CycleOps PowerBeam Pro ANT+ $999.99
Taking enthusiasm to another level
Unless you are a yeti, or your cycling training consists solely of dawn patrol in the mountains, the advent of winter probably doesn't make you smile with glee. CycleOps knows that having the tools to effectively train indoors is important, not only to your psyche, but to your legs. The CycleOps PowerBeam Pro ANT+ keeps your legs rolling and your heart pumping — all winter long.
Starting with the most rudimentary functionality, the PowerBeam Pro Trainer is both foldable and portable. The setup of the base is beyond simple, and with CycleOps' quick-cam locking mechanism, getting the bike in and out of the trainer is a fast process. Basically, all that you need to do is to position your rear axle to the mechanism and then turn a dial. That's it, and you're ready to ride. And once you get going, those around you will be pleased that the PowerBeam Pro is ranked as one of the quietest trainers in the CycleOps lineup. Furthermore, CycleOps states that the PowerBeam Pro is its most stable trainer, leaving you to live in the pain cave during heavy intervals — not worrying that you're going to tip over. However, we still recommend using the Climbing Riser Block if you intend on getting out of the saddle for any duration of time. And even if your floors aren't particularly level, say when you're subjected to the basement, the trainer features a single-leg leveling adjustment in order to compensate for uneven surfaces.
For the actual rolling function, CycleOps included its PowerTuned flywheel. This heavy wheel mimics the feel of rolling by optimizing inertial effect. What does this mean? Let's have a little physics refresher course. Inertia is the tendency of an object to resist a change in motion. So, when force is typically applied to a common flywheel, resistance is felt, but dead weight creates dead spots in the wheel's motion. This means that the trainer feels more like you're pushing against a resistant cylinder than riding a bike. However, by precisely tuning the design of the flywheel, CycleOps has eliminated this feeling, and accordingly, it's created a proper, real-world feel. Additionally, the PowerBeam's roller is constructed from smooth, machined alloy that minimizes tire wear and slippage.
The PowerBeam Pro trainer not only comes with built-in PowerTap power meter, but it's also the ANT+ compatible. With the combination, you gain all of the same functionality of a PowerTap power meter so you can view real-time data like your power in watts, power zones, peak power, caloric work in kilojoules, cadence, heart rate, ascent, gradient, time, distance, and way more. Even better, all of this data is transmitted wirelessly with ANT+ technology.
The CycleOps PowerBeam ProTrainer ANT+ is available in one size and in the color Black. Please note that it will accommodate both road and mountain bikes, however, 120mm axle spacings are not supported. Sorry track bikes.
Reviews & Community
Best Training tool i have purchased
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
After purchasing a power meter i thought that was the best tool for training...i was wrong after purchasing the power beam pro there is no better tool for training. The ability to pre program workouts that force you to hold a specific wattage is unparalleled compared to a standard trainer. There are several new software companies which have software that can control the trainer in a more interesting platform (trainer road, perfpro, golden cheetah) which really adds to the depth of the trainer. They are very solid, quiet, and saris is a very good company to deal with if there is an issue (i had an issue with a first gen model a few years ago and they had a new unit in my hand in less than a week).
There are a few competitors out there today such as computrainer, Wahoo Kickr, and Tacx. I honestly think this is your best bet at the moment due to a few compelling reasons. (1) Computrainer is rock solid but offers nothing that the power beam does not offer. Other than a possibly longer life span the CT and power beam pro have the same abilities and reliability. Thus the 700 premium for a CT seems a bit steep for little performance gain. (2) Wahoo Kickr has a few reports of accuracy issues in their wattage readings and service again has been hit or miss in the reports i have read. Service is key with a purchase like this and Saris has always been 100% on top of things for me. (3) Tacx is just buggy and service is all over the place. Power reading are known to be all over the place and i see no compelling reason to give Tacx any interest at this time.
The only things i wish were improved was a more compelling software suite to come with this trainer similar to the computrainer, but i guess that could always be done in the future. Secondly i wish they would still sell these trainers with a cheap resistance control device like they used too. That way in case of not having an computer on hand you would have a backup wired control device to adjust the wattage levels.
I am having Garmin edge 510, can I use...
I am having Garmin edge 510, can I use that with this trainer. I tried my Garmin edge 510 with PowerAgent software but it is not working?.
You cannot use your garmin 510 as a control device for the power beam pro. You will have to have a powertap joule or an program on a computer to control the trainer (either powertap program, trainer road, perfpro or other program/app). I think the power beam can then be read as a power meter on your 510, in other words it will broadcast power reading to your 510. I know in trainer road you can select an option where the program will send the power numbers to your 510.
Best winter hamster wheel
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This is a great addition to your winter arsenal. If you don't already have a powermeter, get one with a trainer tire and a regular trainer, and skip this. If you already have a powermeter hub, this device helps out by not requring you to change out your powermeter wheel to a trainer tire to ride the trainer. You leave your trainer tire on a trainer wheel, and then you can switch bikes onto the trainer while leaving your regular training wheelset ready to go on that odd warm day. This is especially helpful if more than one person in your house wants to train with power in the winter, or if your friends want to mooch a powermeter. (Don't worry, they'll only ask once, because it's crushingly demoralizing having a computer telling them how bad they suck in the winter.)
ANT+ ensures compatibility with whatever computer you already like, so it's very convenient.