Minoura are a Japanese company specialising in indoor cycle training equipment. They have several turbo trainer models, including a revolutionary Rim Drive trainer. In their 2013/2014 range they have 3 main groups of turbo trainers, namely the Magturbo Series, the V Series, and the LiveRide Series, which all utilise a magnetic resistance brake. The Magturbo and V Series are older models, and the LiveRide is basically a newer version of the V Series. There are also other older models available to buy, but these are not covered in this 2014 buyers guide.
See all of Minoura’s turbo trainers here…
A major selling point for the LiveRide trainers (and also the older V series trainers) are their compatibility with Minoura’s Live Training app. This app allows access to data such as heart rate, speed, cadence, and even power. The embedded video below provides an overview of the Minoura range and summarises what is written below.
The Minoura Turbo Trainer Buyers Guide 2014
The Minoura Magturbo Series
The Magturbo resistance brake is Minoura’s original and the world’s first magnetic brake for turbo trainers. This magnetic brake is the cornerstone of Minoura’s budget entry-level trainers, known as the B60-D and B60-R. These two turbo trainers are identical; apart from the B60-R has a handlebar mounted quick release resistance shifter. The Minoura B60-D requires manual adjustment of the resistance on the brake itself, meaning you cannot alter the resistance as you work out, but the addition of the handlebar shifter on the B60-R means you can. There are 3 different resistance levels with the B60-D, but with the B60-R this increases to 7 due to the finer control with the handlebar resistance shifter. The Minoura B60 trainers are solid entry-level cycle trainers that output 425 Watts of Power at speeds of 40km/h, with the B60-D available for around £105 (RRP 129.99), and the B60-R costing a little more at around £130 (RRP 149.99).
The Minoura V Series
As mentioned at the beginning of this 2014 guide, the V Series can be seen as the predecessor to the LiveRide trainers covered below; however, they are still popular trainers that are supplied by the main cycling retailers so we have discussed them here. The V Series of trainer in Minoura’s range are direct upgrades to the Magturbo trainers, and consists of 3 turbo trainer models. The V Series are more expensive than the entry-level B60 trainers, with RRP’s of £199.99, £269.99, and £369.99 across the range. The Minoura V130M is the cheapest in the V Series of trainers, and uses an Advanced Magturbo brake, which is an upgraded version of the original Magturbo. This brake provides a greater resistance range over its predecessor, and slightly higher power outputs of 433 Watts at 40km/h speeds. The main benefit of this trainer is its compatibility with Minoura’s Live Training software. This software runs via the iOS operating system and therefore Apple’s mobile devices, providing an array of data outputs from power to cadence. Also, with the Live Training app you can download training programs and even upload your own GPS courses and track your position and previous times on maps.
The Minoura V270 is the next trainer in the V Series, and uses the same Advanced Magturbo brake as the V130M but has a more advanced folding frame. However, specifications are on a par with the less expensive V130M. The final trainer in the V Series is the Minoura Magteqs Twin turbo trainer and boasts an impressive 2 neodynamic magnets in its braking unit, and as such offers twice as much resistance over the other models discussed so far. The Magteqs Twin also has a heavier 2.7kg virtual flywheel that creates more realistic inertial forces while you work out. The Magteqs Twin is the top end V Series trainer and has a handlebar mounted resistance shifter that allows 13 different resistance levels to be set as you train, and outputs 584 Watts of power at speeds of 40km/h.
While having RRP’s of £199.99 to £369.99 across the Minoura V Series, you can pick them up for as little as £159.95 to £299.95.
The Minoura LiveRide Series
There are 5 turbo trainers in the Minoura LiveRide Series, and like all of Minoura’s trainers the LiveRide Series use magnetic brakes to provide the resistance to the rear wheel of your bike. LiveRide trainers are the latest offered by Minoura. The main difference between the entry-level B (or Magturbo) Series and the LiveRide Series are more powerful Neodymium magnets, which apply resistance directly to the flywheel. This cuts down on moving parts which in turn cuts down and noise and vibrations. The LiveRide Series of trainers use a flywheel that’s weight is concentrated on the outside of the wheel; this creates a virtual weight far in excess of its actual weight, and provides a smoother pedaling action.
The LiveRide 960 and 760 are for the more serious and professional standard cyclist, while the LR540 and LR340 are aimed more at those wanting extra fitness or the more enthusiast level. The LiveRide Series are all compatible with Minoura’s Live Training app, which offers many features including access to performance metrics such as cadence and power, as well as training programs and GPS input functionality. Watch the video below for more on this app.
Also, with the LiveRide series you are a free 1 hour Sufferfest downloadable cycling workout video, which is a training dvd of a real cycling event that has workout instructions such as resistance level and cadence outputs that correspond to sections of the race.
First there is the LiveRide 240 Mini, which uses Minoura’s Advanced Magturbo brake, just like the V130M and V270, but what makes the LR240 Mini different is that it has a specially developed frame to fit smaller bike wheels. Specifically, the LR240 Mini fits 18” and 20” wheels. Next in the series is the Minoura LiveRide 340, which again utilises the Advanced Magturbo brake. Its basic specifications are on a par with all the Advanced Magturbo brakes fitted to other Minoura trainers, and its RRP of £199.99 aligns with this. The LiveRide 540 trainer follows on from the LR340, but for an extra £50 you are essentially just getting a better frame.
The LiveRide 760 is the next in the Minoura series, and adds a Twin Mag resistance brake which offers increased resistance to your workout. The Twin Mag outputs a peak power output of 584 Watts at 40km/h, and offers 13 different resistance levels (an industry leading level of resistance). The Twin Mag also had a larger 2.7kg virtual flywheel. The final and top-end turbo trainer Minoura offers is the LiveRide 960. It adopts the same Twin Mag resistance brake and offers the same 13 different resistance levels as the LR760; however, the LR960 uses a special lightweight frame that is very stable. This frame is height adjustable to allow for a better riding position.
Watch the video at the top of this guide for additional insights into the LiveRide trainers.
Rim Drive Turbo Trainer
Minoura have one extra turbo trainer in their range, and this trainer is unique. Unlike conventional turbo trainers that offer resistance to your back wheel via your tyre pushing and rotating against a cylinder in the resistance unit, Minoura have developed a Rim Drive trainer. This trainer offers moderate resistance levels, but has benefits over traditional cycle trainers. The RDA2429 Rim Drive trainer comes in two forms, one without a handlebar mounted resistance lever, and one with. A rubber roller that pushes against the rim of the bike rear wheel provides the resistance, which eliminates any back tyre wear issues and also some noise compared to traditional turbo trainers. The rim drive trainer is best suited for mountain bikes, whose tyres are not really suitable for traditional turbo trainers.
Over the Minoura trainer range there are only subtle variations in specification. All conventional trainers utilise the magnetic resistance brake, with a Magturbo, Advanced Magturbo, or Twin Mag resistance brake being used. The V Series are popular trainers, but those looking for the very latest turbo trainers by Minoura should look at the LiveRide Series. The LiveRide Series open up options for extra workout analysis and programs via apps, with other variations limited to frame design. Other brands, such as Tacx and CycleOps offer greater variation across their range, however Minoura are an established brand with solid and well priced magnetic turbo trainers. Minoura also provide the unique Rim Drive turbo trainer.