You can use a turbo trainer to improve your cardio, maintain your fitness gains and keep in shape. Tempted? Here are our tips on choosing the right one.
There are three criteria when choosing a turbo trainer: the maximum power, pedalling fluidity, and connectivity.
1. The Maximum Power
The maximum power is given in Watts and indicates the maximum braking power. You will need different levels of power depending on your training objectives (simulating hill climbs, sprints, etc.). In order to be able to do as wide a range of training as possible, it's better to get a product with a good maximum power (above 700 Watts).
2. Smooth Pedaling
How fluid the pedalling is depends on the turbo trainer's braking system and the weight of its flywheel.
Turbo trainers with fluid brakes are quieter than electromagnetic versions and are closer to the sensation of a real bike. They also offer the highest pedalling resistance and can therefore simulate very steep hills.
The resistance is adjusted using a mechanical wheel. This simple, durable turbo trainer model also offers great value for money.
The resistance is controlled electronically and wirelessly using a computer on the handlebars or a PC, tablet or smartphone app.
Turbo trainers with electromagnetic brakes are ideal for an interactive experience. The resistance level changes automatically depending on the speed of the wheel. This means you don't have to adjust anything yourself.
To make your training session more fun, there is now a vast range of apps and software available that create interactive experiences such as virtual races or real world videos.
Some turbo trainers have built-in sensors. Others can be fitted with optional external sensors. These sensors measure your exercise (speed, power, pedalling cadence, etc.).
Depending on the technology being used (Bluetooth Smart and/or ANT+), turbo trainers can be connected to your PC, tablet, smart phone, cyclometer or GPS, and some models are hooked up directly to your bike chain.
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