Here’s another peak at some of the gear in issue 62 of PELOTON magazine, on newsstands now. With winter in full swing even the west coast is getting a pummeling from the biggest rain storms in a decade. Trainer miles are being logged across the country so we bring you three of the latest smart trainers to control Zwift or any other app based programs you use to take the sting out of suffering indoors – the Kinetic Rock and Roll Smart Control, the BKool Smart GO and the CycleOps Hammer. Issue 62 of PELOTON is on sale now at shopmovepress.com.
Smart trainers have gotten much better at simulating riding conditions, but none does it better than the Kinetic Rock and Roll Smart Control. This new trainer does all the virtual things other Smart trainers do—compatibility with the major social-riding simulation apps and app-controlled resistance to simulate terrain—but adds actual side-to-side motion, better mimicking on-the-road efforts by recruiting core muscles and giving the undercarriage a break by making standing efforts more natural. The Rock and Roll Smart Control uses only Bluetooth Smart to connect to devices, but with all the sensor options these days that’s not a limiting factor. The flywheel is a solid 14.3-pound unit and the motor can create up to 1,800 watts. The trainer comes with six months of Kinetic Fit training-app membership that provides more than 200 workouts, the ability to stream Sufferfest training videos and much more. After six months, the subscription costs $10 a month; and, of course, if you are into Zwift or Trainerroad, the Kinetic Rock and Roll Smart Control is compatible. $850; kurtkinetic.com
BKool makes both a trainer and an incredibly robust 3D simulator. How robust? More than a million routes; and if you can’t find one you like, upload your own and they’ll make it 3D. If you want to ride the Flanders course with your buddies you can; BKool can even simulate the actual weather in Belgium on the day you train and not just the visuals—so be prepared for headwinds! On the trainer front, BKool has just released the Smart Go. It is simply the most compact trainer with a full suite of features that we’ve ever used. It delivers up to 800 watts of resistance, and simulates grades up to 8 percent as well as the changes in inertia of a rolling ride. It’s incredibly quiet and weighs just 22 pounds. It communicates via ANT+ and Bluetooth, works with the Bkool simulator and many other apps and, perhaps the best part, it costs just $480—with three months of premium-simulator subscription included. $480; bkool.com
The Tacx Neo used to be the only trainer we would call art, but now the CycleOps Hammer also makes a great piece of living-room sculpture. This new direct-drive trainer—the bike is connected directly to a cassette on the trainer—has PowerTap innards to deliver accurate, consistent power numbers and a massive 20-pound flywheel. Combined with a new electromagnetic resistance unit, the Hammer can take 2,000 watts and deliver 20-percent grades, all without the lag that can make short high-wattage efforts feel like an eternity. The Hammer communicates via Bluetooth and trainer-specific protocol, ANT + FE-C. This means it not only works with CycleOps VirtualTrainer, but Zwift and just about every other training software and app available. At 47 pounds, it’s a hefty load, but that’s a good thing when you’re putting 2,000 watts through the drivetrain. Thankfully, the handle is balanced to perfection, making it fairly easy to carry—but it looks so good and runs so quietly, maybe it just belongs in the living room permanently. $1,200; CycleOps.com