Thursday, October 11, 2012

CycleOps Jetfluid Pro Trainer

Last week Susan and I purchased a new CycleOps JetFluid Pro training kit.  The kit came with a wheel skewer, rubber mat, bike thong to protect my bike from sweat, remote control caddie with 2 pockets (both barely big enough for my cellphone), training DVD, 2 climbing blocks, and the trainer itself.  I set it up in front of the television in our family room.  Susan rode it that same day for an hour.  She said it gave her a pretty good workout.  I was optimistic that it would do the same for me.  The plan was to train more at home.  This would allow me to get my time on the bike and reduce my time away from home.  My goal was to try to better adhere to my future training plans.  As with many couples where one person is training for long course triathlons and the other is not, there can be a good bit of time spent discussing the drawbacks of long training days away from home (and ones chores).  With the recent spate of cyclist vs. motorist incidents we both thought that it might be safer to spend a little less time on the road.  Our RoadID's are just gonna help the authorities get word to family members faster, they're not gonna keep us any safer.

Today was the first time I had a chance to take the trainer for a spin.  I had a Blackburn fan trainer years ago.  I found then that the fan trainer was so noisy that I only used it a few times briefly before relegating it to the basement and later donating it to charity.

I wore my Garmin 910XT watch and heart rate monitor to keep track of my effort.  I was surprised how quiet the trainer is.  My bike chain seemed to make far more noise than the trainer itself. 

CycleOps Trainer
In addition to being quiet, I found (with my limited use), that the trainer provided a much better workout than I had expected.  I used my road bike for this first ride.  I'll swap it out for my tri-bike for the next go-around.  I found that my heart rate remained steady and that most of the effort was in my legs.  Aerobically the trainer seemed less stressful than a vigorous group ride.  This was indicated by the "Training Effect" of only 2.3 during an hour long session.  Usually I'd be in the 4-plus training effect range during a group ride of the same duration.  My average heart rate was 132 BPM.  That's far lower than the 150 BPM, or so, than I'm used to.  My average cadence was also slower than when I'm riding on the road, 70 RPM as opposed to 80 RPM.  What was most noticeable was the sweat.  I'm generally not a sweatter but with no airflow it was easy to heat up to the point where I started dripping sweat onto the rubber mat.  I'm glad I got the mat!  I suppose a fan to help with air flow is in order.

The only thing I've got to resolve is how to use my Garmin to record distance.  I suppose it would help if I hadn't lost my magnet off of my back wheel.  During this ride only my time, heart rate, and cadence were recorded.  In addition to the trainer I also bought an extra Garmin GSC-10 speed and cadence sensor for Susan's bike.  That way she'll be able to enjoy the wonders of data overload like the rest of us.  I have no power meter so training by power is out.

So, while I doubt that I'll be able to withstand the boredom of a 4-hour ride on the trainer it should easily fit the bill for those 90-minutes rides on a rainy winter day (or night).  I guess I shouldn't have deleted all those bike races I recorded on DVR over the summer.  As I work through the kinks I should improve my workouts with regard to data collection and actual intensity. 

Why did we choose the CycleOps trainer over the Kinetic Road Machine or Kinetic Rock and Roll trainer?  The CycleOps Pro has a few options on the Road Machine mainly, locking legs and one leg that is adjustable for uneven surfaces.  The Rock and Roll trainer looked interesting but the larger footprint, higher cost, and possible issues with creaking and added torque on carbon bike frames led us back to the CycleOps.  Lucky for us our LBS just received a new shipment.

Thanks for reading.