Last week, Bicycle Habitat Women’s Cycling, in conjunction with CycleOps and Trek Bicycle, hosted a clinic designed to answer the most commonly asked questions about trainers and rollers. Questions like:
What is the difference between trainers and rollers? What makes trainers different from one another? What features are important when shopping for trainers and rollers? What is a smart trainer and how do I use interactive/virtual features like Zwift? How do I learn to ride rollers?
This post will provide a summary of the products on display, and will hopefully provide a starting point for your own research. Feel free to email us with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re new to indoor riding, the options can seem overwhelming at first. It’s an investment in your long term cycling fitness and involves careful consideration. Last week’s event was designed to give women in NYC the ability to try popular trainers, rollers, and virtual features under one roof. The idea was the break it down into simple categories and show first hand the differences between products.
We had two smart trainers, two non-smart (or classic) trainers, and two rollers available for demo. Bicycle Habitat’s CycleOps rep gave a presentation on what makes trainers different from one another, and how to determine what features are right for you based on your budget and goals. We also had female Bicycle Habitat sales staff and ride leaders on hand to answer questions.
Smart (Interactive) vs. Non-Smart (Classic) Trainers
Smart trainers have built-in technology that controls resistance and delivers useful data like power and speed. Non-smart trainers provide a resistance curve, but lack the techy features. Smart trainers have become wildly popular within the last couple of years because of apps like Zwift, TrainerRoad, and CycleOps Virtual Training (CVT). These platforms interact directly with a smart trainer and can automatically change the resistance to simulate climbing, drafting, and other real world conditions. They also provide real-time data along with corresponding on-screen graphics. Smart trainers offer the ability to train seriously while staying entertained.
The following trainers were available to demo during the event, and are currently in-stock at Bicycle Habitat.
CycleOps Hammer Direct Drive Smart Trainer (MSRP $1199)
Bicycle Habitat currently has the only Cycleops Hammer available to demo in New York City, and is hooked up to Cycleops Virtual Training (CVT) in our Soho location. It is one of three popular direct drive trainers on the market (Bicycle Habitat also sells the Wahoo Kickr and Tacx Neo). The Hammer has some unique selling features like: 1) made in the USA, and 2) 148 boost axle spacing for mountain bikes.
CycleOps Magnus Smart Trainer (MSRP $599)
For those who want all the benefits of the smart trainer at a more affordable price point, the CycleOps Mangus is the perfect solution. It attaches to your bike the way most trainers do (via the rear wheel) and provides interactive resistance when using CVT, Zwift, and TrainerRoad. It is similar to the Wahoo Kickr Snap, and the same price.
Non-Smart / Classic Trainers
Cycleops Wind Trainer (MSRP $169)
This is the most affordable trainer option, but it’s not usually a good solution for people who live in close quarters or are noise sensitive. Wind trainers are inexpensive, but very loud. We usually recommend the Fluid 2 listed above as the best trainer entry-level trainer that you’ll actually enjoy riding.
Rollers are for cyclists who are ready to take their bike handling skills to the next level. We had so much fun teaching women to ride them for the first time!
Cycleops Rollers are silent, smooth, and fold flat for easy storage. The model with resistance offers five-levels of adjustable, magnetic resistance. The rollers themselves are 16″ wide, meaning as you ride them you are on a narrow track. This teaches us to ride in a straight line, always be pedaling, and fine tune our pedalstroke– all things that are very important if you ride with other people. Cyclists interested in group riding or racing should strongly consider adding rollers to their winter indoor training.
Thanks to Bicycle Habitat, Cycleops, and Trek Bicycles for their help and support with this event. We are available in the shop 7 days a week, 362 days a year, so stop by anytime or send us an email! We are here as a resource, and to help keep you riding all year long.