Back in November when it got colder, I started riding my bike on an ancient trainer. This was awesome because 1) the trainer was free and 2) did I mention the trainer was free? But there was a downside: NOISE. That trainer was freaking loud. For the 30 minutes I rode, conversations were shouted, tv volume had to be blasted, it was annoying. Plus the tension adjuster thingy was broken, which wasn’t such a big deal because you can just change gears, but…it wasn’t ideal. Except for the free part.
Enter Santa! Because under the tree I found a shiny green Kurt Kinetic Road Machine 2.0. WOOT.
This trainer is QUIET. People on the other side of the yurt (that’s ten to twenty feet away, on the other side of a standing bookshelf) don’t even know if I’m riding or not. As in, it’s so quite, they can’t even tell that I’m riding, that I’m, in fact, blasting it over here, dripping sweat on my foam letters, unless, maybe I moan or something. The trainer makes a little hiss and, being a fluid trainer, an occasional bubbly sound. That’s it. At 20 mph there is a hum, but folks ten feet away watching tv tell me they don’t feel like they have to turn it up. At 30 mph, they have to turn it up, but I’m a wimp, I never ride it that fast. At my normal <20mph speeds, the fan by the radiator next to me is way louder than the trainer. I’M way louder than the trainer. PERFECT.
The Kinetic is also super smooth, like riding on brand new asphalt, almost slippery. Really nice. Plus it’s rock solid. No wibble wobble, even when standing up on the bike.
Super successful Christmas present!
BUT THEN… Part Two: In the box was a coupon for a free month with something called TrainerRoad.com.
Hmm, what’s that?
Simple version: TrainerRoad is this nifty program that turns your bike into a game controller, with the game being hit the target (power, heart rate, etc), second-by-second, on a workout schematic ( intervals, climbs, etc, they have hundreds or you can make your own). So it 1) tracks whatever sensors you’ve got (heart rate, cadence, speed, power), 2) projects a workout schematic, and then 3) plots what you’re doing along that schematic as you go. No cheating because there is the data, instant feedback, did you hit the target or not?
This is so cool. It’s like Sophie’s Piano Marvel program that does a similar thing with learning piano.
But wait, THAT’S NOT ALL. In addition, TrainerRoad gives you virtual power meter data, which is awesome because who can afford a spendy power meter?? Not me. That’s for those pro-athletes training in wind tunnels and shit. I’m just on a trainer in my yurt, you know? But no, I get to train with power, too. Because it seems there is math for specific trainers (like mine!) that can determine what your power output is at different speeds. Boom, training with watts for peasants! Meaning, um, me.
PLUS you can do a test, a time trial, to let TrainerRoad grok your current ability, and then it will match your chosen workout schematics to your level. Watching one’s level go up by an objective measure is SUPER MOTIVATING.
If all that wasn’t enough, it’s also set up so that I can drop in my beloved Sufferfest videos and TrainerRoad will not only play the vid with all my data across the bottom of the screen, but it will also match it’s workout schematic with what is going on in the Sufferfest video...when the vid climbs, TrainerRoad’s graph has me climbing, when the vid does intervals, Trainerroad gives me intervals. IT’S MAGIC.
GAH. I just love this thing.
And they only charge $10 bucks a month!! Sorry, sorry, I know I’m sounding like a freaking commercial.
Thank you Santa for my lovely green trainer, and for the brilliant people at TrainerRoad for concocting such an awesome package and, wow, for making it affordable. I’m really digging my cycling routine these days.