The Best Bike Trainers for 2020 | Bicycling Magazine


– Hey, guys, Bobby here at
Test Editor at Bicycling. We have a lot of new trainers here so I’m gonna take some home,
put some miles into them and see how they work. (upbeat music) (bike clicks into place) We’re up and running on the
Elite Nero Interactive Rollers and they do take a little bit more setup than a standard trainer. You have to unfold them,
wrestle with two bands you’ve got to set the front
roller to the wheel base of your bike, which takes
a little guess work but there’s graduated
markings that help guide you. Let’s see how they do. The first thing you’ll see is the frame isn’t solid on the floor. It actually glides back and forth which feels a little unnerving at first because if you’re used
to riding on rollers you know that if the bike’s moving forward that usually doesn’t
mean good things for you but in this case, along
with the freedom to move side to side that’s inherent with rollers you also get that natural
feeling of rocking back and forth that happens when you’re riding every day. And then another benefit to
this back and forth motion is that it’s really easy
to stand up on the rollers. Along with being rollers that give you more realistic ride feel, they
are in fact smart rollers. We’re riding on Zwift
right now in Central Park and I’ve just hit a little bit of a hill and I can feel the resistance
change pretty quickly. Now the downside of course,
since you’re not locked in place is that you do have to pay attention. If you don’t like feeling
restricted and locked in like you do on a conventional trainer this presents a really good alternative. (upbeat music) This is the Kickr Core,
which is the mid-grade option between the Kickr and the Kickr Snap. The only functional difference,
the wattage tops out at 1800 watts and it only
simulates grades up to 16% instead of 20%. It’s also smaller than the Kickr. It is a little bit easier to store. It’s a little bit easier to carry around pairs quickly and easily with Zwift it’s controllable by Wahoo’s app. It’s stable, it’s quiet, and really that’s one of the reasons
that makes this trainer one of our favorites
because it simply works. (upbeat music) This is the Tacx Neo 2T. It is one of the most
expensive trainers you can buy but it does come packed
with a lot of features that aren’t commonly
found in cheaper trainers. One of the really unique
features is the fact that you don’t have to
be plugged in to the wall in order to ride. The machine generates its
resistance electromagnetically inside the silver disc by the cassette and so as I’m riding, it’s
creating the resistance and powering the machine. Now, the momentum doesn’t
work quite as well as when it’s plugged in. When you stop peddling, it
comes to a stop really fast. What this does mean is this
is one of the very few number of smart trainers that you
could actually put in your car and take to a race with you
and ride in the parking lot. Now we’re plugged in. The resistance doesn’t feel any different but one big change, you have momentum now. A wild thing about this
trainer is on the app you can adjust the road
feel from concrete plates cattle grid (trainer whirs) hard cobblestones you can simulate riding on ice,
which if you peddle too hard (bike whirs) the resistance slips on you. Why you’d want to mess
with this, I don’t know. Now we’re loaded up on Zwift. Just hit a short climb
here in Central Park and resistance changes really smoothly. The trainer is still incredibly quiet. And the noise does change a
little bit as you go harder. It’s not that big of a deal. This trainer is really expensive but it’s also really great. It’s got a lot of bells and whistles. If you want to put this in your car and take it away in the parking lot if you don’t want to be plugged
in to the wall all the time this is a really great choice. This is the Kinetic Road
Machine Smart 2 trainer. It’s fluid friction trainer. No bells, no whistles. Let’s see how it holds
up to its more expensive direct drive counterparts. Sometimes simple does it. And simple is what we have here. This trainer is a friction trainer. It’s a technology that’s
been around for as long as trainers have been around. It’s loud, but it’s cheap,
it’s sturdy, and it works. I’m riding pretty easy right
now and it’s already loud and it’s also gonna
wear through your tires. You’re also not gonna do a workout indoors without waking up your entire house. (trainer whirs) But again, this works. It’s no controllable resistance but the resistance is very smooth. It’s not choppy. You can do full gas sprints on this. You don’t need to be
plugged in to the wall. It fits in the trunk of your car. Folds away easily in a closet
when you’re not using it. For $370, this is
probably the best trainer you’re gonna find. Simple trainers are nice. This is the Elite Suito. It’s the newest direct drive
smart trainer from Elite. Just released over the summer. The setup is a breeze on this. They also brag about it being very quiet. It’s definitely quiet. The dominant noise is my bike. Resistance changes are really smooth. (trainer clicks) This doesn’t have any of
the side-to-side motion that other trainers like the
Tacx and the Kinetic have. The feel of the trainer doesn’t change. You still get the steady resistance. So for the ease of use, simplicity this trainer has quickly
become one of my favorites. We’ve previously said that the Kickr Core is one of the best value
direct drive smart trainers out there, but at $100
less, the Suito presents a very good case for being a better value. And this is a $28 trainer from Aldi. Move along, dogs. When we found this trainer
at the grocery story we immediately bought it
and put it through the test and frankly, at $28, we
expected to break it right away. Even if it did break on
the first try, at $28 you can buy 52 of these,
use them one time each before you got the same
price as a $1400 trainer. But we’re gonna get back on here and we’re gonna ride some
more and see what happens. The first thing we notice is
the resistance is not smooth. You can hear the noise
changing in the roller with every downstroke. It’s pretty choppy, but we’re
sitting here at 250 watts which is more than
enough for a casual spin on a cold, rainy day. (trainer whirs) Now we’re gonna try
riding a little faster. Take a decibel reading. (trainer whirs louder) Now we’re at 25 miles an hour. We’re reading 90 decibels which is significantly louder (trainer whirs) and probably more than enough to disturb at least your whole house,
if not the neighbors. It survived another ride. I’m not gonna say that makes it good but it’s a $28 trainer
that’s actually pretty okay if you just want to keep your legs moving throughout the winter. Those are five of our favorite trainers. Some are action-packed with
all the bells and whistles like the Tacx. Some are so cheap, you can
use it once, throw it away and go buy another one. Tell us what you’re riding this winter. Leave us a comment, and
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