To some, the turbo trainer represents the most evil of all contraptions, a daily reminder of how winter prevents some of us from training outside. To others, it is a important weapon in their training arsenal, key to allowing specific targeted training sessions without having to worry about road conditions, traffic and weather. The turbo is ideal for working on pedaling technique, using as a warm up tool, and for training during the winter avoiding dangerous, slippy roads or riding at dusk or in dark conditions.
We don’t recommend you spend all winter couped up in the garage on the turbo trainer – far from it. Riding outside is good for the soul and improves road handling. However, we are also aware that the turbo trainer has it’s uses and is a necessary evil.
At Cycle Art, we stock Tacx turbo trainers and rollers. Tacx offer a range of trainers and rollers to suit all budgets, and is one of the industry innovators that allows riders to train with power for very little money.
There is no doubt that training with power is the most accurate way of improving your ability on the bike. It allows a targeted, specific and consistent method of measuring your ability and progression. However, power meters are expensive, complicated and require lots of attention and calibration. The Flow, marketed as what Tacx call an “ergotrainer”, is a fantastic way of getting into training with power, providing a reasonably accurate baseline and the ability to train within set parameters with little fuss and no real technical know how. The Flow uses an electro brake system with 6 magnets that provides a maximum resistance of 800 watts. For training purposes, you can set the Flow to a set power output and depending on your effort the Flow adjusts the resistance accordingly. A handlebar mounted computer displays various readings including speed, power, heart rate, distance and cadence and allows you to adjust the resistance. The Tacx Flow retails at B#380 and is in stock now at Cycle Art. We also have one out on the shop floor for customers to try out.
The Booster is something you will have already seen, but not realised. It is the turbo trainer of choice for many Pro Tour teams and can usually be seen being used by riders as they warm up and warm down for races. It is also the official warming-up trainer of the Olympic Games and the UCI World Championships. At B#260.00, the Booster is the ideal turbo trainer for a long winter of preparation for racing and features sturdy frame construction and a handlebar mounted resistance selector with 10 settings. The magnet on the Booster is so strong so it offers more resistance (1050 watts) than most trainers at this price point.
Tacx Blue Motion
The “Blue” range is Tacx’s entry level trainers, with the Blue Motion being the top of that range. The Blue Motion has many of the features of more expensive trainers including a handlebar mounted resistance selector, sturdy construction and a powerful Neodymium magnet brake system capable of 950 watts resistance but for a very affordable B#200.
Whilst we recommend you get out on your bike as much as you can over the winter, when the need arises for a new turbo trainer, we can advise you on which turbo is most suitable for your needs.