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The TurboRocks Realplate React Stealth Full Motion rocker plate helps create a realistic motion while using an indoor trainer, which improves enjoyment and comfort. It is adaptable for different trainers, riding styles and individual preferences, but this does all add to the cost.
TurboRocks is a company that has specialised in creating rocker plates for indoor training enthusiasts, with the aim of adding realism to your indoor riding experience. The Realplate React Stealth is the top model within the range. It's constructed from two sheets of 18mm birchwood ply, chosen for strength and given a waterproof paint finish along with the top sheet, on which the trainer is placed, having a black rubberised finish to protect it from the corrosive sweat that we pour out when riding indoors.
The two boards are connected by a metal shaft and spring mechanism which allows the top board to travel up to 240mm forwards and backwards, in addition to being able to tilt side to side, controlled by two inflatable balls with a lean angle up to 7.2 degrees.
The rocker plate measures 1,750mm in length and 930mm at the widest point, and will also add 86mm in height to your indoor setup. That means for almost all setups it will require extra space, though the bigger issue for many, I believe, particularly those who use an existing bike for indoor riding, will be the rocker plate taking up significant floor space when not in use.
The Realplate React is compatible with a large number of indoor trainers, including all the most popular options from the likes of Wahoo, Tacx, Elite and Bkool, as well as indoor bikes including those from Wattbike, Wahoo and Tacx.
You select your trainer of choice upon purchase, and the plate will arrive with the required straps/fixings in place for a simple and quick setup. TurboRocks also offers an upgrade service, should you change your trainer at some point, and the required fixings will be sent out free of charge.
For the test, I connected a Tacx Neo2 to the Realplate React, which took just a few minutes, and then installed the small spirit level and inflated the balls to the required pressure. The pump included has no pressure gauge and TurboRocks does not give a number, or even a guide to aim for, as it is ultimately personal. A useful starting point is to inflate to a point where you can stand on each extreme edge and the boards do not contact each other.
It might take a few rides to adjust to suit, and individual locations and preferences will also affect the setup, such as how level the floor is underneath. I found I needed to inflate one ball more than the other to correct a slight lean when I was sitting on the bike, but even so the whole process from unpacking to feeling comfortable while riding took less than 30 minutes.
As well as allowing side to side movement, with the two inflatable balls used to counterbalance the rider weight, the Realplate React also allows movement forwards and backwards. Its construction is based around a central shaft with large roller bearings that allow the top and bottom boards to move, and two springs that control the speed and rebound. The springs aren't adjustable and there is no type of damping built in to the system, but I didn't find this was an issue.
As someone who only rides indoors through the winter months, I expected to need a little time to adjust and get used to the movement, as was the case when I tested the Lifeline Rocker Plate at the start of the year. But the TurboRocks React feels far more intuitive and natural with that fore/aft movement; even on a low power output you can see the board moving slightly on each pedal stroke, extending as your effort increases and especially if you move from a seated to a standing position on the bike.
Increasing rider comfort is often a reason given to use a rocker plate, and I certainly found I could stay on for several hours at a time with no discomfort. A longterm injury with one leg has meant I've struggled in the past on rides over 90 minutes, having to ride standing up for a significant amount of time, but the movement provided here seems to have improved things – at no point have I felt the need to stop riding, ease up, or even stretch out.
I have used the Realplate React at all levels of intensity, from gentler rides up to short, fast-paced race efforts, and in terms of the power numbers seen there's been nothing negative. Personally, I use an indoor trainer largely for short, intensive workouts to be time-efficient, but if you are happy or prefer to ride for longer durations I believe the movement offered is likely to be an even bigger bonus.
Although no claims are made by TurboRocks, the rocker plate will surely reduce the stress placed on the bike's frame, with the movement reducing what would otherwise be a twisting action on the rear triangle.
No maximum weight, either for the rider or for the total package, is given, but with some of the newer indoor bikes such as the Tacx Neo Bike Smart weighing over 50kg, with rider weight on top, the system is obviously capable of coping with heavy weights. What I am unable to test is how the extra weight might affect the spring movement, with no ability to adjust the damping as the overall weight increases.
At £499 this is a serious investment and likely one that only those who are serious about riding indoors will consider. Rocker plates with only sideways movement are generally cheaper, such as the Lifeline Rocker Plate I mentioned earlier at £299, and currently available for £199.
Saris was one of the first companies to produce a rocker plate; its MP1 Nfinity Trainer Platform features the same 240mm of fore/aft movement as the Realplate React, and slightly more sideways movement possible, up to 12 degrees. It'll also set you back £999.
There will no doubt be many of you who have created your own rocker plates, many of them no doubt for less money. But the bare materials are likely not as cheap as people expect – this plywood buffalo board, for example, costs in the region of £150 per sheet before you factor in the shaft, springs, extra tools and time.
Although it might not fully replicate riding outdoors, the Realplate React improves comfort to the point that I do not want to go back to riding indoors on a flat surface. If you train indoors a lot, the high cost involved will be well worth the outlay.
High-quality rocker plate that adds an extra dimension and comfort to riding indoors
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road.cc test report
Make and model: TurboRocks Realplate React Stealth Full Motion rocker plate
Size tested: One size
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?
TurboRocks says: 'The brand new 2021 model is here and not only accommodates lateral movement with an adjustable lean angle of 7.2 degrees but also 240mm of brand new fore/aft movement to really bring your indoor training to life. The new full-length rocker system is built to an extremely high specification including 18mm Birch ply, hardened carbon polished steel smooth mechanism with adjustable inflatable balls to manage the lean angles of the system.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Other great touches include a spirit level, non-slip feet and non-slip surface, a spare ball and a hand pump.
The Realplate React Stealth is 930mm at its widest and 1750mm long and 86mm high. Compatible with Kickr Climb, Kickr bike and Wattbike Atom.
The bottom wooden board does appear to have a very slight warp in it, although I did not notice this while riding and it stayed completely solid with no movement or rocking.
The rocker plate fore/aft movement uses roller bearings on a shaft that might potentially wear out, but even with heavy use I would expect this to take a long time. The paint covering appears to be working well and should prevent issues with sweat, but I would still recommended wiping down after every use.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Realplate React felt good from the very first ride; it felt very natural, with enough movement to create an immersive ride while also aiding comfort.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The overall feeling it creates, and how it makes training indoors more comfortable and enjoyable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing in terms of using the Realplate, but it is expensive.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's expensive compared with the Lifeline Rocker Plate at £299 (£199 currently) and Bespoke R1 at £295, but they don't feature any fore/aft movement. It's £100 more than the Full Motion Bespoke R1+ at £395, but the Saris MP1 Nfinity Trainer Platform, a similar full motion rocker plate, retails at £999.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Cost would be the only reason not to.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes; for riders who spend a lot of time training indoors it really improves the experience.
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's very good; it helps create a more enjoyable and comfortable ride for indoor training and riding. It's simple to set up, easy to get accustomed to, and improves the overall experience of riding indoors.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding