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10 essential things to know about smart trainers

1. Question: What is a smart trainer?

Answer: A smart trainer is an indoor cycling trainer equipped with technology that can automatically adjust resistance, simulate varying terrains, and connect to apps for an interactive training experience.

2. Question: How do smart trainers adjust resistance?

Answer: Smart trainers use electronically controlled resistance units that respond to input from connected apps or software, adjusting resistance based on factors like virtual terrain, training programs, or power targets.

3. Question: Which apps are compatible with smart trainers?

Answer: Smart trainers are compatible with various apps like Zwift, MyWhoosh, TrainerRoad, Rouvy, and more, allowing cyclists to engage in virtual rides, races, and structured training programs.

4. Question: Are smart trainer power measurements accurate?

Answer: Yes, many smart trainers offer accurate power measurement to +/-2% comparable to dedicated power meters, allowing cyclists to monitor their effort and progress effectively.

5. Question: What's the benefit of simulating terrain?

Answer: Simulating terrain adds realism to indoor cycling, making workouts engaging and challenging by mimicking uphill climbs, descents, and flat roads. For example Zwift is using a virtual climb called 'Alpe du Zwift' which is modeled exactly on Alpe d'Huez climb used in the Tour de France.

6. Question: Can I connect my smart trainer to multiple devices?

Answer: Yes, smart trainers typically support multiple connectivity options like Bluetooth and ANT+, and more recently Wifi (Wahoo Kickr V6) allowing connection to various devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers.

7. Question: How noisy are smart trainers during use?

Answer: Noise levels vary among different models, but many modern smart trainers are designed to be quieter than traditional trainers, making indoor training more pleasant. At the upper end of smart trainers only your drive train is audible. The smart trainer is almost silent!

8. Question: Are there built-in training programs?

Answer: Some smart trainers offer built-in training programs, while others rely on third-party apps. These programs often include interval workouts, endurance rides, and fitness assessments.

9. Question: Are higher-priced smart trainers worth it?

Answer: Higher-priced smart trainers often come with features like more accurate power measurement, better resistance control, and improved build quality. The value depends on your cycling goals and budget.

10. Question: Can smart trainers help with injury recovery?

Answer: Yes, smart trainers provide a controlled and low-impact environment for cyclists recovering from injuries, allowing them to maintain fitness while avoiding strain on injured areas. A famous example of this is a professional rider named Mathew Hayman from Australia who broke a collarbone during the 2016 season and used his smart trainer to build his fitness while off the road and managed to win the famous Paris-Roubaix road race that year!

Veloboxx can advise you if you are considering to purchase a smart trainer, whether new or secondhand.

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