Best turbo trainer 2013 guide

There is a new 2014 Best Turbo Trainer Guide here!


So it’s 2013, you have a bike but the weather is pretty awful outside. As you look out your window into the pitch black and see the trees being battered by gale force winds and you think to yourself ’there is no chance I’m going out in that’. Well fear not…

We have brought together a brand new list of turbo trainers for 2013, which we consider to be the best currently available for those with varying budgets and experience levels. While it is difficult to limit this list, we have chosen two turbo trainers for each of the following categoies: Best budget, best mid-range, and best high-end.

Best budget turbo trainer 2013

CycleOps Classic Mag turbo trainer RRP £149.99

Cycleops classic magnetic turbo trainer

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This is a great budget turbo trainer that simply does what it says on the tin. For those new to bike trainers the CycleOps Classic Mag is an ideal entry-level turbo, with five resistance settings that you can set prior to starting your workout, and of course you can use your bikes own gears to beef up the resistance as you ride. Most riders will be happy working with the two lowest settings and with this turbo there are no problems maintaining a good cadence.

Minoura B60-R turbo trainer RRP £149.99

Minoura B60-R turbo trainer

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The Minoura B60-R is a great entry-level turbo trainer with a smooth remote resistance unit. It is quiet and offers enough torque resistance that most people should be more than happy with this lower price trainer. The B60-R is easy to set up, and you just need to attach the resistance unit to the frame, which is as simple as fixing two Allen Bolts that are supplied. The U-bend frame has fold-out legs that create a very stable and robust system that you can thrash around while you work out. In conclusion the Minoura B60-R is impressively smooth and has very low noise levels for an entry level unit. There is also a big resistance lever so you can really push yourself even after you have maxed out your own bikes gears.

Best mid-range turbo trainer 2013

Tacx Booster turbo trainer RRP £289.99

Tacx Booster turbo trainer

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If you think you have good leg power and want to really test yourself, then the Tacx Booster is for you. The Tacx Booster is specifically designed for pro level riders and assumes you carry some meat behind your peddles, as it packs a massive amount of resistance across its ten remote lever range settings. It comes fully assembled with its own reinforced carry bag, plus as a great added bonus you get a free Skyliner front wheel riser block. This is a really stable turbo trainer with wide splayed legs. There is a locking latch that allows you to easily attach your bike, and the breaking engine at the rear is enclosed so that when you thrash out an extra heavy session you won’t set fire (only joking of course) to anything or burn your fingers when it gets very hot.

Elite Qubo Wireless Digital turbo trainer RRP £399.99

Elite Qubo Digital turbo trainer

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The Elite Qubo Digital Trainer requires mains power, meaning it is designed for indoors. Saying this it is very simple to set-up, and comes with convenient accessories that you would expect from a higher priced turbo trainer. For example, a wireless bar-mounted computer and the option to download apps for you Apple devices (i.e. iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad), which provide you with courses to ride using Google maps. This is a good quality unit that has a smooth ride and doesn’t slip when sprinting. Being controlled via a master computer opens many possibilities that the budget cycle trainer does not offer, such as pre-programmed interval sessions, assigned resistance levels, as well as of course allowing you to just adjust your resistance as you train.

Best high-end turbo trainer 2013

Tacx i-Flow multiplayer turbo trainer RRP £649.99

Tacx i-flow turbo trainer

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This is one of the most popular (virtual reality) turbo trainers out there, and the features to price ratio is its biggest selling point. The front wheel folks of your bike fit into the specially designed frame, and this means you can turn the handlebars and steer the virtual rider while competing on one of the many Tacx virtual reality courses. The Tacx i-Flow comes with the Tacx Trainer software 4, Basic as standard, but optional upgrades can be made at any time. It does however include a multiplayer web racing licence so that you can race against others.

The i-Flow uses an electro-magnetic braking system, which unlike more expensive virtual reality turbo trainers, such as the i-Genius turbo trainer (see below), it does not drive the back wheel to simulate downhills. However, you do feel the added resistance that you would feel in real life due to increased wind resistance, the road surface, and on inclines, which for most of us is what we are after in a good turbo workout.

Tacx i-Genius multiplayer virtual reality turbo trainer RRP £1149.99

Tacx i-genius multiplayer

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The Tacx i-Genius multiplayer turbo trainer brings virtual reality to your training sessions, adding another level of realism, motivation, and excitement as you workout. The i-Genius multiplayer trainer is as good as it gets in terms of features and hardware. Out of the box it comes with the Tacx Trainer software 4, Advanced, a Black Track steering frame (ANT+), a handlebar interface (ANT+), wireless communication with the brake system and the handlebar interface, and a computer dongle (ANT+). It also comes with a pretty neat feature that measures balance and cadence and provides you with statistics based on your riding technique, even telling you if you are applying more power with one foot than the other. Now that is neat and if you are really serious about your cycling then these stats are what you love to look at and can help make you a more efficient rider.

The trainer requires a plug socket to power the integrated motor brake unit, which itself has an impressive max power of 1500W. The motor brake automatically adjusts the resistance so that it syncs perfectly with the virtual reality course you are riding on. Believe it or not it even drives the back wheel when on a decent to make it that bit more realistic. As the name suggests, this is a multiplayer turbo trainer, meaning you can compete online against other riders.


So there you have it, our definitive guide to the best turbo trainers for 2013. If you are asking yourself ‘which turbo trainer should I get?”, then you should find some guidance here. There is an overwhelming amount of choice when it comes to choosing a turbo trainer, and everybody will form their own options, but we feel that if you choose one of the turbos discussed here you will be more than happy. So all you need to do is decide which level you are aiming at (i.e. low, mid, or high), and decide how much money you are happy to spend.

Need more help? Visit the Turbo Trainer Homepage and filter all turbo trainers, or check out our new 2014 best turbo trainer guide.