New trainer suggestion

(Brian McGregor) #1

I have an old Tacx Fortius that seems to have finally died. Over the years I lost interest in the Real Life Videos and generally just did the Cadence workouts. So, now I’m in the market for a new trainer - probably not a smart trainer due to cost and no real need for all the fancy features. I am considering the CycleOps JetFluid Pro - good reviews, simple, quiet. I like the idea of using my Pioneer power meter and ANT+ speed/cadence with the trainer on Zwift. 

I am soliciting opinions about trainers from the experts out there. Any issues with the JetFluid Pro on or off of Zwift? Any other suggestions?

Thanks for your input.

(Eric Kutter (Bend, ORZ)) #2

Do you have a power meter on the bike?  If so, the trainer choice is less important as power is the one metric that Zwift needs.  

A basic trainer will just give estimated power so you’d want to pick one off of the supported trainer list.  Without a power meter, you’d then need a Ant+ speed sensor for it to estimate power.

(Michael Shannon) #3

I’m no expert but recently did a fair bit of research to purchase my first trainer and for the price range you’re looking at you could consider the Tacx Vortex Smart.

(Brian McGregor) #4

Mike - How have you found the Vortex? Based on my experience with Tacx, I was avoiding the brand (buggy software, pay for all the upgrades, closed software, poor/slow customer support).

(Michael Shannon) #5

Hi Brian,

For the price I have found it really good. It was a bit fiddly to setup but in all fairness only took 5-10 minutes. It’s really quiet and feels really smooth. I’ve only had it for about 6 weeks but initial impressions are really good. 

I don’t use their software other than the phone app to calibrate the trainer. You basically pedal to 30kph and stop pedaling. The app then tells you whether there is too much or not enough contact between the roller and the tyre. (The tyre doens’t sit on the roller as such, the roller comes up to meet the tyre, if that makes sense.) I don’t use the software because I have zwift and there are others out there without paying. 

I’ve not had to pay for any upgrade (the vortex smart is out of the box ready to go (once assembled of course). I’ve not had to get in contact with customer support yet so can’t comment on that sorry.

It feels sturdy enough. I can get out of the saddle to try and hit those higher wattage segments on the zwift workouts without worrying about toppling over. The only downside is that if you put too much irregular force through your pedals you may occasionally get a bit of slippage on the trainer but it doesn’t happen if you’re in the right gear for the slope.

For a low spec smart trainer it’s had some really good reviews. Yes you can get better but you get what you pay for.

UK based by the way in case it makes any difference.







I can only compare it against the bkool classic (now discontinued) but 

(L Read) #6

If you dont use a smart trainer, you wont feel the resistance changes when the road goes up or down, etc. 

(Pete GameCock WBR (D)) #7

I have a computrainer and a Vortex Smart. I prefer the Vortex Smart. The difference between a smart trainer and a dumb trainer is night and day.  I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another Vortex

(Brian McGregor) #8

Thank you, all.  I really felt like Tacx let me down with the Fortius and didn’t want to consider another Tacx product as a result. You are all making me rethink this decision.


(T. Matess) #9

bkool works for me   450 bucks