Gear Reviews

8 great indoor trainers when you have to ride inside

From entry level to premium, these bad weather beaters will keep you riding

Editor’s Note: This article is part of the Mtbr Ultimate Guide to winter mountain biking. We are taking a deep dive into all manner of cold weather mountain bike gear, with round-ups and reviews of fat bikes, tires, wheels, apparel, lights, trainers and more. To see all the articles, head over to our Winter Guide Hub Page.

With hundreds of options to chose from, it can be hard to narrow down your shopping list when searching for a trainer. To help make that decision a little easier, here in no particular order are eight of the top trainers currently on the market. And if you’re confused about the technology that sets these trainers apart, check out our guide to picking the best trainer for you.

The CPR A-2000 can accommodate 16”-29” tires without special adapters.

The CPR A-2000 can accommodate 16”-29” tires without special adapters (click to enlarge).

1. 1upUSA CPA-2000

The 1upUSA CPR A-2000 has won multiple awards due to its quiet performance, incredible adjustability, and compact nature. The sturdy unit is only 6” thick when folded and is entirely built in the USA. | Price: $309 | More info at www.1upusa.com

The free version of Bkool's software offers powerful tools, but the premium service unlocks a 3D world, video routes, and more.

The free version of Bkool’s software offers powerful tools, but the premium service unlocks a 3D world, video routes, and more (click to enlarge).

2. BKool Smart Pro

What sets the Smart Pro apart from its competitors is the powerful fusion of software and hardware. Bkool’s Indoor Simulator technology allows you to import GPS files to replicate any route in the world. You can also plug in your (or anyone else’s) previous ride performances, to see how you compare in real time. | Price: $699 | More info at www.bkool.com

CycleOps shares a roof with PowerTap, which enables them to work closely in order to hone in the accuracy of trainer resistance.

CycleOps shares a roof with PowerTap, which enables them to work closely in order to hone in the accuracy of trainer resistance (click to enlarge).

3. CycleOps PowerSync

Compared to the other electronic-enhanced trainers on this list, the PowerSync is relatively affordable. Like its competitors, it allows you to sync your computer or TV to utilize virtual training software such as Zwift. For those on a budget however, the CycleOps Fluid 2 is their perennial best seller. It retails for $350. | Price: $899 | More info at www.cycleops.com

The Cyclotron Mag II offers reliable performance at a reasonable price.

The Cyclotron Mag II offers reliable performance at a reasonable price (click to enlarge).

4. Giant Cyclotron Mag II

If you’re not obsessed with data, Giant’s Cyclotron II magnetic trainer has everything you need to get a solid workout indoors at a reasonable price. The magnetic trainer is quiet and has seven resistance levels, which you can swap between via a handlebar mounted thumb shifter. | Price: $180 | More info at www.giant-bicycles.com

Continue to page 2 to learn about four more great trainers »
About the author: Mtbr

Mtbr.com is a site by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. We are the best online resource for information for mountain bikers of all abilities, ages and interests.


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  • a says:

    Those prices… Gotta love my arctica s197b – 40-50$ and work superbly well.

  • Doug in San Diego says:

    $260 ???!!

    For the abuse they take, I would prefer an article on cheap sunglasses

    • Don S in Illinois says:

      For the last decade, I have used industrial safety glasses on the bike. I started buying my own when I worked on the railroad and found that they worked very well on the bike, too. I get indoor/outdoor lenses (now with diopters) and they work great in just about any lighting condition. I pay less than $10 a pair for them and I think they are more stylish, IMHO, than what was shown in the article. Full Source and Safety Glasses USA are two good sources for a good selection.

      • macias says:

        I asked sometime about them and manufacturer response was since they were not designed to be used in sunlight condition they don’t have UV filter. For me $100 for sunglasses are exorbitant price, but $100 for your EYES… well, that sounds cheap so I won’t go with safety glasses (I used them when riding in the night, but by definition I didn’t need UV filter then).

  • Chad B says:

    Spending $200 on a pair of cycling sunglasses that are either going to get marred up in a crash or by getting shoved into a pack when light conditions get too low is absolutely ridiculous. These are either for those that have more money than they know what to do with or are sponsored by one of these companies. Typically end up using something I find on clearance or a pair of safety glasses that aren’t going to make me cry if they get broken in my pack.

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