Turbo trainer, indoor trainer or ergo trainer. Whatever you choose to call one, they’re a fantastic training tool. Here’s GCN’s guide to choosing one.
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Turbo trainers are a great way to keep fit if you don’t always have the time to ride outside. They’re also great for high intensity training to supplement your other work on the bike. There are several different types of turbo trainer on the market: magnetic, fluid and direct mount, not forgetting the alternative option – rollers.

Daniel Lloyd and GCN break down the benefits of each turbo, helping you to make the right decision when it comes to buying one.

Music: Nseven – Staring At Oneself:

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The Global Cycling Network puts you in the centre of the action: from the iconic summit of the Stelvio to the epic trails of Fort William, Scotland, everywhere there is pavé or dirt, world-class racing, and pro riders, we will be there bringing you all the action, essential analysis and unparalleled access every week, every month, and every year.

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40 COMMENTS

  1. Hi folks. Great channel by the way. I've just ordered a cycleops2 fluid trainer as I want to improve my cardio and lung performance between rides. I have a question about buying a training wheel. My road bike runs with a Campagnolo Centaur 10-speed groupset except with an 11-28 Veloce rear cassette. If I purchase a training wheel, will one with a 10-speed, 11-25 shimano cassette still work? I don't really have much idea about the interchangeability of the different manufacturers.

    Thanks guys.

  2. Don't buy Elite. Piece of shit equipment. I blow an inner tube every 4 rides. I am 79kgs and ride at 150 to 190 watts. The machine supposedly can take much more than that. Not really. If you want to get fast at changing inner tubes buy it. There is nothing worse to kill your motivation.

  3. Hello guys I need something that would help me train for inclines and flat.. I want the rollers but I also want the stationary one.. but only one I can afford.. also what do you think of the pro form tour de France 5.0. Is that better than both of the trainers? Lol thanks

  4. So…..How heavy is the Elite Direct Drive (Muin) for transport to events. I notice teams use fluid trainers because they are lighter and less bulky??

  5. +Global Cycling Network I see on your training videos that you use Elite Turbo Muin like in Sa Colobra climb HIIT. How do you simulate slopes in a liquid trainer? Like that Sa Colobra climb should have 7% average grade. It is easy on my Tacx Satori as the hardest setting is equivalent of 7%. How do you know how hard or what slope you are riding in a liquid trainer?

  6. Perhaps you could do another video on turbos. A lot has changed since Winter 2014 with the likes of smart trainers and apps which you can use with them which change the resistance for you. Especially since ANT+FE/C recently was adopted by the likes of Tacx & BKool, where previously closed systems are now open to use by any amount of apps.

  7. Hi Everyone! I have read all the time turbo trainers can stress frames /carbon and alloy also/ but I do not hear bad experiances when a trainer broke a frame, do you have such experience? anyone? I think basic 100 rpm normal pace training does not affect frame on a trainer, or am I wrong?

  8. I have the Cycleops Supermagneto Pro and let me tell you, it is far better in simulating road biking and intensity than a fluid trainer. I've used both and would never sell my magnetic trainer. There are four levers that adjust the resistance and the highest, mountain, would challenge even a Clydesdale to keep up the watts.

  9. I'm thinking of getting a smart trainer, either the Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+ or the Tacx Vortex Smart Trainer, Which do you think I should go for as they both look pretty similar. I have not had a TT before so am not too sure about them but do want something under £300 that has auto resistance that I could use with apps/computer like Zwift. Your comments/help appreciated.

  10. in my opinion, it's not true that magnetic trainer are worse than fluids. They are DIFFERENT, not worse. I have a fluid trainer (elite power fluid) and the fluid trainer isn't the best for some kind of excercises such as Force resistance Slopes or something more specific. If you want to pedal at low FREQ simulating slopes, you can't do it. If you have a MAGNETIC trainer you can do it. Look riders warming up before races, NO ONE uses FLUID trainer but only magnetic…. In my opinion you spend less but you spend better

  11. I have a women's Road Master Cruising bike, which I'm told I can't put the special skewer into the back wheel. The wheel itself is bolted in, not a quick release. The local bike shop told me that I would have to buy a new wheel and that the trainer itself would have to remain on the bicycle permanently. All said and done this would run me about $250 US. The bike itself didn't cost that much. Are there any bike trainers on the market that I can just put my bike axle in? I'm not a racer by any stretch of the imagination. I also take medication that affects my balance, so rollers are totally out of the question. I just want to get in shape without spending hundreds more on a stationary bike. Any help you can give me would be great.

  12. During the winter I use both a Kurt Kinetic 'rock and roll' fixed trainer and a set of CycleOps rollers. The rollers are definitely more engaging. I like the fixed trainer for intervals, simulated climbs and just plain hammering…

  13. Hi there, I'm in the process of making a decision for what smart Interactive trainer I should get. It has to work with 26, 29 or 700cc tires, not direct drive and I need your help for best value for money. I wish I could get one with the ability to stimulate 20% slope but that's too expensive, so 7-10% would have to do. What are your recommendation and reliability is my decision maker along with the ability to work with zwift or any app that can simulate slopes for GPS routes.

  14. Hi guys! I understand adjustable mag trainers allow you to simulate hills by selecting a hard resistance. That said, how do you simulate hills on a fluid trainer? Wouldn't the progressive resistance just simulate going faster on a flat road?

  15. lol its fukin ridiculous how you guys have no back problems at all 😀 i mean keeping in shape off season still by riding the bike in that crooked position, when you could use completely different exercises/movements to keep in shape or even that lean back/normal sitting pedalling machine in the gym…? kinda buffles me…

  16. Hi, great review.
    BTW I just noticed that trainers are mostly designed to increase difficulty as we pedal faster. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around? I haven't had the chance to use any of these trainers, but I would love to have the one that decreases difficulty as I pedal faster until I max my rpm then shift gear to start another level of difficulty and maxing it again and in doing so gaining me incremental speed gain….

  17. what exactly determines the realistic feel of those trainers?
    for example you said the fluid trainer had a more realistic feel then the magnetic one, however, they look pretty much the same…

  18. Can we have an indoor Tom Last epic climb video please featuring the latest turbo trainers and a Chosen epic climb from the software / videos available? It may be as good as the Jens Voigt vs. GCN race on zwift. #torqueback

  19. I just ordered the Tacx Vortex with the very sexy looking red Elite mat. I just noticed you guys use the same mat, except having it turned upside down at 4:47 when riding a Tacx :D.

  20. Hi, I want to buy a trainer and got confused with the options in the market.
    Can you tell me how good is Kurt Kinetic Rock'n'Roll Trainer ? I have heard that the rock and roll option is good but what about the bound(vertically)? Can it cause any harm to carbon frames?

  21. Hi GCN!Thanks for the videos! This winter I'll buy an entry level Elite trainer. I will also get an extra wheel an tyre because I have an extra cassete. But since I'll be using the same chainrings and chain, won't that add an extra wear to these components?

  22. I'm looking into picking up cycling as a hobby/exercise. My long-term goal is to be able to cycle a certain 21-mile track. I'm rather overweight but I know how to cycle and am mostly doing this to lose weight doing something I enjoy. My partner also wants to start cycling with me this summer just for fun. However, I want to get a trainer so I can cycle indoors when I'm short on time or the weather isn't good. I really don't care about how realistic it is, and see little use for smart meters or power meters given what I'm using it for.

    Can anybody give me advice about what turbo trainer to pick? I think the magnetic one may be enough but I want to be able to hear my TV so I can cycle with the TV on. Has anybody purchased a magnetic one and can share their experiences?

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