Tuesday, October 17, 2006

CycleOps Mag+

Though poking fun at Bolder and Nytro is good for a laugh, it's time for some serious product feedback. Today, we're talking about the CycleOps Mag+ trainer.

The decision to purchase this little beauty was made after getting started on off-season and Ironman training programs. Though swimming will be the primary focus of this winter's training, the 24-week training program for IM Louiseville will begin in March. Even if it is decent enough here in Wisconsin for outdoor cycling then, there is little hope of getting The Pol-R Express outside much before that.

So, it was off to the LBS for what turned out to be an awesome deal. I managed to leave with a fully assembled trainer and front wheel block for $179.53, a savings of $0.46 off the list price of the trainer alone. Mrs. Pol can still outsave me any day, but I felt good with this purchase.

Off course, as with any new bike toys, it had to be put to immediate use. With the wife off doing good deeds and both kids napping (see, miracles still happen), I was able to throw the bike onto the trainer, pop in a good movie (neither SIMAAM or The Burbs), and get some training done.

Putting the bike on the trainer was a piece of cake. While it will take some time for Mrs. Pol to get comfortable with it, the process is far easier than changing a tire, and involves only removing the rear skewer and replacing it with the supplied (sturdier) trainer skewer. A quick adjustment to get the roller in contact with the wheel and attaching the remote was all that remained before I was riding.

The trainer is loud enough to require turning the volume up on the television, though quiet enough to use with napping kids. Using some form of entertainment (or the supplied CTS Time Trial Power Intervals DVD) will only be an option if my wife is around to hear the children crying.

Use of the remote is simple. It looks like a shifter lever and fine tunes the pressure on the wheel. It provides less adjustment than I might have hoped, and I found myself using the bike to determine work load. As I become more comfortable with adjusting the tension prior to starting, it may become more effective. Regardless, there was a noticeable change when using the remote to change from the minimum to maximum tension.

All in all, I am very pleased with this new trainer. It seems to be a good compromise between a truly cheap trainer and the more expensive fluid trainers. It will certainly help me to keep up with bike training and allow me to be more flexible with my schedule. Those long sessions that would otherwise require a visit to the YMCA after work can be accomplished in the very early hours of the morning, at home, with whatever entertainment I desire. The $179 will return many dividends, all of which will be put on deposit as I train for IM Louiseville. Now all I have to do is actually get registered.


Bolder said...

and, it looks hawt too!

i've always used the bike to drive the tension on a trainer...

so, YOU should too!!

have you been practicing your pedal stroke?

Cliff said...

As Bold said, one leg pedals. Those are painful but they are good.

Interesting. I have a used ops fluid trainer and I don' tneed a trainer skewer. The skewer that is on my bike fits well with the trainer.

Deb said...

Toys are fun & I wish I could give some REALLY constructive input, but this is where I step back and let the experts do the talkin! Have fun!

Lisa said...

I actually forgot to replace my trainer skewer with the skewer that came on my bike, and rode with that all summer. I didn't realize this until September.

Congrats on the new toy! :)

IM Able said...

Thanks SO much for the trainer review -- you have no idea how timely it is. I'm looking at that careful balance between the cost (good grief these can get expensive!) and the benefits of having the training option at home. With the NJ Devilman half on the horizon in early May, my winter training needs to be very user friendly. Learning more about the Mag+ was very helpful, especially since it is one of the ones I was seriously considering.

Fingers crossed with IMLoo signup!