CycleOps have a long and successful history when it comes to home bicycle trainers (AKA turbo trainers or indoor cycle trainers). They have been going for over 15 years and over this time they have developed many quality trainers that has lead them to their current range. After years of customer feedback, research & development, iterations, and technology advances the current crop of CycleOps trainers are of the highest quality and provide an option for all kinds of cyclists. The CycleOps range includes 9 different indoor bike trainers that are discussed below.
CycleOps have a Classic range and a Pro range, with the Pro range associated with their higher-end trainers. The main difference between the two ranges is the frame, with the Pro range having a wider footprint and is therefore more stable, and it also fits the larger 29er wheels whereas the Classic frame does not. There are other differences between trainers that are covered below.
Both the Classic and Pro trainers make it super easy to attach your bike. For example on the CycleOps Classic trainers there is a spring-loaded lever mechanism to lock your wheel into place (see video below), and with the higher-end Classic & Pro trainers there is a special ‘Clutch Knob’ that accurately applies the optimal pressure onto your back wheel (see 2nd video below).
What types of turbo trainers do CycleOps have?
Have you heard of wind, fluid, magnetic, and electromagnetic trainers? Well CycleOps have all of these resistance technologies, and the reason being that each type of trainer has their pros & cons and will be suitable for different types of people who have different goals and circumstances. Also, CycleOps have both traditional trainers where your back tyre spins a roller on the resistance unit as well as direct-drive trainers where you remove your back wheel and power the trainer directly with your chain. All CycleOps trainers can be used with their VirtualTraining software, although the high-end trainers result in a better overall experience.
CycleOps Wind Trainer
Wind cycle trainers are seen as entry-level trainers and with CycleOps their wind trainer is their lowest priced option, with an RRP of £159.99 (although you can pick it up for closer to £140). This price while lower than other trainers is still representative of the quality of the build, materials, and engineering that all CycleOps trainers have.
When objects move through air they generate what is known as a drag force, and it is this area of physics that the CycleOps Wind trainer utilises. Using a vortex blade design to develop specific drag effects the spinning blades generate a progressive resistance curve that means the relationship between speed and resistance is not linear. This is the same type of resistance that you feel when cycling outdoors on the road. To bump up your resistance even more you simply use your bikes normal gears, again just like on the open road. The Vortex blades double as a flywheel, which is essential for recreating a road-like feel when you train because it offers a smooth progressive resistance as you start off and also momentum forces during cycling and also when free-wheeling.
The Wind trainer comes with eccentric levelling feet so your trainer is always stable even on uneven floors and a quick lever clamp for fixing your bike to the trainer. However, one thing you should note is that wind trainers are loud. This is true for any wind trainer and is because the turbulence caused by the spinning blades generates noise, so make sure you are in an environment where noise is not an issue if you choose the CycleOps Wind trainer.
CycleOps Mag Trainer
The CycleOps Mag trainer is hugely popular because of the variable magnetic resistance that allows riders to choose how stiff they want their workout. Magnetic trainers offer a linear resistance that is a little less realistic when compared to the progressive resistance trainers, however this may not be a major issue for you and you still get a representative resistance when you cycle.
Mag trainers work by spinning a metal (steel) disc relative to static magnets (or vice versa). The process of spinning a metal disc within a magnetic field generates what are known as ‘Eddy Currents’ that cause a drag on the spinning disc. This drag is the resistance you feel when you pedal. To vary the resistance levels (i.e. to represent working out on an incline) you simply move the magnet(s) closer to the spinning disc. CycleOps have two Mag trainers, one where you set your resistance level on the resistance unit itself and one where you can control it via a handlebar mounted resistance lever.
The CycleOps Mag trainer is quieter than the Wind trainer and comes with the same levelling feet and quick attachment lever. Being able to adjust your resistance level means you have more control over the type of workout you get. This means you can use the trainer for simple warm-up and warm-down sessions, or you can have an intense calorie burning hill climb session to really get your legs burning.
CycleOps Magneto Trainer
Simply, the CycleOps Magneto trainer provides progressive resistance (i.e. like you get when riding outdoors) but instead of using Wind resistance technology it uses magnetic resistance technology. CycleOps were the first company to do this, and the end result is a quieter and smooth indoor training experience.
The Magneto trainer is a slightly higher-end trainer and thus comes with the innovative ‘Clutch Knob’ system that allows you to precisely tighten your trainer against your back tyre. This system means it is very easy to optimally tension your trainer and avoids the possibility of over tightening the trainer that could result in excessive tyre wear or under tightening that could cause tyre slip and a below-par training experience. This Magnetic also comes with the levelling feet just like the Wind and Mag trainers.
CycleOps Fluid2 Trainer
The CycleOps Fluid2 turbo trainer is the best selling trainer in USA, which tells you all you need to know. The reason for this is a combination of price, performance, and overall quality & reliability. Fluid resistance works by spinning a blade (or series of blades) through a fluid that is enclosed in an leak-free chamber. They work much the same way as wind trainers except they are much quieter and you get a more realistic progressive resistance as you ride.
The Fluid2 comes with a large precision-balanced flywheel for great realism when starting off, during pedalling, and when free-wheeling. The resistance unit is ‘PowerTuned’ which means that the resistance curve that is generated as your speed increases has been carefully created using PowerTap’s technology so that you feel just like you would when riding outdoors. This creates what is known as an infinite power curve because your resistance keeps going up the faster you go.
The huge selling point for fluid trainers are that they are exceptionally quite relative to other resistance types. The Fluid2 trainer uses it’s flywheel as a cooling fan to help keep the fluid resistance unit at an optimal temperature (because when fluids heat up their resistance properties change), and comes with the ‘Clutch Knob’ system that ensures optimal tension between your wheel and the trainer. Like the other trainers covered so far the Fluid2 comes with the eccentric levelling feet and quick lever for attaching your bike.
The Fluid2 trainer is also popular because it often comes with training kits that includes climbing blocks, training mats and a sweat guard, or sometimes with a PowerTap PowerCal and a Joule computer to display cycling data.
CycleOps Jetfluid Pro Trainer
The Jetfluid Pro turbo trainer by CycleOps is pretty much the same as the hugely successful Fluid2 trainer, but there are a few differences. The Jetfluid Pro is part of the Pro series of trainers and comes with the Pro frame that comes pre-assembled and with a single-leg levelling system for quick levelling of the trainer on uneven surfaces. The Jetfluid Pro also has the ‘Clutch Knob’ system that ensures perfect tension between the trainer and your tyre every time.
The major difference between the Jetfluid Pro and the Fluid2 trainer is the patented design that channels 100% of the air intake into the resistance unit that keeps the fluid cool as you cycle. While the Fluid2 does have a cooling fan the Jetfluid Pro uses superior technology to ensure the resistance power curves are optimal no matter how long you use the trainers, meaning you get a road-realistic ride every time.
Like the Fluid2 the Jetfluid Pro can be bought as part of a training kit that includes the riser blocks, mat and sweat guard.
CycleOps Supermagneto Trainer
The Supermagneto is a supercharged Magneto. The Magneto trainer generates a progressive power curve using magnetic resistance, and the Supermagneto adds to this by allowing you to choose different resistance levels, thus providing progressive resistance curves that follow different paths depending on the type of workout you want.
In total the CycleOps Supermagneto offers 4 different training experiences that are named ‘Easy’, ‘Road’, ‘Interval’, and ‘Mountain’. Their names are pretty self explanatory and represent low to high resistance levels for you to cycle on. While the trainers assigns a general resistance curve because it is progressive the harder you train the greater resistance you will feel, making the Supermagneto the ultimate for versatility and will appeal to all kinds of cyclists. Like the Fluid trainers the Supermagneto Pro has PowerTuned resistance curves for a road-like ride.
The Supermagneto is part of the Pro series by CycleOps that means is comes with the pre-assembled fully foldable Pro frame, has a optimal tension ‘Clutch Knob’, and a single leg levelling system.
CycleOps Silencer Direct-Drive Trainer
The CycleOps Silencer is the only direct-drive trainer that CycleOps make, and it works by using your bikes chain to power the resistance unit rather than relying on your bikes tyre. This has 3 advantages, with the main one being that you do not get any tyre wear, which is an issue with traditional style trainers. Also, related to this you get zero tyre noise (because you have removed your wheel). Your bikes wheel is removed and the back folks are directly fixed to the trainer, this means your pedalling energy is transferred directly into the resistance unit is in theory more efficient, meaning you get a more optimal workout.
The Silencer is a magnetic trainer and you can vary the resistance between 5 different levels using a handlebar mounted resistance lever. Also, you have a choice of a trainer that comes with a SHIMANO-road 10-gear 11T-25T or SRAM-road 10-gear 11T-26T cassette, or you can have one with no cassette and use your own. If you want a quiet trainer that won’t wear out your bikes tyres then this could be the one for you.
CycleOps PowerSync Trainer
CycleOps PowerSync Trainer (AKA CycleOps Classic Virtual Trainer) has evolved from the hugely impressive PowerBeam Pro that is discussed next. This is an electromagnetic turbo trainer and falls into the high-end classification of trainers. Being able to use electricity to control your trainer opens up a whole new world because all of a sudden you can use computers, tablets, and even smart phones to control and monitor your workout.
The electromagnetic resistance works in a similar way to the standard magnetic trainers, except instead of having a static magnet that you move closer or further away from a spinning metal disc you have an electromagnet that you can vary the power of by using electric currents.
Wireless communication between a smart device or computer via Bluetooth Smart or ANT+ means you can literally sync the trainer to the CycleOps VirtualTraining software. In simple terms what this means is that when you ride up a hill on the software your resistance automatically and accurately increases so you feel the hill in your legs.
The PowerSync uses a Classic CycleOps frame that has eccentric levelling feet and a ‘Clutch Knob’ system for optimally tensioning the trainer to your back tyre. The Classic frame requires some assembly and does not fit 29er wheels.
CycleOps PowerBeam Pro Trainer
Basically this is the same trainer as the PowerSync above but it comes with the more advanced CycleOps Pro frame that has a wider footprint for added stability, comes fully assembled, and fits 29er tyres. Also, while having the ‘Clutch Knob’ system the Pro frame also has a single-leg levelling mechanism.
The PowerBeam Pro is controlled wirelessly via ANT+ or Smart Bluetooth and is equipped with a PowerTap power meter for accurate power data output. It syncs with the VirtualTraining software by CycleOps that means your training is automatically controlled either by the virtual route you are cycling or by the set parameters of your individual workout.
Check out the video in next section on the VirtualTraining software. If you want to really get the most out of this software with your trainer resistance being synced and automatically varied as you ride the virtual routes then you need an electromagnetic trainer like the PowerBeam Pro. The built in Power meter means your power and speed data will be highly accurate.
The CycleOps VirtualTraining Software
The CycleOps VirtualTraining software takes indoor cycling and makes it fun. You can ride real routes and track your training data using special apps that you can use on your smart phones or tablets (both Apple and Android) as well as on your computer/laptop.
It’s very easy to get started, all you need is your turbo trainer and the App. To get the very best out of this software you will need the PowerSync or PowerBeam Pro turbo trainer that have a built-in power meter and are also controlled wirelessly via the software. This means your speed, power output, and the resistance you feel are all automatically recorded and controlled for you. Check out the trainer compatibility and sensors needed here.
If you have a mid- or entry-level trainer you can still use this fantastic software, but you will need to partner it with at least a cadence sensor. This way virtual speed can be calculated as you ride on virtual routes. Better still you can purchase a PowerTap power meter to get accurate power outputs.
There are thousands of routes and a thriving community and you can even compete live against other riders as routes are streamed to your device online. Visit the official CycleOps website for more information on the VirtualTraining Software.
No matter what type of cyclist you are or what you want to get out of indoor training, CycleOps have something for you. They have spent over 15 years ensuring that their products are perfect for cyclists of all abilities and people who want different types of experiences.
Which turbo trainer is best for you?
Are you someone who wants a quiet ride but wants the realism of outdoor cycling?
– Get either the Magneto, Fluid2 or the JetFluid Pro. If money is not an issue then go for the JetFluid Pro because it is more sturdy and has a more efficient cooling mechanism that ensures a consistent and accurate ride.
Are you someone that wants variable workouts (i.e. easy and tough rides)?
– Get a magnetic turbo trainer such as the Mag, Silencer, or Supermagneto. If noise is a deciding factor then go for the Silencer because it is very quiet, but if you want a more road-like ride then the Supermagneto is a better choice. If money is a major factor look at the Mag.
Are you someone that loves data and wants more fun?
– You need the PowerBeam Pro or the PowerSync. Electromagnetic trainers sync directly to the VirtualTraining software allowing you to ride real routes and feel the inclines in your legs. Get accurate power and speed data live as you train to optimise your training to get the most out of it.
What else do you need?
While the trainer itself takes care of your back wheel your front wheel is left unsupported. This can cause a little instability and also has the potential to mark your floor as you move your handlebars. It is recommended you use a special rise block to place your front wheel into, such as the CycleOps Rise Block.
This riser block not only secures your front wheel but it also lets you raise your wheel to 3 different levels. This means you can get a different training workout each time, with steeper front wheel positions making for a tougher ride. Also, two CycleOps Riser Blocks can be placed on top of each other to really raise you front wheel high just like you are riding up a steep hill.
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