Wednesday, October 14, 2009 1.00pm
By Nik Cook, Cycling Plus
The Real Axiom is Elite’s virtual reality answer to the Tacx Fortius and, for us, the Axiom just about edges it. Although it lacks the Tacx’s motor drive and ‘downhill’ feel, the Elastogel roller is smoother and quieter.
We found the Ritmo system, which attempts to let the bike move more naturally underneath you, gimmicky – although it did help us feel less anchored to the spot.
The Conconi testing and training software is excellent (warning: have a bucket nearby if doing the test). The breakdown you get from training sessions is truly mind-boggling and should satisfy even the most ardent number crunchers. The ﬁgures we got compared favourably with lab-based results for similar tests.
Coaching packages and email support from the Conconi lab come included in the price, plus you can race online without an upgrade, download real rides via GPS and even buy classic ride DVDs.
However, and this comment applies to both VR trainers, do you really need all this? We can see the appeal if you live in a place where riding outside is often impractical, but most indoor sessions are focused interval workouts lasting under an hour. In which case, will the VR experience add enough to justify its premium?
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