Computrainer by Racermate is a stationary bike trainer that incorporates real courses and the ability to connect multiple trainers together on a PC to race/train against other riders. Computrainer has been around for awhile and utilizes your own bike in training. They have some of the top triathletes and cyclists in the world riding on them. You can use preloaded courses from around the world or create your own GPS based course. I’ve been using this system for 2 years now and swear by it. Some of my best workouts are on the Computrainer. Nothing beats the out doors, but sometimes if it’s no good outside and you really want a specific workout, the Computrainer is the ticket. You can hook 2 trainers together to ride with a buddy or ride against a pacer. The pacer can be controlled by your handlebar mount to increase his effort or decrease it.
Computrainer provides all the data you could possible want. Power, HR, speed, distance, incline, even a spin scan. Spin scan allows you to view and analyze your pedal stroke. You can also purchase real course videos that are filmed in HD, so it gives the sense that you are really on the course. I know riding indoors on a trainer to some is pure misery, but this system really helps minimize the agony. Visual aspects that keep you engaged, with the constant terrain changes and chasing a virtual partner help. Turn on some music and it’s a pretty effective use of time.
Computrainer comes in a few different versions. They are all built on the same basic hardware and technology, but you can chose from the basic trainer (solo) to a 2 person system to the multi ride system used in many of large coaching companies (up to 8 riders)
They plug into a standard 110v and connects to your pc via a standard USB connect. Windows based operating system (no Mac).
Racermate is coming out with some nice upgrades to the software this year with a much nicer user interface for 2013. We’ll be doing a follow up article on the enhancements.