Better than life...

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
jawaka
Posts: 538
Joined: 6 Dec 2007, 2:46pm

Better than life...

Postby jawaka » 31 Jul 2017, 9:29pm

...Tacx smart trainer?
I really only ride my bike in order to tour, I'm afraid I've lost any enthusiasm to go out and do the usual old routes, but I do want to get fit for a trip to the Alps. So I bought a Tacx Vortex.

I've only used it to download some of the Tacx films, and the other day when I was doing an Italian climb the rain was hammering down and I began to think that I can do lots of different routes, the routes are a real test of continental climbs, the sun is always shining, great mountain scenery, I'm listening to music or the cricket, no punctures, no potholes, no potty drivers, no headwinds, and there is a question of time too now that circumstances have changed, and a half hour in the garage on a climb must be worth far more than a half hour on unchallenging local roads.

Leastways my wife (who can't ride a bike) has been on a flat ride to Mont St Michel and my daughter has been on a Pyrenean route and is thinking of getting a mountain bike, so that's no bad thing either.

amediasatex
Posts: 817
Joined: 2 Nov 2015, 12:51pm
Location: Sunny Devon! just East of the Moor

Re: Better than life...

Postby amediasatex » 4 Aug 2017, 1:44pm

If it works for you and you enjoy it then that's all that matters! :D

For me, I'd rather go out in the rain and wind than sit on a turbo :D

whoof
Posts: 2519
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Better than life...

Postby whoof » 4 Aug 2017, 1:51pm

I'm glad you are enjoying your new turbo trainer. Mine has been gathering dust since I stopped racing. Even when I did race I only used it for intervals, 15 minutes warm-up, 6-8 intervals and 10 minutes cool down. The thing I liked most about it was climbing off at the end.

User avatar
Si
Moderator
Posts: 15183
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Re: Better than life...

Postby Si » 4 Aug 2017, 2:49pm

I think it is a different ball game if you've one of the posh interactive ones. Sitting on a bog standard one, even with tv or music on, used to do my head in. But when i went to spinning classes they used to be over in a flash. Thus if your turbo is giving you stuff to do, has a vr of the ride going, is simulating hills and head wins, etc i'm sure it'd be much more interesting.

old_windbag
Posts: 1869
Joined: 19 Feb 2015, 3:55pm

Re: Better than life...

Postby old_windbag » 4 Aug 2017, 3:22pm

jawaka wrote: I'm afraid I've lost any enthusiasm to go out and do the usual old routes


I can fully sympathise with that sentiment. Once out my mood can change to positive but I'm finding much higher levels of traffic on routes once quiet, lowering driving standards plus ever deteriorating road surfaces. The latter throws away any benefit or pleasure of an efficient road bike, you return home shaken to pieces. The bikes I have that cope with such surfaces aren't as pleasurable to ride, but do allow exploring off road tracks etc so have benefits in that respect. I think riding with a small group occassionally can make the miles tick by, but not always accessible in someones locality.

The turbo with routes looks like a good way to keep fitness up and perhaps get some of that spark back. I have a basic tacx( power, speed, cadence etc ) and it's fine but having interactive routes would make the experience much nicer. I have looked at another product by Bkool, both have their merits. What I did notice for both was max gradient simulated being in the 7-8% region( quite low to represent some climbs ), the bkool seems to have a gradient increase system to push that higher( I think maybe by altering indicated speed from true speed P=Fv ). The bkool allows interaction with other users so another nice motivating feature to be able to ride with others or even race them.

To ride with full high res video projected on a spherical wall surrounding you( on the trainer inside a pod ) on any road in the world would be really good. Like streetview in surround with all gradients/resistance forces( air and rolling ) fed back to your legs. And theres still cycling in the realworld too of course.

kwackers
Posts: 15446
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Better than life...

Postby kwackers » 4 Aug 2017, 3:40pm

old_windbag wrote:To ride with full high res video projected on a spherical wall surrounding you( on the trainer inside a pod ) on any road in the world would be really good. Like streetview in surround with all gradients/resistance forces( air and rolling ) fed back to your legs. And theres still cycling in the realworld too of course.

You could do it using a VR headset, perhaps one hooked up to your mobile phone (e.g Samsung Gear VR). Far cheaper, tech available now and it'd be 3D. Throw in some other generated cyclists and perhaps a 'ghost' mode where you compete against yourself and it could be good fun.

thirdcrank
Posts: 30808
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Better than life...

Postby thirdcrank » 4 Aug 2017, 3:51pm

jawaka wrote:... no headwinds, ...


How do you avoid sweating cobs? Until I read that bit, I'd have assumed "Vortex" implied a rush of cool air, although I can see that's not the same as a headwind.

old_windbag
Posts: 1869
Joined: 19 Feb 2015, 3:55pm

Re: Better than life...

Postby old_windbag » 4 Aug 2017, 4:20pm

kwackers wrote:You could do it using a VR headset, perhaps


Thats a good point, i've never ever played with a vr headset. I don't game and i think there may be a lot of vr use in that area now. I'd like fully photographically rendered imagery, not asking for much, but for now perhaps the level of 3d game rendering would suffice enough to let you know you're on ventoux. Processing wise it'd have to be at a level to allow fast frame rates for smooth motion as you look around. No problem as graphics processing is getting better year on year.

It opens up the imagination especially when you can turn around to see chris froome catching you on a famous climb. It would make rainy winter days more inspiring on a turbo. You could even use it simply to ride across america without going there and admire the scenery, even cross death valley without a drink. An interesting future, the real thing is the best experience but to have an option like this would be nice.

old_windbag
Posts: 1869
Joined: 19 Feb 2015, 3:55pm

Re: Better than life...

Postby old_windbag » 4 Aug 2017, 4:27pm

Looks as though the bkool offers most of the above described features. The imagery can only get better but its a good start to keep up motivation.

Postboxer
Posts: 1747
Joined: 24 Jul 2013, 5:19pm

Re: Better than life...

Postby Postboxer » 4 Aug 2017, 6:33pm

What makes you think Chris Froome would be catching me? :lol:

thirdcrank
Posts: 30808
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Better than life...

Postby thirdcrank » 4 Aug 2017, 6:41pm

Mention of Chris Froome reminds me of the strength of a good imagination. I've lost count of the number of times I've won a stage by a huge margin - in my head. Why not use an ordinary turbo-trainer and dream of being a top rider warming up or, better still, warming down while holding up the podium ceremony. An additional benefit would be that the illusion wouldn't be shattered by a gruff "Aye, aye" from somebody overtaking much faster. You might still have a shout of "Yer tea's ready" but that's less of a downer. :wink:

old_windbag
Posts: 1869
Joined: 19 Feb 2015, 3:55pm

Re: Better than life...

Postby old_windbag » 4 Aug 2017, 7:55pm

thirdcrank wrote:Mention of Chris Froome reminds me of the strength of a good imagination. I've lost count of the number of times I've won a stage by a huge margin


If I'm doing intervals on my trainer, when on last one I tend to have to think of boardman coming to the end of his hour record with the velodrome crowd counting him down.... it can be torture :( .

I hope that Bkool's 3d simulator software includes cars on the UK routes with the driver shouting "get on the cycle path" as they pass. You can give them a virtual V-sign.

landsurfer
Posts: 5307
Joined: 27 Oct 2012, 9:13pm

Re: Better than life...

Postby landsurfer » 4 Aug 2017, 8:00pm

Turbo Trainers ... bought 2 ... sold 2 ..... Get the ride in bad weather thing ..... but i just ride in bad weather .... Its just weather ...

But enjoy it and have fun .... :)
Be More Mike.
The Road Goes On Forever

old_windbag
Posts: 1869
Joined: 19 Feb 2015, 3:55pm

Re: Better than life...

Postby old_windbag » 4 Aug 2017, 8:21pm

I ride in all weathers through winter etc but the turbo is useful when it's high risk of black ice, gale force winds or just to fit into time available. They're really useful if you want to do outside miles but back up with a training plan of sorts. It's a more controlled environment for intervals, fixed power intervals etc. So they have some good uses. Definitely worth having as a fitness aid.