dumb or smart

Davon
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Joined: 12 Dec 2020, 11:17am

dumb or smart

Postby Davon » 14 Dec 2020, 10:05pm

Hi
Looking to get a turbo trainer for winter fitness , to work on Swift or Rouvey I have a few questions please.
If a buy a cheaper dumb trainer and put my Garmin speed and cadence sensor on will that be a " smart " trainer . ( pros =cost / cons = ?)
Or should I pay a bit more for smart .
I only have one road bike so did not fancy the hassle of taking off a wheel for direct drive so ideas please for a cheaper wheel on ,smart trainers .

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Syd
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Re: dumb or smart

Postby Syd » 14 Dec 2020, 10:47pm

If you only have one bike and will be swapping between turbo and outdoor use it’s very likely you will wear down your rear tyre quite quickly.

I’d suggest looking at budgeting for a second rear wheel, with dedicated turbo tyre if going for a‘wheel on’ trainer. This then makes a direct drive until equally as easy, if not more. It’ll also be quieter.

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Navrig
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Re: dumb or smart

Postby Navrig » 15 Dec 2020, 4:02am

I ran a smart turbo for a while. Typically "smart" means that the trainer is ERG, that is, the trainer can automatically adjust the resistance on the fly wheel in response to a software app which has been connected to the trainer. This helps simulate hills and hence harder effort which we all know helps with fitness.

Compared to the previous dumb trainer it was a much better experience as the training apps make it more involving and you don't have to rely on your perception of increased effort. As a result I did use it more often, much more often at the start, than the dumb trainer. Ultimately, for me, it is still boring and can give you a sore backside. The training does improve on the road performance if you stick with it.

Eventually I stopped using it and sold it.

I bought at the cheaper end of the smart trainer range - Tracx Vortex which is a wheel on trainer. Putting the bike on and taking it off the trainer is dead easy so was not a problem. I'm told the wheel off trainers provide a more realistic ride but haven't tried one. Again fitting and taking off a wheel with QR is relatively easy so wouldn't put me off.

Syd's suggestion makes sense if you intend to use the trainer a lot. A spare wheel does not have to be fancy/expensive.

If you want an independent review of trainers then try here: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/10/the ... -2020.html

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Syd
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Re: dumb or smart

Postby Syd » 15 Dec 2020, 6:59am

With smart trainers ERG mode and simulation mode are different. Most, if not all, can do both.

In ERG mode you set a power to ride to (this can usually be done using a smart phone, gps head unit of software such a Zwift of Bkool). Simulation mode is exactly that. Software replicates the resistance of the terrain you are, virtually, riding on.

drossall
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Re: dumb or smart

Postby drossall » 15 Dec 2020, 6:22pm

For what it's worth, I've been very happy with a dumb trainer and Zwift. However, it's been much better since I was able to replace the speed sensor with a power meter. The way I look at it, with a smart trainer, Zwift makes pedalling harder "uphill" and I change down to make it easier again, all of which makes my simulated speed lower. With a dumb trainer, Zwift slows my simulated speed down and I imagine that pedalling is harder "uphill"; I then imagine that I have changed down to make it easier again. Net effect either way; the effort stays roughly the same (unless I choose to go harder uphill because I'm chasing someone), but I go slower. Seems pretty similar to me :D

I realise that a smart trainer would be a bit more realistic, but my imagination is a lot cheaper :lol:

Fair point on tyre wear. I'm using an old single-speed that wasn't doing anything, so I've fitted a trainer tyre. Since I'm imagining the gear changes, I only need one gear!

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Audax67
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Re: dumb or smart

Postby Audax67 » 16 Dec 2020, 9:30am

During our first lockdown here (9 weeks) I used my old audax bike on a turbo. It was fine beforehand, but I noticed a month or so back that the headset bearing was clunky - what's usually called brinelled, but a learned panel opined that the effect came from fretting - small repetitive movements imparted by pedalling, with no displacements of the balls. The effect is the same anyway, like mushy click-stops.

If you only have the one bike, I'd advise lifting the front wheel and waggling the bars a bit after every turbo session.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

drossall
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Re: dumb or smart

Postby drossall » 16 Dec 2020, 1:28pm

Mine gets pushed back to the shed each time, so hopefully it's OK, but good warning.

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Syd
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dumb or smart

Postby Syd » 16 Dec 2020, 7:00pm

Audax67 wrote:During our first lockdown here (9 weeks) I used my old audax bike on a turbo. It was fine beforehand, but I noticed a month or so back that the headset bearing was clunky - what's usually called brinelled, but a learned panel opined that the effect came from fretting - small repetitive movements imparted by pedalling, with no displacements of the balls. The effect is the same anyway, like mushy click-stops.

If you only have the one bike, I'd advise lifting the front wheel and waggling the bars a bit after every turbo session.

Or use one of these with Zwift:-

https://www.elite-it.com/en/products/ho ... erzo-smart

drossall
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Re: dumb or smart

Postby drossall » 16 Dec 2020, 10:04pm

If the aim is to protect your headset, then the dumb one is cheaper. You can steer, but it doesn't send a signal to Zwift to direct your avatar.