Social distancing causes cyclists or triathlon athletes to find a method of training using an indoor bicycle, with two popular lines.
The turbo trainer (or roller in Vietnam) is becoming a trend in the cycling and triathlon world. Before the 2010s, only professional racing teams could afford to use these devices due to their high cost. But now, turbo trainers have become common and popular devices. In addition to the social distancing due to Covid-19, home cycling machines have become even more familiar.
In the article below, coach Pham Minh Quang, who is also the Director of BoiDapChay Club (Swim, Run, Run), who has experience in using many types of turbo trainers for the past six years, will introduce an overview of turbo trainers with prices. , advantages and disadvantages. BoiDapChay Club’s triathlon athletes almost 100% use turbo trainer for daily training
In general, on the market today, there are two main types of turbo trainers, including: Magnetic trainer and Smart trainer
Called a magnetic trainer because the mechanism of this type of trainer uses magnets to create resistance when pedaling. The magnets with different poles are arranged in the roller side shaft as shown below. When pedaling, that shaft will rotate, and inside the magnets will cause resistance to pedal more force.
This type of turbo trainer is easy to identify because it usually comes with a long rope, one end is attached to a magnet blocking the wheel, one end is a knob to adjust the weight when pedaling.
Typically, a machine of this type has five levels of weight (level 1 is the lightest, simulating a flat road; level 5 is very heavy pedal).
– Cheap price, about 1.5 to 2 million VND.
– Light weight, easy to move
– High noise, annoying.
– Difficult to install: due to the design of the bicycle wheel to create resistance, you need to align to block the wheel just enough – not too light (slipped on the pedal) but not too heavy (won’t pedal). This is a very annoying detail if you are using the device for the first time.
– Difficult to use: the weight levels are not equal. Level 1 can be very light, but level 2 is quite heavy, level 3 may not be able to pedal after 10 seconds and level 4-5…haven’t dared to try.
This type of turbo trainer is not really useful. The noise is so loud and difficult to use that buying a turbo trainer is almost a waste of money, but not using it.
Called smart trainer (smart exercise machine) because this type of bike can be synchronized with a phone or laptop via bluetooth or ANT + port. Users can customize the weight of the device through the manufacturer’s app, so the smart trainer is much more accurate than the above-mentioned magnet trainer.
Smart trainer is also the only device that integrates pedal force parameters (watts) when pedaling on the machine without the need to buy a separate dynamometer. Thanks to this parameter, users can know exactly what intensity they are pedaling at.
In addition, the number one advantage of smart trainers is the ability to sync with apps like Zwift or Rouvy by bluetooth. These apps allow you to simulate the exact same cycling route as the real thing. That means when using the app, if the track on the app goes uphill, the smart trainer will automatically increase the weight accordingly, creating the same feeling as pedaling on the street. Therefore, smart trainer devices are very popular, especially during the period of social distancing where people have to stay at home.
– The quietest of all trainers
– Realistic cycling best simulation
– Ability to synchronize with the app and automatically change the resistance
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