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Steve R

Steve R

Ohio

Steve R

Steve Rwrote a review of on April 13, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I replaced another smart trainer with this one hoping to see improved accuracy and consistent resistance control and got most of what I wanted. This matches my crank based power meter on average over intervals in structured workouts within a couple watts so its everything I had hoped for there. On long training sessions (I did a 5 hour session for a hundred miles of Zwift) it follows the set wattage just as well as at the start. My only pick here is it tends over correct a bit rolling from over and under the set point by as much as 10 watts at a 200 watt setpoint, however the average is always spot on the setpoint and some of that is normal variation in pedaling I’m sure, however the consistent swing over and under like a sine wave is not something I remember seeing on the other smart trainer, it didn’t fluctuate consistently, it just got progressively worse the longer you rode on it.

In Zwift it is very responsive to all the changes in grade, and doesn’t seem to overcorrect at all, and on steep climbs like the London Subway you feel every bit like you are on that grade so choose your cassette wisely!

As far as noise level, this is amazingly quiet. The drive train makes more noise than the trainer really unless you are really pushing the watts then it’s probably equal. Much quieter than the wheel on trainer that it replaced. (and you never have to worry about tire pressure) Calibration, well I haven’t had to yet – it can be done but you shouldn’t need to.

In other entertainment it comes with Real Elite membership so you can ride virtual rides with real video footage and even make your own. There are free ones you can use, or if you want the very nice high def ones you can purchase them. It comes with Alp d’Huez free– very cool.

ANT+ I have had zero problems with power dropouts or any other concerns. Bluetooth can be a bit of a pain to sync to Zwift, or to their cycling app, but it works, just a little clunky. You really don’t need the Bluetooth as well as the ANT+ performs in my opinion though. The pedaling analysis app does require Bluetooth for it to work and it worked great with my android phone until I got the 7.0 Nugot update and it along with other apps have been a bit of an issue, that’s when I started issues with the Bluetooth hookup, so it could very well be my phone and not the trainer.

Appearance is a personal preference thing, I can say mine arrived with none of the sloppy panel fit concerns I’ve read about, it’s very nice.

I do wish the front balance bar was longer for stability. I ended up putting a 5/8 inch piece of plywood under it to make it more stable as my pain cave is carpeted, although very very short carpet. Even with the Plywood, I find it feels a little tipsy compared to my other trainers like Kurt Kinetic Road Machine and Cycleops dumb trainer. I do plenty of riding out of the saddle and never felt like I was going to topple over though.

They do have a nice forum with responsive moderators to any question – although its designed in English and can’t change language preference so Google translate is your friend until you get to know it, then no issue – all the mods reply to questions etc in English if you post in English.

Net, it’s pricey but very nice, if you do lots of hard core structured training this is great. Entertainment rides on a virtual platform like zwift, great too although perhaps overkill. I’m happy with it overall, and would recommend it for the right person, but not everyone. There are less expensive options if you just want an entertaining Zwift ride and not too picky about accuracy or serious HIT training.

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Steve R

Steve Rwrote a review of on November 16, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Using the cyclo-sphere online software with this an the Pioneer computer brings very actionable data to improved your pedal stroke which is great. Also works with Garmin and other ANT+ computers. It does take more time to set up than other power systems but that's the price of the additional data.

There is an exclusion in the warranty to be aware of - “This product is designed to be used for recreational cycling and cycle training applications only and is not designed to withstand racing conditions. Additionally, this product is designed to be used while cycling on paved roads only. Any damage or malfunction arising from use in racing or riding on dirt roads, cobblestone or any other unpaved roads will not be covered by the manufacturer’s limited warranty”

I purchased it for my gravel/winter/trainer bike so this is a problem. Will have to swap the crank for another and use my stages PM on gravel and off road rides, inconvenient but manageable. I was disappointed to see this in the warranty and called Pioneer - they told me the rough conditions might cause things to break, it's not designed for that. Interesting since their web page indicates it was developed over a tough season of racing on cobbles, in snow, rain etc. A bit misleading. Still amazing data - just may not be appropriate for use all the time considering it's a bit delicate.

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Steve R

Steve Rwrote a review of on October 12, 2015

Perfect Multi Use
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Picked up the frame to build a multi use bike for rain, snow and epic rides like DK200, With a few hundred miles on it can say with confidence it will do it all very well. Built it Ultegra Di2 with Hydraulic brakes and have 2 disc wheel sets - one for rain / road with GP4 Seasons 28mm and one set for gravel with Clement MSO 40mms on it. The build with road wheels and pedals came in just a tick under 21lbs in a 56 size frame so it's not light but it's certainly not a pig and not bad for a disc bike that is built stout for off road use. As far as ride, it's not as smooth as my carbon road bike to be sure, but it's not what I would consider harsh either as a number of online reviews lead me to believe. With 40mm tires on it's actually very comfy on gravel I think. Did a 42 mile mostly gravel ride with 4500 feet of climbing, it climbs very well and is stable on descents. Looking forward to some Century rides on gravel with this toy in the future!

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Steve R

Steve Rwrote a question about on December 4, 2014

I have 2 pair of Xenon 2.0 bib tights and am wondering if there is a reason to consider the AlpX 2.0 SO tights as an addition to my riding apparel. I ride as much as possible through the Winter months, all road bike. The Xenon 2.0 Chamois is great and the tights get me to around freezing comfortably but below that need to start layering on the bottom. Are th AlpX 2.0 SO the same warmth, warmer, less or more padded chamois?

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Steve R

Steve Rwrote a review of on December 15, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The chamois on these is just outstanding - great for long rides (60 +)much more so than any of my PI or Castelli equipment using their best chamois. They fit well and don't sag any which prevents getting caught on the nose of the saddle when transitioning from standing to sitting. I wish they made a set with white uppers so they could be used with my white jerseys - they show through a bit too much to use with them.

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Steve R

Steve Rwrote a review of on December 15, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Let me start by saying I generally have more problems than many others with cold fingers, so these may work better for others at low temperatures. I use these as my in between gloves - between lightly insulated gloves for upper 40's and up, and Lobster glove temperatures which start at mid 30's. The size chart is wrong for sure, I ordered my first set by the chart which put me in the middle of a medium, had to return for a large size which fits snug. The fingers are small in diameter so I can't see being able to use liners effectively in these to make them more effective at lower temperatures. They are a bit bulky however don't bunch on the bars or restrict movement for shifting etc. My second set (the large size that fit right) had to be returned for a replacement as the velcro that is part of the base of the glove came unstitched after a few rides. The replacements are doing fine. They can be a bit cumbersome getting them loose due to the aggressive velcro. Overall they fit an unfulfilled need for me however I was disappointed they would work for me at lower temperatures.

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Steve R

Steve Rwrote a review of on December 15, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Nice bars - the replaced a set of round bars on my bike that hurt my hands when riding with my hands on the tops. The finish on the bars is nice and glossy on the tops and center, very attractive. In response to the review suggesting there's not enough room for a head light, there's plenty of room for my Cyglolite head light on the bars, plus a K-edge mount, plus my bar top brake levers before the bar tapers flat. Mine are the 44cm bars. My only pick on the bars is it would be nice to have some markings on the drops for position marking of the STI levers. Also a note, due to the shape of the bars it seems they take a bit more bar tape to wrap - the Fizik kit that I got had to be pulled pretty tight and not use a figure 8 around the STI levers to be able to go far enough to complete the wrap.

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