Previously I went over the many ways available to pedal a bicycle indoors. I do have to go with just one of them, however.
With the proper tools, it would be pretty easy to build a set of rollers for my own. There are various do-it-yourself guides for building one – even one for a more sophisticated floating type of roller trainer. Tom Last of GCN even made one from rolling pins.
It would require someone reputable, however, to put together a good turbo trainer. There are other advantages to this route. Local bike fitters use them for video analysis of a rider’s pedaling action, and it allows riders to sustain a certain riding position for hours (I’m looking at you, time triallists and triathletes). It’s a good way for riders to teach themselves how to get in and out of their clipless pedals. And lastly, my Minoura DS-30AL display stand is basically the frame of a turbo trainer made to hold up less weight, so a turbo trainer can help with bike maintenance.
The turbo trainer in question is a Minoura LiveRide LR340.
This red unit has a wired remote you can clip onto your handlebars to vary between seven levels of resistance, provided by the 1.1 kg virtual flywheel and the single neodymium rare-earth magnet. Minoura advertises compatibility with Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ for communicating with fitness peripherals such as a speed/cadence sensor or a power meter. Also, for those with iOS devices, Minoura provides their LiveTraining app to track cycling-related metrics.
I got mine from Jam Santiano’s shop, Bike Parts Ph, based in Lower Antipolo. After depositing my payment, the trainer arrived at my doorstep two days later – kudos for the swift service!
Opening the box reveals mostly the trainer’s red frame, plus a separate small box for the resistance unit.
As mentioned before, with turbo trainers, the front wheel is usually set level with the rest of the bike, so I got a MagRiser 3 riser block to accompany the trainer.
This is everything the LR340 consists of, taken out of the packaging. There is some assembly required, mainly attaching the resistance unit to the trainer frame, calling for the help of a 10 mm wrench and a 4 mm hex key.
A chromed steel internal-cam quick release skewer is also provided for mounting and clamping the bike to the LR340’s frame. Minoura doesn’t guarantee successful trainer use with any other QR skewer. You can use this supplied steel one for outdoor riding, however.
The resistance unit bolts onto a fixed point on the frame where it can swivel. Behind this, a large acorn spring pushes against the resistance unit as the micro-adjust knob is tightened and brings the drive roller closer to the rear tire, ultimately squeezing it by a few millimeters.
Mounting the bike to the trainer consists of lining up the clamping points and tightening the hand crank on the right-hand side until there is no more wobbling or play – then cranking in two more turns. I like that the trainer can be used without removing any of Hyro’s commuter gear.
The wired remote shifter can mount either on your handlebars or stem via a flexible plastic band which hooks over itself. From here you can simply twist it to raise or lower the resistance from the trainer’s flywheel. Just make sure its cable isn’t bent or crushed under the frame.
All set up, this is how the LR340 looks like. Installation is pretty simple and it took all of twenty minutes to get initial setup done.
How is it like to actually train with? Stay tuned to find out.