Author Topic: MTB Home trainer Software  (Read 5682 times)

tlmadsen

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Re: MTB Home trainer Software
« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2016, 06:51:17 AM »
Think it is time for me to put forward my home-trainer experience. “Karstenhorn’s” set-up is what I would call a “full-blown home-trainer set-up” and if you have the money and the space to have it installed permanently it is difficult to say anything bad about it. I wish I had the space for a such a permanent installation.

However, for many people, the price and/or the space for such an installation is the limiting factor. My home-trainer set-up is in the opposite end of the scale, it is a very basic ELITE novo and I think that to some extent, this is more what “SportingGoods” is after.

Let me explain how I use it, so you can get a feeling for it and judge if this is the way you should go. The trainer itself is the ELITE Novo,  it is  just a very basic trainer where you strap in your bike and it apply a “resistance-roller” to your tire. It has 8 levels of “resistance” and that’s it. No electronic, no power -meter ext. nothing beside the resistance to your tire.

I typically strap in my racer or my Tri-bike, never tried with my MTB. A short side remark. A home-trainer, regardless if you have a small or big set-up, is perfect to learn to be in the aerobars of a tri-bike. It takes a couple of month, but then you got it and it is much safer than going on the road.

How do I train, when I am on the home-trainer.  Basically, after my pulse. I have a Garmin Fenix-3 (not the HR, but the strap version). Typically, I make a training session in Garmin Connect, load it up to the Fenix-3 and I am ready to go. I then just adjust the resistance and the gear, so I am at the right pulse-level/zone and a good cadence.

 I do have both cadence and speed measurement on the bikes going to the Fenix-3, but I don’t really use them while on the home-trainer; For cadence, you typically know if you are in a good flow and the speed measurement don’t really make sense unless you compared to the same resistance-level ext.

A typical training session last between one and two hours. It can be interval, long rides at specific pulse-zone (typically on the tri-bike) or whatever you fancy. I typically listen to music. In the beginning, I also watched television, but I somehow became unforced on the training, so I stopped that.
 
I sweat a lot when I do exercise (yes, my fitness level is OK), but when I am on the home-trainer, I sweat like a pig, very much like when you are in a spinning class (you don’t have the cooling effect of the “speed wind”), so if you intent to do your home-trainer indoor, remember to get a BIG fan.

I prefer the home-trainer on the covered balcony, then the fan is only needed in the hottest times. Sometimes I do it in the basement and the fan is a must and you need fresh air in the room afterwards. Putting it up in the living room is basically a no-go, at least for me, due to the sweat and to some extent the noise.

Going more than a couple of hours on a home-trainer is a mental challenge, and even with a full scale set-up I think it is the same. My record is about 3:20 and that was REALLY mentally hard.

What I like about this set-up and the home-trainer is that it is extremely efficient. Beside the bike itself, I only need the trainer and a sleeping pad to go under the set-up. No electronic, no tv, no calibration ext. The Fenix-3 I have for all training session anyway.

The only data you get is your pulse, cadence and “speed”.

You could even use the most basic pulse-watch and just write down your training session and follow that.

No, I don’t know what power I am at, nor can I claim that I did mount Ventoux in 45 min, but does it improve my fitness level: YES.

Having a home-trainer, regardless of scale is very efficient, you don’t have to find out where you want to go, drive to all the traffic light in the city before you can really start ext. and most important, you family can still get in contact with you while you are on the trainer. Quite important if you have smallish children.

BR

Thomas

SportingGoods

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Re: MTB Home trainer Software
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2016, 07:09:25 AM »
Thanks Thomas for this feedback. It's nice to see people spending time to write detailed reviews like that!
I'm about to pull the trigger on the Elite Qubo fluid. I can get it for 200€. I don't need it now, weather is really nice, but I really could ride more if I had one (after work, I pick up the kids and it's already dark outside)

karstenhorn

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Re: MTB Home trainer Software
« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2016, 12:28:16 PM »
I totally agree with your points Thomas, the most important part is the ability to conduct structured training. It does not matter so much if train based on pulse or a power output as long as you something to measure up against. Me personally I prefer to use power as the factor I measure up against as my pulse is jumping around due to the medicine I have to take day in and day out.

About the easiness of getting access to training, I will just point out that during the last month here locally there have only been 1 day where weather and my work schedule made it possible to have a decent ride in the forest. Still I have completed 18 bike rides, about 600 km(almost 400 miles) of hard concentrated training and I would say that my fitness level is as good as it has been for many years. That is only possible due to the ability to jump on the trainer any time of the day when you have 1 hour in spare. As a matter of fact I managed to set a new record on my local mtb racetrack that I have done 100s of times. Until now the record was 1h 10 min and last Sunday I did it in 1h 03 min with an average pulse 7 beats lower than the last record ride. The day before I had spent 1 1/2 hour on the trainer so my legs was as a matter of fact a little heavy on that record ride and the trail was extremely heavy due to 3 weeks of heavy rain. All in all hard facts that the investment I made is one of the best investment I have ever made related to my fitness focus. Will I still use it in the summertime when the sun is shining - Hell yes as the efficiency is higher and it is so easy and a very flexible tool. In the end I think I will ride a lot more next season :D

Karsten


SportingGoods

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Re: MTB Home trainer Software
« Reply #33 on: November 07, 2016, 02:34:33 AM »
As the Strava members might have noticed, I'm onboard  ;D

I've received my Elite Qubo Fluid on Saturday. The equipment is just as I thought: very quiet (the one thing I hear is the sound of my drivetrain, not the trainer), smooth ride. As a premium Strava subscriber I get 2 month free on Zwift. I like it for now. I did a 30 minutes ride on Saturday (rain all day long). It felt short. I did a 45 minutes FTP test on Sunday, felt short again (I wanted a point of reference to track my progress). I feel that 90 minutes ride should be no problem.
Zwift is a lot of fun, the 3D environment is just as good as a real video to me and it's so nice to see "real" virtual people.

The Trainer has no piece of electronics at all (pure fluid roller). I stay on the small ring and get enough range there. I pushed over 600W during the FTP test and can roll easy at 60W for warm up, always in a cadence that is appropriate. I don't need more then that, and if I ever do, I'll just get on the big chainring. That's why I have picked this trainer, you control the resistance through the speed (cadence and gear).

Zwift knows what I do thanks to 3 sensors: my HR band, a speed sensor and a cadence sensor. All Smart BT. Zwift shows cadence, speed, climb, distance and power (because he knows the power curve of my trainer). I get a wide screen to display the 3D world (the external screen of my MacBook) and I get my iPhone mounted on my bike (as usual) to give me controls (pause, send message to buddies, turn left/right, show as well the metrics).
The one thing I miss now is a big fan. I sweated a lot during the FTP test.

Now my plan is to follow the 12 weeks winter plan. You don't have to stick to it, you just load the session you want, that way you can still mix outdoor and indoor. I'll see in 2 month if I want to pay 10€/month. I'll have the option to test other softwares, they all offer some sort of free test.

carbonazza

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Re: MTB Home trainer Software
« Reply #34 on: November 07, 2016, 05:32:10 AM »
...because he knows the power curve of my trainer...
This is as good and much cheaper than a power meter to measure improvements. Great.

... I get my iPhone mounted on my bike (as usual) to...  turn left/right...
What? You turn right/left with the phone :) ?

SportingGoods

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Re: MTB Home trainer Software
« Reply #35 on: November 07, 2016, 07:58:03 AM »
I'd say that this is exactly how the smart trainer work. They don't have any single strain gauge! That would be too expensive. They just calculate power from speed and the known power curve. Instead of paying the trainer company to tell me Power, I pay a sensor company and a software company. All the same at the end.

And yes, in Zwift you can go where you want! When there is a cross road you can tap on your phone which direction you prefer (uphill, follow the shore, get into the city). I'm really liking Zwift for now. The kids thought I was playing a video game and I had to explain them why they can't play. Even my wife wants to try Zwift. It's so nice that I was a bit disappointed that the weather was so nice today and I could not consider riding indoor. Shame on me  :-[
Today was probably my last day out for a week, we have snow coming tomorrow!

carbonazza

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Re: MTB Home trainer Software
« Reply #36 on: November 07, 2016, 08:44:33 AM »
... Today was probably my last day out for a week, we have snow coming tomorrow!
Too bad for you, but comforting for some of us in about 8 weeks :)

SportingGoods

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Re: MTB Home trainer Software
« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2016, 07:38:08 AM »
I wanted to post a picture of my setup and found nothing best then my security cam  :)
Not great quality but you see the point. I just push my chair against the desk. I put Zwift on the center screen. My bike right in front of it, with my phone mounted on the stem. A bottle in the cage. A towel nearby (hang on my elliptical bike, which is now useless!). Again, I miss the fan, but I've ordered one on Amazon.
You see it's not a permanent setup but it takes 5 minutes to install. Fast enough for me, my office is located at the ground floor, just the same as my bike shed.


50 minutes felt really short last night. Did that while my son was at his rugby training, and I had my daughter at home (no way to get out and ride).



PS: I confirm that snow is now falling!

EDIT: I forgot to confirm that indeed Zwift and Strava end their partnership. I will benefit from Nov and Dec free on Zwift but then it's gone. I might try Bkool software then, even though I really like Zwift and have started a 12 weeks build-FTP training program.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2016, 07:48:50 AM by SportingGoods »

karstenhorn

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Re: MTB Home trainer Software
« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2016, 02:54:54 AM »
I might try Bkool software then, even though I really like Zwift and have started a 12 weeks build-FTP training program.

Hello

Just a heads up regarding BKOOL, their workout section sucks and from my perspective completely useless. Even you do a FTP test, it does not incorporate that in a work out plan. You cannot type in your FTP value manually if you have it by other means. You can only create a workout plan with maximum 3 training passes per week. The training plans BKOOL suggest is plain stupid; for example I created a plan to improve my endurance power and it came up with a training plan where I should stay in power zone 1 and 2 for the first 14 sessions. That would kill my fitness level and 5 weeks of training down the bin. You cannot create a specific workout based on either power or pulse, they clam that it will come in the future but lets see.

They just did a huge update to their system and not for the better if you ask me. BKOOL I now only use for recreational/fun rides and all my training I do in Trainerroad. 

Karsten

SportingGoods

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Re: MTB Home trainer Software
« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2016, 03:30:30 AM »
Thanks Karstenhorn! I won't waste my time with BKool software then. The 2 softwares that really seem the best are TrainerRoad and Zwift. And I realized last night that I still get my 14 days of test for free on Zwift. It does cumulate with the 2 month from Strava Premium. So, I get 2 month and 1/2 free of charge to go through the winter, it might be enough. Worse case I'll pay 10€ for one more month.
The good thing is that you can suspend your subscription to Zwift till the next winter and then you still have everything when you join back (history, level, unlocked jersey, bikes, wheels - which effect the speed!).

One thing I forgot to mention about my trainer. For now I just use my regular tire and I see no issue. It does not get hot even after 60 minutes ride, it is not damaged in any way (people were reporting on forum some rubber bits flying around  :o). Not sure if that's because it is a tubeless that is very soft and comfortable, or if that's the polymer coating on my trainer, but I don't plan on a trainer-specific tire.

karstenhorn

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Re: MTB Home trainer Software
« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2016, 06:40:17 AM »
I think that specific trainer tires are overrated and I know that many people are using their ordinary road tire and that they are as good as any other tire. I just bought the new Michelin Power and did not want to waste them on a trainer winter season so I bought a specific trainer tyre as they were less than half prize of a good quality road tire. For the upcoming winter seasons, I will save my old road tires and use them up on the trainer. So far I have done more than 1000 km on my swalbe trainer tire and it still looks like new.

Karsten

SportingGoods

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Re: MTB Home trainer Software
« Reply #41 on: November 11, 2016, 09:24:09 AM »
I have just discovered something very interesting... Cyclocross tires is a no-go!

My wife asked me to try the trainer (the complete experience, with software). So I put the sensors on her bike (quite easy with the Wahoo sensors - no magnet). I swap the rear axle (common axle don't enable a secure grip on the trainer). Put the bike on and... it sounds like a jet engine  :o
Those are continental CX 35 mm tires, with a very subtle structure (diamond-like dense structure). I really thought it would be OK, but it's absolutely not!

I have mounted a spare wheel with my Durano 28mm, and it's now as quiet as my Pro One tubeless.

So, it appears that you absolutely need a slick tire, the least structure the quieter.

EDIT: these are the CX tires
http://www.probikeshop.fr/continental-pneu-speed-cx-700x35c-souple/61172.html
« Last Edit: November 11, 2016, 09:27:21 AM by SportingGoods »

SportingGoods

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Re: MTB Home trainer Software
« Reply #42 on: November 17, 2016, 10:09:40 AM »
A quick update on home trainer. I get a couple key points I'd like to share with you:

1) It's pretty impressive how it helps to progress.
I've cycled a lot more then I would have w/o a trainer. It shows when I'm back on the road. Today I went for a relaxing ride over lunch, nice sunny cold day, and still pushed on the way back up home, but not as much as I have in the past. I was surprised to cross a reference point at 28km/h, around the top of the climb, where I know I'm usually around 24-26km/h. Checking the log on Strava, I have indeed beaten my PR, not trying to!

2) There is a lot to learn from Power metric.
Real power meters are more expensive then what I want to spend, so I don't have any. But trainers enable to visualize Power easily. I've experimented that many factors impact output Power:
- the pedaling technique can save a lot of watts. You have to force yourself to push less when pedaling properly or you exceed the power target.
- my position on the bike is important. I generate more watts in the drops, w/o meaning to.
- cadence. There is really a sweet spot that is efficient. That's about 85 rpm for me (it could actually be a different real value, but that's what my sensor tells me)
- Mind focus. During a recovery section I have to focus on the watts or I push too much. When I see a change in the landscape (turn, approach a climb or a descent or a group...Zwift enables all that) I immediately start to push stronger. I have to force myself if I want to stay at the power target.
This tells me that a power meter would be cool on the road, but I'll wait till a product comes in at a reasonable price!

karstenhorn

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Re: MTB Home trainer Software
« Reply #43 on: November 18, 2016, 06:25:01 AM »
Hello

Without doubt I will be riding with a power meter on my road bike next spring, however until now I have been reluctant to pay for a $1000+ solution until I read a DCRainmaker article about the new "PowerPod". Here we are talking a reasonable prizing and according various tests also remarkably accurate compared to the cost.

Link to Powerpod: http://www.powerpodsports.com/
Link to DCRainmaker article: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2016/03/powerpod-depth-review.html

As a matter of fact quite easy to swap between road- and MTB and I'm just about punch the buy button :)

Karsten

carbonazza

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Re: MTB Home trainer Software
« Reply #44 on: November 18, 2016, 07:47:15 AM »
Thanks Karstern! This is a very interesting discovery.
I'm surprised the wind can be measured precisely enough to match other power-meters( despite side winds, aerodynamics/size of the rider, standing on the pedals vs. seated, etc. ).

I'm not particularly interested of knowing precisely my watts.
But having a relative measurement to do some exercises, to know if I'm improving after a particular training or if I'm too long in the red.