It’s that time of year again, when riding indoors occasionally seems preferable to venturing outside, so here’s a new and relatively inexpensive turbo trainer from CycleOps.
Using its trusty Classic folding frame, the SuperMagneto takes minutes to assemble, measures just 49 x 52 x 29cm when folded, and weighs 18.5lb complete, which is less than some bikes. It’s easy to transport and store, quick to set up, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
A spring-loaded bolt-action lever secures the bike in the trainer. You can put most any bike with a quick-release wheel in it. It fits bikes with rear dropout spacing of 120mm, 130mm or 135mm, and 650b, 700c, 26, 27 or 29in wheel sizes with tire widths up to 2.25in. You’ll need a front wheel riser block to avoid slipping forward on the saddle, and we’d definitely advise using an indoor trainer tire or at least an old tire you don’t care about anymore.
The SuperMagneto offers four resistance settings via the large rubberized grip on the outside of the flywheel enclosure. These can only be adjusted between sessions; the only way to alter resistance while riding is by using your gears.
The Easy setting allows you to spin easily and warm up your legs, Road mode is for smooth, steady riding over extended sessions, with a decent ride feel thanks to the large flywheel. Interval setting increases resistance for harder efforts, while Mountain setting feels far more draggy, as if you’re riding on a gradient.
The SuperMagneto is a stable training platform — the foldable front legs extend out to a width of 78cm — even during leg-busting intervals. Plastic feet on the rear supporting bar can be rotated to help level and stabilize the trainer on uneven surfaces.
It’s not quiet, but the claimed 69-70 decibels at 20mph isn’t excessive – though that figure could vary depending on location and tyre used.
There is a tiny amount of slip from the precision-machined alloy roller during sprint efforts, but it doesn’t interfere with your pedaling. It’s not the most road-like turbo, but does a decent job overall, and is definitely good enough for most riders.
Plus, if you trade in your old trainer (regardless of brand), CycleOps will throw in a free Joule computer and speed sensor.