Sunday, July 21, 2013

CompuTrainer = Awesome

About 6 weeks ago my trainer died.

*moment of silence*

If you know me, you know this was a very, very sad day.  Because I do A LOT of riding on my trainer and not just in the winter.  In fact I do pretty much all of my sessions other than my long rides on the trainer even when it's nice and sunny outside and the temps are a beautiful 80 degrees.


Well partly because there aren't a ton of great options around my house suitable for interval work (read: miles of uninterrupted roads with relatively low traffic) and also because it's too hilly where I live to get in a TRUE recovery ride (read: 75W or less).  But mostly I use the trainer so often because it's like the track for running - a place where you can get very repeatable results (read: conditions are always the same) and where you can just put your head down, close your eyes and GO!

So yes, when my trainer bit the dust a few weeks back, I was in mourning.  It was a Tacx and it basically had an electronic meltdown (read: there were sparks and I feared a house fire).  HOWEVER, once I got over my sadness (and dug out my old fluid trainer from the depths of our basement), I realized this was actually a great opportunity.  Because, you see, I've always REALLY wanted a CompuTrainer, but just could not justify getting a new trainer if I had a perfectly fine working one in my possession.


I immediately got in touch with the very awesome people of CompuTrainer and not too much after that, this showed up at my door step:

That was about 5 weeks ago.  I will say, it was love at first sight, but since then my love has only grown deeper.

Awesome things about the CompuTrainer (vs any other trainer on this planet):

1) There are SOOOO many options!  You can ride hundreds of different courses.  Or you can tell it how many watts you want to ride and that sucker will hold you to it (trust me, it cannot be swayed).  Or you can race your friends (haven't done that yet but it's only a matter of time) with the multi-rider option.  Or you can work on your pedal stroke with the spin scan.  It's really a very, very nice tool to help you improve your cycling in any number of ways.  So far I've done big gear work, high cadence work, ridden long intervals on a race course that I'm about to race on.  Really it doesn't get much better than that!

2) It was super easy to set up.  Really, even I could figure it out and I'm pretty much not smart in anything electronic or anything that requires tools.  No wait, it didn't even require any tools!  And look at this awesome cadence sensor - nothing to glue or tape to your bike, you simply place this "puck" under your pedal and it reads your cadence flawlessly!

The puck is the red thing sitting on the floor.  Pretty cool.
3) Being able to ride the course that you are about to race on is beyond awesome.  To me, this is truly one of the best features of the CompuTrainer.  On Saturday morning it was storming in Pittsburgh.  I had a long ride to do and any other day I would have been pretty darn sad that I was going to have to ride inside for over 5 hours.  However on THIS Saturday I was actually a bit giddy.  Why?  Because I was going to get to ride the Ironman Wisconsin course, a race I'm about to do in 7 weeks.  I have never done this race before and really had no idea what the bike course was like.  But guess what, now I definitely know!  (there are some stinker little hills in there, 'eh?)  What a huge benefit to be able to "see" the course before you even get to the race and be familiar with what you are about to face.  AND, there are now "real course" videos so that not only can you ride the course in terms of elevation changes but you can also SEE the real course on your computer/tv screen, as if you are really there!  I haven't gotten my hands on one of these real course videos yet, but they will be on my Christmas list for sure!

Of course there are a lot of other great benefits - if you don't already ride with power the CompuTrainer will obviously give you this feature (best tool to improve cycling in my opinion), I hear these babies last FOREVER (I think Jen Harrison has had her CompuTrainer for 10,000 years), they are actually very quiet while you are riding (making Oscar very happy when I'm riding at 5 in the morning)....  The list goes on and on.

So the moral of the story is - if you are in the market for a new trainer, I would HIGHLY recommend going with a CompuTrainer.  Heck, even if you AREN'T in the market, consider how much better a CompuTrainer would be than your current trainer (I really wish I would have got my hands on one earlier!)!!  And don't be surprised when it's snowing outside and you're actually kind of glad that you get to ride inside...  ;)


  1. Hooray for Computrainer, quiet 5am rides, and not burning down the house!

  2. Ok, this post MADE MY DAY. I am the BIGGEST fan of the Computrainer. We have two now, but our original is 20 years old. YEP. NO issues and the guys at CT are super. I do SO much of my riding on it - b/c of our horrible weather + tough roads here (bad drivers)....and I swear it is my saving grace.

    The best $ I have ever spent in Triathlon equipment is my CT, bar none.

    So glad you like it - excited you are on one now - will change your riding a ton! :) ENJOY!

  3. You know...this kind of motivates me to get my trainer out...the roads aren't great here...but no excuses, right?? Glad you are enjoying your new equipment!!!

  4. I got one two years ago and i LOVE * HATE it. Yes JH had her's before she got married and hadkids, she is that old:) LOL. But I always feel likei dont use all it has to offer! I am lucky i have good roads to ride on but honestly you are so right. I rode the STX course on that twice and the CT was SO MUCH harder then the course just bc you cant go downhill or coast or any of that. I was totally ready after riding the course. Even if i had a meltdown inside:)
    Watch out for Beth now that you have that!

  5. Recovery rides at less than 75W? Interesting...

    Once I move to a bigger house with a guest room for my cat + bike, then I'm totally going to get a trainer permanently set up for riding like this.

  6. This makes me so happy! Glad you're experiencing the awesomeness of Computrainer!