Elite Turbo Muin trainer review£499.99

The trainer that's seen but not heard

BikeRadar score4/5

Elite’s Turbo Muin is a trainer that takes the place of your rear wheel and uses fluid resistance. This is claimed to be both smoother than other methods and quieter – which can be a real issue given the noise of some indoor trainers.

    Combining a 197mm, 6kg flywheel with its fluid technology, Elite says the Turbo Muin can offer over 2000 watts of resistance – more than enough for even the most optimistic riders. There’s no remote adjustment, as resistance increases automatically the harder you ride in any gear, and shifting gear allows infinite variation. Speed readings are possible by fitting a supplementary chainstay sensor that picks up a magnet within the flywheel enclosure, which transmits via ANT+ to an iPad app.

    Anyone used to the noise from a conventional turbo will be astonished by the Turbo Muin’s silence – the only real noise comes from your drivetrain. The feel as you pedal is extremely smooth and constant, with no jerkiness, and the resistance builds progressively in relation to the force you exert. The harder you push, the harder it gets – and it never slips under hard efforts. This makes it simple to use, whether you’re spinning a small gear to recover or mashing a monster gear for sprint intervals.

    A larger flywheel might further enhance road feel, but we found it realistic enough – and for most the ability to train indoors without impersonating a jet aircraft matters more. You can train on the Muin while chatting across the room, and even watch TV at a normal volume without alienating yourself from society.

    Although none is provided, it’ll accept Shimano or SRAM 9/10/11-speed cassettes, and an alternative freehub body is available for Campagnolo users. The axle accepts 130mm or 135mm dropouts, and extra thin spacers are provided in case your frame doesn’t clear the trainer. We found slotting a bike on to the turbo no trickier than refitting a rear wheel, although certain time trial bikes with rear-facing dropouts can prove awkward. With the bike supported at its normal height, direct-drive turbos don’t need a riser block to elevate the front wheel, making mounting and dismounting no harder than usual, which is especially useful after a hard session.

    Four bolts hold the stable H-shaped base together, with another allowing one leg to fold inwards for storage or transportation. It weighs 16.94kg and measures 56x58x47cm high before folding. This can demand quite a large space in your vehicle, but it’s worth the effort, as not needing a specific training wheel or a dedicated bike for turbo training increases its usefulness as a pre-race warm-up tool.

    This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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