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Thread: Budget trainer

  1. #1
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    Budget trainer

    Anyone recommend a budget trainer? Something $200 or under I don't compete I just ride for fitness and with the days getting shorter and colder I won't be able to ride as much and would like to keep up my current fitness level for spring
    Last edited by Tradarcher; 2 Weeks Ago at 01:25 PM. Reason: Misspelling

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    I use an Elite Qubo fluid trainer which you can find for $150. The resistance is a bit inconsistent for the first few minutes until it warms up. Since it doesn't have a flywheel there's no feel of momentum like you get actually riding.

    It's mind numbingly boring until I started using Zwift too. Just need a speed sensor and a device to run any training app on.

    Rollers are more entertaining to ride but the cheap ones don't offer much resistance for high wattage intervals.

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    I recommend one with a remote resistance adjustment. You don't want to have to get off the bike to change resistance.

    For me, budget would be $100 or less. That would be tricky to pick out, as would be finding one curbside as I did once, that cost me $0 to fix.

    Pretty much anything with solid reviews in the $150-200 range should do the trick for you. Having used fans (way back in the day we called them wind trainers), mag, and fluid, I prefer fluid by far... fwiw.
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    I have never used one to be honest . What kind of resistance is it? Similar to hill climbing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tradarcher View Post
    Anyone recommend a budget trainer? Something $200 or under I don't compete I just ride for fitness and with the days getting shorter and colder I won't be able to ride as much and would like to keep up my current fitness level for spring
    Here ya go. You really can't beat this. It's a fluid trainer. Provides pretty good and consistent resistance. I can't out spin it.
    Extra 20% off right now making it $112.
    https://www.performancebike.com/shop...0-5839-whi-non




    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    I use an Elite Qubo fluid trainer which you can find for $150.
    It's a nice trainer but I hated it and returned in after one use. There's no mechanism to hold the wheel to the roller, just your body weight. So the resistance varies if you shift weight or stand, and can slip.
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    The Travel Trac fluid trainer that tlg linked is a good budget trainer. I used one years ago and it provided ample resistance to stay in shape.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tradarcher View Post
    I have never used one to be honest . What kind of resistance is it? Similar to hill climbing?
    I would call it more like a headwind for lower settings, and a hill on higher settings. Mostly based on how fast the wheel spins down when you stop pedaling, and the effort to spin it back up to pace.

    It's not actually like either, but that's the best I can do to give you an idea. A locked in place bike + a steady resistance means it feels different from a real ride on any terrain.
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    CycleOps Fluid 2... maybe a little out of your price range new but easy to find used in great condition.

    Once you set it up properly, your bike's gears let you adjust resistance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jetdog9 View Post
    Once you set it up properly, your bike's gears let you adjust resistance.
    All trainers do that, faster wheel speed = more resistance.

    Adjustable resistance for me is worth it, since I do like to use darn near zero resistance @90rpm during early warm up, as well as interval work where I can go from min to max (or vice versa) instantly. Winding up a bigger gear takes more time. Not a real problem for longer intervals, but for super short ones it can be. For example, sometimes I do 20 or 30 seconds, which happens to replicate most of the short efforts on the MTB trail closest to me.

    YMMV, but I found being able to adjust from the bars makes it easier to do what I want.

    Ok, easier to do what I am willing to do. Because like does not enter into the trainer equation.
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    All trainers at Nashbar 20% off thru this weekend.

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    I've had this one for a couple of years. It's only $59!!! I've never been on a premium trainer, but for what i need it for it works fine. I'm not big on indoor riding, but I use it about a dozen times each winter. Note: you don't need to get off it to adjust resistance.

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    If I've got your location correctly, I check craigslist and see some Cyclops fluid trainers, and a Blackburn mag trainer, and a Kurt Kinetic, all for sale. Get the Kurt if you can.

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    I see Cyclops and Kurt Kinetic fluid trainers regularly for $150 and under on Craigs list and our local Facebook cycling stuff for sale page. Both are very good trainers
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Here ya go. You really can't beat this. It's a fluid trainer. Provides pretty good and consistent resistance. I can't out spin it.
    Extra 20% off right now making it $112.
    https://www.performancebike.com/shop...0-5839-whi-non




    It's a nice trainer but I hated it and returned in after one use. There's no mechanism to hold the wheel to the roller, just your body weight. So the resistance varies if you shift weight or stand, and can slip.
    I never had problem with wheel slip unless I tried. Starting a sprint it takes a second for the resistance to turn up but it doesn't feel the same as wheel slip. Either way I wouldn't buy this one again. Something with more reliable resistance and a flywheel to get the feeling of some momentum would be way better.

    I like the look of that travel trac for a budget trainer.

  15. #15
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    I had that trainer in my garage last winter, in below freezing temps, and it made a horrible ratchety clicking noise at low temps. Nashbar said it wasn't meant to be used in cold temperatures like that. So maybe there's that to consider.

    I couldn't figure out why it made that noise. Anyone know?
    Last edited by .je; 2 Days Ago at 06:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tradarcher View Post
    Anyone recommend a budget trainer? Something $200 or under I don't compete I just ride for fitness and with the days getting shorter and colder I won't be able to ride as much and would like to keep up my current fitness level for spring
    Did you make a choice yet? I am looking for a trainer that will increase the difficulty when going up hills. It seems like they will be in the mid 300 range but I am hoping I can find a black friday deal!

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    I found a really good deal on an cycleops fluid 1 so I picked it up to try out and I will get a better one later if need be.

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