If there’s anything which can be learnt from back in March when the UK first ground to a halt and entered Lockdown, it’s that Turbo trainers sell out fast. If you don’t have your hands on one by now then you may be looking to get an early Christmas present for yourself to boost your fitness over winter.
Turbo trainers are a great way of keeping on top of and improving your fitness on the bike. There are many different apps you can use for this and we have a round up coming on that. For now, let’s focus on the trainers.
King of the Turbo training world and the ones who certainly seem to have got the marketing right with their products in the right place, are Wahoo. With a range of products to boost your indoor performance they have three Smart trainers on offer, the KICKR SNAP (£429.99), KICKR CORE (£699.99) and the KICKR (£999.99) each offering a different range of function.
If you don’t have a bike but still want to ride in doors, Wahoo have the KICKR BIKE option, which for the price of £2,999.99 will give you the feeling of riding a bike, all in your home.
For a penny under three grand, you could buy a cheap bike and the KICKR SNAP and still have the same out come. The bike you ride on the turbo doesn’t matter, it could be a full carbon peloton racer or a steel vintage, all that matters in the power in your legs. What does make the difference in your training will be the turbo.
The KICKR SNAP is a wheel-on trainer, meaning your bikes rear wheel is what is connected to the turbo, turning the flywheel – which is what controls the resistance giving the feel as if you’re riding on the road and makes it perfect if you’re taking your bike on and off frequently.
With the CORE and the KICKR, they are wheel-off turbo’s meaning your chain attaches to the gears on the turbo and a quick release skewer holds it all together. If this sounds flimsy, it’s not, Pusher of Pedals has previously used the KICKR trainer and you can read about it here. The KICKR has had a recent update with AXIS Action Feet to give you the feeling of your bike on the road.
The Wattbike Atom is the closest comparison you will get to the KICKR Bike, using electromagnets resistance changes are smooth and rapid with precise movements through the gears, bringing the feeling of riding outdoors in.
At £1,899 it is significantly less than the comparable Wahoo KICKR Bike, it is compatible with Zwift as well as The Sufferfest, enabling you to train or race indoors with bluetooth connectivity with a maximum resistance of 2,500Watts at 130rpm, you’ll have to be going some to hit that, though.
Th Atom, being a stationary bike, would fit for someone who has the space for the bike, or a specific area in which they were to exercise. Bear in mind the lead times on these bikes are currently 15-17 weeks, you’d have paid off 18% by the time it arrives with Wattbikes finance option.
You can purchase a refurbished Wattbike through the website, but this isn’t something which is always guaranteed as the availability on refurbished bikes differs.
Which to go for?
It all depends on your budget and needs. Is this something which is going to be a permanent fixture in your home and also in your training routine? if so then it’s probably best to go for something like a stationary bike which Wahoo offer in the KICKR Bike or the Wattbike Atom. It then comes down to personal choice, do you want the KICKR Bike which will tilt forwards and backwards as you hit the climbs or the cheaper Wattbike Atom, which wont tilt, function at the KICKR Bike does but you have to wait four months for.
If this is something which you will use over winter but leave in the summer, the KICKR Core or Snap is more for you. If you’ve two bikes, look at the KICKR Core so you don’t have to take the wheel off each time you use it, one bike, then the KICKR Snap might be for you.