Why I got a Controllable Trainer

Discussion in 'Trainers' started by Runs with Scissors, Jan 17, 2022.


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  1. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    No, not what I want for Christmas....

    I picked up a Kinetic Road Machine Control trainer, on sale for $399 with free (FREE!!!) shipping direct from Kinetic, to replace the Smart 2 (not controllable) I had gotten originally. The main reasons: I live in the flatlands, it’s kind of a pain to get anywhere worth riding, and I’m working from home so no longer commuting 35 miles per day by bike.

    Zwift is the app I use. Beats staring at the garage door. The trainer is accurate up to a 10% grade – I wasn’t willing to spend an additional $500 to get one that could match a steeper grade.

    Advantage of a controllable trainer is that when you’re climbing a hill in the app, you’re climbing a hill on the trainer. Resistance increases to match the grade (up to 10% - over that it gets wacked out and inconsistent, but I have tons of options on routes).

    It’s more realistic than the non-controllable version. Gives a better workout, more consistent results, and lets you gauge your results better.

    On sale, for the price stated above, it was a no-brainer. The data is (are - this is stupid) good, the results of each ride are worth reviewing, and it has given me options worth pursuing even on days when I wish I could get out in the real world but can’t.
     
    Derkderkall, Oaken, Danmtchl and 11 others like this.
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9 / SC Hightower
    That's an un-real price as I think that is what I paid for what you gave away. Sweet!
     
    Danmtchl, mtnbikej, OTHRider and 2 others like this.
  3. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Additional info: It's a "wheel-on" trainer. I don't have to remove the rear wheel and mount the bike to the contraption. I have the 12mm maxle to use it (something like $50 to the Robert Axle Project, totally worth it) and don't have to swap in the original axle to ride when not on the trainer. Probably costs me 30 grams, but I don't care. I'm not a weight weenie. :p

    I could use, and have used, the original axle but have come to realize that as long as I make sure the drive side nut is snug there's no point. Worried at first about losing the nut but got over it. Pull it from the trainer and go ride. Put it back on the trainer with no muss, no fuss. Best of both worlds.
     
    Danmtchl, mtnbikej, OTHRider and 3 others like this.
  4. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    Thanks for posting this thread. I'm ashamed to admit it but I've been thinking about getting a trainer. Lately (like for the last year but especially now) I just haven't been able to ride my bike enough. In years past I'd put in 500+ hours and 500K+ elevation which meant I was pretty much ready for anything. The last year or so I haven't been able to get in even half that much and trust me I'm feeling it. I refuse to let myself become the boat anchor so I'm thinking this might be an option till life returns to normal. I figure I could slap the gravel bike on it and at least get the cardio pretty much daily.

    I know a grand total of nothing about trainers other than some of the strongest guys around here spend a lot of time on them. Do you have to run a slick tire or would rekon type tread be ok? Does it feel somewhat realistic when you pedal? Are they noisy? I figure if I'm gonna pedal I'd like it to keep track of my stats (time, speed, elevation etc)

    Is this the one you have @Runs with Scissors ???
    Screen Shot 2022-01-17 at 5.37.06 PM.png
     
    Danmtchl, CBone, mtnbikej and 5 others like this.
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9 / SC Hightower
    I bought a WTB Slick. It’s a 2.25 x 29 and mounted it on my rear wheel. The Rekon will drive you insane as it sounds like a buzz saw. The slick is perfect. I have a basic Kurt Kinetic and it keeps track of miles, speed, cadence, all that. You can wear a heart rate monitor and it will record that as well. But mine is basic and I’m happy with it!
     
    Danmtchl, mtnbikej, OTHRider and 3 others like this.
  6. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    That's the one I'm giving away; I bought the controllable to replace it, mostly because I want the more realistic response. Only because I use an app, though.

    If you just want to be able to keep up on fitness and aren't going to use an app such as Zwift, TrainerRoad, Wahoo, BKool, etc, the Smart 2 is fine. I, personally, couldn't do it without something other than the garage door. YMMV.

    I would recommend coughing up a couple bucks a month for one of the apps. Makes it so much more tolerable, interesting, and fun. If you're competitive (I'm not, at all), you can go up against other people in the ride. You can use the free Kinetic Fit app, though.

    Use a road tire, 25 or 28 mm. Anything else is too noisy and doesn't help.
     
    Danmtchl, Mikie, mtnbikej and 2 others like this.
  7. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    My heart rate monitor stats lately is why I’m thinking about a trainer. I’m averaging 160 and my max is pushing 190 without pushing hard like I’m used to. Pacing myself is something I’ve never been good at…
     
    Danmtchl, Old&InTheWay, Mikie and 4 others like this.
  8. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    The plus side of using a trainer - my last 30 minute ride was an average of 187 watts, average hr 142, and total of 337 kj. The trainer helps on those days you can't get out.
     
    Danmtchl, Mikie, mtnbikej and 3 others like this.
  9. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    Wait I thought this was a controllable one no?
    https://www.kurtkinetic.com/trainers-products/road-machine-smart-2

    If not can you post a link to what you have or something similar? I'm being 100% honest when I say I don't know Sh!t about this subject...
     
  10. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    The Smart 2 is not controllable. The one I got to replace it that is is this: https://www.kurtkinetic.com/trainers-products/road-machine-control

    The Smart 2 is fine for what you want to do. The controllable that I linked above won't really do you any good unless you want to shell out for an app such as Zwift. These apps feed back to the trainer and control the resistance based on in-app terrain. It's a monthly subscription cost, which I'm not sure is what you want.

    You can use the Smart 2 (as I did for 4 years) with just the Kinetic Fit app and pedal away. The harder you pedal on the Smart 2, the higher the resistance but it's not measured exactly. Not that that matters, it's the cardio you're going for.
     
  11. OTHRider

    OTHRider Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Duke
    Current Bike:
    '18 Salsa Cutthroat
    Six months before my knee surgery, I bought an Elite Direto as an option for post-surgery PT. It is a rear-wheel off, controllable (thru Zwift or other app) unit and it has been bulletproof. I use it nearly every morning to loosen up both knees. I do not use the Zwift app anymore but it would be a worthwhile cost if I was doing training. The near-simultaneous reaction from what you're seeing on the screen to how the resistance increases it pretty cool.

    I could slap the gravel bike on it and at least get the cardio pretty much daily. This is exactly what I did. I removed the rear tire from my Giant TCX and mounted it up with no issues. It has not moved since. I may be the only clown using a Lauf front fork on a trainer but it works for me.:D
     
    Danmtchl, Old&InTheWay, Mikie and 2 others like this.
  12. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9 / SC Hightower
    Maybe some Pro Roadies aught to throw a GoPro on the front of their bikes and go ride some famous places. Make video's so we can toss them on a big screen in front of our trainers.

    I still have an iPod with about 2,000 of my favorite tunes on it I put on shuffle to occupy my mind while I pedal on the trainer. Even that does not keep my mind at bay. A simple visual will probably help. Having a selection of videos would be nice.
    This is, of course, if you don't want to spend the duckets on some fancy schmancy Zwifty thingy.

    All... How much do those kinds of subscriptions cost?
     
  13. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    This is my concern with getting one and thus why I'm thinking of the smarty pants one. It's either that or I'll have to become part ware wolf like @DangerDirtyD and do solo night missions and crash alone so the critters can come devour me.:eek:
     
    OTHRider, jimbowho, Danimal and 3 others like this.
  14. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    The road is where I call home
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    I use a trainer a lot. I have a basic trainer at work that I use during my lunch break. You can get a lot done in 30 minutes if you try hard enough. I am currently using the Trainer Road app but I am building my own workout library that I will use in the future.

    Oddly enough, I started to like the simple trainer more than the controllable one. But I still use both (controllable is at my girlfriends).

    I do some interval work outdoors, but it is more time consuming since I need to get to a good location to do them. I will do more of that when the days get longer.

    There are apps that let you ride other places, the resisance matches the terrain you see.

    A lot of people just watch YouTube videos. A friend of mine has a popular channel for that as he records all his XC races first person so it feels like you are in the race too.
     
  15. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9 / SC Hightower
    Get the fancy pants stuff. I know you.
    You will get competitive with others on the App and you will get a good work out. Otherwise you will feel like you are just going to the gym. ...And you and I know how we feel about going to the gym. We don't... we'll sit home and drink beer instead.
    Go for the gusto!
     
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9 / SC Hightower
    Awesome Josh, didn't think of that. I have an extra nice big screen I can put to use for that. Thanks!
     
  17. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Zwift runs $14.99/month, to me it's totally worth it. You can have it pair automatically to Strava, but you really don't need to. Zwift will give you the basic data you want. You can follow a course or just ride and make random turns. Scenery isn't bad, and helps you keep going.

    And there are always rabbits to chase.
    yvTl-z_b28h28r_tdvvAKFX6YQqvR0tU4wMFexmKHl0-2048x1119.jpg
     
    Mikie and OTHRider like this.
  18. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    The road is where I call home
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    Search for Ben Goyette on Youtube.
     
    Mikie, OTHRider and DangerDirtyD like this.
  19. jimbowho

    jimbowho Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Podunk KS
    Name:
    james jim jimmy
    Current Bike:
    GT sensor
    I've been checking Craigslist for a 26" 9-mil quick release trainer. The kind that just has a cheezo resistance knob for my kitchen.
    BTW Big kitchen. My thoughts were anytime the microwave is humming I'm mashing on the vintage bike. I'm serious.

    EDIT: Maybe someone has one they are tired of looking at that won't mind the hassle of shipping?? Will pay + Tip...
     
  20. mtbMike

    mtbMike iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    PRESCOTT!!!
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Ibis HD5, Ripley & Mojo 4
    Props to you guys....stationary anything is mind numbing to me. I've been on a friends Peleton and when it rains here, I ride a "Lifecycle" at our community gym while watching TV but it's painful. I've already told my wife that our next move will be to someplace where I can snowmobile when I can't ride.
     
  21. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Just FYI, the one I'm moving along will handle 26" 9-mm QR....
     
  22. jimbowho

    jimbowho Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Podunk KS
    Name:
    james jim jimmy
    Current Bike:
    GT sensor
    Jeepers.. :thumbsup: If one of the local boys/girls don't come pick it up soon I'm all over it bigly. Keep me posted.
     
  23. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    WTF am I getting myself in to?...:eek:
    IMG_3788.jpeg
     
    Faust29, mtnbikej, Mikie and 4 others like this.
  24. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    You went Mensa, not just smarty pants. :thumbsup: You'll have to have one of the apps to make the most of that one.
     
  25. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    I’m going with the advice @Mikie gave me when he said he knows me and I should get the fancy pants stuff. The fact that they were on sale for $150 off and I had a $150 gift card from Xmas made it affordable. Then my wife saw what the apps do she said I had to buy it so she could ride on it so at that point the decision was made.
     
    Faust29, mtnbikej, Mikie and 3 others like this.
  26. JordanHMay

    JordanHMay Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Jordan May
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon
    I had the same one at the beginning of Covid. When nobody was sure the world wasn't going to set fire to itself, I opted to ride indoors for a while. Great product and when paired with ZWIFT, it made it as fun as it could be suffering in your home. After about a month I returned to riding outside and it collected dust. Sold it a few months later. I actually really enjoyed the benefits of having a home trainer. It really helped with form and overall strength. I would probably keep one around if I had a spare bike that I didn't want to load/unload from it.
     
    Faust29, mtnbikej, Mikie and 3 others like this.
  27. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9 / SC Hightower
    I figure that once @Voodoo Tom figures it out... I'll go get one and we can toss on a head mic and talk smack and ride together in the new digital age...
     
  28. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Set up a ride on Zwift and let us know about it, and that can happen.
     
    Sasquatch9billion, Faust29 and Mikie like this.
  29. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9 / SC Hightower
    :geek: oooo! I'm liking this!
     
  30. Faust29

    Faust29 Moderator

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    I gots some bikes.
    Will you guys pad up to ride your video games?

    :rolleyes:
     
    Sidewalk, Stkx66, mtnbikej and 4 others like this.
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As a former Amazon Associate I continue to get screwed trying to stay qualified as an Amazon Affiliate. So I quit!


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