The clocks go back this weekend, firmly closing the door on the last remnants of summer. Daylight is in ever shorter supply and the mercury is dropping, both of which are perfectly reasonable excuses not to venture outdoors if you don’t have to. That’s where indoor training comes in. There are no excuses not to maintain a level of fitness during winter thanks to an awesome list of brands and manufacturers providing the last turbo tech. Here are just three of the top dogs in indoor training:
Elite is one of the best-known names in the cycling world, manufacturing not just indoor training equipment and accessories, but also putting out thousands upon thousands of water bottles to pros and amateurs alike. The indoor training kit is striking in design and quality, once again with plenty of options for cyclists with different budgets. The Elite Qubo Power Fluid Trainer is one of their best-selling products. Noisy it may be, but at its modest price point, it provides huge value for money. Looking like something pulled out of a Tron movie, Elite’s Arion rollers are of superlative quality and come complete with electronically controlled resistance and wireless compatibility. They are simply some of the most highly-spec’d rollers on the market.
At the top of the range sits the Elite Drivo Direct Drive, Elite’s answer to the Tacx Neo. Just like its competitors, it is the ultimate in smart compatibility, convincing in road simulation and accurate to within 1% at measuring power output. They’ve even produced a pink version to celebrate Tom Dumoulin’s historic Giro win.
Wahoo Fitness are fast becoming one of the more desirable equipment brands. Their first big venture into the cycling world proper was with indoor trainers and it was not long before Team Sky and Canyon//SRAM got involved. The Wahoo Kickr has accompanied Chris Froome and his loyal henchmen around Europe for the past two years to obviously great effect. Fully Zwift-compatible and accommodating varied budgets, Wahoo produces two turbo trainers: the Wahoo Kickr Snap Smart and the flagship Wahoo Kickr. The latter is a much sought-after direct-mount design, so you simply mount your frame to the trainer and off you go. This setup provides a greater realism to your training, simulating gradients of up to 20% and more accurately measuring your power metrics in the process. The Snap Smart is hardly any less complex or feature-stacked, the key difference being that it is of the traditional wheel mount design.
Proud partner to a number of professional teams, Tacx is a brand similar in remit to Elite. The Dutch brand has possibly the most far-reaching range on the market with products starting as affordable as £100. Rollers are a bit of a niche product when it comes to indoor training, more popular for warming up at races and events, but Tacx produce some of the very best. These simple-looking tools are far from easy to get started on, but once you’ve got the hang of it, the concentration and handling skills demanded will make the time pass nice and fast and improve your core stability while you’re at it. As for turbo trainers, there is so much to cover. The most basic turbo looks like any other, only without ‘smart’ capabilities. With each step up in budget, comes a new feature, wireless capability, power feedback, less volume, right up to the flagship Tacx Neo direct drive trainer. It is the ultimate smart trainer, recreating a road feel and applying resistance in order to simulate gradients (climbing and descending) of up to 25%.
You can check out all these trainers at our Smart trainer demo evening on Thursday 2nd November