Computrainer vs. Powertap, Quarq or SRM
Anyone have real facts supporting the use of a Computrainer vs. using a good fluid trainer with a PT, Quarq or SRM?
What would the Computrainer's old technology provide more (or less)? other than pre-programmed courses adding wind and hills and other stuff you can do by shifting to higher gears on a KK fluid or adding resistance on a trainer.
Seems as if many local coaches here are still pushing the use of CT instead of other devices for winter training.
Why is Computrainer still a benchmark (so it seems) with all those wires and outdated data files?
The benefits I can see are these:
1. Internet connection: You can have "Group" rides with a computrainer with people from all over the world. Just log into the correct location at the right time and now you have competition....which can make workouts a lot harder.
2. Varying conditions: On a trainer alone, you have to adjust your conditions...which is good if you are trying to do a strict interval routine. However, regular road riding the conditions are always changing...so if you are using a trainer, why not try and mimic those conditions? It gives more of a road feel than using a trainer.
3. Pre programmed routines: Having a pre programmed routine in the computrainer you are more likely to follow that program instead of going easier or doing something different with a trainer.
4. You can put in your own rides: This allows you to use baselines to see how you compare at different times of the year and see if you are progressing or regressing. You don't have to worry about outside conditions changing when setting your baseline...Yes, you can do this with a trainer and powermeter, but it's not quite the same.
Basically...if you are very ridged with your training a fluid training is going to work just fine. If you get a little lazy...then a computrainer may be the way to go. Either works, but some are better than others.
The other benefit is real time analysis on the screen instead of looking down at your computer to see where you are at.
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It's the ability to pre-program sessions and have the resisitance controller manage it for you. Also, if you do want to do longer trainer sessions, the ergvideos are perfect for enabling 1.5 to 2.5 hour sessions on the trainer with plenty of variety.
When I was using my erg bike with the super flywheel, I could tolerate 1.5hrs at most, but I have done multiple 2hr sessions on computrainer with ergvideo.
end of day, it's doing the work that matters, and if one tool helps you do more work than another, then that's a good thing
Computrainers have tons of cool features, but a powermeter makes more sense if you do not already have one on your bikes. If you do, and can afford one go for it.
Although if you have never worked with a coach, that might be a good use of the money as well.
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Thanks guys, all makes sense now
The Computrainer courses provide a repeatable course. It is great to guage progress.
Setting up intervals within the Coaching software is easy and provides a great workout. Basically you base your efforts off 30 minute power test (CP30) results. When you set the interval to put you at 110% of your CP30, that is what it makes you do. You cannot cheat, much. Lets say you are slated to do 300 watts. It holds you at 300 watts regardless if you are spinning at 120rpm or mashing at 60rpm. Changing gears only allows a momentary reprieve. It adjusts pretty quickly to get you back to your target.
They have a 20 week Performance Improvement Guarantee of 10%. Unless you are already elite, the 10% is on the low end of what you will see at the end of 10 weeks.