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budget trainers

Old 12-10-12, 08:35 AM
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bonz50
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budget trainers

right after the holidays i'm going to pick up a trainer, i have, for budget reasons, set my upper limit at $200 (lower would be a bit better). this puts most of the fluid trainers out of reach it seems.

any experiences with some reasonable priced trainers that are worthwhile??
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Old 12-10-12, 08:39 AM
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How are you aiming to use it, as in what type of work outs, how long, how often?
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Old 12-10-12, 08:41 AM
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bonz50
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a few times per week so I don't totally lose myself over winter. probably in the ballpark of 3-4hrs per week.
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Old 12-10-12, 08:43 AM
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You'll be able to find a used Kinetic for 200 - don't skimp on a trainer, especially if you plan on getting any real results from it.
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Old 12-10-12, 08:46 AM
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Most will tell you Kurt or Cycleops, but if you are not looking for that much and don't want to spend the coin you can consider used. Personally I use a Blackburn trainer and have no issues, it does what I need it to do. Also, I have heard good things about the Travel Trac fluid trainer from performance. More advanced cyclist or wannabe racers won't go for it but for what you are looking for it should be fine.

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._400006_400037

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._400006_400037
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Old 12-10-12, 08:47 AM
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Have you considered rollers? You can get an inexpensive set for $100-150, that's what I use.
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Old 12-10-12, 08:55 AM
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when it comes to trainers you really get what you pay for. Cheaper units have a less realistic feel, and they seem to gather dust quicker. A good trainer is generally money well spent. If you're going to buy rollers that curve is a bit more forgiving, but if you're going to go with a real wheel fixed trained consider the kurt kinetic even though it's out of your set budget, or at least be sure to test whatever you're going to buy first.
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Old 12-10-12, 08:59 AM
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Rollers are great for improving your pedal stroke and balance but they lack the ability to do high force, low cadence reps because of the lack of resistance. It is also very difficult to do an out of the saddle sprint or climbing effort on rollers. Ideally you'd have both roller and a trainer but if you are a casual cyclist and not a racer I'd say the Performance fluid trainer would be fine. The Cycleops Fluid 2 and Kurt Kinetic Road Machine are best of breed trainers and are easy to find on Ebay in the $250ish range, sometimes cheaper.
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Old 12-10-12, 08:59 AM
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my tacx trainer lasted about 3 weeks 2 winters ago.
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Old 12-10-12, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Ultraslide View Post
Rollers are great for improving your pedal stroke and balance but they lack the ability to do high force, low cadence reps because of the lack of resistance. It is also very difficult to do an out of the saddle sprint or climbing effort on rollers. Ideally you'd have both roller and a trainer but if you are a casual cyclist and not a racer I'd say the Performance fluid trainer would be fine. The Cycleops Fluid 2 and Kurt Kinetic Road Machine are best of breed trainers and are easy to find on Ebay in the $250ish range, sometimes cheaper.
That's really not correct. Many rollers come with resistance units.
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Old 12-10-12, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
That's really not correct. Many rollers come with resistance units.
For $200?
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Old 12-10-12, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Ultraslide View Post
Rollers are great for improving your pedal stroke and balance but they lack the ability to do high force, low cadence reps because of the lack of resistance. It is also very difficult to do an out of the saddle sprint or climbing effort on rollers. Ideally you'd have both roller and a trainer but if you are a casual cyclist and not a racer I'd say the Performance fluid trainer would be fine. The Cycleops Fluid 2 and Kurt Kinetic Road Machine are best of breed trainers and are easy to find on Ebay in the $250ish range, sometimes cheaper.
a riding buddy of mine has a fluid 2 he swears by, looks like i'm gonna have to demo a couple and see.
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Old 12-10-12, 09:05 AM
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dunno, but minoura rollers can't be far off that. I've had a set for twenty years that I still use to warm up at races, and I bet performance and/or nashbar hit that category near that price point.
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Old 12-10-12, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bonz50 View Post
a riding buddy of mine has a fluid 2 he swears by, looks like i'm gonna have to demo a couple and see.
How many different ones does your LBS carry? Will they let you test them?
If you have a performance store close to you I know they do in store demos.
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Old 12-10-12, 09:13 AM
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I would not suggestion you buy this Travel Trac fluid trainer: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._400006_400037

I think it is a horrible piece of crap. Riding the trainer is rarely enjoyable. Riding a horrible trainer like this is even worse.

Stick with CycleOps or Kurt Kinetic if you can.
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Old 12-10-12, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by seymour1910 View Post
How many different ones does your LBS carry? Will they let you test them?
If you have a performance store close to you I know they do in store demos.
got my bike at a local perf bike, but the other lbs's in the area have a variety of brands.
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Old 12-10-12, 10:02 AM
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You can definitely find a used CycleOps for sub 200 and Kinetic for not much more. Check ebay, CL, etc.
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Old 12-10-12, 10:34 AM
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I tried the budget trainer route -- a couple of the higher end budget trainers at Performance -- before getting my Kurt Kinetic. I would use them for one winter, with the resistance progressively getting higher all winter until the trainer was unusable. Thankfully Performance has a great return policy and I was able to just turn it in for a new one, and finally for a full refund when I got tired of the annual return game.

I bought the KK three years ago and it's been great -- trouble free and consistent. If you watch carefully for them on sale, you can get one for around $230. You should definitely be able to get one used for under $200.
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Old 12-10-12, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by svtmike View Post
I bought the KK three years ago and it's been great -- trouble free and consistent. If you watch carefully for them on sale, you can get one for around $230. You should definitely be able to get one used for under $200.

mag or fluid??
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Old 12-10-12, 10:57 AM
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I believe the budget trainers were mag. The KK is always fluid.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by svtmike View Post
I believe the budget trainers were mag. The KK is always fluid.
Uh, no. The KK Road Machine and Rock and Roll are fluid and are the models most people talk about. But KK does also make wind and mag trainers.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:05 AM
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HTFU and ride outside.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by canam73 View Post
Uh, no. The KK Road Machine and Rock and Roll are fluid and are the models most people talk about. But KK does also make wind and mag trainers.
Well what do you know. I've never seen anything but a Road Machine or Rock and Roll in the wild.

I have a Road Machine.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by NRZ View Post
HTFU and ride outside.
If you do it right, the trainer is the true HTFU method. Training (not just riding) outside in the freezing cold and winter conditions is for the birds.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:12 AM
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Craigslist is your friend. I picked up a fluid trainer for $30 that is like new. Don't remember the brand, but it works well for me.
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