Hey! I have been a sufferfest user for almost two years now. I have been training by hr and virtual watts when indoors. Only hr when outside. I am undecided between getting a smart trainer like a kickr or a power meter probably assiomas. Would the power meter work on a fluid trainer? I have a cycleops yellow fluid trainer and I have had some solid gains the past few years. Now I want to step up but not sure if a better trainer or a power meter would be the best option.
A power meter will work on a fluid trainer (all trainers) and will enable you to train outside with power.
The best option is to get a power meter (train outside) and a smart trainer for erg mode. Most people would advise you use the same power source/power meter indoors as outdoors for consistency.
If cost is a concern I would recommend just getting a power meter alone.
[Power meter $200 Vs smart trainer $500+.]
It is easier to justify a power meter than a smart trainer! Although I would like eventually have both.
@enricomarino Difficult to answer that, completely depends on the person, what you want from the devices, how you are training and also … what you want, maybe don’t even justify it
Many elements cannot even be compared between the devices … you may buy a smart trainer for more immersive experience, erg mode, better “road” feel etc. not just power data.
If you will do all your structured training indoors and not overly concerned with structure outdoors (or do not ride as much outdoors) then maybe go for Smart Trainer.
However power meter will open up both worlds for you immediately… if that’s what you want (or even just to have the possibility), then you can always upgrade your trainer later.
From personal experience I started with PM first:
- Dumbtrainer alone (no power data not even virtual)
- Dumb-trainer and stages PM
- Dumb-Trainer and Stages Power Meter on all my bikes **
- Smart Trainer and Stages Power Meter
**I was happy out using The Sufferfest with Dumb trainer and PM for some time
Best of luck … and enjoy your training
I am currently on stage 2) from @Joe’s list. I will eventually get to stage 4)…
Hopefully stage 4)/smart trainers will be a little cheaper and more reliable by then.
Good luck and yolo
These are great answers. When I started cycling I did most indoor riding. Now, I am more confident in the road and cycling has grown where I live. I enjoy my dumb trainer. Would any of you suggest one sided or two sided pms?
Ohh there’s a question that could bring you down a rabbit hole !!
I am riding left side only Stages. Only when very fatigued my L-R Power Differs and v. marginally. So it works for me, simple to use, easy to install. Not sure with geo you are in but stages recently dropped their prices.
I have only used crank based PMs. But my riding friends speak very highly ofFavero Assioma Duo power (pedal based).
DC Rainmaker does really detailed reviews on PM’s.
But I see that he has not updated for 2020 … so here is another link with more updated data:
I keep hearing good things about both. My neighbor has a left only stages he says it’s good. Not met a person a with assiomas yet. I like to think pretty balanced since I lift weights and most imbalances i kind of fixed when weightlifting was my only sport lol.
I was in a similar situation - moved from a Fluid 2 (with no power meter - just Speed, Cadence and HR sensors) to a Wahoo Kicker Core. The Fluid 2 is definitely a very good trainer but now with ERG mode changing the resistance I no longer am dealing with gear changes (except for workouts on level mode). The smart trainer allows me to focus more on the workout and to some extent makes me more honest with the efforts too.
I considered a power meter for outdoor riding and have come to the conclusion that I am comfortable riding by RPE. Per the DC Rainmaker site I learned that Strava does provide estimated power numbers but I have not personally used the feature. However, I have heard good feedback.
I have the Assiomas! I’ve had them for about 9 months now and they are amazing. I’ve run them as duos and also as unos (minion life). The unos are excellent if you don’t care for the analytics. After going through four sets of Garmin Vector 3s in 2019, these have been such a treat to own and use!
For training- the advice given above of power meter vs smart trainer is awesome. If you’ve been content with a classic trainer, the power meter would be a great option. If you’re looking for that ERG experience, then the smart trainer would be the way to go.
I can second that, although I only tried two pairs of Vectors, before turning to Favero. The Assioma’s are awesome, the battery is rechargeable (don’t worry about them wearing out) and actually last for 60 hours before recharging.
Dual sided PM is, as stated, more a budget thing, or a thing to consider when a) you know you have significant L/R balance, or b) when you are recovering from injury.
In case of the Assioma (Uno), you can adjust reported power to compensate for your imbalance if you know it. Stages L only does not offer that option.
Smart trainer is also a budget thing. If you can afford it, a direct drive is your best option.
I posted something similar to this on another thread…
End of 2019 I was debating upgrading my Road Machine to a smart trainer vs a PM. I decided to go down the PM pedal route as I could use them through the winter on my oldest bike which lives on the turbo, then swap them to my summer bike. That gives me power in both places for a single purchase.
I went for the Assioma Duo pedals and they’ve been faultless for me in 10 months of ownership.
Same, I have Assioma Duo, and two dumb trainers. I have a trainer/commuter bike and a summer road bike. I get the best of both worlds, power on the trainer and power outdoors. I can swap the pedals easily. In the long run, I may get a smart trainer. But need to save a bit more.
Ah memories. This is so familiar!
Fluid virtual power.
Then fluid + 4iiii single sided.
Then 4iiii on all bikes for indoor / outdoor
Then KICKR and 4iiii.
The jump in progress was small for adding the PM whilst still having fluid dumb trainer… but when I got the KICKR… Oh man it was an eye opener!
Go in steps as above or if funds allow, get the smart trainer.
Either way you’ll progress and smash it!
I just went through this same process. I had these same conversations with myself and then with my dad. I’ve been using Virtual Watts on a $20 second-hand dumb trainer which I’ve had for 6 years and was previously owner for a few years before that.
I started considering whether to get a PM or a SmartTrainer for more accurate training. The pandemic and lockdowns made the SmartTrainer seem like a simple short-term solution while a PM with my dumb trainer would be the cheapest option that I could also use outdoors. However, with my dumb trainer being so old I was expecting to need to buy a new one pretty soon and my SUF time has been very rough on it in just the past 6 months.
Ended up getting a SmartTrainer for the short-term since if my dumb trainer breaks it wouldn’t matter if I had a PM or not. So, now I can use ERG mode and have real power for indoor, structured training and then I can save up and buy a PM later for my outdoor training.
I have both now (left arm stages pm I picked up at a discount sale) on my road bike but I’m usually just following HR zones for my outdoor rides because most of those end up on a mountain bike. That might be something to think of if you are planning a different bike / different cranks in the future.
I get a lot more out of the indoor rides on a smart trainer than I could outdoors with a pm but the biggest benefit to me is ERG mode on the trainer. You don’t have to think about managing a power target through an interval, you only have to focus on you holding that target cadence. I don’t use a fluid trainer anymore but I find trying to hit both power and cadence when in LEVEL mode on the smart trainer takes me away from the video and just focused on the numbers and the interval timer. A smart trainer like the KICKR makes indoor training much more fun.
I’m currently on the dumb trainer (Kurt Kinetic Road Machine) and a 4iiii Precision left crank arm power meter. It’s been great for me so far and I love the ability to easily take my bike off the trainer for outside rides AND the ability to gauge my efforts outside vs inside.
Outdoor rides remind me that not being stationary is sooooo much easier on my sit bones XD