My trainer is better than yours

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by Oneway, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. Oneway

    Oneway Boston Biker

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    Mine is better than yours!
    No one ever wins these areguements; that's what winter is for. We just stop argueing and go outside.

    Computrainer, Tacx, Cycleops, Kinetic, Blackburn, 1-up, Minoura, Traveltrac, Performance, Walmart and some youtube gizmo with an alternator from an '87 Buick, rollers, magnetic, friction, fluid, motor, wind, water, fire, ice, blood, toil, tears and....wait.

    We should state our claims and post our goals and circle back every month to see how we do through the winter and how we like our trainers in the heart of darkness (winter).

    I'll start:
    Tacx Google Earth link is a breakthrough.

    I upload a GPS of my regular rides and not only ride them but can see 4 different views from road level to 10,000 feet. Their videos have always been the best but being able to watch myself on my favorite rides will get me through the winter.

    But wait, there's more! I can plot out a coast down the Himalayas or a circumnavigation of Doego Garcia and Tacx will take me there.

    I'm sure this is so cool I'll get 550 miles, heck 1000 miles on my trainer between November and March, more than double last year. I rode 1928 miles, 263 were on the trainer, the rest in cold, slush and cold. My second prediction is I'll be older, third is my March weight will be 5 lbs less than last year, 195 lbs.

    I predict I'll reach at least one of the 3.....
     
  2. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    Someone sent me a little black box that attaches to my bike and then my computer, and when I'm on my trainer, I can race other cyclists using some software.

    I sold my trainer, never used the software, and still have all the components (wires, box, etc.) floating around somewhere. Why? Because I can't stand indoor training. :(
     

  3. Oneway

    Oneway Boston Biker

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    If I lived near the equator, days stayed long, no slush and icy roads and actually enjoyed putting on booties over my shoes I might not use a trainer. If I am focussed on a training regime I way prefer Mother Nature (and man made roads). If I am slouching in a couch, drooling, shoveling grease, salt and sugar into my mouth and burning my retinas with nearly random photons forcing my brain to fire off 3 or 4 synapses an hour, trainer games look pretty good.

    Do you play video games? Why not exercise legs instead of just one's thumbs? You did acquire a trainer and try the box. Why?

    I do find some of the videos and google roads interesting and the prospect of competing against a few riders or myself several thousand miles away "video-game" entertaining. Interacting with others over the net has the potential to add motivation along the lines of my Saturday group ride. I have to blather an excuse about leaving my bike shorts at the cleaners to others to get out of the exercising.
     
  4. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    No video games. I lived in SoCal, where we had no off season. Then I moved to Australia, where it was still mostly possible to ride year-round. But now I live with five months of snow, and I'd rather take a BMX (or even a single speed) out in the snow than ride a trainer.

    When I was a hardcore roadie, I could do it. Just not any more. The trainer was used for fitting, and someone sent me the computer kit to evaluate. Sadly, I never did.
     
  5. Oneway

    Oneway Boston Biker

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    So, video games?
    Compared to hard core training and the open road trainers are "difficult".

    Spin classes seem to do it for some.

    The thought of driving 10 miles to change clothes in a locker room, voluntarily follow the herd to a brightly lit, music blaring stationary bike with a “comfort” saddle and then chit-chat with fellow bovines drives me to choose booties and sharing snow narrowed roads with 2 ton smog belching beasts with salt streaked windshields who would be blinded by oncoming headlights if they weren't distracted by texting.

    Pass the popcorn. Is this the right clicker?
     
  6. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    I'm just going to ride in the snow more this year.
     
  7. funetical

    funetical Slowin it up.

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    Still wrote the article though didn't you?
     
  8. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    No. I actually want to contact the company and see if they're cool with me giving it to someone else that can evaluate it. Or I could buy another trainer and actually try it out.
     
  9. shiboleth

    shiboleth New Member

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    Perhaps I have a winner

    Check it out at roadlessmonocycle.com. This is an almost perfect simulator of a bicycle and their are a few things the user can fiddle with to fight off boredom. BUT this is legs only. I have just started my attempt to build a seven speed airdyne which I hope will be totally kick ass.
     
  10. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    I should note that I did buy a trainer for the winter, and gave up on getting it to work with my computer. If there is a regular on the forums that would like to try it and write up a review, I will see if I can send it to them. You'll need a trainer and a PC.
     
  11. Oneway

    Oneway Boston Biker

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    Hack,
    I'm happy to compare it to my three. I have Kreitler rollers circa 1980, Cyclops fluid and a whoop-de-do, PC controlled, internet linked avatar steering, video Google Earthed Tacx.

    Kreitlers were like learning to ride a bike, a few crashes then pretty good. When I got to where I wanted to watch TV or read a book I crashed again. Time passed and I borrowed the Cycleops. 30 seconds later I was riding and watching Oprah then Chris Carmichael. I didn't care for either enough to use it regularly.

    Then came Tacx. A quick two years to shake the bugs out and it is great. I worked longer debugging than I did on my last job.
     
  12. shiboleth

    shiboleth New Member

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    I got some rollers back in the early seventies. Great for bike handling, but not so hot for conditioning. Then I tried a Schwinn XR-5. This was better for conditioning though it still left a lot to be desired. It got me so sweaty that I had to use a fan with it. This seemed nuts to me, so I tried to figure out some way to power a fan with all the energy I was using to turn the cranks. Then one day I was riding by an air conditioning shop in Houston and I saw this big fan coil on their trash heap. Eureka! I realized I could use squirrel cage blowers mounted over the wheel to provide some cooling breeze while I trained. I cruised the hardware store and found some bearings and a way to fix a 6" hard rubber wheel from a dumpster to the shaft.
    The surprise came when I tried it out and discovered that not only did I generate a cooling breeze the darn thing put up a great deal of resistance. It turns out that blowers this size are rated at about 1/2 Horsepower which is much more than most cyclist can put out. Later I added a three speed hub to get different resistance ranges and then adjustable louvers to vary the airflow toward me or away. About twenty five years ago I felt that the XR-5 was just too cramped so I designed my own frame based on a 2" square c.s. tube and had it built. That is "Old Yeller." Along the way I acquired an old Schwinn ergometric and added a pair of small blowers to it. I left the old braking mechanism on as well. Here are the pictures. If you can ride 10 miles in thirty minutes on "Old Yeller" you can do the same thing on the road. You even get the "wind in your hair" feeling since a helmet is not necessary. That is why I think of it as a simulator.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  13. TxCyclist

    TxCyclist Administrator Staff Member Admin Staff

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    Genius!

    So you built two different models or they are both the same in different stages?
     
  14. shiboleth

    shiboleth New Member

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    These are two different machines. The yellow one is a frame I designed and cut and had welded up by a friend. The black one is another set of blowers mounted to an old Schwinn ergometric X-bike. (These machines are a bit arcane, basically the same as the XR-5 but were designed for institutional use. They have heavy steel "feet" and A smaller chainwheel than the XR-5.) I have a third based on an XR-5, here is a picture of that one.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010
  15. Oneway

    Oneway Boston Biker

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    Great innovation! I really like your energy conservation inspired inventiveness to avoid plugging in an electric fan. The squirrel cage fans seem compact and balance over the wheels nicely. Ever thought about gearing down a big bladed, slower turning fan?
    BTW, nice porch. Austin, trees, I always envied the land of the Lance as a biking Utopeia. What do you need a trainer for anyway? I guess the breeze is nice.
     
  16. shiboleth

    shiboleth New Member

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    Either I don't understand the question

    ...or I don't know something that would make it comprehensible. Most fans have to (it seems to me, anyway) be moving faster than one gear step will get them in order to work effectively. This is why the airdyne use a jack shaft and a second chain as a final drive. My takeup roller serves the same function and yields a six to one ratio with a four inch roller riding on a twenty-four inch wheel. With an initial ratio of approximatley 3 to one this yields an overall ratio of about twleve to one. That is, the fan rotates twelve times for each rotation of the crank. Of Course this is in gear two which on a three speed is the straight through gear.
    If one pedals with a cadence of 80 rpm this will yield approximately 960 rpm at the fan which is actually rated to run a bit faster than that. If these were commercialized the fans would have to be made finger proof to avoid a nasty injury or perhaps even disfingerment. As it happens I have some cats who have graciously allowed themselves to be persuaded to live with me and share my bounty. They have never shown any interest in this thing when it is in use. If I had children I would keep them the hell away from it until they had reached the age of reason.
    When I was first trying to develop the idea I thought of using a bevel gear to turn the rotation through a ninety degree angle so that an airscrew type fan could be used. Fortunately I clicked on the squirrel cages and realized that they might be much more elegant and require a minimum of extra running gear.
    Did I come close to answering your question? Bob
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  17. Oneway

    Oneway Boston Biker

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    Bob,
    Yep, didn't know that about airdyne, 960 rpm, age of reason, cats, bevel; got it.
     
  18. Alex Simmons/RST

    Alex Simmons/RST Cycling Coach

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    Here's mine:

    [​IMG]

    I also run an indoor training centre using Computrainers in a multirider set up.
     
  19. shiboleth

    shiboleth New Member

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    Wow, a thirty kg flywheel. The whole thing must weigh around 50 kg. Universal fit is a nice touch. First time I've ever seen adjustable crank arms. The stainless will keep its lustre with minimal care. How did you attach the chain wheel to the left side of the nexus hub? How do you figure wattage? Fabrication looks first rate. Does the user get much airflow? Their doesn't appear to be any triangulation in this frame. How well does it behave under heavy loads? Could you be more exact as to gearing. The nexus runs about 150% of straight through in 7th gear so the ratio of the chain wheel on the crank to that of the sprocket on the nexus times the ratio of the Nexus which depends on the gear it is in times the ratio of the chain wheel on the left side of the nexus to the hub sprocket. Frankly 600rpm sounds a little slow unless something I am not seeing is slowing the action down. Is it easy to move around the house? Can you clarify?
     
  20. Alex Simmons/RST

    Alex Simmons/RST Cycling Coach

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    Too many questions. Here's a bit more info:
    Alex's Cycle Blog: Thunderbirds Are Go!

    Wattage is via an SRM power meter. I swapped out the first one with another with adjustable length SRM cranks. The SRM also has an online mode so data can be displayed on monitor screen:

    [​IMG]

    I can't tell you exact gearing. The 600 rpm of course depends on how cadence and actual gear - it's just an estimate based on an approx 6.x:1 ratio in a gear 5 when doing ~ 300 watts.

    Airflow from fan blades attached to flywheel is limited by the safety cover. I use a BFF for cooling:

    [​IMG]

    Unit was vital in my rehab and return to competitive cycling after a lower leg amputation.