I am not a confident cyclist, I am not a member of a Cycling Club, most rides I am by myself, and the roads near my town are a death trap. The result of all this negativity is that I don’t normally ride at home. Once a week I take my bike to work, and cycle there instead.
I work from home on Friday and would be able to cycle if not for the scary list mentioned above. I have cycled only about 30-40 times in the past 2 years. This has led me to decide that I need a Turbo Trainer.
A turbo trainer is a mechanical device onto which you place your bike effectively turning it into a posh-exercise bike. The recommended consensus is that Turbo Trainers are incredibly boring. That seems to have changed over past few years with virtual cycling communities such as Zwift where you can ride on a road replica with hills etc and have some visual feedback.
The more upmarket Turbo Trainers can even connect to the software and simulate going up a hill by automatically making it harder to turn the wheel. All this is good stuff, but it’s expensive. As you can see from this DC Rainmaker article (superb site by the way) https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2016/10/annual-winter-2016-2017-bike-smart-trainer-recommendations.html Turbo trainers can easily cost near £1000. This is way over my meagre budget.
So the search was on for a Smart Turbo Trainer supported by Zwift. The below article shows the different trainers supported by Zwift https://support.zwift.com/hc/en-us/articles/203152565-Which-trainers-does-Zwift-support- and then it was a case of going through and seeing what prices I could get.
I can across the Tacx Smart T2240 for £190 in both Halfords and Decathlon. Easily the lowest prices trainer. The reviews of which seem very positive.
So after much deliberation, focusing on where I am going to physically hide the thing from my wife. I have decided to take a punt and see how it goes. Unfortunately it has led to further purchases.
- A bike mat – to catch the sweat (euggghhh) – for the time being will reuse the missus’s yoga mat
- A fan – to cool you down as you don’t have the wind, skipping this one for the time being.
- A speed and cadence sensor – The turbo trainer can not work out cadence which apparently is useful
- An ANT+ dongle – This attaches to the computer and collates the data from the above sensor (and my watch see below)
- Heart rate Monitor – my Forerunner 235 has the option to broadcast the heart rate to ANT+
I’m excited to see if it’s any good!