DECATHLON’s cycling brand B’TWIN offers handy tips to help with your cycling.
Make this your hit list of questions when choosing a turbo trainer: what’s the maximum power? How smooth will my pedalling be? Are there any apps I can use to track my progress or make stationary cycling more fun?
1/ THE MAXIMUM POWER
The maximum power is given in Watts and indicates your turbo trainer’s maximum braking power. You will need different levels of power depending on your training objectives – you might want to simulate hills to get your fitness up or burn calories, or practice sprinting for a race, for example. So that you can switch your routine up and enjoy the benefits of a range of training styles, it’s best to choose a cycling turbo trainer with a maximum power above 700 Watts.
2/ SMOOTH PEDALLING
How fluid the pedalling is depends on your turbo trainer’s braking system and the weight of its flywheel.
With turbo trainers that have magnetic brakes, the resistance is adjusted using a mechanical wheel. This simple, durable model offers great value for money.
Here the resistance is controlled electronically and wirelessly using a computer on the handlebars or a PC, tablet or smartphone app. Turbo trainers with electromagnetic brakes are ideal for an interactive experience. The resistance level changes automatically depending on the speed of the wheel meaning you don’t have to adjust anything yourself.
Turbo trainers with fluid brakes are quieter than electromagnetic versions and are closer to the sensation of a real bike. They also offer the highest pedalling resistance and can, therefore, simulate very steep hills.
To make your training session more fun, there’s now a vast range of apps and software available that create interactive experiences such as virtual races or real-world videos.
Some turbo trainers have built-in sensors, while others can be fitted with optional external sensors. These sensors measure your exercise i.e. speed, power, pedalling cadence.
Depending on the technology being used (Bluetooth Smart and/or ANT+), turbo trainers can be connected to your PC, tablet, smartphone, cyclometer or GPS, and some models are hooked up directly to your bike chain.