BikeRadar Bargains: cheap smart trainers — UK deals

Get your training setup sorted for when the weather turns

It has been a wonderful summer, but sadly, the days are getting shorter and we can't help but feel an inevitable swing towards more miserable conditions is due soon. Why not give some thought to how you'll be keeping up with your training schedule as the weather turns. For this week's edition of BikeRadar Bargains we've rounded up four of the best deals on our favourite smart trainers

Mercifully, indoor training has got a little more bearable in recent years with the introduction of smart trainers and apps such as Zwift bringing a competitive edge to what has previously been a pretty darn tedious task.

We've gathered deals on the accessibly priced, direct-drive Tacx Flux, the budget minded Tacx Vortex, the feature rich CycleOps Hammer and the immersive Tacx Neo smart trainers. Read on to find the perfect one for you.

Tacx Flux smart trainer — £699.99 £511.35

The Tacx Flux is the most feature-rich trainer on the market
The Tacx Flux is the most feature-rich trainer on the market

The Tacx Flux Smart Trainer is one of our favourite connected direct-drive trainers on the market. It sacrifices some of the features of the top-end Neo model (primarily packability) in favour of a more reasonable price.

While there are cheaper direct-drive trainers available, the Flux is currently the cheapest one to feature full FE-C (Fitness Equipment Control) integration, meaning it can mimic courses you've ridden outside. 

Tacx Vortex smart trainer — £399.99 £328.99

The Tacx Vortex Smart features easy connectivity and user-friendly apps
The Tacx Vortex Smart features easy connectivity and user-friendly apps

The Tacx Vortex is a more budget option, foregoing the direct-drive system for the more traditional wheel-on roller configuration. This can mean reduced accuracy in terms of power measurements, but generally results in a cheaper, lighter and more compact trainer.

Resistance for this model tops out at 950w, so stronger riders will likely overwhelm the Vortex quite quickly, but it should suffice for those looking to indulge in an evening training session in the pain cave.

CycleOps Hammer smart trainer — £1,000 £649.99

CycleOps has been making trainers for years now
CycleOps has been making trainers for years now

CycleOps, better known for its PowerTap brand of power meters, has been making high quality trainers for decades. The Hammer is its top of the range model and provides excellent power accuracy, a realistic ride feel and sturdy construction.

Ben Delaney spent a fair bit of time on the Hammer and likened its performance to category leader the Wahoo Kickr — the discount we've found here makes it a fair bit cheaper though.

Tacx Neo smart trainer — £1,249.99 £1,199.99

The Tacx Neo provides a smooth, engaging ride
The Tacx Neo provides a smooth, engaging ride

In our opinion the Tacx Neo offers one of the most immersive and engaging riding experiences out there (bar actually riding outside), simulating road surfaces and modulating resistance smoothly.

Power measurement is dependable and consistent and there's not much that speaks against the unit apart from the high cost. With the discount featured here that might not be such a problem anymore (for some) though.

Jack Luke

Staff Writer, UK
Jack has been riding and fettling with bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork and thinks nothing of bivouacking on a beach after work. Also fond of cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.
  • Discipline: Long days in the saddle by either road or mountain bike
  • Preferred Terrain: Happiest when on a rural road by the coast or crossing a remote mountain pass. Also partial to a cheeky gravel adventure or an arduous hike-a-bike.
  • Current Bikes: Custom Genesis Croix de Fer all road adventure wagon, Niner EMD 9.
  • Dream Bike: A rigid 44 Bikes Marauder, all black please.
  • Beer of Choice: Caesar Augustus
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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