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Review: Turbo trainer

A turbo trainer is a great way of keeping weight off when the dark nights of winter make the roads an inhospitable place for your bike. By hooking up your bike to a trainer, you can continue to work in the comfort of your own home, even to the extent of being able to watch the television while you train.

Overview

A turbo trainer is basically a way of turning your bike into an indoor training cycle. One of the most recognised brands of such trainers is Tacx, whose trainers are generally recognised as being some of the most reliable and robust on the market. It is with one of these in mind that this article is written. This is therefore not a fluid trainer, but rather one which uses magnetic force to provide resistance for the rear wheel. When fitted to the frame, the trainer is robust enough to stand some pretty intense treatment, even from larger athletes, with it being possible to get out of the saddle and exert some serious pressure on the peddles.

Asembly and other points

Assembly is fairly daunting for those not of an especially practical bent, and it is recommended that some expert help is sought if you are a novice cyclist assembling the mag trainer yourself, and looking to set up your bike in a suitable way. For more expert athletes, the self-assembly of a trainer is straightforward enough, along with the correct spanners and a decent socket set. It is also recommended that a specific trainer tyre is used on your bike. Turbo training wears out tyres at a fair rate, and a mountain bike tyre will make a huge and disturbing racket which goes beyond most tolerance levels. A smooth road tyre is a better option, but this will soon wear out and make the trainer work much less effectively.

Training advantages

As a means of doing your cycling in an indoor environment, bike trainers are hard to beat. With some imagination, training can be varied and interesting, with the opportunity existing to work on specific areas of your fitness. As a means of getting into shape for a time trail event, a trainer can provide a useful means to an end. DVDs DVDs are also available for use in conjunction with turbo trainers which provide specific coaching sessions to a musical and visual soundtrack, simulating the conditions of different types of ride, which can be used to season your training plan with a little more variety.

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