Recommendations for a smart trainer

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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FatLadAtTheBack
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2021 9:15 pm

by FatLadAtTheBack

Hi,

I'm looking for a decent value smart trainer. Not a huge Zwifter etc so doesn't have to be top spec but would like something reliable and easy to use.

Issue is I have a mix of different bikes. In my garage I have 12 speed (Shimano), 12 speed (Campag) and 11 speed (Shimano). I would like to be able to use all bikes on trainer if possible with minimal faff (all are standard thru axle).

For that reason, I was looking at a wheel on trainers as it appears that most direct drive trainers are not yet 12 speed compatible? The Elite Tuo seems to be quite highly regarded and I could swap all my bikes in to use.

I also looked at the Zwift Hub which appears to have 12 speed compatability and is good value but not in stock in the UK and might be tricky to keep swapping out cassettes between bikes?

Please let me know if I'm overlooking another obvious option.

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ms6073
Posts: 4145
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 8:24 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

by ms6073

FatLadAtTheBack wrote:
Mon Nov 21, 2022 9:37 pm
Issue is I have a mix of different bikes. In my garage I have 12 speed (Shimano), 12 speed (Campag) and 11 speed (Shimano). I would like to be able to use all bikes on trainer if possible with minimal faff (all are standard thru axle).
I have to ask why? While the technology has improved, wheel on trainers are prone to inaccuracy due to having to perfiorm frequent calibrations finding correct roller tension as well and also issues maintaining resistance levels over the course of a training session as the tire/roller interface are in a constant state of flux. Sure direct drive trainers are less flexible when it comes to your requirements, but I used Tacx's best wheel on trainers for years and having moved to the Tacx Neo when it was first introduced, I have not looked back. If you are still not persuaded, then my suggestion would be to consider something like the e-motion rollders as you just put the bike on them and ride!
- Michael
"Solving problems you didn't know you had in ways you probably won't understand"

by Weenie


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EdWiser
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:50 pm

by EdWiser

I moved on to a Kickr bike. Always ready not bike issues to deal with. Gives you no reason not to ride. An they have a great sale going on now on the V1 model. Why destroy your bikes using them in a trainer.

mcfarton
Posts: 192
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:15 pm

by mcfarton

The zwift hub is by far the best value right now. Wahoo has the snap on sale in the US for 299$. That’s a solid wheel on trainer at a great price. It’s as accurate as any wheel on trainer. The bottom line is even if it’s not the best of the best, doing something is better than doing nothing.

I will toss in stages has their smart bike on sale for 1799$. It’s arguably the best smart bike and has the lowest price.


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thirdsun
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:20 pm

by thirdsun

FatLadAtTheBack wrote:
Mon Nov 21, 2022 9:37 pm
Hi,

I'm looking for a decent value smart trainer. Not a huge Zwifter etc so doesn't have to be top spec but would like something reliable and easy to use.

Issue is I have a mix of different bikes. In my garage I have 12 speed (Shimano), 12 speed (Campag) and 11 speed (Shimano). I would like to be able to use all bikes on trainer if possible with minimal faff (all are standard thru axle).

For that reason, I was looking at a wheel on trainers as it appears that most direct drive trainers are not yet 12 speed compatible? The Elite Tuo seems to be quite highly regarded and I could swap all my bikes in to use.

I also looked at the Zwift Hub which appears to have 12 speed compatability and is good value but not in stock in the UK and might be tricky to keep swapping out cassettes between bikes?

Please let me know if I'm overlooking another obvious option.
I was in a similar situation to you and therefore looking for a trainer I could use with different bikes as well as being able to quickly move from indoor to outdoor mode. Indoor cycling really is just a last resort for me. I will always prefer outdoor cycling, even below 0 degree, as long as it is reasonably dry.

After some research it came down to a single solution: The Wahoo Kickr Rollr. It's quite a unique trainer that acts as a smart roller without the steep learning curve. You will need to bring your own power meter but since I have one on all my bikes it's a non-issue. Price is a concern but I was able to find it for 680 € and there aren't a lot of alternatives if you value switching between indoor and outdoor mode in less than 10 seconds.

The unit seems to be quite polarizing and received mixed reviews. However that is mostly due to the lack of integrated power meter and its price. If you can see beyond that it's praised for its natural ride feel, versatility and quick setup. I have no comparison and it certainly isn't outdoor riding but it's fine to me. Again, I can't say if a traditional direct drive trainer will feel better but since I don't want to reserve a bike for indoor use and also don't want swap wheels again and again my options are limited.

Here's a review for the Rollr: https://www.slowtwitch.com/Indoor_Train ... _8270.html

jfranci3
Posts: 1472
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:21 pm

by jfranci3

1) Don't buy a refurb one.
2) If you don't want the force feedback, a spin bike with a PM is a good idea.
3) As far as 11sp vs 12sp... the bigger issue is usually MTB cassette spacing vs road with the Shimano MTB spacing being narrower. I'd just use an 11sp cassette for everything and stay out of the gears that make noise.

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 10937
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

The lack of freewheeling with a spinbike would prevent you from supertucking in Zwift races if that is something you might be worried about.

FatLadAtTheBack
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2021 9:15 pm

by FatLadAtTheBack

Thanks all. Ended up ordering a Zwift hub as they had availability, yet to set up and try.

Decided against a wheel on trainer as they feel a bit like yesterday's technology.

I will get an 11 speed cassette so I can use with my different bikes and just have to learn how to change this over.

eeney
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:09 am

by eeney

Good choice. I've had a Tuo and a wheel-off trainer (Direto and Neo). The Tuo was great for what it was, but wheel-off is a different league and experience. Wheel off is much easier to setup and be confident that power is calibrated, just jump on and ride.
Last edited by eeney on Thu Dec 08, 2022 9:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

robertbb
Posts: 1945
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

. deleted

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ms6073
Posts: 4145
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 8:24 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

by ms6073

eeney wrote:
Wed Dec 07, 2022 10:36 pm
Wheel on is much easier to setup and be confident that power is calibrated, just jump on and ride.
Um, what? What wheel on trainer are you riding where you can just jump on and ride without a spin-down/calibration after a 5-10 minute warmup. I certainly can jump on my bike on a Tacx Neo and just ride and not worry about calibrations but I could never do that with wheel on trainers. First 20+ years back was the Tacx Fortius, followed by the Tacx Bushido, and finally the Tacx Genius and all of them required proper tire pressure and adjustments for proper roller friction, and regardless of how much fiddling, the resistance level would inexorably start to fall off after 40-50 minutes.
- Michael
"Solving problems you didn't know you had in ways you probably won't understand"

thirdsun
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:20 pm

by thirdsun

ms6073 wrote:
Thu Dec 08, 2022 12:20 am
eeney wrote:
Wed Dec 07, 2022 10:36 pm
Wheel on is much easier to setup and be confident that power is calibrated, just jump on and ride.
Um, what? What wheel on trainer are you riding where you can just jump on and ride without a spin-down/calibration after a 5-10 minute warmup. I certainly can jump on my bike on a Tacx Neo and just ride and not worry about calibrations but I could never do that with wheel on trainers. First 20+ years back was the Tacx Fortius, followed by the Tacx Bushido, and finally the Tacx Genius and all of them required proper tire pressure and adjustments for proper roller friction, and regardless of how much fiddling, the resistance level would inexorably start to fall off after 40-50 minutes.
Wahoo Kickr Rollr. However it's a pretty unique trainer as it relies on the power meter you already have.

FatLadAtTheBack
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2021 9:15 pm

by FatLadAtTheBack

ms6073 wrote:
Thu Dec 08, 2022 12:20 am
eeney wrote:
Wed Dec 07, 2022 10:36 pm
Wheel on is much easier to setup and be confident that power is calibrated, just jump on and ride.
Um, what? What wheel on trainer are you riding where you can just jump on and ride without a spin-down/calibration after a 5-10 minute warmup. I certainly can jump on my bike on a Tacx Neo and just ride and not worry about calibrations but I could never do that with wheel on trainers. First 20+ years back was the Tacx Fortius, followed by the Tacx Bushido, and finally the Tacx Genius and all of them required proper tire pressure and adjustments for proper roller friction, and regardless of how much fiddling, the resistance level would inexorably start to fall off after 40-50 minutes.
Not OP but I think they mean direct drive trainers, not wheel on trainers (Tuo is wheel on)

eeney
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:09 am

by eeney

ms6073 wrote:
Thu Dec 08, 2022 12:20 am
eeney wrote:
Wed Dec 07, 2022 10:36 pm
Wheel on is much easier to setup and be confident that power is calibrated, just jump on and ride.
Um, what? .......
Edited my post, that was a typo, the wheel-on is a PITA, always worrying about accuracy based on tyre pressure, roller to tyre setup, etc.

thanks for calling out my type

stermyx
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2022 4:31 pm

by stermyx

I just buyed a Thinkrider X5 Neo from Aliexpress (260 € on Black Friday). And im totally happy with it, it wont be the best, but with this price i cannot ask for more.

https://es.aliexpress.com/item/10050019 ... kU2d2cH9p7

by Weenie


Visit starbike.com Online Retailer for HighEnd cycling components
Great Prices ✓    Broad Selection ✓    Worldwide Delivery ✓

www.starbike.com



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