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The Brand-X TT-01 trainer (catchy name there) is a well built and functional budget trainer that's just the ticket for warming up at races or lighter use at home. At its £99.99 RRP it would be well worth considering; at the moment it's £69.99, which is a bargain.
The TT-01 is a very standard design: a resistance unit bolted onto a hinged A-frame that's well constructed from box and tube alloy. Fitting your bike is just a case of tightening the mounts against your rear quick release. The TT-01 comes with a steel QR if you don't want to clamp the posh one that came with your wheels (many of which won't fit anyway), and there's a quick release lever on one side that makes fitting and removing your bike a simple enough job once you've got the width of the cups dialled in.
Once the bike's in place it's just a case of tightening the roller against the wheel (it'll cope with 26in to 700C wheels), clamping the seven-position magnetic resistance lever onto your handlebar somewhere, chucking the front wheel in the supplied riser, and off you go.
In use the trainer feels stable, and the rear wheel clamp gives you enough confidence that you can throw your weight around a bit. The flywheel isn't very heavy, which means that the TT-01 doesn't have the realistic feel of more expensive trainers; it can feel a bit choppy at times and it's not the kind of trainer you'd want to be doing sprint intervals on. For steady state training, though, such as warming up for a race, it's fine.
The magnetic resistance does make a meaningful difference to the effort at the pedals. At a steady cadence of 90rpm in a middling gear, it ranged from 150w at the easiest setting to 270w at the hardest, so nearly twice as much resistance. Obviously you can affect the amount of work you do with the gears too. The resistance curve as you spin the TT-01 faster is fairly good, though it doesn't ramp up as much as more expensive units.
It's not a quiet trainer, this. One friend likened it to the whine of a Tie Fighter defending the Death Star, and although I'd say that was harsh, it isn't the nicest sound you'll hear. You won't get away with using it in a room where other people are trying to do stuff, but in the spare room/garage/shed or by the back of the car at a race, it's no problem.
The TT-01 folds up for storage and its footprint is fairly small anyway. It'll easily fit under the bed, and it just about goes in one of those woven plastic bags for life from your favourite supermarket. That makes it easy to throw in the car for warm-up duties.
All in all, the TT-01 puts in a very solid performance. You shouldn't expect miracles for less than £100, but Brand-X has concentrated on making this trainer solid and usable, and it's done a good job. As your first trainer, or as a second trainer for carting about, the TT-01 is more or less ideal.
Good value indoor trainer that's ideal as a first buy, or as a second trainer for races
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Make and model: Brand-X TT-01 Magnetic Turbo Trainer incl Riser
Size tested: Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Brand-X says: "The Brand-X TT-01 Turbo Trainer is a compact turbo trainer with 6 Speed magnetic resistance adjustable via an ergonomic remote gear lever. It is suitable for all common bike types from 26' to 700C; perfect for cycle training at home. A quick and easy QR system secures the bike in place and a wide steel construction with rubber feet creates a strong, stiff and stable platform. It features a realistic progressive power curve to simulate real riding conditions and folds up for easy transportation and storage."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Perfect for cycle training at home
Suitable for all common bike types from 26' to 700C
6 Speed magnetic resistance adjustable via an ergonomic remote gear lever (Combining gear changes with mechanical resistance will offer an even more varied and customisable workout.)
Realistic progressive power curve to simulate real riding conditions
Quick and easy QR system to secure bike in place
Wide steel construction with rubber feet creates a strong, stiff and stable platform
Folds up for easy transportation and storage
2 year warranty against manufacturers defects
Includes Riser Block to create a natural riding position
Includes Turbo Trainer QR Skewer
Well built, feels solid enough in use.
Can feel a bit choppy at times and it's quite loud, but it's easy to use and the mag resistance unit has a good range.
Quite a lot of plastic in the resistance unit but it's holding together nicely.
A decent trainer for the £99.99 RRP but it's available at £30 less, and at that price it's a good buy.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Well. Ideal for chucking into the car for warming up at races, or for lighter use indoors.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A bit noisy, choppy at times.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, as a warm-up trainer
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, for lighter use
Use this box to explain your score
It's a decent trainer this, and for £69.99 scores an extra point for value.
Age: 42 Height: 189cm Weight: 92kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.