Sunday, January 9, 2011

Seeking Your Wisdom: Fluid Trainers

Alright, blogger buddies, I need some help.

I don't mind riding indoors. Honestly, I don't ... but I hate my trainer.

I currently have a Blackburn Trackstand Fluid trainer that is probably about 3 years old. I can't seem to dial it in to get the prescribed ride effort level my workout calls for. It seems to be too easy or too hard and I don't feel like I am getting as much from my indoor riding as I should.

Since I will likely be spending some quality time on my trainer in the upcoming months when the weather is too cold and/or rainy for this Texas girl, I want to make sure that I am getting the best workout that I can.

My question is, if I upgrade my trainer, will I have a better indoor riding experience? I have been reading good things about the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine and Cycleops Fluid Trainer 2. What trainer do you suggest? Positive and negative reviews welcome.

On a side note, week one of IM training is in the books ... 19 to go!

I appreciate your pearls of wisdom, thanks for reading.

22 comments:

Mike said...

I have the same questions! And also whether I should try rollers instead of a fluid trainer.

Matthew Smith said...

Anne, I have a Performance Fluid Trainer that I have logged quite a few miles on this winter. I have really enjoyed it and don't have trouble getting a good workout. It does have a 5-level adjuster, but I usually just leave it on the same level and then switch gears on my bike. It gives plenty of resistance for me even when I'm just in the small chain ring! I've heard that Cycleops is a really great brand too. Good luck finding one that works well for you, and blessings to you as you train!

Matt
go-smitty-go@blogspot.com

jessithompson said...

Whatever you decide to go with, buy it from a place with an amazing return policy. When you ride trainers a lot, stuff happens. Make sure you get it from somewhere that will stand behind their products. We love shopping from REI for that reason and find it worth the few extra dollars in the long run.

I use a magnetic trainer.

Dawn said...

I just got a CycleOps Fluid 2, and I love it already. My local bike shop recommended it as the only they use exclusively, and say that years down the road, if something breaks down, parts are usually still replaced for free.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

My vote the Fluid 2, I dont think anything more money wise is worth it unless its a computrainer

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Suck it up and stay outside. Come on, Texas isn't much worse than Florida. Builds character. Glad I could help (LOL)

Ryan said...

CycleOps Fluid 2!!!! I have had mine since 2004 and it's GREAT! I don't lose much fitness from the winter and I get any level of effort I want out of it just by changing gears like I'm riding on the road.

That being said, I have also tried to be outside as much as possible and have taken to riding if it's 40 or higher.

Jeff Vanis said...

Lots of love for the cycleops it seems, I have a Kk road machine and love it. Take a look at bicycleoutfittersindy.comb you can probably find a 20%off coupon floating around on google and free shipping the Kk has a lifetime warranty or the sealed oil chamber, so it will never leak and also a great accidental breakage policy.

I would only maybe consider gettin a computrainer as an upgrade, but it would be hard to give up the Kk.

Kelly said...

I have a Cycleops Fluid and love it. I actually got mine used on craigslist. My tri club just bought 50 KKs for our winter training facility, so I have used those as well. I think they both ride about the same, but I think the Cycleops is way easier to use in terms of getting the bike in and out than the KK. I do believe, though, that the KKs have a lifetime warranty. Not sure about the Cycleops.

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Nice job on Week 1 of IM Training! Only 19 more weeks to go!

I have a Fluid 2 and it is great. I have used a KK and it is great. Really you cannot go wrong with either. Find the best price between those two and you'll be golden.

Now, if you really want to experience some indoor pain, drop some change on a computrainer!!! IT is AMAZING!

Doug Moore said...

Hate is an awfully strong word....




--Signed, Anne's Trainer

Velma said...

I have the Cycleops Fluid trainer. It is pretty quiet and works well. I also suggest netflix - helps pass the time :)

Caratunk Girl said...

I have the same questions, same problems, and the same trainer - so thanks for asking the question. I don't have a lot to add but am reading your comments!

Megan said...

I have had magnetic and wind trainers in the past and finally got a fluid (JetFluidPro) this season... and it is AWESOME! CycleOps is the industry fave, and all their trainers are tested in house before they are shipped. That being said, they can be expensive! Kinetic is another great brand, too. I've heard mixed reviews about Blackburn and nothing but good things about CycleOps and Kinetic. If your LBS has both, take your bike in to see which one is easier to set your bike up with! Again, the JFP that I have is a piece-of-cake when it comes to set up/tear down, and the price tag isn't that much higher (~$40?) compared to the Fluid2. I'm actually going to be putting a review about it up on my blog shortly!

Kiersten said...

I have the CycleOps also. I got it from REI (if you join their club/plan, you get money back, so I got a $70 check after spending money there last year). I love my trainer, as I set up and take down each time I need to use it. It goes smoothly.

Janet Edwards said...

I have the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine and it works well for me. I spend a lot of time on it and have it hooked up with my garmin with the rear mount speed and cadence censor. I keep thinking about upgrading to a computrainer but they are so expensive and I think that I am doing a pretty good job with this setup.

Jamie said...

Not gunna lie, I'm stalking your comments for advice since I'm in the same situation. I bought a really cheap nashbar trainer 6 years ago and even in my biggest gear, it just isn't that hard. It is just way to worn out.

I'm thinking that I'll be picking up a CycleOps fluid trainer this year, especially after all the comments here.

Mark said...

Oh, tough one.

BUT—I chose the KK because I read some reviews were the old Cyclops Fluid 2's were leaking.

I am sure they have remedied that situation by now.

I think you should get a computrainer ; - )

Ryan Oilar said...

I have rollers, Kinetic Fluid and Computrainer. Rollers are great for balance and a pretty solid "road feel", but wouldn't recommend in your aerobars!!! Great for bike handling skills and balance.

The Kinetic Fluid is something that I've had for probably about 6yrs and it's easy to set up! Smooth and pretty quiet. Depending on your workouts, maybe challenging to do hill repeats!!!

Computrainer-absolutely love it! Pretty large price tag, and you need to be able to plug in somewhere to use. That said, you can do all kinds of things on it and even ride courses. Hill repeats-no problem. Spinning-no problem. TT-no problem.

Whatever you go with, like Jessi wrote, make sure they have a solid return policy!!

Mike said...

So I broke down yesterday and bought a fluid trainer. While I would love a computrainer, it's not in the cards for me yet. I bought the CycleOps Jet Fluid trainer and I love it. I took it for a spin today for an hour and a half. The resistance increases as you increase gears so it gives you a great workout. And compared to my CycleOps Mag, it's so quiet. I could actually hear the show on my computer while I was spinning. Only one spin in and I am confident in my purchase. Now if my 4000 would get here so I could put her through the paces :)

Mike Russell said...

It is tough to go wrong with CycleOps. I use the Pro 300PT, which is a stationary on steroids. For a couple more hundred dollars you can train with power. You should check it out.

mattGT said...

As someone from the Great White North (Canada - Prairies), I spend a lot of time on the trainers in winter (~3000km indoor last year) and can say that both are good trainers. I own both trainers and would recommend either. I have a slight preference for the Kurt Kinetic. It has a slightly better road feel with a long free spin time. I had one issue with the Cyclops Fluid 2 after about 1 year - parts replaced no problem. Just took it back to my LBS.