Just when you think you have found THE best turbo trainer, something new with unique and exciting functionality will hit the market, throwing the proverbial spanner in the works. This is what I love about the bike trainer market, it is constantly evolving and developing which is all the better for us. The rider experience is becoming so fine-tuned and stimulating that it has taken the boredom out of training sessions. Loving that!
2012 has been a year of developments and launches so I thought it would be fun to pick my three personal favourites in terms of entry-level trainer, digital trainer and rollers. Here goes for the best turbo trainers 2012….
My favourite entry-level trainer: The Tacx Blue Motion Turbo Trainer
The Tacx Blue Motion Turbo Trainer is the highest spec of the three trainers in the Blue Trainer range. With 950 watts and 10 levels of resistance, I found that this trainer performed well and coped with everything that I threw at it. Determined to pinpoint its weak spots, I did aggressive hill-climbs, crazy sprinting sessions and some more hill climbs just for good measure, but this trainer gently purred along as if nothing had ever happened. Now that’s what I call quality build. Of course the Satori braking system has everything to do with the power of this trainer but good on Tacx for thinking this through. The Blue Motion has a strong build with thick legs for extra support. You can’t help but like this trainer and its pocket-friendly price make it accessible to everyone!
Read my comprehensive review of the Tacx Blue Motion Turbo Trainer here.
My favourite digital trainer: The Bkool Turbo Trainer
This is an interesting albeit unexpected development from Spanish company, Bkool. The best way to describe this trainer is that it is trainer meets online social networking. Bkool have designed this trainer to maximize the full potential of the web and I have to say they have done a pretty good job. Of course, accessing all of their online features comes at a price, with the top subscription category being EUR10 a month. Some would argue that having a subscription fee is cheeky but I would disagree as that money is poured back into the online platform in the form of new video sessions, fitness tests and performance measurements. I really like this trainer because you can join and start cycling clubs and leagues, race against riders in real time and ride any of their many video sessions. The free Bkool app is also brilliant as you can use it to record your performance stats when you are on the road and then use that data to track your performance and create personal courses.
The best part is that you can get all of this for not too much money. What Bkool have done is made digital accessible to everyone as opposed to just a select few.
Read my comprehensive review of the Bkool Turbo Trainer here.
My favourite rollers: The Elite Arion Digital Rollers
The Elite Arion Digital Rollers are worth getting excited about as Elite have very cleverly and very successfully united high-quality rollers with a roller specific cycle-computer. As one would expect from Elite, the rollers are very high-spec and come with a built-in step for easy access as well as a parabolic shape to help keep you in the centre of the roller. The cycle-computer is wireless and connects with the resistance unit via ANT. There are 16 levels of resistance of 10 pre-programmed training sessions so in effect, there is something for everyone. In addition to this, the computer measures speed, distance, heart rate, cadence, time and wattage.
The rollers and computer work seamlessly giving you the best riding experience possible. I am a huge fan of rollers in general and I think Elite have got it bang on with the Elite Arion Digital Rollers. This is why I’ve included them in my Best Turbo Trainers 2012 list.
Read my comprehensive review of the Elite Arion Digital Rollers here.
Are these the best turbo trainers 2012 has to offer?
What do you think of my best turbo trainers 2012 list? Get involved in the comments below and let me know if you agree or disagree.