As you will know, a few days back I posted about getting a home trainer from CellBikes. I have had a couple of rides on it now, so I thought I would throw together a post on my experience setting it up and my first impressions. I will also do a post on the first time I used the Sufferfest video. That later.
The unit is a nice sturdy piece of kit. Heavy so it doesn’t wobble about when you are putting in a big effort.
Getting it out of the box, you get the unit as seen above and a smaller box which holds the head unit, and all the associated bits and pieces. Cadence sensor, magnet, heart rate monitor, batteries and some CDs.
The head unit is a lot bigger than I expected, and that has its positive and negative aspects.
Setting it all up was very easy. You install batteries (included) in the roller itself.
Put batteries in the head unit. It turns on once you press one of the buttons on the front. To pair them, you hold down both buttons for 5 seconds until the display shows this.
Then you hold down the button on the roller unit.
Done. Easy. Next bit was to mount the bike. You are given a special Quick Release skewer. I am actually using an old wheel I have, so it was a 20 second job to swap the skewer out.
I lined the tyre up with the middle of the roller and wound the drive side mount out so it was engaged with the skewer. With the drive side located in the mount, you wind the non drive side to the point that it is nearly touching the skewer. Then just engage the locking mechanism and the bike is locked in.
Once the bike is firmly locked into the mount, you then wind the roller up to meet the tyre. I actually spun the wheel as I wound the locking screw up. When the wheel stopped moving I knew it had hit the roller. You then add 1.5 turns of the locking screw and use the second nut to lock it in position.
The bike is ready. Now you just have to mount the head unit.
This proved slightly problematic for me.
As you can see from the two photos above, real estate on my bars is at a premium. I obviously cant go on my left hand side (as seen from the saddle), the light takes up a lot of room there. On the right side I have my GoPro mount. It was going to have to go there, which doesn’t leave a huge amount of room for my right hand on the bars.
It is ok, but not ideal. The view from the saddle shows it a little better.
Now the size at this point was an issue. But once I was on the bike, and especially during hard efforts, I couldn’t see the Garmin at all, but I could see the larger numbers on the JetBlack head unit. I don’t think this would be an issue for many people, but there would also be a lot of people that have precious little room, like me.
Now dear reader, I hear you asking, why not just pair up the Garmin to the roller? Well, I thought exactly that. I couldn’t get a definitive answer on the interwebs, so i rang JetBlack and spoke with Mathew. Sadly, he confirmed that they aren’t using ANT+ on the trainers. I really think this is to their detriment. The JetBlack head unit does not log anything. So you can do as hard a session as you want, and all you get is your average and maximum power. You can also get heart rate and cadence, but because I didn’t want to wear two heart rate monitors and add another cadence sensor and magnet to my bike, I just use the figures the Garmin spits out.
If the JetBlack trainer was ANT+ compatible, people could just use all the bits and pieces they already have and add the roller as a power meter.
So, the trainer itself is great. I have had two sessions on it so far. The things I have learned.
– I need more fans.
– It is a lot harder than riding on flat roads.
– Where does all the sweat come from?
– Fluid trainers are very quiet.
– I need more fans.
– Combined with something like the Sufferfest videos or a PodCast, it is a great way to get the heart going and spin the legs.
– Have a towel handy.
I intend to do another review in a few weeks or so just to add to what I have written here. I find when something is new, I am always learning different ways to use it. Give it a few weeks and I will be used to it and will be able to give a better opinion of whether I think they are a good purchase or not.
I just want to remind people, this trainer was supplied by CellBikes at no cost to me. Any negative comments above are no reflection on CellBikes.