If you’re serious about your performance and prefer using your own bike on a turbo rather than a dedicated home trainer, take a look at the CompuTrainer Pro.
This is no plug-and-play piece of kit; it takes about an hour to set up, and once the bike’s in place you’ll be loath to take it off again – something to bear in mind if you don’t have a dedicated turbo bike.
With each use, the unit must be ridden for 10 minutes before calibrating it. Sounds a pain, but it’s something you get used to, and it’s reassuring to know your power outputs are rock solidly consistent with each ride.
Sadly, the same can’t be said for the heart rate (HR) data – the earlobe monitor was uncomfortable and the optional wireless strap plus sensor (£50) lagged behind a standard HRM by around five seconds.
The software is easy to install but lacks intuition. The features are vast – too many to detail – but the unit can be used in three modes: stand alone, or two where you’re connected to a PC.
The coaching software records a detailed graph with every parameter you could want (power, cadence, HR, left v right leg…) and is most useful for testing yourself; the 3D software lets you compete against a pacer, or other users if you’re hooked up together.
For both, it’s possible to load pre-set courses, create your own or load GPS data using third-party software. Particularly good is the SpinScan feature that gives you a graphical representation of your pedalling style – perfect for working on eliminating those dead spots.
The CompuTrainer Pro is a heavily featured bit of kit that will do as much as the competition, with more accuracy but less panache.
If you buy through the one UK distributor, you’ll also beneﬁt from the training advice of Simon Ward, a qualiﬁed coach who works with some of the UK’s top triathletes.