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If you're eager to dip your toes in the murky waters of turbo training then this 7-level magnetic resistance unit from Clarke is one of the more budget-friendly options available. It's relatively cheap and relatively cheerful, but if you get bitten by the static training bug then you'll likely be looking to upgrade sooner rather than later.
In the box you get the trainer itself with a bar-mounted resistance dial, a spare quick release to replace your rear wheel one and a riser for your front wheel, which is a bonus as that's normally an (admittedly not very costly) optional extra. Fitting your bike is a simple job with the frame of the trainer flexing a bit as it takes the load, but no more so than other lower-end trainers. Dial the the resistance unit in so that it's engaging on your tyre and it's ready to go.
And what's it like? Well, it's okay. The flywheel in the resistance unit isn't heavy so it feels a bit choppy at first, especially since i've just come from the Lemond trainer that has a flywheel fan weighing about half a ton. It rewards a smooth pedal action and is perfectly usable. The resistance adjustment does make a difference but it's not a huge range, and I tended to use the gears to up the effort, rather than the lever. Stability is pretty good and the included riser is useful for keeping your position right; it'll fit most road tyres just fine.
At normal training speeds it's quiet enough to be used in the spare room, but step on the gas and it gets pretty noisy and starts to vibrate quite a bit too, so it's not for you if you're looking to do Tabata training or sprint intervals. It's probably best if you're either starting out and want to give static training a try, or you need a knockabout trainer to sling in the car to warm up at races. In terms of build quality it's comparable to other lower-end offerings out there, and it's fairly portable at just over 7.1kg and packs up pretty flat for storage.
You shouldn't expect miracles for 80-odd quid and the Clarke CCTI doesn't deliver any, but it's a solid machine that delivers if you want to give the turbo a try without breaking the bank
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Make and model: Clarke CCTI Bike Trainer
Size tested: n/a
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?
Turn your bike into a home fitness trainer with this easy to use bike trainer. Quiet and smooth action. The CCTI has a wide base and a front wheel base for added stability. The 7 magnetic resistance levels are ideal for the bike riding enthusiast for tough training sessions.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Suitable for bikes with 26' - 28' tyres
Quick release skewer for fast wheel mounting/releasing
7 position adjuster mounts on handlebars for quick access
Folds flat for easy storage
Dimensions (LxWxH) 530 x 400 x 414mm
Fairly well made and finished
It's a decent trainer for the money; there are plenty of better ones out there if you have deeper pockets
Vibration at speed suggests it wouldn't last for ever, but build quality looks good enough
sturdy but also light enough to be transportable
okay at normal speeds, but choppy when starting and noisy at pace
You pretty much get what you pay for here
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It did okay for the money
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Decent starter offering
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not so good at speed
Did you enjoy using the product? It was okay
Would you consider buying the product? No, I'd pay a bit more for a better trainer
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly, depending on their needs
Age: 38 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, 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.