. This way you can follow a very specific power based training, which seems to be the most efficient way of training.


IMO that is the only good way of training with a trainer. Having a good, structured, FTP scaled trainer workout (see: Trainerroad) is totally different than just riding along and watching movies.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:50 pm 
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kervelo wrote:
LiKuid wrote:
One more thing that you can do on the KickR and has not been mentioned is training with power. You can set a target output power -say 180W or 70% of your FTP- and the trainer will adjust resistance based on the power you produce. If you produce too much, it will give you less resistance and vice versa. This way you can follow a very specific power based training, which seems to be the most efficient way of training.


IMO that is the only good way of training with a trainer. Having a good, structured, FTP scaled trainer workout (see: Trainerroad) is totally different than just riding along and watching movies.



Totally agree! That's the reason I opted for a 1200EUR trainer instead of a 250EUR alternative.
Althouhg at first site it may seem a lot of money, it is a much better investment than a set of medium priced wheels


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:12 pm 
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Location: Phoenix Arizona
Interestingly enough I've been on almost half the trainers in 11.4's list. Some nice ones...

I had the opportunity to use the TruTrainer rollers and we're going to have a review shortly that is for Omnium and I've been on Krietlers before, having owned two sets. At days end, they're an apples to oranges comparison for the Wahoo as they offer none of the data. They do pair fairly well with a bike with a power measuring set up, but then you're also talking a lack of program variables as nobody's power meters offer the level of indoor training support. That said, I like the TruTrainer rollers because the resistance is nice.

I would prefer a Power Meter and weighted resistance rollers to something like the Rock and Roll trainer which does offer a little movement but isn't as road like as rollers. (Rollers are also easier to store than the rock and roll, but both are tougher to move around and store than the wahoo)

But Rollers are not a good comparison unless you add a power meter and even then, you have no interaction / power / resistance control element, no planned courses, less precise interval training lay outs, really not the same thing.

As for Cyclops, the Power Beam Pro Ant+ is a nice unit. Coupled with the Joule, you can get some of the same type of courses available with Wahoo's partners (And the Joule goes outside, like your I device will and can also mate with Power meters for other options to be carried back inside, like Wahoos programs allow). It's well made, well backed and functions VERY well. I would love to own one.

But I think Wahoo's interfaces available through their partners offer more variables / options. I also think the road feel of the Wahoo is better. That said, I would have no issue at all if the Cyclops were my trainer versus the Wahoo. I certainly wouldnt toss the latest model Powerbeam and replace it.

Tacx I genius is also VERY VERY nice. But I don't find the road feel nearly as good as Wahoo. The software and entertainment value is there, but it doesnt have the mass of outside support that Wahoo does with Segments and Kenomap. It does have a neat virtual racing program that mates with the virtual steering and a bar mounted control unit and all of that needs a OC or Laptop to function. With that, the set up is time consuming and the unit takes up more room to store. It's also 50% more money and I really didnt find the virtual racing to be entertaining enough to pay that much more and take that much more time to set up, take down and move my trainer...

I find the Wahoo unit to be better in most respects than my computrainer, so I gave it to a friend. For Wahoo, I think the set up is MUCH easier, the storage is similar, the road feel is much better for the Wahoo. I think the Computrainers interface is several generations past it's prime. Wahoo have far and away a better offering of training tools. I think computrainer need a new resistance unit with some flywheel mass and they need a new interface. I think that should have happened 5 years ago+. But they make a VERY good instrument with good accuracy. I certainly wouldnt go buy many of the new things in it's class if I had one and it was functioning properly...

Elite have some VERY nice trainers in their REAL series. They have a lot of the same features and are fairly simple to set up. But the resistance is not nearly as road like as Wahoo (or cyclops or Trutrainer). That said, their interface and courses and options are really slick. But I think, again, that Wahoo has done a better job with the interface.


Really it boils down to great road feel / resistance and Wahoo have been particularly smart in using open-source partnerships... It's not just Wahoo that these other companies are competing with, but several other trainer interface companies and it's really a good thing for Wahoo. They couldnt afford a programming staff to do all this and neither can any of the other companies. But Wahoo so far has done a better job of allowing partners to work with them and it's made a big difference... And while 1000 is a lot to spend, there's really nobody else offering the hardware and software combination for that money in an easy/ simple package thats not too hard to set up that you ever consider skipping a workout due to hassle...

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Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:12 pm 


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