Indoor Trainer Guide

Which indoor trainer should you buy? There’s no easy answer. They’re all a little different. Here’s a brief overview of all the trainers I’ve ridden, stress tested, broken, loved, and hated over many years of training indoors.

If the trainer you’re looking into isn’t listed below, I have not ridden/tested/reviewed it. Will it be added in the future? If I can get a hold of it, yes! Please contact me if you can help me grow this guide.
These reviews and ratings can and will be changed on a regular basis as firmware update releases can have a major impact on the function/features of most of these trainers.

Shane – GPLama


Direct Drive ‘Smart Trainers’

Wahoo Kickr (Gen 1)

Great road feel. A little noisey at high revs. Power reporting accuracy can be variable, however I’ve found regular spindowns keep the numbers inline with my Quarq and PowerTap P1 pedals. I own four Kickrs (original units) and hire them out to people wanting to try before they buy, or who’ve broken bones and need to keep training. The feedback has always been positive. Excellent support from Wahoo for ongoing firmware updates for functionality. The build and looks is a little industrial but provides adjustable feet solid stability.

Pricing: 
USD $1,199 (Sale ~US$1,079)
AUD $1,599 (Sale ~AU$1300)
EUR €999.99 (Sale ~€709.99)
GBP £749.99 (Sale £649.99)

GPLama Rating: 7.5/10

Rating Comment: The original game-changer for indoor cyclists. ANT+, Bluetooth Smart, interactivity. It’s an old unit now but has stood the test of time. Belts known to wear out after ~10,000km (replaceable). Some reports of gear indexing issues, usually resolved with shims/spacers.

Links:
WAHOO KICKR SETUP FOR BEGINNERS
WAHOO KICKR: Basic Maintenance
Wahoo Kickr – Sticky / Grabbing Freewheel Fix
Wahoo KICKR / KICKR SNAP Thru Axle Adapter Kits – How To


Wahoo Kickr16/Kickr2 / Kickr17

Same road feel/inertia as the original Kickr (see above). A little quieter than the original. The new handle position is a great addition if you’re setting up your training space each session. Power accuracy and resistance responsiveness were excellent with my testing so far. Support and updates have been good (like the original Kickr). Wahoo have been responsive to feedback and with providing updates for this unit to date. Not so much a Kickr v2.0, but a refined release taking it to Kickr v1.5.

The Kickr17 revision released in September 2017 has more clearance for disc brakes and a redesigned axle to allow a range of thru-axle support (adaptors now included!) and pivoting support for the Kickr CLIMB Grade Simulator. Everything else remains the same as the Kickr16/2.

Pricing:
USD $1,199
AUD $1,599
EUR €999.99
GBP £999.99

GPLama Rating: 8/10

Rating Comment: 1/2 a point up on the original for the lower noise, handle, LED lights, and improved rear derailleur clearance.

Links:
Wahoo Kickr16 / Kickr 2: Unboxing, Building, First Ride
Wahoo Kickr16 / Kickr 2: Unboxing, Building, First Ride (Presented by Von, my wife)
Wahoo KICKR & KICKR SNAP Thru Axle Adapter Kits – How To
Wahoo Kickr17 and Kickr CLIMB: Details and First Look


Tacx Neo

Quiet. Really quiet. The #1 pick if you need the least noise for your indoor sessions. The simulated flywheel is noticeably different if you’ve got a keen eye (leg?) for detail. Road feel is pretty nifty, they can do a lot more with it when/if your software supports it. Ice mode is, or could be, a great training tool to smooth out peddling. Power accuracy is excellent. Anyone saying otherwise is usually comparing it to an old Stages that has drifted, or a pair of Vector pedals that haven’t been torqued up correctly. Regular firmware updates from Tacx have seen a number of issues addressed, most recently an update to ERG mode which has been praised in a number of training forums. I still experience ‘Virtual Tyre Slip’ on simulated steep gradients and the occasional smell of fish after 1000W+ sprints. See my blog post below discussing both of these phenomena. Neither show-stoppers. There’s an army of happy Neo owners out there, so it’s a good buy.

I’ve recently encountered a grinding/knocking noise after transporting the unit (in original box). Resolution was a support ticket with TACX who supplied a flywheel extraction tool. Removing and reseating everything resolved the issue.

Pricing:
USD $1599 (Amazon)
AUD $1,700-$2,199
EUR €1259-1399
GBP £1,299

GPLama Rating: 7.0/10
Rating Comment: A good unit, even better with the new firmware…. but that virtual tyre slip still gets me down when it occurs. Unable to level the unit with the feet. Slightly more right side flex on the original Neo I have. Original unit had chain-stay clearance issues with some bikes, this has been resolved in the 2017 model Neo.

Links: 
Tacx Neo Smart T2800 User Review
TACX NEO ROAD FEEL – The Game Changer!
Tacx Neo – Sound Check and LED Light Show



Tacx Flux

A budget focused direct drive trainer with acceptable power accuracy (~5%, but closer to ~3% when warmed up and calibrated/zero’ed) and good resistance responsiveness. This unit is quieter than the Kickr1/2 direct drive trainers due to the vertical belt grooves. The ‘ride feel’ is a little laboured compared to a higher end direct drive trainer, somewhat like what a fluid trainer feels like. I’ve had two early production units fail, my third unit is performing as expected. 10% maximum gradient simulation is a limiter if you’re looking for super hard strength efforts on steep virtual grades. Power reporting responsiveness was adjusted in recent firmware updates and is on par with my PowerTap P1 pedal power meter (excellent!). Tacx have responded well to failed units either direct or via their supply channels. Note: FLUX is not suitable for a long cage rear derailleur.

Wattage Floor – You may need to change from your big ring to your little ring to hit your wattage targets in ERG mode. If your power target is below the wattage at which your trainer can apply resistance, you hit the “resistance floor” (also referred to as the “wattage” or “power” floor) and you won’t feel resistance changes. Slowing the flywheel down by changing to an easier gear is sometimes required on the FLUX when in ERG mode. 20-25km/h flywheel speed is the optimal range for ERG on the FLUX.

Pricing:
USD $899 (Amazon)
AUD $1,099 (Now seen for AU$999)
EUR €799

GPLama Rating: 6/10

Rating Comment: My third FLUX unit has been reliable to date and preforms well in regard to power response. ERG mode needs to be performed at flywheel speed ~20-25km/h to hold you in the correct zones.

Links:
TACX FLUX Smart Trainer: Unboxing. Building. First Ride.
Tacx FLUX: Test Flight Aborted! 
Tacx FLUX Redux: ROUND 2 
Tacx Flux Smart Trainer: Back to the Future (My latest Flux review video. June 2017)
Tacx FLUX – Follow up and Firmware Updates




Elite Drivo

The trainer that looks like a vacuum cleaner. A quiet trainer, just not as quiet as the Neo. Great inertia/road feel like the Kickr. Great power accuracy. As mentioned, it’s not the best looking unit… but you can’t see it when you’re riding, so it doesn’t matter. Resistance changes are strong within Zwift, but can be delayed 2-3 seconds.

Pricing:
USD $780 (Amazon)
*Discounted Due to Drivo II Release*

GPLama Rating: 5.5/10

Rating Comment: The questionable looks of the unit are balanced out by the superior power accuracy. Points deducted as the ANT+ / BLE connectivity is one or the other, not both at the same time. This limits how I can use the unit (control over BLE, collect data over ANT+ not possible). ERG mode can be varied when trying to hold target watts and resistance change response I’ve found to be a little delayed, particularly high wattage to low intervals.

Quick Tip: Calibration Procedure Of The Internal Power Sensor On Drivo-Direto-Kura: Elite Link.

Links:
ELITE DRIVO SMART TRAINER: Unboxing. Building. First Ride.
ELITE DRIVO SMART TRAINER: 90min Ride and Sprint Test.
Elite Direto / Drivo / Kura Thru Axle Conversion – How To



CycleOps Hammer

Built like an army tank, as you’d expect being from #MERICA! Massive flywheel making the ride feel on par with, if not a little nicer than the Kickr and Drivo. Solid unit that is stable while sprinting. It has a humming noise to it at a lower pitch than the Kickr1/2. Steady state power numbers were a few watts lower than my PowerTap pedals in a number if instances. Hoping this is something that they can iron out in firmware if the readings are similar on other units (I only tested a demo unit). A small lag in resistance changes when riding Zwift. Will keep an eye out for future firmware updates to see if they address this too.

Pricing:
USD $1,199 (Amazon)
AUD $1,649
GBP £999.99

GPLama Rating: 7.0/10

Rating Comment: I’ll bump this to an 8 once I’ve got a unit (or there’s a firmware update) that tracks closer to my other power meters. Still a really good unit if you’re using a secondary power meter.

Links:
CycleOps Hammer Smart Trainer: Setup, Ride, First Impressions



Elite Direto

The first of the 2017 generation smart trainers. More of an evolution and refinement of features than anything else. Aimed a undercutting the top end models by a few hundred dollars across most markets, Elite has the jump on the competition. This unit performs very very well in power accuracy testing, has good road feel/inertia, and isn’t all that loud. I’ve spent many weeks riding the pre-production test unit, and the production unit that was shipped last week is just as accurate (and even a little quieter for the internals as they change resistance settings). If Elite can keep up with supply, this has all the earmarkings of being a very popular unit.

Wattage Floor – You may need to change from your big ring to your little ring to hit your wattage targets in ERG mode. If your power target is below the wattage at which your trainer can apply resistance, you hit the “resistance floor” (also referred to as the “wattage” or “power” floor) and you won’t feel resistance changes. Slowing the flywheel down by changing to an easier gear is sometimes required on the Direto when in ERG mode. See the Quick Tips below for the ERG Mode reference chart.

Pricing:
USD $899.99 (Amazon)
EUR €849.99
GBP £749.99
AUD $1,299.99

GPLama Rating: 7.0/10

Rating Comment: Very solid performer and surprisingly good power accuracy.

Quick Tips:
– The Elite Direto wheel circumference for head units is 173mm (Garmin Edge/Wahoo/etc).
– Calibration Procedure Of The Internal Power Sensor On Drivo-Direto-Kura: Elite Link.
– Direto Optimal ERG Mode operation reference chart.

Links:
ELITE DIRETO Smart Trainer: Unboxing. Building. Ride Data. All the details!
Elite DIRETO Smart Trainer: Preview
Elite Direto / Drivo / Kura Thru Axle Conversion – How To



TechnoGym MYCYCLING

The most expensive smart trainer on the market as of early 2018. In almost every aspect this unit feels like a Wahoo Kickr direct drive unit. Albeit with no ANT+ FE-C control! The unit only acts as an interactive smart trainer with the use of Bluetooth Smart. With the current firmware revision, this unit doesn’t live up to the industry expectations of… well… even 2014 (Release date of the Kickr Gen I).

Unit required a good 45 minute workout to calibrate the power numbers to be in-line with the Favero Assioma DUO pedals. Once this was done the power accuracy was within a few watts. Sprint wise the unit tends to spin-out gears before clamping down more resistance. It’s as if you can catch it napping with a quick acceleration. Hopefully something that can be reviewed/revised in later firmware updates.

Thru-axle compatibility out of the box is a nice feature – also an industry requirement in 2018.

With the price tag and the lack of connectivity standards (ANT+ FE-C missing…) I’d have to give this unit a wide berth. It just doesn’t tick the boxes that a trainer of half the price already does.

Pricing:
USD $2150
GBP £1590

GPLama Rating: 4.0/10

Rating Comment: The unit is missing core functionality, ANT+ FE-C control. In fact it simply doesn’t work with Zwift on Windows using ANT+ or bridged Bluetooth…. that’s a show stopper. The unit is twice the price and half the function of other trainers in this market. Let’s hope for a re-think of the firmware soon from TechnoGym.

Links:
TechnoGym MyCycling Smart Trainer: Unboxing, Build, Ride Details



Direct Drive ‘Non-Smart Trainers’

These ratings can’t really be compared one-to-one with smart trainers, they’re different units with a different purpose. The general ratings I’ve given are based on them being non-smart trainers (no built-in tech).

LeMond Revolution 

LOUD. WHAT? YES! REALLY LOUD. Buttery smooth road feel with a excellent inertia and spindown. Noise cancelling headphones are a great addition must for this trainer. Adjustable feet make this the perfect race day companion for almost any surface. Do not touch the PowerPilot unit, it’s a disaster. The WattBox add-on can also be bypassed with a speed sensor hack and the right software. My go-to indoor trainer for TT efforts. Also my go-to trainer to take to race warm-ups, there’s no electronics to get fried by the elements (rain!). Not available for purchase anymore, or if you can find them they’re priced though the roof… AU$800+.  Second hand / preowned marketplace is a good source of these. Original units had 10spd freehubs and required an upgrade kit. The LeMond Revolution v1.1 came with 11spd hubs. See YouTube link below for installing an 11spd cassette on an 10spd freehub.

Pricing:
N/A. 2nd Hand: AU$350-$400

GPLama Rating: 9/10

Rating Comment: The only point deducted is for that damn noise! 🙂 Noise levels aside, people love these trainers for a reason.

Links:
LeMond Revolution Trainer: Speed Sensor Upgrade
LeMond Revolution zPower Data Analysis
LeMond Revolution Indoor Trainer: Resistance Hack
Fitting an 11 Speed Cassette on a 10 Speed Hub (Shimano Hack Tip)




RevBox

An almost immediate flywheel stop once you ease up on the pedals. It may have an application somewhere in the cycling/rehab space. Maybe it’s a good machine for specific strength efforts. It’s just so different to anything I’ve ever ridden it was really a chore to keep the power to the pedals. If you’re after replicating outside riding indoors, this isn’t the trainer to go with.

Pricing:
NZD $1,199

GPLama Rating: 2/10

Rating Comment: Really not my cup of tea. Points given because it’s super light, and it exists. Other dramas with their software and restrictions on using their own Bluetooth Smart sensors.

Links:
RevBox Erg Review
RevBox Erg – Zwift Richmond Sprint




Elite KURA (Technically a non-interactive Smart-Trainer)

Borrowing the physical build from the Drivo, the KURA is the #1 premium direct drive ‘fluid trainer’. The ride feel is very similar to that of a Fluid2 and Road Machine, but without the tyre/roller setup issues that can hamper the experience of those trainers. I found the speed/power resistance curve to be better training than using an interactive trainer in ERG mode, I’ve discussed this in the Unbox, Build, First Ride video below. The power calibration process needs a little refinement which could be ironed out with an app update / firmware / or extended calibration functionality (maybe against a known good power meter?). Pricing:
USD $909 (Amazon)
EUR €850
GBP £649

GPLama Rating: 6.0/10

Rating Comment: As with the Drivo, points deducted as the ANT+ / BLE connectivity is one or the other, not both at the same time. Although as this isn’t a controllable trainer this was only a hassle when trying to calibrate the system over BLE. No on/off switch to reset the wireless protocol selection.

Quick Tip: Calibration Procedure Of The Internal Power Sensor On Drivo-Direto-Kura: Elite Link.

Links:
Elite KURA Indoor Trainer: Unboxing. Building. First Ride.Elite Direto / Drivo / Kura Thru Axle Conversion – How To




Elite TURNO (Technically a non-interactive Smart-Trainer)

A refresh to the Elite Turbo Muin now in the form-factor of the Drivo/Kura. Very similar ride feel to the Kura (see above). The Turno uses the Misuro B+ module to calculate power from flywheel speed. The power reporting response is surprisingly good, however the power accuracy wasn’t within ranges that I hoped to see. I was able to perform a calibration using belt tension adjustment to bring the unit into line with power numbers I was happy with. Elite will add a calibration process for this trainer in the near future…  stay tuned for that. All up a rock solid unit for sprint efforts that isn’t too loud. Unit has been seen with good discounts from time to time. Pricing:
USD $699
EUR €649
GPB £524

GPLama Rating: 5.0/10

Rating Comment: Will get a bump up once the calibration process is streamlined within the MyETraning app (or similar) by Elite.

Links:
ELITE Turno Smart Fluid Trainer: Unboxing, Build, Ride Details Elite Direto / Drivo / Kura Thru Axle Conversion – How To



Wheel-on Smart Trainers

Wahoo Kickr SNAP (Gen 1)

Released in 2015 this wheel-on smart trainer from Wahoo has been a popular buy. Now selling for well under the $1000 mark the SNAP has seen good follow up support in terms of firmware updates from Wahoo. I’ve finally got my hands on one and cover it from unboxing, building, riding, and data analysis. See the video link below for my YouTube video on the SNAP.

Pricing:
USD $599
AUD $749
EUR £499.99

GPLama Rating: 7.0/10

Rating Comment: Rock solid unit. Good power numbers with my initial testing. Requires a spindown each ride if you’re going to be using the power numbers from the SNAP itself.

Links:
Wahoo Kickr SNAP Smart Trainer: Unboxing. Building. First Ride.
Wahoo KICKR & KICKR SNAP Thru Axle Adapter Kits – How To



TACX Vortex Smart

Introduced in 2014, the Vortex was the first interactive smart trainer from TACX. The 1.6kg flywheel provides a mid-range inertia/road feel. Resistance changes in ERG mode were surprisingly snappy. Power accuracy is quoted within 10%. Lama Lab Tests showed the accuracy was well within this specification. Topping out at 950W in sprints and a sustained 750W for ~60 seconds, this might not suit some advanced powerhouses, but it’s worthy of consideration for those looking for their first ‘interactive’ smart trainer for riding Zwift hills/terrain and/or ERG mode training using the software of their choosing.

Pricing:
USD $549 (Amazon US)
AUD $549
EUR £375

GPLama Rating: 6.5/10

Rating Comment: This unit sits just below the Kickr SNAP, a little above the CycleOps Magnus and the QUBO DSB+. Watch for tyre wear.

Links:
TACX Vortex Smart Trainer – Unboxing, Building, Ride Review



TACX Flow Smart

Taking the crown of the ‘cheapest smart trainer’ today is the Tacx Flow. This unit is very similar to it’s bigger brother, the Vortex with a 1.6kg flywheel that provides a mid-range inertia/road feel. ERG mode intervals needed a higher wheel speed to reach 300W-450W ranges, so there’s a learning curve of how to ride ERG interval on the Flow. Power accuracy is quoted within 10%. Lama Lab Tests showed the accuracy was well within this specification. Similar to the Vortex this might not suit some advanced powerhouses, but it’s worthy of consideration for those looking for their first ‘interactive’ smart trainer for riding Zwift hills/terrain and/or ERG mode training using the software of their choosing.

Pricing:
USD $449 (Amazon US)
GBP £220
EUR €264

GPLama Rating: 5.5/10

Rating Comment: The Vortex’s little brother. If your budget can stretch a little further go the Vortex. Still a good unit to dip your toe into the water for interactive ‘hills’ on platforms such as Zwift.

Links:
TACX Flow Smart Trainer – Unboxing, Building, Ride Review



Wahoo Kickr SNAP17 (The New Kickr Snap for 2017)

Refinements from the original model from 2015 are -+3% power accuracy, more comprehensive support for third party power meters, and repositioned LED lights. There’s also a change to the roller to a more textured surface. Other than that the SNAP17 is identical to the original unit as described above. Pivoting wheel clamp/connections means this unit is compatible with the Kickr CLIMB Grade Simulator.

Pricing:
USD $599
AUD $749
GBP £499.99

GPLama Rating: 7.0/10

Rating Comment: Same rating as the SNAP. The refinements for 2017 are nice, though not anything to get too excited about. If you’re on an original SNAP unit you’re not missing much.

Links:
First Look: New Wahoo Kickr SNAP Smart Trainer (SNAP17)
Wahoo KICKR & KICKR SNAP Thru Axle Adapter Kits – How To


 CycleOps Magnus

Released in 2016 this wheel-on smart trainer from CycleOps is similar looking to their Fluid2 standard trainer unit. The lightweight flywheel means the ‘just riding along’ feeling is a little laboured, much like a fluid trainer. Switching to ERG mode with a lot of momentum in the rear wheel gives a better feel to the unit. The resistance unit packs a huge punch. Power accuracy shown to be within the advertised 5% range. Pairing this with an on-bike power meter would be advisable if you need more accuracy. Lots more information in my YouTube video link of the Magnus below.

Pricing:
USD $599 (Amazon)
AUD $749
GBP £520

GPLama Rating: 5.5/10

Rating Comment:

Links:
CycleOps Magnus Smart Trainer: Unboxing, Building, First Ride


 Elite QUBO Digital Smart B+

Previously the cheapest smart trainer around. This unit surprised me so much that I’ve made a few videos about it. Good road feel inertia for a wheel-on trainer with a small roller. Power accuracy can be questionable, as is the case with any power estimator (vs a real power meter) that has to take into account tyre pressure and the like. This unit can be calibrated against a power meter with the Elite MyETraining app. A good first smart trainer buy if you’re not too sure on spending more than $1000 on the high end units. Like all wheel-on trainers, rear tyre wear will occur. Look at getting yourself a trainer specific tyre if you’re cranking out more than a few hours a week on one of these puppies.

Pricing:
USD $349 (Amazon US)
AUD $649
GBP £270

GPLama Rating: 5.5/10

Rating Comment: A budget option for automatic resistance changing with software like Zwift. The inevitable tyre wear is a hidden cost (as with all tyre-on trainers). Requires a power meter to calibrate against if you want the best power accuracy.

Links:
Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+ Smart Trainer Review
Elite Qubo Smart Digital B+ Sprint Video
CHEAPEST SMART TRAINER BUNCH RIDE




Elite Rampa 

The Elite equivalent to the Wahoo Kickr SNAP. A good step up from the QUBO DSB+ unit with a rock solid frame. Sprints well, pretty good inertia for a wheel-on trainer. As with all these types of trainers, power accuracy depends on a number of factors. Once everything is lined up I found it well within ranges of what I’d expect.

Pricing:
USD $649 (Amazon)
AUD $849
EUR €457
GBP £449.99

GPLama Rating: 6.0/10

Rating Comment: Again an Elite product with points deducted as the ANT+ / BLE connectivity is one or the other, not both at the same time. This limits how I can use the unit (control over BLE, collect data over ANT+ not possible). Requires a power meter to calibrate against if you want the best power accuracy.

Links:
ELITE RAMPA SMART TRAINER: Unboxing. Building. First Ride.
ELITE RAMPA SMART TRAINER: Sprint Testing
ELITE RAMPA SMART TRAINER: Power Accuracy and Calibration

Wheel-on ‘Non-Smart Trainers’

CycleOps Fluid2

I’ve busted two of these over the years with leaking seals. These were replaced under warranty and I’ve been unable to break the third. zPower (virtual power reporting based on speed/power curve) can be close to accurate if you’ve got everything right such as tyre pressure and tension on the tyre correct. Resistance and virtual power will change as the unit heats up over the first 10-20 minutes of use. Current RRP of AU$459 is a little high. You can source an Elite QUBO smart trainer for this kind of coin.

Pricing:
USD $299 (Amazon)
AUD $459

GPLama Rating: 5/10

Rating Comment: Possible ok buy at AU$150 second hand, maybe. Save your pennies for a smart trainer.

Links:
ZWIFT ON A BUDGET
Zwift on a Budget – zPower Fury Road!




Kinetic Road Machine

A popular classic. Current RRP of AU$699… step away from the Road Machine. When comparing these to low end smart trainers and other wheel-on smart trainers such as the Rampa and SNAP, the Road Machine is way too expensive. The ride feel on the Road Machine is ok-ish. It provided me enough resistance and training stimulus for a few years prior to the LeMond Revolution coming along. Virtual power estimates from the Road Machine are again in the ‘ok’ ball-park assuming all the ducks are lined up with tyre pressure and roller tension.

Pricing:
USD $327 (Amazon)
AUD $699

GPLama Rating: 5.5/10

Rating Comment: It’s a good workhorse that will outlast you. That’s about it. Picking one up cheap second hand might be an option for low milage indoor riders.



Feedback Sports Omnium Portable

A relatively unique trainer that’s not quite rollers, not quite a standard trainer, but still manages to pack a punch when it comes to providing 700W+ of resistance. I’ve finally put unit though the Lama Lab Test and it passed with flying colours. I was unable to ‘fall off’ the rear rollers as the bike is held straight by the mount/design, which was one question I always had about this unit. The claimed 600W of resistance is conservative and I’ve managed to level it out at 700W+! 6.8Kgs. Super portable. A really neat unit for the purpose of race day warm ups and/or a very space efficient indoor trainer. Super popular at CX races and being seen a lot at road and MTB events.

Pricing:
USD $399 (Amazon)
AUD $499
GBP £349

GPLama Rating: 8.5/10

Rating Comment: For the purpose it serves, this is clearly a winner here. At the cost of weight it’d be nice to have heavier rollers for a little more inertia. Maybe a basic ANT+/BLE speed sensor built-in could be a v2 upgrade Feeback could look into. That’d make compatibility with training programs a breeze.

Links:
Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer (Lama Lab Test / Review Video)

What about Rollers?

If you’re looking at rollers and can ride them, you’ve got this covered. I use a set of Minura ActionMag Rollers for recovery days, leg speed work, and the occasional race day warm up. Indoors for me is about maximum power over a set duration (of any length). Rollers don’t allow for these kind of efforts I’m seeking indoors on the road or TT bike. I want a hard workout, with road style inertia, without having to perform a balancing act.

Then what about……

There’s a number of devices hitting the market like the Tacx Magnum above that are pushing boundaries of indoor cycling. I love the innovation, but there’s a few limitations of these units which mean they’re not suitable for all applications (ie. sprinting!).


GPLama Top Picks

Lowest Noise:
1st – Tacx Neo 1/2, Kickr18/CORE, Stac Zero Halcyon
2nd – Elite Drivo/II
3rd – CycleOps Hammer/H2

Most accurate Power:
1st – Tacx Neo / Elite Drivo/II / Elite Direto
2nd – …. TBA
3rd – Kickr1/16/17/18 in Model Mode (correct spindown and verified against P1)

Best Wheel-On:
1st – Wahoo Kickr SNAP17
2nd – Wahoo Kickr SNAP (Original)
3rd – Elite RAMPA

Best Non-Smart Trainer:
1st – LeMond Revolution.
2nd – Elite KURA (Technically ‘smart’ but non-interactive)

Best Budget Smart Trainer(s):

Wheel-on
1st – Elite QUBO Digital Smart B+ / Tacx Vortex
2nd – Tacx Flow Smart

Direct Drive (Wheel off)
1st – Second hand (preowned) Kickr (Gen 1) with latest firmware for model mode power.
2nd – Elite Direto

Best All-Rounder:
1st – Wahoo Kickr (Original version with newest firmware installed. Cheap. Reliable. Responsive)
2nd – Wahoo Kickr2/16/17/18 (As above… but with a few small improvements)
3rd tied (aka the ‘rest’) – Elite Drivo, Tacx Neo, CycleOps Hammer

Best Potable Solution:
1st – Feedback Sports Omnium
2nd – Tacx Neo 1/2 (It doesn’t need power, and it folds up pretty nicely)

Disclaimer: Why and what you choose to buy is entirely up to you. I’m just sharing my somewhat extensive experience with indoor trainers, with my background in technology, and a passion of combining the two.