CycleOps takes aim at Wahoo, Tacx with $599 Magnus smart trainer

New interactive trainer uses ANT+ FE-C and Bluetooth 4.0

CycleOps has been producing sturdy, long-lasting trainers for years, but the Wisconsin company got some serious competition when the likes of Wahoo and Tacx launched so-called smart trainers that offered easy compatibility and interaction with various training apps. With its new aggressively priced Magnus, CycleOps now has a solid competitor.

CycleOps has been producing electronic trainers for well over a decade. While some of the recent offerings pigeonholed themselves — the PowerSync came in Bluetooth or ANT+ — the new Hammer direct-drive smart trainer pushed ahead by offering both wireless frequencies plus compatibility for quick release and thru-axle. The Hammer is similar in price and function to the Wahoo Kickr.

Power measurement works on PowerTap technology, which BikeRadar has found to be reliable and accurate over many years
Power measurement works on PowerTap technology, which BikeRadar has found to be reliable and accurate over many years

With the new $599 Magnus (UK pricing not immediately available), riders can use whatever wireless frequency they like, with whatever app they like. CycleOpsVirtualTraining continues to be refined, but riders can also use Zwift, Kinomap or TrainerRoad just as easily.

Pricewise, the Magnus comes in under the $699 Wahoo Kickr Snap, and just above the Tacx Vortex. (We will update this story with GBP pricing as soon as we receive it from CycleOps.)

CycleOps claims the Magnus responds more quickly than past trainers to external control with its electromagnetic design, which offers up to 1,500w of resistance.

The hand-built steel frame is tried and true, using the company’s Classic Series design plus its proprietary clutch knob, which is like a torque wrench for tension between the trainer’s roller and bike’s rear tire.

The hand-built steel frame is tried and true, using the company’s Classic Series design plus its proprietary clutch knob, which is like a torque wrench for tension between the trainer’s roller and bike’s rear tire
The hand-built steel frame is tried and true, using the company’s Classic Series design plus its proprietary clutch knob, which is like a torque wrench for tension between the trainer’s roller and bike’s rear tire

The legs fold in for storage, and the feet can be adjusted for uneven surfaces.

Power measurement works on PowerTap technology, which BikeRadar has found to be reliable and accurate over many years.

Noise is a claimed 65-69 decibels at 20mph, which makes it quieter than its competitors. 

The Magnus is compatible with frames that have 120mm, 130mm and 135mm rear dropouts. It does not appear to support the 142x12 thru-axle standard used on some disc-equipped road bikes. 

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team, Trek Boone 5, Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4, Marinoni fixed gear, Santa Cruz Roadster TT bike
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA
Back to top