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Not opting for the fatbike? Get a trainer!

It’s great to get outside in winter and play on the snow witha fatbike, but for those time crunched people, we don’t always have that option. So trainers… So many choices and how to make that decision?

AKA wind trainer

So we have basic trainers, semi-smart (my own term) and smart trainers.

Basic trainers

These trainers will get you through the winter and, with diligence, stronger on the the other side. These are great for getting some fitness and keeping your legs moving. And for the motivated, can provide a serious workout. If you have a speed and cadence sensor hooked up to the rear wheel you can go online and play the online games.

Personally, I have had a few and you can keep motivated for a while but eventually, you are watching movies and pumping out a low cadence and barely maintaining form. Sorry, but that’s my opinion. And, don’t hook up your nice carbon frame!

Pros

  • cost effective
  • no power needed
  • good resistance
  • can give realistic feel of road if set up properly

Cons

  • pressure on your bike frame (especially carbon frames)
  • hard to do a low cadence workout
  • no easy sections
  • less information feedback on your workout
  • dialing the rear wheel pressure each time

Bow Cycle & Sports carries the CycleOps Mag+ w/remote ($279.99).

CycleOPs Mag+ Trainer

CycleOPs Mag+ Trainer

Semi-Smart Trainers

Yes, I made this up but there are a few trainers that are well priced but don’t have the full smart options. You are getting feedback and you can start training with power. This opens up a world of possibilities and definitely eases you into taking your training to the next level. My only drawback is once again you are hooking your frame into a trainer and getting that rear wheel setup properly each time is a SOB. And buy a training tire!

Pros

  • usually lets you use most third party apps (Zwift, Trainer Road, etc)
  • more feedback on performance (power)

Cons

  • pressure on your bike frame (especially carbon frames)
  • braking is not done by motor, relies on flywheel
  • dialing the rear wheel pressure each time

Bow Cycle & Sports carries the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine Smart 2 ($499.99)

And Smart Trainers

This is where we open up a whole world of fun. Yes, it costs more money but if you are bored of your trainer like I was, this will reinvigorate you. Pop the rear wheel out of your bike, put the cassette on the trainer and lets get started. The prices to get into smart trainers has dropped but I’d still suggest budgeting at least $1700. And the toys you can get – desks, fans, units to raise the front end of your bike, it has gone a little crazy. I used Skuga and Rouvy last year for training as well as just the Wahoo control app. Zwift is the global community to get on if that’s your feeling.

Pros

  • lets you use third party apps (Zwift, Trainer Road, etc)
  • more feedback on performance (power)
  • quietest of the bunch
  • more control over resistance/realisitic feedback
  • no movement of frame in unit

Cons

  • price
  • external control needed. Iphone or computer
  • addictive

Tacx_T2850_NEO-2-Smart_Header2

Wahoo Kickr Power

Wahoo Kickr Power

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bow Cycle & Sports carries the Wahoo Kickr Power trainer ($1699), the Wahoo Kickr Core  ($1199) and the Tacx Neo 2 Smart ($1899)

Rollers

With Kurt just on the other side of my cubicle wall, I have to mention rollers. Rollers are great for developing a smooth pedal stroke, higher cadence and working on bike control as well. Stability muscles will be engaged while you ride as well. The biggest drawback would be simulating climbs and the biggest plus is the huge amount of fake miles you can log.

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