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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

budget trainers

Old 12-10-12, 11:20 AM
  #26  
bonz50
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Originally Posted by NRZ View Post
HTFU and ride outside.
cold weather gear costs more than a trainer by a good bit in my brief research.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:27 AM
  #27  
gsteinb
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Originally Posted by NRZ View Post
HTFU and ride outside.

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Old 12-10-12, 11:31 AM
  #28  
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I bought a CycleOps Fluid2 on CL for $200 a few months back. Been riding it for a month now since the sun is down by the time I get home from work during the week. No problems with it. CL is your best friend for trainers...
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Old 12-10-12, 01:31 PM
  #29  
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im really happy with the performance travel trac trainer i recently got. its magnetic and was a floor model so they knocked off 10%. got the front wheel stand and trainer for 100 bucks. not bad. its sturdy, made in taiwan, and has a good warantee. dunno what else you need? im still going to ride outdoors this winter when its not a total sh#tstorm but its a good interim move for downtime....
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Old 12-10-12, 03:02 PM
  #30  
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If you're only going to ride it once every few weeks - ok, get whatever cheap trainer. You won't be on it much anyway. Most people fall into this category, like it or not. They plan on 2-3x/week, but end up doing it less than 1x/week every few weeks.

If you really do intend to TRAIN regularly on it, don't skimp - get a Kurt Kinetic or the Cycleops Jetfluid pro.

Pros:
- Full roadlike resistance curve
- Can do 'virtualpower' on Trainerroad or with speed charts, so it's like having a poor man's powermeter. AWESOME for training if you train this way with Trainerroad. A lot cheap trainers aren't precise enough to use reliably with trainerroad.
- The cheapest trainers won't have enough resistance. DCRainmaker reviews 'little red' from Performance bike and he says it can't even hit 300 watts before maxxing out. Its still enough for most riders, but if you're a serious rider doing VO2 intervals, you'll regularly exceed that on short intervals.
- Stability and durability is well established on KK or Cycleops.
- Fluid is much quieter and smoother than others.

Training indoors is hard enough, so if you skimp on the trainer, you're making an already tough training session even tougher to motivate for.
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Old 12-10-12, 04:38 PM
  #31  
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I recently bought another Kurt Kinetic Road Machine On Ebay for $270 with shipping (for my wife). If I couldn't afford a KK Road machine, I would not waste money on a cheaper trainer. I learned that lesson the hard way when I bought a cheaper mag trainer once and sold it a week later. My KK Road Machine is now 7 years old and still works like new - probably with at least 5000 trainer miles on it. These things rock.
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Old 12-10-12, 06:10 PM
  #32  
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Another great reason to not go cheap:

Even if you HATE the KK or Cycleops Fluid2 for whatever reason, you can always resell it locally for a very good price, even if it's well used. You'll probably recapture at least 65% of the original value, more if it's less than 2 years old or in very good condition. You rarely see these things going for <$150 since they get snapped up quick.
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Old 12-11-12, 12:58 AM
  #33  
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Starting my third winter on a $150 Graber. It's been pretty mild out, so I've only needed it twice so far.

It's a plain old mag trainer. It does the trick for me. I'm not looking for miracles--just to maintain fitness at maybe 90%. I also have lesser expectations than a lot of people.
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Old 12-11-12, 01:06 AM
  #34  
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I just bought a new Kinetic fluid 2 trainer for $270 shipped on ebay and the Cyclops ones are about the same price on amazon . I figured if I hate using the trainer I can sell it on Craigslist for $200 pretty quickly, and if I buy the crappy $120 trainers it's probably nearly worthless if I don't like it and it's going to end up taking up space or being thrown out if I don't use it. That's my justification for buying the good one anyway.
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Old 12-11-12, 02:02 AM
  #35  
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After checking out different trainers on the advice of people on this forum, I went for the basic Performance Travel Trac fluid trainer; $169 plus tax, and since I live reasonably close to a Performance shop, I picked it up. I ride it every other day.

My wrist is recuperating from an operation five weeks ago, and I've got a least a month to go before I can put both hands on the bars without a cast, so I'm enjoying my time on the trainer; living in Southern California, I rid it outside.

I don't worry about progressive resistance. I simply warm up in a low gear, shift the gears up when I want to work hard, and the faster I pedal, the higher my heart rate climbs.

At the end of an hour - during which I listen to music on my iPad and sometimes read a book - I get a great workout. I also aim a good fan at my torso and head.

As DCRainmaker noted about even the more basic, mag version of the Travel Trac, for "the vast majority of basic use cases, it works quite well."

So, OP, if you're looking for a fluid trainer and you want to spend less than $200, check into the Travel Trac.
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Old 12-11-12, 05:32 AM
  #36  
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I got a used one from my neighbor for $20. Works just fine.
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