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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a year and about 3-4K miles on my trusty Minoura RDA-850 Rim Drive Mag trainer, the V-belt is coming apart. Sure, I am going to replace the belt but I am contemplating purchasing another trainer and taking the 850 to my office. I am in need of some advice as to what type/model of trainer would best suit my needs.

Due to my schedule, I spend a lot of time on the trainer. I typically like to run high / low cadence intervals and such. I mainly look to my time on the trainer to perfect pedal stroke, improve cardio, and burn some calories. Is a fluid trainer something to think about? I have never comprehended the thing about resistance increasing as cadence increases. Would this be less than ideal for doing intervals?

Last but not least, are there any decent trainers that will give me a rough gauge of power output? I would like to get an idea of my power output but am not yet ready (well, my wife is not) to drop 4K on the SRAM GXP. The power output is of secondary concern in selecting a new trainer.

Any help is appreciated.
 

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I've got the cycleops fluid 2 ("new" "improved" 07-08 model) and it's great. Smooth, quiet, plenty of resistance.

I'd avoid the Blackburn Ultra (with 1up-licensed resistance unit). It works great till it quits working great, then it's a constant maintenance headache.

Kurt Kinetic or Road Machine. Kurt makes a power computer that you can attach to your bike which estimates power output based on the resistance curve and your rear wheel speed.

Tacx also makes a trainer that allegedly does the same thing, but ime it's wildly inaccurate.

"Best" is probably a computrainer, but it costs like that too. I've used a computrainer and it's always been within 4% of my powertap, and you can actually use the CT to "set" a resistance for you. IIRC, people have complained that it's not all that accurate with setting the resistance if your cadence really drops tho. CTs have other downsides, the primary one being that you need to plug it in to use it.

Were I approaching this from your position I'd go with the Kurt hands down. I only got the cycleops because I was using store credit with my local dealer and that's what they carry (not that I'm disappointed).

Do you have rollers? I spend a lot of time training indoors and really prefer rollers for steady-state workouts. I use my trainer for high resistance intervals, mostly.
 

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+1 for the Cycleops fluid trainer. DH and I have 2, one that's 8 years old and still kicking, and another identical, albeit younger, unit. (We got tired of arm-wrestling over who got the fluid trainer and who used the magnetic.)

+1 on skipping the Blackburn. I rode one, and was not impressed with the very stiff feel of the resistance and and inability of the unit to freewheel. And yes, this was a broken-in demo unit at a shop, not a brand-new trainer. OTOH, the Cycleops feels very "road-like" to me.

Can't personally speak to any of the others that shawndoggy mentioned.
 

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I have the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. It is great. Very smooth and super stable.

Kurt publishes the formula that will alow you to calculate your power output if you know the speed. So if you have a cyclo-computer that allows you to download your ride, you can easily make a power graph (using Excel or similar).

They make a very convincing arguement as to why their fluid resistance unit is better than the competition (in terms of reliability).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
GREAT ADVICE! Unless this pricing that I found on the cycleops fluid 2 is right, I think I may snag that Kurt.

Everywhere I look the updated Fluid 2 is $325ish. However, it appears to be $100 cheaper here. Is this the correct unit you guys are mentioning? I don't know Tree Fort bikes, but for $100 savings maybe I should.
http://www.treefortbikes.com/177_333222334121__Fluid-2-Trainer-2008.html

Price Point has the Kurt Road Machine for $275 (+$20 to ship) and the power unit can be had for around $40 it appears. 1UP has it for $309 shipped. Then again, if the curve is published, I can just apply the curve equation to my Garmin's data and be good to go without another computer on my dashboard. I am really leaning towards the Kurt.

-GT
 

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KK vs Fluid 2

I have both the Kurt Kinetic and the Fluid 2. My original Fluid 2 actually started leaking after several months of use, but it was warranty replaced quickly and without any additional hassle. While it was being warrantied (and not knowing how long it would take to get it back) I picked up a Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll which I'd been looking at for quite awhile.

I do like the Fluid 2, and it is pretty quiet which is a plus... But I like the Kurt Kinetic much more. It is a little louder, but it has much more resistance and a more natural feel, and I really like the measured power curve to it. You really don't need the optional computer because the equations and charts are readily available for you to reference anyway. The build quality seems quite good also, and the design should make it much less prone to leaking. I have also found that the design makes the bike easier to mount and I'm no longer messing with the skewer and the adjusters to get the bike seated properly every two or three times I use it (the mechanism may be different for the regular KK, but I wouldn't think so).

IMO, you wouldn't really go wrong with either one, but I do think the KK is the better unit.
 

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Not to Hijack the OP's thread but what about a good roller? Better than a stand? I have a Blackburn Trackstand Defender, its LOUD to the point I cant hear my TV through my stereo. I dont need to rehash your dislikes for the Blackburn model.. I'm with you... So back to the question. Are rollers better than a stand or is a stand better .

Chris
 

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Also not to hijack the thread, but hasn't someone come out with a trainer which
allows side to side motion, I believe it's referred to as the Rock and Roll. I would
think this feature would be invaluable in simulating sprints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
phoehn9111 said:
Also not to hijack the thread, but hasn't someone come out with a trainer which
allows side to side motion, I believe it's referred to as the Rock and Roll. I would
think this feature would be invaluable in simulating sprints.
That would be a Kurt as well.
 

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Rollers

GTScott said:
...I mainly look to my time on the trainer to perfect pedal stroke, improve cardio, and burn some calories...
Sounds like the perfect formula for some rollers. The three inch drums provide a decent amount of resistance.

As far as trainers - I have been very happy with my Cyclops Fluid although spend more time on the rollers.
 

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You mentioned that you were going to service your existing trainer. Thus, you already have a trainer.

I would also suggest rollers.

I too do most of my riding indoors. I have been riding the same rollers for over 20 years. Last week I received some Kreitler 3" drum rollers as my old ones were getting, well ratty looking and sounding. That and I have always wanted some Kreitlers.
The 3" rollers are much harder than my old 4.5" ones. I am getting a killer workout and my times are more like the road per miles.

I have never even tried a trainer but from what I have read the Kurt would be the direction I would go.
 

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I've got the nashbar cheapy 80mm alu rollers (non folding) which I got on sale with a coupon for around $85. I've got at least 10,000 "miles" on them. With tires with high rolling resistance like Conti Gatorskins I have no problem getting up to 300w of resistance at 95-100 rpm. That's really all ya need for steady state workouts (unless you've got a 400w threshold or something) -- I do most of my steady state stuff between 260w and 290w.

The amount of resistance really does vary by tire, though. A good rolling tire like a pro2race or vittoria corsa evo cx will be 70-80w easier at the same pressure.
 

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GTScott said:
That would be a Kurt as well.
Kurt Kinetic Rock 'n Roll. I recently purchased this for $240.00 @ Excel Sports. Yes, it is heavy, which makes me wonder if this was done on purpose so if you move it around, it also gives you some weight training :) . Very happy so far. Next purchase would be the Kinetic Cyclocomputer for this trainer.
 

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Somehow the thought of using my Vittoria Corsa Evo CX on a trainer seems,
well, I mean a little silly because it would be all relative, i.e., how fast the rollers
were turning would increase the resistance, but the tire would decrease resistance.
All you would be left with in the end would be a faster wearing, more expensive tire
used up while standing still. Does anyone have any side-by-side comparison
experience with the Kurt Rock n Roll vs, say the Kreitler rollers?
 

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GTScott said:
Kurt Kinetic has been ordered...I can't wait for it to arrive. I just hope that the belt on my Minoura 850 does not break before it arrives next week!

GREAT advice!
I chose a Kurt Kinetic last season when I was shopping for a trainer. I was happy with my choice, and I hope you are too. It was expensive, but it should last a VERY long time.
 

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phoehn9111 said:
Somehow the thought of using my Vittoria Corsa Evo CX on a trainer seems,
well, I mean a little silly because it would be all relative, i.e., how fast the rollers
were turning would increase the resistance, but the tire would decrease resistance.
All you would be left with in the end would be a faster wearing, more expensive tire
used up while standing still. Does anyone have any side-by-side comparison
experience with the Kurt Rock n Roll vs, say the Kreitler rollers?
No, I'm saying that I've spun the bike out in a 53x12 on the vittorias and still barely managed to generate 225w. My point was that tire choice is important with rollers if your goal is to generate a certain level of resistance for your workouts. Like say warming up for a race. In that case, if you've got a specific warmup protocol and you want to do it on your rollers, you're going to have to consider whether to bring a set of training wheels if you've got fast tires on your race wheels. On a trainer, in comparison, you'll be able to get similar resistance regardless of tire (though admittedly at the potential cost of accellerated wear on your nice rubber).

As for tire wear on rollers, there really isn't much friction on rollers. I've never worn out a tire riding rollers. Then again, in my neck of the woods, tires fail because of glass cuts and nicks, not wearing through the rubber. my rollers are pretty glass free.

Comparing kreitlers to the kurt is like comparing a prius and a motorscooter. They both do the same thing, sorta, but in a completely different way. Both have received top marks in their given genre. The question, really, is whether you'd prefer rollers or a trainer. Once that decision is made, you can't go wrong with either the kreitlers or the kurt (though I would argue that you can have a far better chance of doing just fine with cheap rollers than a cheap trainer).

My $.02, don't spend it all in one place! :) :)
 
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