CycleOps Turbo Trainers
CycleOps manufacture several home fitness products aimed at cyclists, including a large range of turbo trainers (aka bike & cycle trainers). In total they make 8 unique trainers (9 if you include a manual handlebar lever option), and several more kits where they add on additional accessories to help you train at home. Here we will cover all trainers and trainer kits in their range to help you understand their trainer choices so you can make a better decision on which trainer is best for you.
CycleOps offer a Classic Trainer Series that features 5 turbo trainer options, a Pro Trainer Series that features 3 turbo trainer options, and they also offer a direct-drive turbo trainer.
CycleOps Classic Trainer Series
From the Classic Series the Wind and the Mag are the lowest cost, with a RRP of £160, although they can be purchased for around £130 online. The CycleOps Wind turbo trainer uses a vortex blade fan that pushes against the surrounding air to offer resistance to your back wheel. The harder and faster you pedal the more resistance there is. This kind of resistance is termed progressive resistance. There are no settings with the Wind, and to increase resistance you need to pedal harder and also shift up the gears on your bike. The CycleOps Mag on the other hand uses a magnetic brake with 5 resistance levels, and is a very popular low cost turbo trainer. The Mag requires that you set the resistance level manually on the resistance brake before you start working out; however, it also comes as the Mag+ that includes a handlebar mounted resistance lever so you can modify the resistance during your workout. The Mag+ costs around £15 more than the standard Mag.
The next trainer in the CycleOps range is the Magneto trainer, which claims to be the world’s first magnetic trainer with progressive resistance. This is different from standard magnetic brakes in that it behaves move like a fluid or wind turbo trainer, where the resistance is increased by your pedalling speed. Normal magnetic brakes have set resistance levels and are not progressive, i.e. like the Mag and Mag+. Compared to a wind trainer the progressive magnetic brake allows the power curve to better fit the real-life cycling power curve, as well as being a fair amount quieter.
The final trainer in the Classic Series is the Fluid2, which uses a progressive fluid brake. The CycleOps Fluid2 Trainer uses a 2.75lb precision-balanced flywheel and CycleOps’ PowerTuned technology to create the most comparable performance to real road cycling as possible. The resistance of the Fluid2 brake follows a power curve that has been defined through outdoor testing so that the rider gets a road-realistic performance. The RRP for the CycleOps Fluid2 Trainer is £285, but can be purchased for as little as £210. There are options to buy the Fluid2 as a Kit, which include either 2 extra riser blocks, a mat, a sweat guard, and a training DVD, or a PowerTap power meter and a Joule GPS cycling computer. The Training kit that includes the riser blocks and other accessories can be purchased for around £350, while the Power kit will cost you around £400.
CycleOps Pro Trainer Series
The Pro Series use CycleOps’ Pro frame, and although the Classic frames are solid and come with a lifetime warranty, the Pro frames are more substantial and are designed to take more punishment. The JetFluid Pro Trainer is the lowest cost of the Pro Series, with a RRP of £325. Essentially it uses the same high-quality fluid brake technology as the Fluid2 turbo trainer, except it has a built-in cooling air intake that stops the resistance fluid inside the brake from getting too hot. Fluid brakes work by driving a fan/blade through a fluid inside a sealed casing, and the friction/turbulence between the fan/blade and the fluid can cause the fluid to increase in temperature. Large increases in temperature can alter the viscoelastic properties of the fluid (and therefore its resistance properties), so keeping its temperature more consistent throughout your workout means that the resistance properties of the trainer will stick to the desired power curve as is intended. This makes for a more road-like performance. The upgraded frame and cooling brake make the JetFluid Pro about £40-£50 more expensive than the Classic Fluid2. You can also purchase the JetFluid Pro as a kit that comes with 2 front wheel climbing blocks, a training mat, a sweat guard, and a training DVD for as little as £330.
The next in the Pro Series is the CycleOps Supermagneto Pro, which is a direct upgrade to the Classic Magneto. Again, the Supermagneto Pro uses a magnetic brake to produce a progressive resistance, but has the added benefit of offering 4 different resistance curves. You can set an Easy, Road, Interval, or Mountain resistance curve that translates to warm-up, standard, higher than normal, or very tough resistance levels. This makes for a more varied range of workouts and means the Supermagneto Pro is very versatile. Like the JetFluid Pro, the SuperMagneto Pro can be bought as a kit, which includes the 2 front wheel climbing blocks, a training mat, a sweat guard, and a training DVD. The training kit has a RRP of £450 but you can find it for £350-£400 online.
The final Pro Series trainer is the PowerBeam Pro, and is CycleOps’ top-end turbo trainer (and as you’d expect their most expensive). The PowerBeam Pro uses an electro-magnetic brake that means it can be controlled wirelessly via a computer console. Using strain gauges to measure power output, the PowerBeam can precisely vary the resistance of the trainer up to 1000 Watts. With this trainer you can monitor power output, heart rate, cadence, and speed. The PowerBeam can hook up with specialist software to provide extra analysis and workout programs, including CycleOps’ virtual reality software so that you can compete in virtual races across the world. The CycleOps PowerBeam has a RRP of up to £1050, and can be purchased with a Joule GPS unit for around £945.
CycleOps Direct-Drive Trainer
CycleOps also offer a direct-drive trainer known as The Silencer Direct Drive Mag Trainer. There are two main issues with standard turbo trainers, namely increased noise from the bike tyre rotating against the brake cylinder, and increased wear caused to the bike wheel. With direct-drive trainers you remove your back wheel and physically fix the bike to the trainer, reducing both of these issues. As a result the Silencer Direct Drive Mag Turbo Trainer is CycleOps’ quietest trainer, which uses a magnetic brake to create 5 levels of resistance. These resistance levels are controlled via a handlebar mounted level. You can purchase this trainer with or without a Shimano cassette, which impacts its cost. The RRP for the Silencer Direct Drive Mag Trainer with cassette is 600, but you can pick it up for around £540.
CycleOps have a large choice in trainers, with a lot of their range focused around progressive resistance brakes. The Fluid2 is a popular and relatively low cost progressive resistance fluid trainer, while the SuperMagneto Pro offers a lot of versatility with its 4 levels of progressive resistance. The PowerBeam Pro is the only electro-magnetic trainer offered by CycleOps, so if you are looking to connect with virtual reality software or want the extra analysis and workout programs that a computer controlled turbo offers, then the PowerBeam is what you should look towards.