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Gear Review

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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!