Blackburn Raceday Portable Trainer review£350.00

On-the-fly rollers

BikeRadar score4/5

Outwardly very similar to Feedback’s Omnium trainer (be sure to check our in depth comparison between the two!) Blackburn’s Raceday is designed for the rider wanting a good-quality training or warm-up unit that’s easily transportable and simple to store. 

The Raceday folds down to 51x19x19cm and comes with its own tough carry bag. An internal pocket keeps the alternate axle fittings safe, as mounting quick-release, 12mm or 15mm thru-axles and 100mm or 110mm dropout widths necessitates reconfiguring the easily swappable fork mounts.

The unit weighs just 6.59kg, which is considerably less than almost every turbo or set of rollers. Its two independent rollers are 108mm in diameter with 120mm usable width, and have integrated fluid resistance, said to be good for 650 watts.

Unfolding the trainer is simple, the splayed legs have braces that snap into place and telescope to multiple positions to fit most road and mountain bikes with wheel sizes from 20in to 700c and 29in, and tyre widths from 23mm to 2.3in. 

Blackburn Raceday Portable Trainer set up

Setting up takes a few minutes the first time, and far less for subsequent uses. Just attach the fork, and adjust the unit’s length until your rear wheel sits between the rollers, before tightening the central thumb wheel.

You’ll need a step, or good leg flexibility to get on, as the bike is elevated by around 10cm. The rollers spin smoothly, with consistent resistance, but there’s no flywheel effect, meaning the wheel slows very quickly when not pedalling. 

Blackburn Raceday Portable Trainer in use

It feels good in use, and using a power meter proved it’s simple to maintain steady outputs from 150W up to over 400W. Brief efforts at over 500W and peaking at 962W show the Raceday’s versatility for intervals and hard warm-ups.

A power meter proved it’s simple to maintain steady outputs from 150W up to over 400W  

The back wheel fishtails a little, and more if churning a big gear, but if you keep your head and torso fairly still, the Raceday is stable — if you get too thrashy with your upper body, the rubber feet can lift off the ground. Also, don’t lean too far to one side (if you want to reach for something, for example), as you may keep going…

Steady state riding is remarkably quiet, with no more than the whirr of wheel on roller audible. Higher intensities don’t create much more noise, making it great for unobtrusive training at home. 

It’s not a smart trainer, which is reflected in the cost, but along with Blackburn’s lifetime warranty, its simplicity, plus ease of transport and setup, removes most excuses not to use it.

Robin Wilmott

Tech Writer, Tech Hub, UK,
Robin began road cycling in 1988, and with mountain bikes in their infancy, mixed experimental off-road adventures with club time trials and road races. Cyclocross soon became a winter staple, and has remained his favourite form of competition. Robin has always loved the technical aspect of building and maintaining bikes, and several years working in a good bike shop only amplified that. Ten years as a Forensic Photographer followed, honing his eye for detail in pictures and words. He has shot at the biggest pro events since the '90s, and now he's here, drawing on all those experiences to figure out what makes a bike or component tick.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 178cm / 5'10"
  • Weight: 75kg / 165lb
  • Discipline: Road, cyclocross, time trials
  • Beer of Choice: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

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