Buying my first turbo trainer took a fair amount of effort and research. With so many options on the market, it was not an easy decision to make. After a fair amount of browsing and reading online reviews, I settled on the CycleOps Jet Fluid Pro. I was very tempted by, and almost took the plunge with the Wahoo KICKR, but being priced at £836 (Wiggle) vs £237 for the CycleOps Fluid Pro, I decided on the latter. I did need to invest in another rear wheel, cassette and speed sensor for the CycleOps set-up, but it still seemed to be the most cost-effective and practical option based on my present training needs. There are many benefits to owning an indoor trainer, and in this blog post I’ll be providing a mini-review of the CycleOps Jet Fluid Pro, as well as exploring some of my reasons for buying one and my set-up.
WHY BUY A TRAINER?
My motivations to buy a trainer are fairly straight-forward. The three main reasons I decided to invest in a turbo trainer are as follows:
-WEATHER: There are times when getting out for a ride is not practical. I unapologetically confess that I am not the kind of athlete who likes to be out training in the rain (although having been caught out in the rain before, it’s not the worst thing; I just wouldn’t go out in heavy rain to begin with).
-MILEAGE INCREASE: I also want to boost my weekly cycling mileage and getting a quick turbo workout either before or after work is a huge convenience.
-TRAINING: There are many variables whilst out on the road, that prevent one from engaging in specific training such as intervals, sprints, etc. For this reason, a turbo trainer is ideal to do some quality workouts without the distractions of other motorists, wind, etc, found on the wild.
UNBOXING AND FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The CycleOps Jet Fluid Pro features a fluid jet flywheel, which is apparently supposed to provide a superior, quieter and more realistic ride in comparison to magnetic trainers. According to CycleOps, the flywheel in this trainer “creates higher inertia for a ride that’s like being out on the open road”.
What’s included in the box?
-Jet Fluid Pro Trainer
-Quick release skewer
-Bonus materials: VirtualTraining two week free trial and realrides.tv coupon code (things I am probably not going to be using)
The CycleOps Jet Fluid Pro is very well designed and first impressions are positive. I did not need to read the instructions, and set-up was quick and easy. Simply remove the trainer from the box/packaging, raise the legs of the trainer (which snap into place) and place on the floor. You can then alter the height of a single leg (minor adjustments) for floor imbalance, by the simple turn switch as shown in the picture. This entire process from unboxing to setting up took less than 5 minutes.
As I did not wish to wear out my road tyres on the Turbo, I decided to opt for a dedicated rear wheel to use exclusively indoors. Being stationary, the weight of the rear wheel was never going to be much of an issue, and a cheap Shimano RS010 rear wheel sufficed for the purpose. So, onto the actual set-up itself:
-CycleOps Fluid Pro
-Shimano RS010 rear wheel with CycleOps turbo trainer tyre
-CycleOps riser block
-Garmin Edge 1000 (with speed/cadence sensors)
For an indoor set-up, the above definitely meet my requirements. I have enough data to work with, and getting my speed and distance is very important as I am going to be using the trainer to supplement my weekly mileage, as well as train. Using a dedicated wheel is also a key part of the set-up, as I definitely do not wish to wear out my road tyres on the turbo trainer. Having done my research into this, I have been prudent and opted for a separate wheel. The Shimano is a normal clincher wheel, and although my current bike uses disc brakes, it is fully compatible. I installed a Shimano (5800) 11-speed cassette onto it, so changing over should be quick and easy using the quick release skewer provided with the turbo trainer. I also put on a 700c x 23mm CycleOps indoor trainer tyre. I also attached a Garmin speed sensor to track the (approximate?) distance of my indoor rides. I already have a cadence sensor attached to the left arm of the chainset.
Admittedly, changing the wheel over each time is a little bit of a nuisance, but can be done in a few minutes and will save my precious road tyres from premature wear. The CycleOps indoor trainer tyre has held up pretty well, and leaves no residue on the turbo drum, nor does it over heat or emit any burning smells. So a dedicated wheel is definitely the way forward (no pun intended).
I found the overall ride on the Jet Fluid Pro to be smooth and comfortable. In all honesty, pedalling was little more difficult than I had envisioned when compared to a flat road, and the speed generated from the amount of power I was putting in seemed a little slow. This is not much of an issue, as I am hoping that the extra training provided from the turbo will help turn me into a more powerful rider out on the road. Noise was not much of an issue and the ride was fairly quiet, allowing me to watch a movie with no problem. One point I need to clarify is that the rider will themselves need to adjust gears in order to provide varying levels of resistance, just as on the road. But as there are no inclines on the turbo, some imagination and deception is required! Overall, the turbo provided a great workout. This is my first use of a turbo, so I do not have any benchmarks to compare with. I am sure that is must be better than a magnetic trainer (according to reviews) but lacking in comparison to the direct trainers (like the KICKR) that do not use a rear wheel. It is still early days, so I will be updating with how I progress with dedicated training sessions. Stay tuned! 🙂