Blackburn Tech Fluid Trainer $299.95
The necessary evil, might as well make it a good one
Blackburn's Tech Fluid Trainer uses fluid to sculpt a resistance curve that ramps up as your rear wheel speed increases. And just as you'd shift into a higher gear out on the road to get a greater workout, you'll do the same here. The beauty of the Tech Fluid Trainer is its simplicity. Unlike the Tech Mag Trainer, this one is free from remote cables that can complicate easy-in-or-out trunk storage when you pack it up to take it to the races for your warm-ups.
One thing we like about Blackburn Trainers is that they place the bike a bit lower to the ground than some other trainers we've used. Think about it like this—the lower your bike, the easier it is to get on and off. Plus, stability is improved with the lower center of gravity. Blackburn combines this with a wide footprint to make them stable enough to withstand all-out sprint workouts without fear of rocking the trainer off kilter.
The Tech Fluid Trainer has swing-out legs that are truly adjustable, like overbuilt versions of the leg adjusters on your nice camera tripod. So even if you set it up on an uneven sidewalk at the local criterium, you can level the trainer and your bike in a matter of seconds. The interface with the rear skewer is also improved over other trainers. Blackburn machines a taper on their cones so they'll fit more easily into cavity-style dropouts, ensuring a solid purchase on the ends of the skewer assembly.
Rather than a lever throw to tighten the trainer against the rear skewer, Blackburn uses their FastCrank system. Both sides use threaded rods that run through the trainer frame, allowing you to center the rear wheel easily. However, the right side uses a short crankarm to facilitate a quick setup when you place the bike on the trainer. Once your left side is set, the bike can be held in place and the FastCrank snugs the skewer in place. Its advantage is that it lets you tighten the rear wheel into the trainer with a better feel for the compression against the hub, without overtightening it.
The Blackburn Tech Fluid Trainer is quieter than fan units, with its smooth fluid resistance, yet it is uncomplicated. Simply get on and ride. It has a frame that's made of sculpted steel, and it's tough enough to stand up to season after season of hard work and abuse. It works for road and mountain bikes.
- The wide footprint and low height prevent toppling over when reaching for the remote.
- FastCrank mounting system for easy setup
- Progressive Fluid and highly-refined power curve for optimal resistance
- Lifetime warranty makes it the last trainer you ever buy
What community has to say
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I have used this trainer for times with bad weather living in the mountains when snow are constant. It works and the smoothness of the unit is comparable to units twice it's price which I have owned as well. Securely holds the bike and allows you to have a garage session as I call it and never miss a mile! So if you want something to last with a LT warranty and not break the bank get a Blackburn!
Tech Fluid vs CycleOps Fluid 2
The CycleOps Fluid 2 and Blackburn Tech Fluid are both very quiet (the CycleOps a bit more quiet, perhaps). However, the Tech Fluid holds the bike more securely. In contrast, the CycleOps allows the bike wheel to move side-to-side, increasing tire wear. The Tech Fluid's feet are both individually adjustable. The CycleOps are not.
But in performance, The CycleOps wins hands down. The roller runs smoothly all the time. But the Tech Fluid's resistance and smoothness changes as it warms up. For the first six minutes, the resistance is low, and I use the highest gear, but it runs smoothly, similar to the Cycleops. Then suddenly the resistance increases and the vibration starts. It's not as bad as other reviewers have said, it's just a little rough, and the trainer remains quiet. I shift down three gears and continue riding. Then, between six and nine minutes later, the vibration stops and the ride becomes smooth again. The resistance stays the same and there are no changes for the rest of the time you ride, unless you stop and the unit cools down. The roller unit gets very hot to the touch, unlike the Cycleops, which only gets slightly warm. It's a great design with a built-in fan/flywheel to cool it off. With the CycleOps, the resistance stays the same throughout the ride.
Bottom line: I like the stability (and lower price) of the Blackburn, but I prefer the smoothness of the Cycleops. I wish someone could combine the base of the Tech Fluid with the resistance unit of the CycleOps.
Note: The Blackburn Trainer is covered by a lifetime warranty. My Tech Fluid was a replacement for an older fluid trainer whose bearings broke down. Blackburn (a Bell Sport subsidiary) didn't even ask for a receipt - they just sent me a whole new unit at no cost!
I recently bought a Cervelo P2 Tri bike....
I recently bought a Cervelo P2 Tri bike. When I attempted to put it in my Blackburn Tech Fluid trainer I found that the rear derailer came in contact with the skewer holder. I am wondering if there is another smaller holder for the trainer so that it does not touch the derailer.
It should come with an alternative skewer so that doesn't happen... I had to switch it put for my cervelo s1.
I bought the blackburn tech fluid trainer recently and I'm very impressed ! It's stable , tough , consistent resistance , no need for a block , and very adjustable - I have a 15 year old steel Colnago road bike . I would buy the trainer again and recommend it to all my friends .
So I have been looking for a well priced,...
So I have been looking for a well priced, versatile trainer and I have narrowed it down to either the Blackburn Tech Fluid or the Blackburn Trakstand Ultra. My primary use will be to continue to bike indoors throughout the winter. What makes the Tech Fluid so much better that it costs almost $100 more than the Trakstand Ultra?
The term "Better" is a subjective term. The fluid trainers use different technology to generate the resistance that is much more expensive to manufacturer therefore is costs more.
The question to ask is should I be looking for a magnetic or fluid resistance trainer.
There are a bunch of factors here but the fact is if your focus is building high-end power for competitive riding and anaerobic training you will want a fluid resistance trainer. The fluid resistance offers a progressive resistance curve that help the trainer respond better when doing power intervals without manual adjustments. You can't really ride any faster using fluid resistance that you can on the road. With a fluid trainer you can't just sit up and spin the pedals at low resistance, the higher the speed the higher the resistance.
Now if you are using the trainer for general fitness or for long steady tempo training with various cadence levels the magnetic trainer is probably right for your needs. As magnetic trainers become more expensive they generally include more manual resistance options to simulate climbs and power efforts. Fluid resistance does this automatically.