The industry has recently seen a glut of all-inclusive indoor training set-ups that combine specific trainers, sensors, and training apps in a proprietary tech salad that completely eliminates the user's ability to choose. The CycleOps Magnus Trainer bucks this trend toward proprietary myopia by providing a smart trainer platform that you can link to whatever bike, device, and training app you prefer, empowering your own agency for the best possible indoor training experience.
CycleOps turned to the specialists at PowerTap when developing the Magnus. At +/-5%, it doesn't quite have the accuracy of a PowerTap hub, but it was developed with input from PowerTap and the end result was tested against the brand's hubs. It communicates those power numbers using ANT+ FEC and Bluetooth protocols, so it's likely already compatible with whatever head unit or training app-equipped device you prefer.
Of course, CycleOps does have its own app in the form of VirtualTraining, but if you're already committed to a program like Zwift, TrainerRoad, or others, then ANT+ and Bluetooth compatibility means the Magnus has you covered there, too. Regardless of your choice, the Magnus' ability to translate power and speed numbers into a virtual experience will let you map your workout with a digital avatar's progress. It's not quite riding outside, but it's the best alternative.
Though the Magnus' electromagnetic resistance unit is similar to other CycleOps models, it does ramp-up more quickly than the one used in—for example—the PowerBeam. That means interval work will be more rewarding because the increased responsiveness helps eliminate the dead time while the unit catches up to your power inputs. It maxes out at 1,500 watts, so unless you're Cipo himself or a gold medalist on the track, you're probably not going to be hitting that ceiling too often.
The frame itself is based on CycleOps' Classic trainer frame, which the brand accurately—if rather cheekily—describes as "oh-so-sturdy." The frame is balanceable with eccentric feet that adjust independently of each other, so it adapts to accommodate lumpy concrete floors in properly Spartan pain caves.
CycleOps handles firmware updates via Bluetooth 4.0 devices or with an iPhone app, and—if you've recently updated your bicycle firmware to disc brakes—the brand also sells a thru-axle adapter to accept 142mm axles. The adjustable clutch knob and CNC-machined alloy roller accommodates virtually any combination of wheels and tires this side of 2.5in 29ers, though it's not compatible with 650c wheels. It also doesn't include a cadence sensor or an ANT+ stick.
- A smart trainer that pairs with most apps and devices
- Translates speed and power to virtual training programs
- Universal wireless connectivity tailors to your preferred setup
- PowerTuned metering uses PowerTap technology
- 1,500-watt ceiling and low-noise electromagnetic resistance unit
- Accommodates 120, 130, and 135mm quick-releases
- Foldable frame with adjustable feet for uneven surfaces
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Reviews & Community
The Magnus is not so Magnificent...
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I’ve been using the CycleOps Magnus for 2 weeks now and I’m pleasantly surprised by it! I had some reservations regarding the Magnus because I researched the trainer and some reviewers were not finding the trainer worthy of the price point. After receiving & setting up the trainer (fairly easy), connecting the unit via Ant+ and/or Bluetooth, I found the trainer as I had hoped! The resistance, road like feel, sound (very quiet), and overall quality are great. I’ve put the trainer through its paces: regular ride, ERG workout mode, sprints, Zwift (with gradient changes), and interval sessions 100w – 1000w. The Magnus is a worthy competitor when it comes to mid-level smart trainers. I'll admit, I was aiming for the Wahoo KickR Snap, but now riding the Magnus I'm very happy with the unit. There doesn't seem to be much love for the Magnus, but if you're considering a smart trainer give this bad-boy a try! I doubt you'll send it back!
**UPDATE** - after using the Magnus for 3 weeks things started to happen. 1 - The power cord kept coming out after a solid (2+ hour) ride. The connection would disappear, then I'd have to get off the bike and fiddle with the power connection and all would be well until it happened again. Poor hardware/power cord. 2 - The 'L' screw that is used to tighten the wheel to the unit bent! Apparently after several uses (3 weeks actually) the torque was too overwhelming for the construction of the housing which bent the frame, then changed the angle of the 'L' screw and allowed a gap - then the screw would shift when tightening causing the screw to bend, then make the tightening knob useless because it wouldn't have the proper torque. Both issues were obviously caused by inferior hardware - or, lowest bidder. When the Magnus worked properly, it was great! If CycleOps can improve the design and hardware issues I believe they'd have a great product. But until that time, the Magnus is a buyer beware purchase. And yes, I sent the unit back...
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I have not ridden a stationary trainer since before spin classes (yes, I've been riding a long time) but several of my buddies have been raving about Zwift so I decided to pop for a nice smart trainer. First, in case you don't know, you need an ANT+ dongle for your PC if you want a simple, seamless setup. I got the Magnus and set it up easily. I had a couple of issues - one minor and one serious. First, the power cord didn't stay in the socket. During a 45 minute session it fell out twice. I took a screwdriver and made some adjustments and improved, although didn't totally resolve the issue. On my second ride, i put the bike on the trainer and as I was tightening the tension on the wheel, the bolt that attaches to the handle that tightens the tension snapped, rendering the trainer useless. In addition to ruining my rainy Saturday, I needed to pack up my week-old trainer and send it back. I'm ordering a Wahoo Kickr Snap shich costs the same and is generally better reviewed.
The quietest trainer I've ever ridden
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I've been on the new Magnus for about a month now. I was previously using the Kinetic Road Machine, which I really liked. The Magnus is a completely different animal however.
First, it's a "smart" trainer. Smart trainers allow you to do workouts without shifting gears. The trainer adjusts tension based on the workout you've chosen, either with the free Cyclops app or one of the new training programs like Zwift.
Second, this trainer is incredibly quiet. There is the slighest hum but no resonance travelling through the flow in into my sleeping daughter's bedroom. Not having to shift gears also adds to the quietness.
The Magnus is plenty sturdy and I've used Cyclops products before with a lot of success. I'm using the free app for workouts and set up was a breeze. You can take your power test, set your training zones and be on your way to your best winter ever. There really is no excuse for not waking up early and putting in the time when it is this quiet, this comprehensive and this easy.
Give me a call directly if you have any questions or would like to place an order. firstname.lastname@example.org 801-204-4557