Have trainers reached their peak?

Have trainers kind of added all the functionality they are going to? Tacx haven’t released anything for coming up to 4 years and the neo is still classed as best in class (along with a few others) and it seems updates these days are just adding connectivity or quicker refreshing of data but the nuts and bolts of it is pretty similar.

i can’t really think of anything that would make indoor cycling better than what is currently on offer.

More turbos offering a bigger range of gradient simulation might be welcome.

more than 25%? can’t think of many cases that would be useful.

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I thought, perhaps wrongly, there was a number offering less than 20%… And that emulation is dependent on rider weight iirc.

One think that I would like to see is Virtual gearing. That way you can use any bike on the trainer set it in the gear that run smooth and only use the virtual buttons.

That is one thing that Zwift should consider, A ZWIFT Hub with only one gear. They can supply a range of gears that the user can use to be compatible with their bikes.


ah sorry, i misunderstood - i think you’re more talking about trickle down from higher end to lower priced stuff? that would be good/should happen

i was more after is there anything that is currently available that might be added to trainers at some point

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i think i’d keep changing gears for real by mistake.

maybe they could offer shifters that replace those on the bike but that would only really work for people that have a bike that never comes off the trainer and effectively just turns your trainer into a smart bike

which might be kinda cool, you just provide the frame and front wheel and the trainer comes with bars that hook up to the trainer

Yes that is where I was going with my thinking.

Zwift selling a Frame made for their hub. With steering and virtual shifting buttons and some dedicated Zwift buttons like Powerups and Ridons.

No front wheel. Just a front support.


but i suppose that isn’t really new because we’re basically just reinventing the smart bike! just buying it in bits and assembling it yourself.

i just can’t see where trainers can go over the coming years that will really make the better other than even more different ways to connect, multiple connections or quicker refresh rates but does that really make a difference to most people?

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I agree apart from virtual shifting there is nothing that will make my buy a new trainer. My H3 is doing a super job.

and therein lies the problem - companies are going to have to build in some kind of planned obsolescence to make people buy new stuff. They can’t have people buy one trainer and then just have that forever and be commercially viable

To answer your original question of have we reached a saturation point in what a trainer can offer.

Probably yes but that’s why some companies have looked at bolt ons.

Wahoo has the Kickr climb.

Elite has the Rizer.

Tacx has the Neo motion plate.

All of these add a slight different dimension.

With the failure rate of certain models i doubt that’s an issue.

not the greatest marketing strategy though!

For what it’s worth, my v1 Direto was hammered for a fraction over 4 years, it now barely has a “controller” function for gradients (max resistance at approx 2% with max trainer difficulty) and my road bike with 50/34 rings and 11-34 2x11 speed covers approx 150-550W in the easiest 4 or 5 gears! When used last spring, it over-read power by approx 17% compared to my 4iiii crank meter! :rofl:

Been using Saris H3 since last Easter, still yet to switch it from working with my 3x9 hybrid to my road bike, so cannot compare power readings and in the meantime the user has suffered a catastrophic loss of fitness following a post-vaccinated second Covid infection last September.

Still have road cassette on Direto, one day when I have some energy and enthusiasm, I’ll hook up my road bike and use the 4iiii for power while recording the turbo numbers on my GPS unit.

I’m riding an original Saris H1 that’s 6 years old. It’s not supposed to be compatible with 12-spd Shimano bikes but a little sanding fixed that. After 15,000km or indoor riding it’s sounding like it may need a new belt, but that’s cheap and easy to do myself. Power readings are still accurate. I don’t really see anything on the market, or anything dropping in the near future, that makes me want to spend the money on a new trainer.


In real life you steer by shifting your weight, which is why I dislike the recently adopted Wahoo/RGT notion of using a mobile device to steer as its not a simulation because you don’t do much with your arms or hands to steer. Also the last thing I want when I’m hanging on in my VO2 zone in race is to have to faf around with a mobile device to switch lanes (not to mention getting sweat all over the device causing it to randomly change lanes).

Therefore some kind of way of detecting riders shifting weight on the bike for steering would be a nice innovation, whether that be in the trainer itself or in a platform that the bike-trainer system rests on.

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As a developer of fitness apps I’d (selfishly!) like to see standardization of rock-solid trainer comms. We’ve all learned to tweak our Bluetooth / Ant setups to minimize dropouts, but we really shouldn’t have had to become junior Rf field-test engineers just to use a cycling trainer. Wahoo direct connect is great, but it (or something like it) needs to be everywhere and openly documented. Beyond that, I think the boundaries for cheaper, smaller and lighter trainers have not yet been reached.


Oh here’s something expensive to add to trainers… A gizmo that reads your actual riding position to calculate your aero drag! :rofl:

Maybe a trainer that connects to both your front and back wheels, which includes functionality to estimate the rider’s weight, seat height/bar length to estimate rider height. Bet we would see a bit of weight/height gain for the average Zwifter :slight_smile:

Edit: It can also do fancy rocker plate stuff since both front and back wheels are connected.