If you really struggle to get your head around the idea of indoor cycle training, a virtual reality trainer might be the answer. Once the Tacx is built up, the software is surprisingly easy to install and get going.
Mechanically speaking, the motor resistance is super-smooth, feels surprisingly road-like and offers up to the equivalent of a 1:4 hill. It even provides the illusion of freewheeling while ‘descending’.
As you’d expect of a trainer at this price, there’s hardly any noise and the bike feels rock solid in the frame. The software is great too; we kicked off by racing in the virtual world against computer opposition in a 12-mile race. The racing is fun and there’s no doubt it’s a lot more enjoyable than mindlessly staring at the garage wall.
From a training perspective, you get a good batch of data at the end of a workout too, including both heart rate and power stats. Next we tried out the real-time video of riding in Majorca and, once absorbed into the experience, it does feel eerily like riding on the road.
It’s even possible to buy DVDs of iconic climbs and ‘ride’ them in your home. For an additional £164.99 you can add a steering frame, and £239.99 buys you the opportunity to race your mates online.