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Computer controlled trainer

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Just chasing recommendations on the best value computer controlled trainer available. I do a lot of my training rides on the trainer and now want the option to ride different courses ect. What's out there?

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In terms of 'best value ' the kickr is not even in the race. . Given they have similar accuracy issues as the tacx models and you're paying 4 times the price. .

 

If you can put that value on being a bit quieter or being direct drive then that's up to you. .

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Computrainer user since 2002,

Yep, same unit for 14 years

Some years it did lots of work, world champs or Kona years,

Others years it just acted as a bike stand

Using PerfPro 3rd party software for a few years now, and love it, huge library of workouts most based on FTP and super easy to create your own workouts as well.

Was the only one of its kind back then, but after 14 years, I'd say it was cheap as chips.

 

But I also hear good things about the Kickr, but like everything today, will it last?

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Tacx vortex from bikediscount.de.

 

Best deal and took mine 5 days to arrive

 

Maybe they have sold out, I can't find it on there now...

 

My son is using Zwift with a borrowed Lemond trainer at the moment and is really enjoying it. Wahoo is $1600AU which is too much for me.

 

Anyone had any experience with the Elite trainers, the Elite Turbo Muin and Elite Qubo Digital seem like good value.

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All comes down to budget. DC Rainmaker reviews (above) are pretty good, although you'll need to dive deeper if you want to know the pros/cons of what you'll be doing on the ergo.

 

Kickr - I've had one since they came out (3 years ago now?). Initially hated it. Finally the third party software became available making the experience a lot better. Now love it. Owned three at one point. Wahoo customer support is brilliant. I'm impressed that the unit design and tech has held up so well over the years. The recent firmware update last week resolves an issue with acceleration power reporting, a game changer for a lot of people using it.

 

Neo - I picked one up last week to diversify the pain cave portfolio. Nice unit. Is it worth the huge price difference over the Kickr? Only if you need something very very quiet. I will give it the full shakedown in the next week and offer my 2c somewhere online...

 

And at the other end of the spectrum I've got an Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+ on the way.... as "what's the cheapest" is such a common query when it comes to smart trainers, I thought I'd get one and really see what the low end is like. I'm not expecting a lot from it to be honest.

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Got a tacx neo a couple of weeks ago. Absolutely love it and can't wait to get back on it once I get the all clear from the doc to ride!

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Â

Maybe they have sold out, I can't find it on there now...

Â

My son is using Zwift with a borrowed Lemond trainer at the moment and is really enjoying it. Wahoo is $1600AU which is too much for me.

Â

Anyone had any experience with the Elite trainers, the Elite Turbo Muin and Elite Qubo Digital seem like good value.

http://www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/tacx-t2180-vortex-virtual-smart-trainer-246764

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I reviewed the TACX Fortius multiplayer back in 2009 and it allowed for use of famous courses from the Tours and also for you to actually race against others who could be anywhere in the internut. The Fortius is not sold anymore do these later ones have these features too?

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How reliable are kickr's? I wouldn't want to pay the rrp for but could be tempted buy one second hand but it seems like a lot of cash for something second hand which I guess won't be covered by warranty.

 

Though the tacx vortex from bikes direct sounds tempting at ~$450....

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How reliable are kickr's? I wouldn't want to pay the rrp for but could be tempted buy one second hand but it seems like a lot of cash for something second hand which I guess won't be covered by warranty.

 

Though the tacx vortex from bikes direct sounds tempting at ~$450....

 

The only issue I have with my KICKR is that it is 10sp. Apparently I can swap it to 11sp, somehow...

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How reliable are kickr's? I wouldn't want to pay the rrp for but could be tempted buy one second hand but it seems like a lot of cash for something second hand which I guess won't be covered by warranty.

 

Though the tacx vortex from bikes direct sounds tempting at ~$450....

 

 

Wahoo support are tops. If you've got their hardware there's no reason they won't look after you. My original Kickr is still going as well as the newer one sitting next to it (his and hers).

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I am the only person that hates the kickr, inflated power figures, constant locking up, signal dropouts etc. That is across the 3 I have had.

Had 2 optical sensors replaced, one belt drive replaced and one power supply.

no consistency in reading either, I ended up having to use the SRMs to set the power using their offset stuff etc etc. all this in a $1600 unit.........

In saying this I do about 8-10 hours a week on the ergo and am a bit anal with my power figures and how accurate they are.

However I keep going back to the old ex AIS ergo with my quarq and trainer road.

 

The only thing the Kickr does is the electronic erg mode, do you seriously need that for $1600, I dont think so just sit there and push out the rhythm.

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Kickr Hate - No, I hated mine for a while. Love it now.

 

Power Figures - Usually people complain their Kickr reads low. My original unit is 20W under at around 300-400W. My 2nd one is spot on compared to a Quarq that I cal with a 20.000kg weight. I'm finally getting my hands on a Kickr calibration kit so I'll be able to sort out my 20W difference, and fix other units I come across that are out. The new firmware 1.4.47 now adds acceleration 'power' to be a lot more realistic.

 

Locking up and dropouts - There's a ton of reasons why this could be occurring. Wahoo will send top caps / optical sensors, if that doesn't work then you have to go deeper. The 2.4Ghz band can be busy. Bad things: Microwave ovens, wifi on channels 9-13, USB devices right next to HDMI output cables.

 

Belt - I snapped one after 10,000km or so (iirc), replacement sent in a few days. Happy customer here.

 

Power supply replacement - That's a concern. How clean is your power?

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Kickr Hate - No, I hated mine for a while. Love it now.

 

 

As someone who clearly uses the Kickr a lot, have you had or heard of any damage to bikes?

 

I was talking to a bike mechanic at Port this year who said his shop had had three or four bikes with unusual damage around the drop outs over the past couple of months and the one common factor was they all owned and rode the Kickrs regularly.

 

I have not read anything about this anywhere - Maybe the shop is a Tacx dealer :)

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im not a fan of the kickr or any other fancy trainer ( we just use PMs and rock n roll trainers) but ill call bullshit on the bike damadge

just not gunna happen

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As someone who clearly uses the Kickr a lot, have you had or heard of any damage to bikes?

 

I was talking to a bike mechanic at Port this year who said his shop had had three or four bikes with unusual damage around the drop outs over the past couple of months and the one common factor was they all owned and rode the Kickrs regularly.

 

I have not read anything about this anywhere - Maybe the shop is a Tacx dealer :)

 

 

None ever. Only people who've not done up the rear skewer tight enough and have fallen out of their trainers (not limited to Kickrs here).

 

I cringe when I hear people say they won't even stand up on a carbon frame on an ergo.... and cringe harder when bike shops tell people not to use ergos on carbon bikes because they've heard it isn't good. And I get angry when bike brands themselves apparently tell riders they're not covered by warranty if they use ergos. Fear mongering and lack of confidence in their products? I dunno. Bikes are tools, if they break, get a better tool for the job.

 

My own experience: Tarmac SL4, 2012. I've used it for EVERYTHING over the years, and rip it's head off in sprints all the time on the Kickr, Neo, LeMond, etc. Still going strong. And I cant break it. I'm no trackie but 1200-1400W jumps and 900W sustained for 20-25secs indoors are what I'm putting into it on a regular basis. Sprinting indoors requires a slight technique change. But it's training, not practice. Train indoors. Practice outdoors. (*this isn't a paid avert for Specialized. My front mech keeps ripping off and is currently held on with a zip tie)

 

 

Out riding with my mate the other day, his new bike snaps a hanger, flips the rear mech up and into the chainstay cracking that too. I saw that with my own eyes. So anyway, back to stories about ergos being bad for bikes... ;)

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im not a fan of the kickr or any other fancy trainer ( we just use PMs and rock n roll trainers) but ill call bullshit on the bike damadge

just not gunna happen

I was thinking the same. Thought about asking the question a couple of times but obviously did not. Seized the opportunity to ask someone who clearly uses the Kickr a lot (broken belt after 10 thousand odd Km - Jesus, who rides that much?)

 

 

 

None ever. Only people who've not done up the rear skewer tight enough and have fallen out of their trainers (not limited to Kickrs here).

 

 

Out riding with my mate the other day, his new bike snaps a hanger, flips the rear mech up and into the chainstay cracking that too. I saw that with my own eyes. So anyway, back to stories about ergos being bad for bikes... ;)

Thanks - thought as much. Comes down to clueless users or BS.

 

Nibali had the same issue as your mate in the uphill TT. Or were you riding the Kickr whilst watching the Giro? Spent so much time on the trainer your delusional.

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It is a 'smart trainer' so can do zwift trainer road etc. . I assume you can use other programs to ride a specific course but i have no idea how that's done. Perfpro or kinomap?

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And at the other end of the spectrum I've got an Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+ on the way.... as "what's the cheapest" is such a common query when it comes to smart trainers, I thought I'd get one and really see what the low end is like. I'm not expecting a lot from it to be honest.

 

I would be interested to hear what you think of the Qubo, it seems like excellent value and has a solid consumer rating on Wiggle.

 

When you say your not expecting a lot from it, do you mean the sturdiness/quality of the physical device or the software connectivity? I figured the connectivity and integration to the various on-line services would provide the same experience(if supported) as a high end trainer.

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I would be interested to hear what you think of the Qubo, it seems like excellent value and has a solid consumer rating on Wiggle.

 

When you say your not expecting a lot from it, do you mean the sturdiness/quality of the physical device or the software connectivity? I figured the connectivity and integration to the various on-line services would provide the same experience(if supported) as a high end trainer.

 

 

I'm banging away on the keyboard about it now..... It was/is a great option at AU$400. At $650 I'd stretch the budget to a Wahoo Kickr SNAP.... for a few reasons.... more soon.... subscribe to the blog! :)

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Do you even Internets? I'm light on the hashtags! I should have put #shoveitcervelo on there. Mate ended up getting a few third party hangers... for when his bike is fixed.

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I got a cheap cyclops silent direct drive trainer today really cheap for the place up the coast. Hope it works ok

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*If you can only find the unit I'm writing about for $650, I'd stretch that out a few $100 and get a Wahoo Kickr SNAP.

 

(btw - cheers, I'll reword that in the post too) ;)

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Do you even Internets? I'm light on the hashtags! I should have put #shoveitcervelo on there. Mate ended up getting a few third party hangers... for when his bike is fixed.

That's happened to my R3 (2014 model) twice at almost the same spot on Mt O'Reilly each time. Grrrrr.

Ended up finishing the last 2 km of the TT running with it on my shoulder.

#deathbeforeDNF

Edited by iFoz
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Words. Arranged as best I could to say what I wanted to about the cheapest smart trainer available that showed up on my door yesterday.

 

http://gplama.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/elite-qubo-digital-smart-b-smart.html

 

What'd I miss? Questions welcome.

 

It is more a personal preference but I think the link to Probikekit should load in a new browser window/tab.

 

That large red leaver for putting the wheel in, does it work OK? Is it easy to use or is there still some tightening to get the tension right?

 

Thanks for the timely write up.

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The red lever lock-in mech is pretty good. It has a firm gasp on things and takes a bit of omph to clip down when locking the bike in. My preference is direct-drive, but this does ok.

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Who really cares about power meter numbers - as long as you are only using one and watching some sort of gain (max raw power/ endurance @ xx etc) then the rest is really just an academic discussion. It is the stopwatch that is the truth meter in a time trial.

 

[ and you ability to run afterwards :) ]

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