Buying Advise “Smart Turbo Trainer”

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Joni_H
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Joined: 4 Sep 2019, 1:38pm

Buying Advise “Smart Turbo Trainer”

Postby Joni_H » 4 Sep 2019, 1:45pm

Hi all,

Just curious on people’s opinions on budget smart turbo trainers, I’m currently looking at a Tacx Vortex, any advice on what’s good and bad would be brilliant please.

Thanks in advance.

Jonni. 8)

mattsccm
Posts: 2664
Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: Buying Advise “Smart Turbo Trainer”

Postby mattsccm » 4 Sep 2019, 5:16pm

Don't want to be rude to the members here but I reckon you might be better asking on a more sporty forum. Not saying that some members are not sporty but there an awful lot of commuters, tourists and people who are not into going fast .

A1anP
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Joined: 28 Jun 2013, 8:51am
Location: Midlothian

Re: Buying Advise “Smart Turbo Trainer”

Postby A1anP » 6 Sep 2019, 7:51am

Hi Jonni,

Welcome to the forum. It is actually more of a broad church than some might think :D

I've not used the Tacx Vortex but have been using a Tacx Satori Smart for a few years and barring a few minor problems, the quality has been good and I'd be happy to replace it with the Vortex. Also look at Elite, who do a budget smart model at about the same price. Things to look for are that it broadcasts power directly and has software controllable resistance. The Satori Smart is actually a dumb trainer by the way, as it has manually controlled resistance, but does broadcast watts.

Avoid the Tacx Blue Matic T2650 Smart from Halfords, as it uses "virtual power" via a speed sensor. Would still work on Zwift, but you'd be a second class citizen and treated with suspicion!

I assume you would be planning to use it with Zwift or a similar interactive cycling app. If you are just planning to get some indoor pedalling in while watching the TV, you'd be just as well with a dumb (non-smart) trainer.

Cheers,
Alan
Going upwards at 45 degrees...

Robzere31
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Joined: 30 Dec 2008, 10:14pm
Location: Redditch

Re: Buying Advise “Smart Turbo Trainer”

Postby Robzere31 » 6 Sep 2019, 11:24am

What budget do you have in mind, & what are you expecting to get out of using the trainer?

If it's just to spin the wheels, then a cheap dumb trainer will do the job, I recently sold my old one for £30
However, if you want a move involed zwift or some other app expereince then I would spend whatever you can afford, I recently purchased a direct drive Elite Direto which was on offer at £549

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TrevA
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Location: Nottingham

Re: Buying Advise “Smart Turbo Trainer”

Postby TrevA » 6 Sep 2019, 2:50pm

You are probably looking at a couple of hundred pounds for a Smart Wheel-on trainer, something like the Vortex or a similar offering from Elite would do the job ok. The Elte Qubo used to be the cheapest smart trainer but I’m not sure that’s still the case.

For a more immersive experience, then a direct drive trainer like the Direto or the Tacx Flux are probably the cheapest but you are looking at £400+ for one of those.

Joni_H
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Joined: 4 Sep 2019, 1:38pm

Re: Buying Advise “Smart Turbo Trainer”

Postby Joni_H » 6 Sep 2019, 3:42pm

Amazing, thank you for the reply folks! Yeah I’m looking to use it for Zwift, just did a 65 miler and got caught in a shower, so is making me thinking that autumn/winter is on its way and the chances of getting out on the bike on a clearer day are going to get slimmer. I really do like the vortex by Tacx. Just a little bit cautious of buying something that is above £200 without doing my research. Any additional advice would be great! Thanks again!

Whippet
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Joined: 7 Dec 2011, 1:22pm
Location: Newbury

Re: Buying Advise “Smart Turbo Trainer”

Postby Whippet » 8 Sep 2019, 4:08pm

Alternatively, you could get a power meter for your bike and use a standard turbo. I picked up a cheap Stages crank on eBay for mine. That way you’d have power on the road as well ( if you like that sort of thing )

hamster
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Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: Buying Advise “Smart Turbo Trainer”

Postby hamster » 11 Sep 2019, 7:48pm

I'd recommneding buying a cheap one first and seeing if you can bear it. Personally I discovered I'd rather ride in the dark and the wet than stare at a garage wall whirring like a hamster. I used mine a few times and then sold it on.

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TrevA
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Location: Nottingham

Re: Buying Advise “Smart Turbo Trainer”

Postby TrevA » 11 Sep 2019, 8:08pm

hamster wrote:I'd recommneding buying a cheap one first and seeing if you can bear it. Personally I discovered I'd rather ride in the dark and the wet than stare at a garage wall whirring like a hamster. I used mine a few times and then sold it on.


Yes, I found that a turbo is a machine that seems to slow time down. You think you’ve been on it half an hour but it’s actually only been 10 minutes. You need something like Zwift to distract you from the absolute boredom of riding along but going nowhere, staring at a wall.