H2 - New Trainer Day. Now with review

Time to get excited… New trainer day is coming
I have taken the leap into ‘wheel off’ smart trainer zone. After 5 years of indoor training, using multiple platforms and various trainers… (I started on a JetBlack Z1 fluid trainer watching coaching videos on a dvd player) I have ordered a new Cycleops H2 trainer.
I am excited to step from my current Vortex wheel on trainer; which has been flawless and will now be donated to my wife.
I am happy to post a review from basic fluid all the way to wheel off if people are interested.
One of the main drivers behind the decision for the H2 was Boost compatible, which left the H2, Kickr and Flux s or 2. From all the research, youtube vidoes and melting my brain with research; the H2 always came on top.

Counting down the days till its arrival.


Good choice. The H2 has been a great trainer for me!

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Ditto, as my H2 is possibly my favorite trainer.

After my KICKR '18 debacle (3 failures), I replaced it with an H2 and I’ve been happy with it. I consider the H2 to be the “Honda Accord” of smart trainers–nothing fancy, no bells or whistles, no major differentiators, but it just works, is well-built, from a solid company, and is super reliable. Sure, there are a few annoyances, but nothing major.

No regrets at all after moving from Wahoo, and now that Cycleops reduced the MSRP, I think it’s a great choice, particularly given the alternatives (Elite is solid, but small market share in US; Wahoo, no way in hell, at least not for a while, after the 2018 disaster release; Tacx, great choice, but pricey and curious to see what they bring forward in the next few years as they transition to Garmin ownership; Kinetic has never been able to do well in the smart trainer market).

With new trainers being announced in the next 2 months, I’m curious to see if Cycleops will release an H3 so soon. They tend to release products on broader timelines and focus less on bells and whistles than their competition, so we may not see an H3 this year. Frankly, the trainer market is at somewhat of a plateau, so now companies have to come up with gimmicks to differentiate themselves, and it’s the point of diminishing returns now. All smart trainers have +/- 2% accuracy; most can support virtual grade of 15%+; all are compatible with the major apps and protocols. So they differentiate themselves by doing things like whisper-quiet operation (which, frankly, is why Wahoo’s 2018 release was a disaster) or real-world rumble in Zwift (i.e., Tacx Neo 2). I was worried that the H2 would be too loud after coming from a KICKR '18, but it isn’t really that bad–a high-pitched “whirl” that’s certainly quieter than my old faithful Kinetic fluid trainer. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.


Looking forward to your feedback. H2 is a bit more pricey than the Flux/Direto (majority good reviews but hit and miss with reliability, mainly with the Flux) but a lot cheaper than the Neo and Kickr (Neo is coming up flawless and the Kickr 18 seems plagued with issues).
H2 is an option I haven’t really considered but dammit I’m getting a smart trainer in less than a month and need a decision


Almost $400aus cheaper than local.

Wait until after EuroBIKE.

Hi guys I’m also looking at the h2 as an upgrade from my vortex, but wanting to know how noisy is it? I’m wanting to do early morning workouts but not wanting to wake the gaffer who will be directly above.

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Wellnit has arrived, and I will report in more details later. But vs the TACX vortex, it is a LOT quieter. A full 12 decibels lower. 75 vs 63. 115 watts at 90 rpm. Whilst its not silent, it has a mild whine to it, and a heck of a long spin down.
Looking forward to seeing how it goes. I now need to do a ramp test and a Saturday session.
I will report later this weekend.


Well here it is, my review of the Cycleops H2 Smart Trainer.

Before I get into the H2 trainer, I thought it relevant to first fill you in on my training background in relation to indoor training and trainers in general. This might give you some insight into my ‘credential’ if that be the relevant phrase.

I started training indoors roughly 8 years ago, whereby I had my trusty road bike attached to a Jetblack Z1 fluid trainer. Back then, my training was based on heart rate zones given to me by a coach, whilst listening to music on stereo nearby. It was a lesson in persistence and boredom conquering, all whilst staring at my Garmin 500 screen. The sytem worked well and I had one of the best years in MTB XC racing.

My coach then moved on and started using Coaching DVD’s by a guy named Graeme Street. (Cyclocore) I was still on the Jetblack and still using heartrate, but now mixed in some PRE. It was after using Graeme’s videos for a few years, that I decided to upgrade to a KK Road Machine, and starting using virtual power with Graeme’s videos and …TrainerRoad.

TrainerRoad back then was a different beast then it is now, and wasn’t even available on ios or android. Just PC. My setup was now PC, Cyclocore downloaded videos, KK Road Machine and TrainerRoad virtual power.

I thought the JB Z1 was a great trainer until I moved up to the KK. The KK definitley is the king of fluid ‘dumb’ trainers. I didn’t realise the JB had a sort of restriction to the resistance, but moving to the KK, I now noticed it was like pedaling with your brakes slightly engaged. The KK ramped up nicely and maintained a smooth power curve regardless of the resistancy.

I stayed with the KK for a few years, but then decided to dip my feet into the world of smart trainers with a TACX Vortex. This was my first smart trainer, and It was great; no more changing gears and having to strongly focus on the screen and cadence to keep my targets in check. I could now just bury myself, knowing everything was keeping inline with the set watts.

But alas, not all was perfect, I soon realised that with smart trainers, comes a heap of teething problems. These problems do not go well with time restricted training. Having to sort out Bluetooth, ANT+, ERG, resistance problems and mid ride calibrations not completing, etc, etc. I would sometimes just lose my shit and give up. I even had issues with my erg power just not follow the target power.

This really started to give me the sh!ts. I was running ANT+ over PC on the TR App. Several weeks into it, I discovered the accuracy of Bluetooth control of the Vortex on my mobile app of TR. This was due to my laptop not being available at the time, but I still wanted to train. Bluetooth control over the vortex made a world of difference.

This was a big game changer for me, and now my training was problem free. Problem free training makes consistent training. The only issue I had was having to consider what gear to be in for the ramp test, as sometimes the trainer would top out unless I changed down a few gears.

This really sucks when you are not looking at the screen during the ramp test, because you are chewing off your stem trying to achieve the best ftp results you can, only to look up and see that the power hasn’t changed in the last 90-120 seconds. This is because your trainers resistance had topped out. A few gear changes in the first few ramps usually solves this. The Vortex has been a great trainer, and I have enjoyed training with it; once the teething problems were sorted. I have still have the Vortex, and have donated it to my wife for her training.

Now for the H2;
I have only done 2 sessions so far, 1x ramp test to dial in my trainers based FTP, and my first midweek workout. The first thing I noticed over the wheel on is the reduced noise, it’s like really quiet. The whine you hear on YouTube videos is over stated. It is nothing like DC Rainmakers videos. (he states that trainer noises are hard to present in videos) Whilst the whine is there, it does not sound like a jet engine. This was one of my main concerns prior to buying the trainer, and I am glad I decided to ignore the reviews and see, or hear for myself.

The second thing I noticed immediately was the roll on… or spin down as some people might call it. This thing just spins for ever, and really does give a crazy road like feel. So much so, that anything under 100 watts feels like you are over spinning, and need to take into account the freewheeling when light pedaling; just like on the road on the flats in an easy gear.

The ride on the H2 is super smooth, I mean smooth in the fact that it doesn’t feel like you are always having to pedal to make sure the trainer is spinning, which is the case with fluid trainers, and the Vortex. I can imagine doing a long slow climb on this thing would feel exactly like climbing on a smooth road outside. I only wish I had this trainer prior to my trip to Canada in 2017 for Single track 6. I might not have suffered soo much from those brutal long climbs.

The H2 is easy to setup on Rouvy app for calibration and firmware updates, though you need an iOS device for the firmware updates. It links up with TR each and every time without fail. It’s super stable thanks to adjustable feet, and requires absolutely no assembly. Just take out of the box, pull legs out, adjust to your floor, put on cassette (This again is overstated as an issue on youtube, but I believe everyone has a spare somewhere, or knows someone who has) and, mount bike and you are away.

The other complaint is no supply of a skewer… hello… you have one on the bike you are mounting; it’s not as if you will be using it for anything.

Most reviews I read like to have a Pro and Cons section; and I know it’s only early days (4 in fact) but at this point in time, I can’t think of a con. If I had to be precise, I would say that it doesn’t track my power as smoothly in ERG mode as the Vortex, but this is my OCD kicking in for a pretty looking power graph, and also the fact that the trainers a little more realistic with power numbers, then my smoothed out Vortex. It is also a little more realistic, because who can really keep dead on a power figure that smoothly. :blush:

Whilst things have come along way with my pain cave; I now have a dedicated LCD tv mounted to the wall, training laptop, Bluetooth sport headphones, industrial fan, and now a shiny new top of the wozza smart trainer. So far, I am very happy with my purchase. If you do a good percentage of your training indoors, and you are in the market for an upgrade or thinking about a H2; just do it, I dont think you will regret it.



Great review; very thorough. Thanks for sharing this.

I’m waiting for my Vortex to finally die so I can’t justify moving on to a direct drive trainer.

Hi Pete

I’m was going to take the plunge and get the h2 but now I find out there’s the h3! After a month how you finding the h2 ?
Cheers Paul

Hey Paul
.sorry for the lateness in my reply. …
Still loving the H2, and has been running like a dream.
I havent looked into the H3 and dont have any need to just yet, becuase the H2 just works.
Listen to the DC Rainmaker podcast of TR last week, and they all love it too.
If you can get one on sale now that the H3 is due out, then go for it.