Which Turbo Trainer Should I Buy
Which Turbo Trainer Should I Buy?
Turbo Trainers are a product we get asked about very often at Ambrosio and whilst we do not sell our own turbos we understand that, for many the turbo trainer is an essential part of any cyclists kit. Although to some they may be considered a medieval torture device! Turbo Trainers give you an ability to ride your bike when the weather is poor or the roads are like ice rinks, whilst they are no replacement to getting out in the fresh air with miles of the black stuff in front of you, they are a great addition to assist training or improve fitness.
However as anyone who has gone through the process of purchasing one will know, selecting the right trainer for you is very difficult. Do you go for the high end expensive trainers that claim to run in near silence or would you rather spend a little and hope you get a trainer that satisfies your needs. Through this posting I will try to help anyone who is currently stuck in this arduous process.
Firstly, What to look for?
Resistance units usually come in three main varieties; air, fluid and magnetic. Air resistance turbos are usually more affordable due to their simplicity while fluid types offer a smoother and more realistic feel. Here’s a brief explanation of each…
Air resistance: A fan generates wind resistance. These aren’t the quietest option, however, and don’t offer the best ride experience, but they are cheap. They also have limited adjustablilty, leaving just the gears on your bike the only available adjustment.
Magnetic resistance: These are very popular at low to mid price points. A metal plate spins inside a magnetic field so they’re simple to produce. You can buy magnetic trainers with adjustable resistance so you can tailor your workout. Spend a bit more and electro-magnetic units offer more control.
Fluid resistance: Usually more expensive because of the complex internals, these offer a quieter and much smoother ride. Inside an impeller revolves in oil and they can offer plenty of adjustment via handlebar mounted levers.
Some turbo trainers come with variable resistance whilst others you will only have the use of your gears to make the ride harder. Usually gears will be quite suitable for any rider however those in training or who like a challenge, the variable trainers will be the answer.
A turbo trainer needs to have a sturdy frame that won’t flex or bend under your riding. A larger footprint and heavier frame will ensure it’s more stable, which you do want if you’re doing max interval efforts in your kitchen. Space can be a premium in many households and many turbos will fold flat, but how much space they take up when folded down differs greatly from brand to brand.
A turbo fixes to the quick release of the rear wheel, and often a quick release will be supplied with the turbo that is specifically compatible with the model. The more expensive models come with ergonomic levers that make setting up so much simpler. Most trainers will also accommodate various sizes of wheels, but it is wise to double check!
Possibly one of the most important and defining features of a turbo trainer is noise, some unfortunately sound as though you are about to be hit by a train, and whilst this may not be a problem for the riders who ride hard in their garage, but it is a necessity for those who do not want to wake up the better half! Or to annoy nosey neighbours…
Turbo Trainers are one of those products that just seem to have the ability to charge any price the retailer feels like, and the price you pay can become astronomical. (I wouldn’t recommend clicking on the link unless you are either very rich or insane… http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/tacx-genius-multiplayer-vr-turbo-trainer/rp-prod68496
http://www.ukturbotrainers.com are a new company that offer a range of turbo trainers at great prices! I highly recommend them.
I believe you are able to get a solid trainer from around £60-300, anything more and I would say leave to the professionals. One that I personally recommend is and Unbranded trainer at only £58.99 with free delivery! http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/290934626905 This is amazing value for money and will suit any rider.
I hope this post has helped anyone who is about to buy a turbo trainer!
Leave a comment of your favourite Turbo Trainer to help out your fellow riders!