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Turbo trainer options

So, I appear to have killed off my Elite Direto turbo trainer, which now sounds like an aeroplane taking off whenever I use it and makes disturbing clanking noises all the time. I guess it's time for a new model, and this time of the year leaving winter could be a good time to bag a bargain.

Given that I've used the Direto for about 4 years before it died, I don't think it was too bad, but I'm slightly loathe to spend a large wodge of cash on a piece of equipment which appears to be... erratic at best. None of the models available appear to have a particularly great track record, and that means it isn't worth shelling out big amounts on.

I've therefore quickly perused the interwebs and have these options:

  • Tacx Neo 2 SE - £674 at Wiggle - this is more than I want to spend really and I've had issues with Tacx in the past (Tacx Flux), but it does come with a 2 year warranty at least. I picked this one because of a steep discount from RRP and a supposedly class leading performance.
  • LifeLine Xplova NOZA S Smart Trainer - £252 at Wiggle - proper cheap skate model but looks remarkably similar to the new-ish zwift turbo trainer. Again 2 year warranty so as long as it's reliable and not bloomin awful to ride on might be a bargain
  • eBay/FB Marketplace second hand turbo trainer jobbie - things like second hand Kickr Core for around £300 - these sound good on paper, but I'm a bit concerned people are selling lemons and I'll basically be a sucker buying something that will break in no time (guess what, they've all been "rarely used" and in "exceptional" condition). Also no transferrable warranty.

Thoughts? I ride at around 200-250w and rarely sprint so the underlying spec of the machine shouldn't be an issue. But I would like something that doesn't trouble the neighbours and functions as expected (easy to connect etc.).

Tbh I hate riding indoors, but it's bearable now as I can catch up on the latest Jacob Rees Mogg show on GB news as I ride.

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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andy753 | 1 year ago

I personally rate the Tacx Flow Smart turbo trainer - small and compact and perfect for a 20 minute blast in the conservatory after a long day in the office. AND pretty affordable too. 

kinderje | 1 year ago

I bought a Saris H3 last year and am very happy with it (Evans have it at £449 same as new Zwift Trainer).

I don't do the full Zwift experience so can't vouch for that but I tend to sync my Garmin computer to the trainer and ride routes that I have done previously. From my outdoor knowledge of these roads the trainer is fairly accurate.


The Accountant | 1 year ago

Thanks everyone, think I'm going to have a crack at the lifeline model, which is apparently a rebadged Acer xplova model, and has been reviewed on with 7/10, along with other mediocre review ratings but this was when it had an RRP of 699.

However the main gripe seems to be it over-registering power on sprints and not being as accurate as others. I'm not particularly bothered about that... apparently it's quiet - only other thing is people say they've had trouble connecting it, but if that happens I'll just send it back 👌

Suspicion is it's going to be discontinued and phased out hence the cheap price. If I can get 3 years of so out of it at this price it will be worth it

OnYerBike | 1 year ago

That LifeLine one seems like a bargain if it works as advertised. I would be a little bit concerned looking at the reviews - some people seem to have had issues.

The Zwift Hub itself could be another option - it's a bit more expensive for something that does look very similar to the LifeLine one on paper, but if spending that bit extra means you get something more reliable despite the superficial similarities, then I would consider that money well spent.

As jaymack says, another option is certified reconditioned from Wahoo. Stock can be variable, but they appear to currently have stock of the Kickr Core for £450 (so on par with the Zwift hub). This comes with the normal (two year) warranty - albeit it the warranty might not be much good if Wahoo go under.

eBay/FB - obviously there is a risk, but also probably the best place to get a bargain. I can believe that plenty of people buy turbo trainers with the best of intentions but then rarely use them. Maybe look for one locally that you can see/test before buying?

HLaB | 1 year ago

I like the fold ability/ portability of my Elite Suito and considered it a good price at the the time. But I think I'd be looking elsewhere from Elite if it fails. It is terrible at handling ERG and from what I've heard other Elite units are the same 😐

jaymack | 1 year ago

Assuming that Jake the Flake hasn't fired your brain you may want to think about looking at a reconditioned trainer direct from Wahoo. A fair wedge of cash off compared to new one and with a full guarantee something that would warm the thighs of any ICAEW member.

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