Topics

Peloton-style vs. Smart trainers?


Mike Moore
 

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!

Mike


Joyce Tanaka
 

Hey Mike
Good to hear from you. I just bought and am using my new indoor Keiser.com bike. It’s $2,000 and received it in four days. You have an option of using other software like Zwift etc for $14/mo. I set it up myself using their tool kit which is $50   Thanks 😉 he bike is super quiet and well designed. I love it! 
You can check it out https://www.keiser.com/

Keep on pedaling 😀
Joyce

On Sep 6, 2020, at 9:27 AM, Mike Moore <mrmoore.usa@...> wrote:

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!

Mike


Jay Gilson
 

My two cents.....

When Julie had shoulder issues and could not ride outside I got her a Tacx Vortex smart trainer.  We coupled it with Zwift. Here are the pluses as I see it:

1. You get to ride your own bike and do not need to worry about the fit.
2. When coupled with Zwift, the resistance changes with the course you are riding based on the cues from Zwift - you do not need to do anything
3. With Zwift - there was real interest in the ride and you could compete with others (either real - a fellow rider or perceived - just chase another rider on your session).
4. It gives a real workout without some of the boredom I found with a trainer in a gym.
5. When you ride, you get to ride the way you want - I frankly do not take spin classes because I do not like the yelling by the instructor and many times they really don't know about riding outside and have you do really strange things.  
6. I found the sessions with Zwift to be the only trainer I could stay engaged over a 60 or 90 minute session and at the end to have enjoyed it.
7. The trainer (tacx vortex Smart) has a very small footprint when storing.

I  do not have any desire to ride a trainer without Zwift - it keeps me engaged and you have choices on the course you ride and then which actual path you want to take within the session.  BTW I have made a bad choice and ended up climbing for 40 min because of the choices... kind of fun when you get right down to it. Kind if like riding a new road.

You can read reviews of trainers that are very detailed at DC Rainmaker.  https://www.dcrainmaker.com/    When I am looking to purchase bike gear, I go through his website to see what he thinks...  

I think what would work for you is you have the tarmac and you could set it up on the trainer and leave it setup on the trainer to ride when you want.  That way you are not setting up and taking down every time.  You will need a current iPad or a laptop with good Internet connectivity tpo act as an interface with Zwift and the trainer.  I set up in the garage and link through the wireless... have not had any issues.  

The tacx Vortex is +/- $550.  Zwift is ~$15/mo.  This is far less than buying a peloton and subscribing to their service....  You can get much more expensive smart trainers as well....

The downside: I really don't see one except it is not riding in the sense of you do not get any core work as the bike is fixed and there is no side-to-side training or balance work.  I think this is a real detriment to trainers as a whole.  There is no real substitute to riding a bike outside.  Maybe rollers come close and I have not had the guts to try a set.

Happy to get on the phone with you to talk about it.

Jay



On Sun, Sep 6, 2020 at 9:27 AM Mike Moore <mrmoore.usa@...> wrote:
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!

Mike


Becky Smith
 

Hi Mike,

I have a Cyclops Magnus Smart Trainer. The newer version is the Saris CycleOps Magnus 2 Smart Trainer:

I had a stationary bike but I could not do things like measure my power meter output or average speed or cadence since it was incompatible with my bike sensors and my Garmin Edge 810 readings.

While my smart trainer was expensive, it is like riding my bike outdoors. I can elevate my bike and set resistance to simulate hill climbing AND I get “credit” for my workouts since I can download it from my Garmin.

Secondly, it is Zwift-certified. This means you can subscribe and do some amazing simulated bike rides all over the world.

Things to consider:

1. If you do road racing and/or time trials, use a simple trainer for your parking lot warm-ups...not the CycleOps smart trainer. This trainer is designed to remain in place, although super easy to set up and use.

2. Purchase the floor mat. It absorbs vibration from spinning on any floor - indoor, outdoor, and in garage.

3. Purchase the climbing block which you use for the front tire.

4. Purchase a USB dongle if you want to pair and play with Zwift.

5. Buy an adjustable desktop table where you can put your laptop or iPad or cell phone, etc. I paid $40 for one instead of $100-300 as advertised with smarter trainers. The table I chose can adjust in height to fit over the front tire. It also has lockable wheels. If I don’t feel like a Zwift workout from my laptop, I will binge watch something or listen to an audio book on my tablet using this table:

Bottom line: I chose the best product for the money that was available at the time after some trial and error (e.g. purchasing and using a stationary bike vs. the better longer term benefits I gained by purchasing a smart trainer). The flexibility of the CycleOps Magnus Trainer is that it allows you to use Zwift for your peloton training if you want, and save you $$$ of what a peloton trainer costs and the space that it requires (you just want get the simulated movements other than hill climbing and spin resistance).

I have been a proud owner of the CycleOps Magnum Smart Trainer for three years now and it still meets my needs, as well as still remains technologically updated and relevant. 

Again, the newer model is the Saris CycleOps Magnum 2 Smart Trainer.

Hope this helps,

Becky Smith




On Sun, Sep 6, 2020 at 09:27 Mike Moore <mrmoore.usa@...> wrote:
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!

Mike











Steve McCauley
 

Also, at the high end is Expresso bikes: https://expresso.com/Home

I used a beta version at a gym one very rainy winter and it was amazing.
I've never ridden an indoor bike that so closely mimics real climbs, etc.
The virtual reality programs were mesmerizing.

VERY pricey though.
(wish I had room in the house....)



On Sun, Sep 6, 2020 at 9:27 AM Mike Moore <mrmoore.usa@...> wrote:
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!

Mike


Robert Tashjian
 

Hi Mike,

 

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

              https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/10/the-smart-trainer-recommendations-guide-winter-2019-2020.html

              https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2020/03/cycling-indoor-trainer-app-guide.html/

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. Road.cc has a pretty decent price/feature chart at the bottom of their app comparison article: https://road.cc/content/feature/best-indoor-cycling-turbo-training-apps-255118

 

Hope this helps,

Rob

---

Robert Tashjian

rob@...

 

From: info@ffbc.groups.io <info@ffbc.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mike Moore
Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2020 9:27 AM
To: FFBC IO List <info@ffbc.groups.io>
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!

 

Mike


West Kurihara
 

Mike,  here is my two cents.

I’ve used the Lemond bike in my gym (very similar to Peleton).  It’s ok, but lacks the realism that Zwift provides riding with real people.  I much prefer zwift over any other simulation programs that I’ve tried.  

That being said I really don’t enjoy indoor training that much because I sweat a lot and my tolerance for overheating is low, even through I probably have an almost ideal setup for training with multiple fans, outdoor air circulation, etc.  so I only use Zwift occasionally though out the year, mainly during the rainy season although I’ve used it for short rides during this past month when the air quality allowed.

Since I’m not a heavy Zwift user, I never wanted to invest too much money in the setup, so this is what is use.

First, I have a power tap wheel on one of my old bikes for power measurement along with a garmin wheel speed sensor and cadence sensor.  I had to purchase an ANT+ usb dongle for Zwift (about $40) and I have an old CycleOps mag trainer (about $60 used)

Since the resistance is fixed, I need to change gears to change resistance so that is not as realistic as the Zwift controlled resistance of a smart trainer.

So that’s a scenario of spending very little money to try Zwift or any other online simulation software assuming you already have power, cadence, speed and heart rate measurement capability.  For several years, I’ve been considering purchasing a nice Zwift compatible power trainer But I just haven’t been able to justify it to myself giving the number of times I would use it normally.  The flip side is that if I ever do decide to purchase a nice trainer, I know exactly what features and capability I want based upon my experience with my bare bones setup.

-West

On Sep 6, 2020, at 09:27, Mike Moore <mrmoore.usa@...> wrote:

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!

Mike


Mike Moore
 

Wow!    You guys really are the best!   Even Goldman.   ;-)

I appreciate the avalanche of quality information and now I have a lot to digest.   I was out doing Census work today and glancing at the messages and can only say wow and thanks.

I will undoubtedly have some follow up questions which I will address to individuals.

I look forward to when I can get back to the Bay and ride with y’all.  And of course if you are ever in Reno and want to ride, hit me up.   Bring Goldman with you!

Mike

On Sun, Sep 6, 2020 at 9:27 AM Mike Moore via groups.io <mrmoore.usa=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
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!

Mike









David Walker
 

Of course the best indoor trainer is the one that you will use. The others (i.e. the ones you don’t use) are too expensive, even if they are (practically) free. 

FWIW, I’ve been using the Peloton for the last couple of years. For me, I like the “Spin Class” vibe when exercising indoors (I guess that makes me not a particularly serious cyclist).

I’ve used Zwift briefly, but I think that riding inside is almost a different activity than riding outside. I really like the Peloton. It is expensive for the equipment and for the monthly class subscription, but they have a “Power Zone” training program where you take an FTP test, then do workouts that target a specific power zone. I found these incredibly helpful as you know exactly how hard to work. I can get a good workout in a relatively short period of time. My power has certainly improved in the last couple of months that I’ve done these rides. Another advantage of the Peloton program is there are also classes for stretching, strength training, yoga, and even meditation. I think they really do have a lot of great instructors.

With that said, I know that it isn’t for everyone, and I would encourage you to try it out if you can. That applies to Peloton or a trainer for Zwift or whatever. I’m certain that someone on this list has a bike trainer that you can borrow and try some of the other options. 

David Walker


Roy Taylor
 

Does anyone have an old style 'wheel on trainer' they would be interested to sell?




On Sunday, September 6, 2020, 12:52:34 PM PDT, Robert Tashjian <rob@...> wrote:


Hi Mike,

 

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

              https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/10/the-smart-trainer-recommendations-guide-winter-2019-2020.html

              https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2020/03/cycling-indoor-trainer-app-guide.html/

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. Road.cc has a pretty decent price/feature chart at the bottom of their app comparison article: https://road.cc/content/feature/best-indoor-cycling-turbo-training-apps-255118

 

Hope this helps,

Rob

---

Robert Tashjian

rob@...

 

From: info@ffbc.groups.io <info@ffbc.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mike Moore
Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2020 9:27 AM
To: FFBC IO List <info@ffbc.groups.io>
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!

 

Mike