Tacx has finally unveiled what is possibly the ultimate home trainer, especially if you’re also into a bit of running too. The Magnum is a full sized (but wider) treadmill that’s fully FE-C compatible so you can ride simulated courses with up to a 20 percent slope, whether riding or running.
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We got to try the final prototype of the Magnum during our recent visit to the Tacx factory in Wassenaar, Holland, where Martin Smits, head of product development, told us that the final production version will get a control panel and better finishing than the one that we tried.
The Magnum smart trainer is much cleverer than just a rolling road. As we held onto the side and spun up to speed, the treadmill works with your acceleration and light sensors on the treadmill sides (lit up between blue, green, and red) read your position on the bike.
If you push too far forward it will gently increase the resistance to put you back in the zone, and if you fall backwards it will decrease to allow you to accelerate — and if you stop suddenly or brake, the Magnum reacts in a split second to prevent you from falling.
The sensation of the Magnum takes a few spins to get used to, it's unlike a set of rollers as you have much more freedom to balance and move around on the bike, though once it ‘clicks’ it’s a very impressive tool.
Something this big (and clever) is going to cost though. Tacx's Magnum trainer comes with a projected price in the region of €7,000, so we can see this as something much more for the rich triathlete or sports institutions. Besides that, we’re not sure we’d even have room for one.