Thursday, December 11, 2008

GamJams Review: Trainers and Rollers - Trek branded Cyclops Fluid 2

A few years back, my wife gave me a trainer for Christmas. It was the Trek branded Cyclops Fluid2 trainer. She definitely did her research on this model before she bought it. She wanted one that was quiet (so I won't wake up the house at 6am or 10pm during the cold winter), smooth, low maintenance (just like me) and reliable. Needless to say, on initial use, those features were right on.
I banished my truck from the garage and parked it permanently in the driveway. I setup the garage as my indoor training room with a DVD player, TV, stereo, fan and trainer. As a newbie cyclist I put endless hours on it over the course of the winter and on wet spring days.
Besides using it for warmup on race days during the warm months, the trainer collected dust in the garage waiting for sub 32 degree winter days.
The following winter, the trainer developed the loudest screech and a metal-on-metal sound. The sound became so annoying that the sounds of Metallica or Coach Troy couldn't drown out the noise.
I took it back to the LBS and they got it back to Cyclops for a replacement under warranty. It was about a 10 day process - props to Cyclops.
They installed a new "head" on the trainer. The older version had a screw type tension and the new model has a lift-type mechanism that releases the tension with one movement. It's a better design and is quieter than the original unit before it started to act up.
It's been 2 years since it's been replaced and have no issues with it (besides lack of use - thank you mild 757 climate).

A few accessories are worth mentioning. My wife also got me the 'bike bra' so my salt won't corrode the bike. It works for what it's intended for but I usually just keep a towel draped on the bars and wipe down both bike and body. Spend your money on a new DVD like "Bending Crank Arms" and use some home towels.
The bike block/riser is worth the $20. I've used phone books and 2x4 blocks but the bike block gives me the secure feeling when I hammering out the last of the intervals.
The cycling pad - the expensive piece of rubber that you lay down the floor and put your trainer on it. It's handy if you have hardwood floors and reduces vibrations but there are cheaper alternatives. Yoga mats are 1/2 the cost and serve the same purpose. Make sure get your own and not your wife's yoga mat since she might discover salt stains and lube residue during her "hot yoga" class. If you have a garage setup, go to Sam's or Priceclub and buy a set up rubber floor mats. It'll cover an area where you can setup both your trainer and home shop. It only took me one time to drop a Thomson stem on the hard driveway to go out and invest $30 on those rubber mats in my wrenching area. Savings tip: Look for the ones that they use in "Children" rooms. They're cheaper than the industrial use mats and they come in colorful colors (but black on the other side).

If you're in the market for a trainer, I recommend the Cyclops Fluid2. It's quiet and smooth. Besides the issue I had on the first unit, I've had no problems with it since.

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