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dave thompson
12-02-2007, 06:14 PM
Do any of you have experience and comments, good, bad or indifferent, about the electronic trainers, such as CompuTrainer or the likes of the Trax and CycleOps et al computer trainers?

The winters here can be long and I, being the definitive weather weenie (is it 70 degrees yet?), am looking at ways to productively spend otherwise boring trainer time.

Chris
12-02-2007, 06:56 PM
Among all of the electonic trainers available now, if you don't get the computrainer, you will end up wishing you had in the long run.

dave thompson
12-02-2007, 07:03 PM
Among all of the electonic trainers available now, if you don't get the computrainer, you will end up wishing you had in the long run.
Why? Please expand on your thought. Do you have personal experience with this, or any other similar trainers? :)

biorider
12-02-2007, 08:44 PM
Computrainer has enough users where you could actually compete on your trainer in 'virtual races'.

If your looking for something to break the monotonity of indoor training, I found Dr. Arnie Baker's High Intensity Training (HIT) make 1.5 to 2.0 hour sufferfests un-boring on a regular trainer. I stayed very busy, following a cue sheet for each session. It's intended for two sessions a week due to the high intensity. Without HIT, I could only ride an indoor trainer for a half-hour.

HIT is available as an e-book at arniebakercycling.com. My connection to ABC is I'm just a customer.

Chris
12-02-2007, 09:37 PM
Why? Please expand on your thought. Do you have personal experience with this, or any other similar trainers? :)

I had one of the early computrainers back in '94. I think even that version is nicer and more durable than the others that are out there. When you see them and feel the differences, you just know that the computrainer is heads above the others. I'm not saying that the others are junk, just that the computrainer is that much better. Says something that all of the cycling federations or coaching staffs that do indoor training or evaluation of athletes only use computrainers. They are the gold standard. I also think that the added features and the availability of upgrading the computrainer through the years is a plus. I was a college student when I had mine. Sold it to a guy here in town. He has upgraded the software and the head unit a couple of times, but the trainer itself is going strong.

keno
12-03-2007, 08:26 AM
I have used rollers, 1up USA, Kurt Kinetic, Computrainer, and currently Cateye CS 1000 (no longer in production). Of the trainers, the Cateye is my choice when coupled with a structured workout, as biorider mentioned. I think that many of the non-electronic trainers are just fine when coupled with a structured workout. My reason for the Cateye is that it has rider-powered electronics showing speed, distance, and time as well as slope setting and countdown features. It also has watts, but I wouldn't rely on them as a true measure but would for rider consistency over time. I would not buy anything that needs to be plugged in.

The aspect of the Computrainer that helped me was to develop an even stroke with the scan function. Beyond that, it wasn't for me so I sold it.

It's not about the trainer in my view, but how you use it.

keno

paulh
12-03-2007, 08:57 AM
I'm also a Cateye Ciclosimulator user. I find it's a really stable platform. I know the watts is probably not accurate, but I'm assuming it's relative to yourself, all other things being equal, i.e. that x watts over an hour on one day giving 1000kcal would be an equivalent work out for you on another day giving the same readings. Does anyone have other good workout routines besides A. Baker's.

keno
12-03-2007, 09:30 AM
get your hands on Baker's "Smart Cycling". It's a paperback and probably available on Amazon either new or a new remainder in their "used" category. He has a 12-week indoor program that covers all aspects of the training with scientific explanations. Each workout is 60 minutes.

keno

1centaur
12-03-2007, 01:34 PM
I have repeatedly extolled the virtues of the CT, so search for those comments. Biggest downside is the physical set-up and associated expense of computer, monitor (big fan of a swing arm to put the monitor in front of the bars), fans, maybe a reading stand. Real life videos are soon to be available for CT. Relieving trainer boredom and hill climbing are the biggest upsides - with at least 200 days a year on the CT I'd say I continue to be very happy with it.

SoCalSteve
12-03-2007, 01:39 PM
I'm no fan of indoor training NO MATTER WHAT....But, Arnie Baker is an amazing coach (and and all around good guy)...

He trained me to be a TNT cycle coach and I have the highest regard for him and his teachings.

Steve

PS: It actually got below 60* here over the weekend....Brrrrr cold!

dave thompson
12-03-2007, 02:54 PM
I'm no fan of indoor training NO MATTER WHAT....But, Arnie Baker is an amazing coach (and and all around good guy)...

He trained me to be a TNT cycle coach and I have the highest regard for him and his teachings.

Steve

PS: It actually got below 60* here over the weekend....Brrrrr cold!
Steve: I usually reserve this comment for Ken Robb, but: Bite me!

chrisroph
12-03-2007, 03:02 PM
dave, i have one of the trax and its ok. it has kind of lumpy and unever resistance until you get it up to speed and then it really smooths out. it is fine for power related work if you have the mentality for that kind of work in the winter. i recommend it but have no experience with whatever else is available.

deechee
12-03-2007, 03:30 PM
I live in an apartment and the CT was louder than a jet engine. Seriously though, it was loud enough. I currently train with a powertap on a 1upusa. Get on and go.

CT is nice but too much setup for me since I put away the bike after every ride. (ie. plugging in things, laptop etc if you want the dorky 2d/3d graphics)

Marron
12-04-2007, 09:19 AM
Computrainer has enough users where you could actually compete on your trainer in 'virtual races'.

If your looking for something to break the monotonity of indoor training, I found Dr. Arnie Baker's High Intensity Training (HIT) make 1.5 to 2.0 hour sufferfests un-boring on a regular trainer. I stayed very busy, following a cue sheet for each session. It's intended for two sessions a week due to the high intensity. Without HIT, I could only ride an indoor trainer for a half-hour.

HIT is available as an e-book at arniebakercycling.com. My connection to ABC is I'm just a customer.

I strongly second that! Both Baker's published book, Smart Cycling, and his e book are great time passers and solid no brainer training programs. I don't know if evey expert would agree with the specic regimen, but for the average forum member it's probably fine. It makes me faster and fitter.

Crazy Chris
12-04-2007, 01:13 PM
What about the Lemond indoor trainers? The newer model costs an arm and a leg. What about the cheaper version?

malcolm
12-04-2007, 01:48 PM
Dave, I've used a computrainer for several years. I mostly use it for intervals and to just dial in a particular wattage for a given time. I think it is easily the most realistic feeling trainer I've ever used, no surging or jerky feel.

SPOKE
12-07-2007, 04:45 PM
well i took the plunge and got a computrainer. i haven't hooked it up yet since i still need to decide what computer i'm going to use. from what i can tell just by putting the unit together it is easily the best built trainer i have ever touched. i have two friends that have been using their computrainers for over 10 years and never a problem.
in my case i wanted one to use for training but i also will use it during my fitting sessions if a customer desires to have the data that can be generated.
i think i'm going to be very pleased with the purchase.

TriJim
12-07-2007, 08:47 PM
Dave --

I've owned both a Computrainer and a Tacx Fortius system (for the past year) and the Tacx is the way to go. First, the Tacx has a better road feel. It uses a motor brake that changes resistance based on slope (and even drives the wheel when you are on a downhill part of a course). Second, there are a lot of riding options including live (internet or side-by-side) racing, real life videos, virtual reality cycling, or standard set-the-power and go. But the biggest plus for me is the virtual cycling league (http://www.virtualcycling.org/Application%20directory/VCF2007/). You race as part of a team and individual against a virtual reality course every two weeks. You can race and upload as often as you like to get the fastest time. I am a member of a team with Americans, Belgians, Brits, and Aussies. After a few months, you'll know your competition and we're not above talking trash and calling each other out when we get a good round. :fight: I have a rider from Norway that beat be by a second in the current round which will force another ride on this course.

I first rode the Tacx system at the Zurich 6-day races and later against my daughter at the World Championships. Unlike Computrainer which is US-centric, you will find Tacx systems predominate here in Europe.

Ultimately the best system is the one that gets you on the bike. I'm riding my trainer more now than ever before and really enjoy the competition. I frequently have higher heart rates in a virtual race than on-the-road riding. Good luck. :beer:

Let me know if you want to know more.

imm
02-24-2008, 06:42 PM
Among all of the electonic trainers available now, if you don't get the computrainer, you will end up wishing you had in the long run.

I've had a www.tacxvr.com for 2 years now and don't wish I had a computrainer.

Maybe you shouldn't have told me?

david
02-24-2008, 07:32 PM
dave,
can't make comparisons to other electronic trainers 'cause i've only used the computrainer.
before i had the computrainer, i dreaded indoor riding. 15 minutes and i was bored. 30 minutes was torture.
after getting the computrainer, i can do up to 3 hours without going crazy.
there are tons of pre-programmed rides and with the CT software, you can program your own rides and wattage specific intervals.
tons there to keep you busy, challenged and interested.