If you want to know why we love those CycleOps trainers so much (especially the SuperMagneto Pro and the upgraded version of the Fluid 2), then we’ll have to take you behind the scenes a little bit, into the very mechanics of what makes a CycleOps trainer actually tick in terms of resistance…because that resistance is what really defines a trainer and its effectiveness in getting us fit!
Stationary bike trainers are made of two parts: physical elements and mathematical elements. But when it comes to resistance curves, it’s down to plain old maths.
CycleOps use wheel speed, their patented PowerTuned Technology and cadence to create four distinct resistance curves: linear, adjustable, progressive and controlled.
While each of the three factors is needed to calculate the resistance curves, PowerTuned Technology is unique to the CycleOps range of trainers thanks to PowerTap technology (PowerTap are legends of the power meter business).
Creating resistance curves with PowerTuned Technology enables CycleOps to produce the widest range of resistance at real world speeds by matching the rider with the right flywheel and resistance unit. When the optimal flywheel mass to resistance type is found, real world inertia is achieved and no unnecessary weight is added to the trainer. This is what you can call a win-win for all involved!
Using PowerTuned technology and the PowerTap powermeter CycleOps then takes the amount of power it would take for an average rider to maintain a specific speed while on the bike trainer, as shown in the resistance graphs below – each graph depicts speed horizontally on the x-axis versus power vertically on the y-axis.
Linear / Adjustable Resistance
The Linear resistance curves in the chart below are relevant for the Mag / Mag+. When you pedal faster or shift gears, the resistance changes proportionately to your adjusted speed; the Wind trainer is pure linear, while the Mag / Mag + is adjustable. And if you want to know just how realistic the resistance on these linear / adjustable-type trainers feels, well, it doesn’t really feel like a real outdoors ride. To be absolutely blunt…
This is the resistance we personally prefer, when you pedal faster or shift gears, the resistance actually increases – just like it should when you ride outdoors. Basically, at 20kmh you’re working twice as hard as when riding at 10kmh. In addition to the Fluid 2, there’s also the classic CycleOps Magneto, and SuperMagneto Pro to include in this range of Progressive resistance trainers.
Controlled resistance refers to the a head unit actually controlling your resistance, such as the resistance found when connecting to a virtual trainer program, such as CycleOps Virtual Training. This is probably the most realistic feel of all, with the trainer (such as the CycleOps PowerBeam) adjusting as you pedal.