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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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.