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Home Trainers - The Basics (Getting Started)


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Sorry about starting a new thread on this, but I really just want to know the basics.  I've had a bit of a search on current threads but just get lost in the jargon as I'm a complete numpty when it comes to technology and gadgets.  I currently don't have a Garmin, Smart Watch, GPS, Power Meter or Heart Rate Monitor etc. I don't even have a computer (or speedo) on my bike.  I do have a very old & noisy Magna Trainer that my son bought from Aldi (for about $60) about 15 years ago that I use occasionally, but that's about it.

So, due to circumstances beyond my control it looks like I'll be spending a bit of time at home trying to maintain a bit of fitness.  I like the thought of doing something on-line to be able to track my progress and keep things interesting, but that's not the priority.  My main aim is to get something that's quiet enough to use in a unit while watching TV or listening to music.  I do currently have a couple of old bikes that I can leave set up on the trainer.  I know it's pretty broad question but I'm just wondering what peoples thoughts are on what to get.

Recommended trainers, where from, and how much are they worth?

Recommended training app? What else do I need to use it, and how much are they worth?

Remember I know nothing about this, so please keep it simple.  The easier to set up & use, the better.

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Trainers. In terms of noise people find the wheel off ones to be quieter. But here are both options, I know of and are reliable (we have both here, I bought the snap 2nd hand and the +1 has it now).

  • Wheel off - Kickr Core $1200ish from 99 Bikes.
  • Wheel on - Kickr Snap $800ish from 99 Bikes.

Apps.

  • Zwift, most people I know use it, can be social if you want it, easy enough to setup. I think it can be run on a tablet, but I was running mine on a laptop. Will definitely need a good WIFI connection. I think its around $25 a month now.
  • Rouvy, a few people I know use it, its my choice of app now, mostly as it has a library of IM courses including one lap of IMOZ. I pay $120US a year, and I get 3 accounts for that price, so the +1 has his own account and a friend has one. It too needs WIFI and a laptop.

Get a fan.

  • Bunnings has a good supply of fans, I reckon 90 watt should do, pedestal fans are better as you can get them to blow on your face.

I can assist with setup, might need a few calls though.

Edited by MissJess
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Get a wheel off trainer, so much better. Kickr Core are fine, that's what I have.

The fan is good advice, I have my fan and Kickr on a wifi powerboard, connected to Google Home so i can use voice commands through a JBL speaker to turn things on and off.

I like Zwift (via Apple TV to my TV because it is very simple), because everyone is on it and there are always events on if you get bored.

The whole set-up isn't super cheap, but it is convenient and that means I actually use it.

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Everything connects to Zwift via BT or Ant+ depending on how you set up. I'm all Ant+.

Second (or 3rd, 4th, whatever we're up to) Kickr + Zwift + industrial fan. 

I have the smart trainer+cadence+HRM all connecting to Zwift and gives me all the numbers I could possibly want. Not that I know what any of it means. LOL

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I still use a dumb trainer (Kurt Kinetic, dumb but bulletproof) and a heap of music re-mixed to 170-180 bpm

As far as a fan goes, the bigger the better.

Pedalstool fan doesn't work for me. Im too fat, too hairy and sweat waaaaaay too much to even bother with anything less than a 60cm barrel fan

I almost bought a 120cm fan, but the Mrs vetoed that. Didn't want me to damage the curtains...pfffft as if

Rather have that on a low setting moving a lot of air than a stupid little fan trying to blow my receding hairline into next week

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6 hours ago, MissJess said:

Rouvy, a few people I know use it, its my choice of app now, mostly as it has a library of IM courses including one lap of IMOZ. I pay $120US a year, and I get 3 accounts for that price, so the +1 has his own account and a friend has one. It too needs WIFI and a laptop.

So that means you can grab two friends and each can pay USD$40 p.a. ? That's about a AUD$1 per week.

FM

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11 hours ago, Flanman said:

So that means you can grab two friends and each can pay USD$40 p.a. ? That's about a AUD$1 per week.

FM

Yeah pretty much. Only catch is it is a maximum of 5 devices, and they count it using the applications that log in, of which there are 2 still - the old Rouvy (now called Rouvy Workouts) and Rouvy AR. Unfortunately if you use workouts as part of your training (like I do) you need both. Scott and my mate don't need both which means I am still just under their limit, although I have had issues if someone gets a new tablet or laptop 🤣 I have to log in to the portal and check all the connected devices.

I'm waiting until they roll the workout and AR functions into one app, then the 3 of us won't have issues.

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3 hours ago, gplama said:

Here's a video I did that might help. 

Simple Zwift Setups: Direct Drive Smart Trainer w/ AppleTV HOW-TO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH16y0ACKwA

Can absolutely confirm AppleTV works great (make sure you get a compatible one if you buy second hand). So simple and I use it for all my other streaming services as well. Get a Bluetooth HRM and provided you aren't too far from the box it is the simplest thing ever.

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5 hours ago, gplama said:

Here's a video I did that might help. 

Simple Zwift Setups: Direct Drive Smart Trainer w/ AppleTV HOW-TO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH16y0ACKwA

Great video, thanks.  It sounds like the Kickr Core is probably the go, but I don't think either of my local bike shops sell them.

I take it that to get started I can just buy one, put the cassette off my current bike wheel on it, fit the bike on it and off I go...  That is, I don't need an App or TV or anything just to do my own thing and have a bit of a workout.  I'm assuming that without the app it just has a standard resistance that just works on your gearing and your cadence - similar to a Magna or Wind Trainer?  Then if I feel like it later I can just add the App & TV.

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1 hour ago, Go Easy said:

Great video, thanks.  It sounds like the Kickr Core is probably the go, but I don't think either of my local bike shops sell them.

I take it that to get started I can just buy one, put the cassette off my current bike wheel on it, fit the bike on it and off I go...  That is, I don't need an App or TV or anything just to do my own thing and have a bit of a workout.  I'm assuming that without the app it just has a standard resistance that just works on your gearing and your cadence - similar to a Magna or Wind Trainer?  Then if I feel like it later I can just add the App & TV.

Yes, though I'd just get a second cassette to save yourself any hassle of changing them over (unless it'll be on their permanently).

You can control it using the wahoo app (free dowload) on your phone, to get the most out of it though, you'll want to add something else. Zwift is fun, but not for everyone, but there are loads of different options out thereand lots ahve free intro offers to get you hooked.

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2 hours ago, Go Easy said:

Great video, thanks.  It sounds like the Kickr Core is probably the go, but I don't think either of my local bike shops sell them.

I take it that to get started I can just buy one, put the cassette off my current bike wheel on it, fit the bike on it and off I go...  That is, I don't need an App or TV or anything just to do my own thing and have a bit of a workout.  I'm assuming that without the app it just has a standard resistance that just works on your gearing and your cadence - similar to a Magna or Wind Trainer?  Then if I feel like it later I can just add the App & TV.

You are right in that you will need to remove the cassette from your current wheel ( unless you run 11-speed already, as the trainer will come with an 11-speed pre-installed).

BUT!!!!!

You will have to " connect " the smart trainer to some other form of technology. By itself, it just free spins with no resistance.

The cheapest option is to use the free Wahoo app connected via Bluetooth on your phone or a tablet.

If you want to sit in front of a big screen TV, then connecting the Wahoo via Bluetooth to  an Apple TV unit ( $200), which is plugged in to the TV via an HDMI cable is the go. Then you buy the relevant app (Zwift, TrainerRoad, Fulgaz ((all $150+ per year)) and download that to the Apple TV.

Myself, I use Fulgaz which is a virtual simulation app where people have ridden rides all over the world and filmed them with a GoPro camera. They record these rides using a Garmin, so effectively, you are sitting on your bike, in front of your TV, riding through the French Alps and when the TV display says you are riding up a 15% grade, the Wahoo controls the resistance, so you have to change down to granny gear and ride at 10kph putting out 250watts+ ,or you stop.😆

Sorry if that is all a bit simplified, and you already knew that.👍

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

Sorry if that is all a bit simplified, and you already knew that.👍

Nope, didn't know any of it, I guess I'm just a simple kinda fella!  Thanks for info, it all helps. :thumbsup:

I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't just aim at a simple put the bike on and go type set up.  I would probably just stick with my current $60 (in fact I think it was $59) Aldi Magna Trainer except that it's so bloody noisy!  Plus I seem to shred tyres on it and I'm a bit worried about all them rubber particles floating around in the air - I don't need to be breathing them in and clogging up my lungs as well.  Not that I'll be going all that hard on it over the next couple of months.

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RGT is free, and while not as entertaining as zwift it sounds like it would do you no problems. As others have said they all will have free trials as well. 

While the core is super quiet, compared to your current on wheel trainer most will be a lot quieter. If you want to save some money look at an Elite Suito or Direto. Tacx flux too.

Brevity is not his forte but if you skip to mid-high end trainers here it may be useful 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dcrainmaker.com/2020/11/smart-cycle-trainer-recommendations-guide-winter.html/amp

Good luck!

 

Edited by dazaau
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Thanks folks for all your thoughts and advice,  much appreciated.  I have just invested in a Wahoo Kickr Core.

That's the most expensive triathlon item I've bought in about 10 years, and my probably my 3rd most expensive item ever (behind a couple of bikes), but I'm sure it will be well worth it.  I'll have a crack putting my $300 bike on it and having a go in the next couple of days.  Cheers  :thumbsup:.

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On 08/04/2021 at 11:02 PM, dazaau said:

RGT is free, and while not as entertaining as zwift it sounds like it would do you no problems. As others have said they all will have free trials as well. 

RGT is free ? I have been after something free as I have a Wahoo Kikr and couldn't be bothered paying for something I only use occasionally.

FM

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2 minutes ago, Flanman said:

RGT is free ? I have been after something free as I have a Wahoo Kikr and couldn't be bothered paying for something I only use occasionally.

FM

Yes, the real roads are free. They have paid upgrades like training plans and other stuff but the core of it is free. 

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