Re: Peloton-style vs. Smart trainers?

Robert Tashjian

Hi Mike,


I’ll answer 3) first. Check out, there is a wealth of information about trainers and trainer apps under the buyers guide section. Specifically:



He goes into a lot of detail about the different features and why you might or might not want them.


As to 1), there are really three types:

  1. Wheel on trainers – These are the least expensive ($300-$600) and most compact. You supply the bike. You replace your rear wheel skewer with the one they supply, lock the rear wheel in, and you’re off and running. Your wheel size can be an issue, and tires can wear quickly
  2. Direct drive trainers – These are intermediate priced ($700-$1500) and now some add lean and steering to the feature set for more realism. You remove your rear wheel, lock into the trainers cassette/hub/flywheel/skewer combo (note, some trainers DON’T supply a cassette!). They are a little larger and heavier than wheel on trainers, but there is no tire to wear out. They can still be stored in a closet if you are not using them for some period. They also ‘feel’ more like a real bike on the road.
  3. Dedicated bike trainers – These can run from $400 to $3000 depending on features. These are the most permanent of fixtures, they require a dedicated space and some, like Peloton, can only use the dedicated apps. The more expensive ones obviously feel more like a bike, but if you have a bike you like…

Really, if you have an extra bike (or one that you really like and fits really well) the WheelOn or DirectDrive are going to give you the best experience. I got a wheel on trainer (at the beginning of the March, like half the world..) because I didn’t know how much I would use it and for ease of storage. I now wish I had gotten a direct drive, I have an old bike dedicated to the trainer stand and have been ‘zwifting’ at least 3 days a week.


That being said, Zwift is tremendous fun and will keep you on the trainer longer than 15min, which at least seems to be my limit without some distraction. All of the apps will require a (phone|tablet|computer) for the display and you may find yourself dedicating a larger screen for a better visual effect.Rouvy and RGT also offer real world roads (and real world effort!). Most trainers can also now be used with the Peloton appl. My longest session on Zwift was 2hrs, there is really no coasting or foot down stops (eg., red lights), so you are on the saddle the entire time. has a pretty decent price/feature chart at the bottom of their app comparison article:


Hope this helps,



Robert Tashjian



From: <> On Behalf Of Mike Moore
Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2020 9:27 AM
To: FFBC IO List <>
Subject: [public info] Peloton-style vs. Smart trainers?


Hi everybody!   As we are fond of saying in Reno, winter is coming.  (That’s pretty catchy!).   I am still trying to get back in shape after last year’s calamity so I am considering buying an indoor trainer.  So I would love to get the opinions (and I know you have them) on these questions:


1. Is it better to buy a Peloton-style or Smart trainer and if so, why?


2. If you’ve experience with a smart trainer, which one would you recommend and how easy is it to set up and get going?   What ancillary purchases are desirable?


3. What do you wish you knew before you purchased one of these machines?


From what little I know, there probably isn’t a single correct answer for every situation and individual preference which is why I would hoping to draw upon the collective wisdom of the club.


In advance, thanks!!   Safe riding and happy trails to all of you!



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