Blackburn Trakstand Fluid Trainer Pro Review

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Blackburn Trakstand

Blackburn Trakstand Fluid Trainer Pro Review by Gary Lee

Like Blackburn’s Mag Trainer, the Trakstand Fluid Trainer is well constructed and also comes fully assembled right out of the box so you can immediately jump on the trainer. It is an affordable foray into the more popular fluid trainer ranks that won’t break the bank. And like some of the more expensive trainers Blackburn’s Fluid Trainer folds flat to about a slim 6 inches for easy storage under the bed or in the closet.

Setting up the bike on the trainer is fairly straightforward. You have to set the width of the adjusting knobs to fit the width of the rear of the bike and use the lock rings to lock them in place. And with the locking rings set you can easily return the bike to the trainer without much worry about how tight it needs to be simply by loosening only one side when you set up the bike.

As with any trainer you will want to properly inflate the tires to ensure proper contact with the flywheel. Per Blackburn’s instructions you should turn the adjusting knob 1-2 times once you make initial contact with the tire. About 1 turn seemed to be the optimal adjustment needed.

With the bike on the trainer we noticed that the flywheel was louder than the other fluid trainers we’ve tested. And like the Mag Trainer the flywheel also spun faster, which didn’t lend to a realistic road feel. However, it was still good enough for a quality workout. Honestly, how real does any trainer feel when you are in front of a TV screen following a workout video? If you’re like me, you’d rather be outside on the real road anyway. But for the day when that just isn’t possible the trainer is the next best thing.

However, the one major flaw of this unit was the tensioner that tightens the flywheel to the tire. Throughout a workout the tensioner would loosen up due to the excessive vibration of the flywheel unit. Within 30 minutes I had to re-tighten the tensioner about 2-3 times. And as you could imagine, it didn’t help my rhythm when having to stop several times during the workout. I finally had to use a zip tie to creatively keep the tensioner in place. So there is room for improvement on this otherwise nice mid-priced trainer.

By and large, the Blackburn Trackstand Fluid Trainer is a capable mid-level trainer. It is also a more affordable venture into the much-desired fluid trainer ranks. Like the other trainers in the Blackburn lineup it’s ready to go out of the box, so no need to waste time putting together an engineering wonder. They do it for you! And although it needs some revising in the tensioner department it is a very competent trainer.

Value-wise, I give it a 3 ½-4 stars. And Overall I’d rate it as a 2 ½-3 until they can revise the tensioner. If they do than I’d certainly like to re-evaluate this otherwise adequate trainer.

About the author: RoadBikeReview is an online community of cyclists who share a passion for the sport. Visitors of the site regularly purchase gear to upgrade their bikes, share inspiring photos of rides, and keep up to date with the latest industry and technology news. Which products perform best? Where to buy them? Where to ride? How to ride better? Cyclists come to for the answers.

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  • Anonymous says:

    How much is it cost me ?

  • Anonymous says:

    Do a Google search and you’ll find many discounted prices on the web.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have one of these and the tension stays good for up to 2 hours. I have never noticed much vibration either.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have had this trainer for several years and have had tension issues come & go. One major concern I have is how much it chews up my tire! It often gets so hot that flecks of tire fly off and spatter like paint against the wall behind me. On a longer ride, I even had a slug of rubber grow between the tire & the trainer. Does anyone have any suggestions? I was thinking that I should just get a new, cheap wheel and tire and leave it perma-fixed to the trainer and save my good tires for the road. Are there special tires made for the trainer I am just not aware of?

  • Anonymous says:

    I’ve had one of these for a few years. My one beef is that I have always felt the the resistance was not constant. By that I mean that in almost every workout, at some point, I feel that while keeping a constant rpm, the load tends to “jump” up and down a bit. Could be related to tension in the tire, I’ve never checked the tension after a workout.

    As for tire problems, I solved mine by mounting an indoor trainer specific tire on my trainer bike. These tires are a much harder, heavier compound and are designed for the added heat/friction of trainers.

  • Anonymous says:

    What about using some blue Loc-tite on the threads to keep the tensioner from slipping? Works on our bikes so why not the trainer?

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m so glad it’s not just me!

    I tried this trainer for the first time yesterday and my would be workout was ruined by the constant need to readjust the tension. After the third time I figured a way to just throw my leg behind the wheel to adjust the tension with my foot. How annoying! I also actually smelled burning rubber as my tire heated up and the rubber was removed.

    This is my first time using any trainer so I’m a least at little relieved this issue isn’t due only to my lack of experience.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am going to try using a couple of nuts with lock washers (50 cents) to keep the tensioner from moving – tensioner seems tight – let you know how it works.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have run this trainer and it takes about 10-15 minutes to get the fluid warmed up for smooth rolling. The unit will vibrate at first as cool fluid mixed with the warm fluid inside, but once it is warmed up it is smooth. I have never had the wheel tension back off on this unit.

    All stationary trainers are hard on tires, use a cheap tire or one that is nearly worm out to further trash. Continental makes a specific tire for fluid trainers that I presume runs cooler that regular tires.

    I run the Carmicheal training sessions on it to great success.

    I also run rollers for indoor training from Tracx. They are great for spinning, balance and base fitness but do not offer resistance.

    Hope that helps potential buyers of the Blackburn unit. (or any other fluid trainer)

  • Anonymous says:

    The new Blackburn Tech Fluid is much nicer and has an adjustable frame so you can put the bike about 1/4 inch from the floor and eliminate the front block, which decreases the stress on the headset. It also has a better mechanism for loading the tire to the spindle. I have been riding on it at the local bike shop indoor training sessions for about 2 months now and I bought mine for $159. Only con is that it need to be “Warmed-up” a bit before becoming smooth, and the progression resistance is much harder than say the Kenetic Fluid or Cycleops Fluid. Also, has a lighter free wheel. However, for 150 less or more, this was a great choice.

  • Becky Barrett says:

    I just got my trainer out after not using it for a year or so and I could actually smell rubber burning and when I finally decided to get off the bike and investigate, I noticed my tire has a wear mark along the center and tiny rubber pieces on the round. When I compaired the smoothness of the resistance unit, my husband’s rolled so much smoother than mine. Mine actually rolls for less than 2 seconds and my hubby’s can go for almost a 1 minute! Is there something wrong with this trainer? I don’t remember this problem before and can I fix it?
    Thanks, Becky

  • Brian S. says:

    I’ve been using the Trakstand Fluid for many years now and have had zero problems with the tensioner. I have had the same problem with tire bits, but no significantly large pieces. As stated earlier, the units are hard on tires. The only true issue I’ve had with the trainer is the random variation in fluid resistance. It doesn’t occur often, but it happens no fewer than once every 60 mins. It is a noticeable shift in resistance and noise; always slightly increasing resistance, never decreasing below original setting. Annoying? Maybe, but it only adds to my training, similar to an unexpected hill or need to go faster/harder. So far, I can’t tell that anything is really going bad in the trainer. Still going strong.

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