General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Smart Trainer or Power Meter? Rss Feed  
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2018-12-08 1:30 PM

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Subject: Smart Trainer or Power Meter?
Thoughts?

Need to improve bike over winter/spring...what is the better bang for the buck?

Budget...$500-$700

Thanks for any thoughts.


2018-12-08 1:44 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Smart Trainer or Power Meter?
Originally posted by PigeonTri

Thoughts?

Need to improve bike over winter/spring...what is the better bang for the buck?

Budget...$500-$700

Thanks for any thoughts.


Power meter, so you can continue getting that bang outdoor and in races

Edited by marcag 2018-12-08 1:44 PM
2018-12-08 4:14 PM
in reply to: #5252465


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Subject: RE: Smart Trainer or Power Meter?
Agree with the above. Get a power meter. You can utilize it with zwift and a dumb trainer but still benefit from it outside and during races.
2018-12-08 5:08 PM
in reply to: #5252471

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Subject: RE: Smart Trainer or Power Meter?
Power meter
2018-12-08 6:15 PM
in reply to: PigeonTri

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Master
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Subject: RE: Smart Trainer or Power Meter?
Definitely power meter. I have taken 50 minutes off my HIM bike split over the past five years, mainly due to improved training, using a PM for the past three years. Have never used a "smart" trainer; used nothing but my coach's workouts (and before that some from this site) and the PM. Plus as others have said it is useful for pacing outdoors in training and races. It allows you to do workouts tailored to your abilities and goals. You can get an excellent one for the price range you mention, plus probably a bundle with a Garmin bike computer if you shop around (if you don't have one already).
2018-12-08 8:44 PM
in reply to: PigeonTri


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Subject: RE: Smart Trainer or Power Meter?
Originally posted by PigeonTri

Thoughts?

Need to improve bike over winter/spring...what is the better bang for the buck?

Budget...$500-$700

Thanks for any thoughts.


It probably depends on how much training you do outdoors. A direct drive smart trainer combined with a workout plan from Trainer Road will yield very solid returns. But if you would rather be outside whenever you can. . . that advantage is much reduced. As others have mentioned, if power outside is a must, you'll have to combine a power meter with a dumb trainer indoors. But using both over several years, I can tell you that a dumb trainer/powermeter is substantially inferior to a smart trainer with ERG mode. I suppose you should also balance that against how much riding you do . . . if you're only doing 3 rides a week on a balanced triathlon plan then the smart trainer probably makes even less sense.

If you were riding 6-7 times a week. . . and rode mostly indoor Nov-March. . . the advantage perhaps goes back to the smart trainer. It makes indoor riding much more enjoyable when combined with Zwift and Trainer Road. . . there is a lot of value in that too if you struggle to get through quality workouts indoors.



2018-12-08 10:35 PM
in reply to: glfprncs

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Subject: RE: Smart Trainer or Power Meter?
Personally I just bought a smart indoor trainer, I love how easy it is to use things like Zwift and I'm more disciplined as there are few excuses like weather etc. I also think that an hour training on a smart trainer is an hour but an hour training outside is about 45mins with traffic and stop starting etc. Just my 2 cents.
2018-12-09 8:42 AM
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Subject: RE: Smart Trainer or Power Meter?
Originally posted by ziggie204
But using both over several years, I can tell you that a dumb trainer/powermeter is substantially inferior to a smart trainer with ERG mode.



I use both smart (Wahoo Kicr and Computrainer) and "dumb" (Kurt Kinetic and Rollers) because I spend equal time in multiple locations.

Personally I see it a bit differently. I think a "dumb" trainer requires more focus in order to achieve the same quality workout, but you can absolutely get the same quality workout with a dumb trainer.


Edited by marcag 2018-12-09 8:42 AM
2018-12-10 4:52 PM
in reply to: PigeonTri

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Subject: RE: Smart Trainer or Power Meter?
Smart trainer + used cheap power meter.
You can make great gains on a smart trainer, but it's tough to implement on race day if you don't know what you are pushing.
2018-12-10 6:58 PM
in reply to: marcag

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Smart Trainer or Power Meter?
My thoughts too. I've occasionally used something like a smart trainer (Computrainer at club workouts and training camps); my impression was the workout was really no different, but some athletes may find the competitive aspects, course simulations, etc. more motivating. If that gets you onto the trainer more regularly and spurs you on to harder, more consistent efforts, then it would be a great investment. Otherwise, though, there's no real need for them as long as you have a sensible program geared to your abilities and goals, and a power meter with a normal trainer.
2018-12-10 7:00 PM
in reply to: PigeonTri

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Subject: RE: Smart Trainer or Power Meter?

I used mostly virtual power on a KK road machine dumb trainer.  It took me a long ways in the local sprints I was doing.  That said, all this was 9 years ago when I started to 4 years ago for my last tri race.  Today I'd probably get a power meter and used solid cheap dumb trainer such as a KK Fluid trainer and test for FTP/CP on the trainer for winter training and again outdoors for road training.  I found that a dedicated trainer program was so much more effective than road training.  I used road training for long rides with a local roadie group and friends.

 



2018-12-13 10:45 PM
in reply to: PigeonTri

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Ventura, California
Subject: RE: Smart Trainer or Power Meter?

I just went through this debate with myself. I couple years ago I got tired of my 'dumb' stationary trainer and got a set of 'dumb' rollers. The rollers where a holy crap this is hard type of learning curve, but after a couple of months I got it down. Then I had to move, then school, then a general decline in fitness, etc.. 

So I busted out the rollers again after over a year and that was a big Nope!, and I had given the old stationary trainer away to a friend. So It was time to upgrade. 

So I decided to get a dumb trainer and will eventually get a power meter. For now I will have to train with virtual power and heart rate zones. 

Anyways for what its worth I just ordered the Tacx Booster. 1050watts, 10 position manual resistance, etc. My IM training plan will have me doing 4 bike workouts a week, I would like to see it work out as 2 on the Tacx trainer, 1 on the rollers and 1 outdoor per week. 

https://tacx.com/product/booster/#

 

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