Smart Trainers

I know there’s a lot of advice and reccomendations on here regarding Smart trainers, but it seems to be scattered amongst various conversations on different threads, so i thought i’d create a topic in itself not only for ease of future searches, but i also have a question for now!

A mate is asking about a smart turbo. He and his family are chipping in for one for his brother’s 40th. He’s into his indoor cycling, but isn’t really up on tech etc so can’t really offer an informed opinion. He just sent them the link to the Neo 2T! :rofl: Course he did, it’s £1200! Wishful thinking maybe!!!

I know the main brands, and looking at their offerings i’m coming up with (excluding top end):

  1. The Tacx Flux - £549 and Flux 2 - £700 look quite decent (for what he would want/need - to put it politely, he’s not a racing snake),

  2. Elite Direto £700

  3. Saris H3 £900

  4. Wahoo Kickr Core £700

The Saris probably knocks itslef out on cost here (unless i’m missing a more budget freindly option).

Any thoughts or experience on the others? Ta.

(also may inform my thinking next winter if i think i can get away with it!! haha)

I think that the Kickr core is probably the best at that price point.


I’ve got an original flux and a Saris H3.

The flux has been pretty faultless - despite the streams of issues online. Tho most of these seem to be fixable with either a software rollback of some random chap in Europe making a few custom parts.

Wife took the flux when we got a 2nd and I got an S3. Saris is quieter… well it would be if it didnt have this random knocking noise - which I think Ive narrowed down to a pulley in the unit. In response, Saris (or whoever they are called) - have sent me 4 or 5 shipments of parts to try and correct it (arguably its under warranty, tho I dont really want to send it back and be without). It still works fine, power accuracy is highly accurate against my faveros, believe its the choice of trainer for traineroad.
I’d happily buy another of either…

The direto I actually ordered before the Saris - that turned up with 2 fundamental bolts missing from the casing. It was like buckaroo riding that thing. I assume it had been a return - but put me right off!

I think wahoo is arguably a safe bet in that list too!

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What does “he” want out of it? And is he happy with low inertia? (ie will he sit there and grind low cadence high watt, or does he actually want it to feel like riding a bike)

i went straight in at the deep end and bought wahoo kickr ,100% happy with my purchase all be it more than intended to spend ,so far no issues easy to setup and actually making indoor training bearable almost fun


No idea tbh. I don’t think he’s what most on here would consider a ‘serious cyclist’. He’s done a few 100 mile sportives, but is quite a big lad I’ve just found out - 6ft 5 and 16 stone odd. So it’d need to be stable.

Oooh good thread. SUBSCRIBE.

Does anyone know, what is difference betweeb Wahoo Kickr at £999, and Wahoo Kickr Core at £699?

Obviously three hundred quid, but I mean in terms of features and performance?

Maximum power, maximum gradient and flywheel weight.

Also Kickr comes with a casette, core doesn’t.

Kickr apparently 9db quieter (70 vs 61)

kickr ‘auto calibrates’

Info from here: Best smart trainers 2021: top-rated turbo trainers for Zwift - BikeRadar

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Maximum power - most of us wont get near
Maximum gradient - well if racing in zwift most turn the trainer difficult down which arguably flattens the hills to some extent

Oh auto calibrate - thought that was just a neo thing.

Watching with interest…!

Right… if I have one of these

And the polar 460, should it be able to read power?

I never actually plug the turbo in…

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Sorry to fire your thread off on a tangent already @gingerbongo, but I’ve got a - possibly - stupid question…

Can you just jump on smart trainers & crack on with a session like I’m used to doing on my dumb trainer or do you need a Zwift/Trainer Road subscription & wifi connection to “drive” them?

Obvs I don’t have wifi in my cold war, toilet of doom :disappointed_relieved:


Pretty sure you can use them as a dumb trainer i.e. just crack on, but i guess that’s akin to taking your porsche to the tip instead of the Mondeo estate.


Yep. You just need to plug it in and you can use it however you like.

You could get your Bolt to control your trainer with ERG also - so no need for trainer road or Zwift if you prefer

Edit for link @Doonhamer

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Funny you should mention that…we took some
Paint Tins for a “fun lockdown day out” recently, old guy next to us had some fencing in a f’ng Bentayga :rofl::money_mouth_face::+1:t3:

No idea at all on trainers or turbos.
Mine is about to ghost on me, so not looking forwards to actually buying one (I swapped this with a club mate for some mudguards :+1:t3:)

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Cheers for that @Adam from that it looks like Level Mode would make a smart trainer run on a progressive power curve like my hydraulic trainers & I would have more options to import sessions…

All good to know.

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Can’t believe it hasn’t been posted yet:


I have a flux 2 and it works great wth everything except Zwift. I use it in different ways. Sometimes just ride at whatever Wattage I want or control it via my Elemnt Bolt either as a downloaded workout, which is how I do hard intervals or in erg mode holding a specific Wattage. It works fine with SUF (formerly Sufferfest). With Zwift simulated climbing is a mixed bag, mostly not enjoyable. The torque on climbs becomes too high so cadence drops right down, resistance drops to let your cadence come back up. Its flipping annoying as I can end up moving between 120W-350W-120W-350W repeat in short cycles with cadence dropping to maybe 40 at 350W. It must be a software issue but neither Zwift or Tacx seem to have any desire to sort it out.

If you don’t want to zwift then it’s great but I wouldn’t recommend it because of that issue.

ETA: There are often smart trainers on Wiggle’s ebay shop to get one cheaper than you otherwise might do.


I have a Flux s which is my second unit after the first one crapped itself

I only ever use it on Zwift and it’s absolutely fine.

However if I had to buy one today I’d go with a Kickr core. I believe the legs fold in for storage and with my current setup that would be a massive positive

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I believe this problem is specific to the Flux 2, which is fecking ace. The one time I don’t read a DC Rainmaker review before a purchase :man_shrugging:t4:


I honestly saw the thread title and thought you were talking about shoes.