CycleOps Hammer smart trainer review

Direct drive set-up makes indoor training fun and effective

Trainers
CycleOps Hammer

CycleOps Hammer primed and ready to smash.

What is it

CycleOps has entered the smart trainer market with its user friendly, thru axle compatible, direct-drive Hammer trainer.

Pros
  • Easily hooks up to online training (Zwift, TrainerRoad, Sufferfest)
  • Smooth changes in resistance while pedaling
  • Easily change axle configurations
  • Sturdy platform for big efforts
  • Consistent power data
Cons
  • Could be hard to set up for technologically challenged
  • Louder than expected when pedaling at full tilt
  • Heavy to move
RoadBikeReview’s Take

Usually trainers and rollers are reserved for the winter months, only making appearances on rainy days. But CycleOps aims to help you ride and race into fitness all year round with new Hammer direct drive smart trainer.

Setup

Setup and teardown is easy, though lifting the Hammer requires some effort. Good thing it has a built-in handle.

Indeed, smart trainers, virtual riding, and programmable intervals have some riders hammering away indoors even when the sun is out. Numbers driven training is at an all-time high, with output getting easier to interpret and smart trainers allowing you collect all the data you could want.

CycleOps Hammer

Hammer supplies a very sturdy platform for riding inside.

Set up of the trainer is easy, two folding legs providing a sturdy base. (CycleOps claims the widest footprint on the market.) Unpack your cords, plug into a power source, and you’re ready to ride. A small light indicates that Hammer is ready to pair with your device of choice. Multiple end caps are provided for both quick release and thru-axle combinations, making it easy to set up. It even comes with break blockers in the wheel tray.

Once in motion, the Hammer pedals smoothly, delivering the most “road like” feel that I’ve ever experienced on a trainer. This is attributable to a larger flywheel size, providing realistic spin up and resistance. Flywheel weight is 20 pounds, and nearly double in size of any smart direct drive trainer currently on market.

CycleOps Hammer

This time of year you need motivation.

Pairing with your favorite virtual riding platform is easy, and most apps have help support that walks you through what can otherwise be a complicated pairing process. For building workouts and riding in ERG mode, CycleOps Hammer provides controlled resistance and power measurement. Unlike other electronically controlled trainers, Hammer records slight fluctuations in power during programed efforts.

Hammer has a maximum wattage of 2000 watts, so you can work on your sprints. And unlike other trainers, if you struggle or stop pedaling in the middle of an interval the Hammer lets up in resistance, allowing a rider to work back up to prescribed wattage. If you’ve experienced the wall effect that comes with a stopped interval on similar units, you know how cool this feature is.

CycleOps Hammer

Hammer can fit all types of thru axles, including Trek’s ABP.

In simulation mode the CycleOps Hammer rides smooth and clean, only adding resistance when encountering inclines on your virtual ride. You change gear just like you would riding outside, and the Hammer can simulate a maximum incline of 20%.

CycleOps Hammer

It’s the little things that make me smile, like knowing who looked over your trainer and help assemble it.

Bottom line, the CycleOps Hammer makes indoor training fun, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to add more focus to their training, especially those who love virtual riding such as Zwift.

Key Features
  • 20lb flywheel, electric-brake resistance
  • Receives and transmits info via Bluetooth and ANT+
  • Works with quick-release and thru-axle bikes
  • Tray tucks into frame when not in use
  • 47lb weight
  • Claimed accuracy of +/- 3%,
  • Works with Zwift, TrainerRoad, Roovy app and others

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 4 stars
Price: $1200
More Info: www.cycleops.com

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Jordan Villella

Jordan comes from the steep streets of Pittsburgh PA, where he learned to dodge cars and rip single track. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of the cycling industry: from turning wrenches, store design, clothing production and bike park creation. Jordan spends his free time racing cross country and cyclocross around North America, though he has been know to enduro every now and then. His love of cycling is only second to his love of his family and punk rock.


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  • Cyco says:

    I’m glad it has break blockers. I’d hate to buy something this expensive designed to break.

    Maybe nice if it came with brake pad spacers, too

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