The Smart Trainer Revolution
The term 'smart trainer' refers to indoor resistance units that can interact with software, so programs like the virtual-riding Zwift and the prescribed-interval TrainerRoad control the resistance you feel when pedaling. Most smart trainers work on both ANT+ and Bluetooth. ANT+ is the common wireless protocol for cycling products like heart-rate monitors, and Bluetooth is standard on most newer smartphones, tablets and computers.
Besides interactive resistance control, the other main selling point of a smart trainer is power measurement. Like a power meter, a smart trainer will tell you exactly how hard you are working.
The smart trainer revolution has really been driven by two elements. First, the development and availability of software applications both computer based and cloud based platform options - Zwift™ & Trainer Road™ with many more adding to the options - read about these @ DC Rainmaker. Also check out the options below.
These applications allow the cyclist to communicate and engage on the front end to exploit and leverage the expanding hardware technology on the back-end with the new smart trainer choices. A benefit of this growth is the increased emphasis upon power based training among non-competitive and competitive cyclists alike. On-bike power meter hardware design and technology exploiting greater accuracy, convenience and realism. has helped drive power as Zwift has become a high profile influencer among the general cycling population who were not exploiting early smart trainer software and hardware such as the Racermate Computrainer™ and PerfPro™ or Trainer Road™ and Sufferfest™.
The Smart Trainer Options
- The Latest Smart Trainers 2018 Review @ DC Rainmaker
- Zwift Test Center - Dublin store & Alamo store
- Five reasons smart trainers are the better option.
- At smartbiketrainers.com they break down the best Zwift options
Zwift Official Test Center
Smart Trainers @ Livermore Cyclery
At Livermore Cyclery we carry and use the best options in the smart trainer universe. Our Dublin power lab which provides a training, testing and sales outlet for everything
- Wahoo Kickr - 2017 Gen 3 - $1199.00
KICKR17 has introduced some minor physical changes for mechanical compatibility – notably with their new KICKR-CLIMB unit; disc brake clearance and with thru axle compatibility (12×142, 12×148).
- Wahoo Kickr 2016 Gen 2 - $899.00- (1 left)
KICKR16 needs the thru axle adapter for 12x142 compatibility. It will not fit 12x148 thru axle
- Wahoo Kickr Snap - $599.00
- CycleOps Hammer - $1199.00
- CycleOps Magnus - $599.00
- Tacx Neo - $1599.00
- Tacx Flux - $899.00
Software Options for Smart Trainers
Listed below are some of the more popular and common software apps and prgrams that are currently avaialble for integration with smart trainers. The world of both the trainer (hardware) and the front-end software is growing and it is best to educate yourself about the differences. For example here is a comparison of Zwift and Trainer Road put out by Road.cc
I am a recreational rider. Would I benefit from Using a Smart Trainer & Power?
The benefit of training with power impacts all levels of cycling. As power based performance and the resulting ouput metrics and variables are a large part of using smart trainers, power becomes an unavoidable part of using these tools and equipment. What you do with that data and feedback is the more important question. However, if you are seriously looking at training with power then a power meter on the bike will be the first tool to add, perhaps before a power based smart trainer. The simple reason. Training with power means every time you ride not just when you are on the trainer.