Wheel-On Smart Trainer Recommendations


I am considering purchasing a 2nd indoor trainer so I can do indoor workouts with other family members. I am looking for a mid-level smart trainer that would get casual use. (2-3 week)

What are some recommendations?


Tacx vortex.

For the price… definitely worth it.

Other smart trainers will be found at much higher price points usually.


The differences for mid-level trainer are more or less negligible. Most will have very similar claimed accuracy (3-5%) and simulated gradient levels. It’ll likely come down to manufacturer preference and/or current deal on any given model.

Check out DC Rainmakers post for a bit more info…

If you are in the US, I recommend the CycleOps Magnus/M2 or Wahoo Snap.

If you are in the EU, I might recommend the Tacx Vortex. I say that with the caveat that it has a couple of known faults that are relatively common. They are notoriously generous with power data when compared to most power meters. They also have a common defect where the metal wrap on the roller flexes away from the plastic base, which creates lots of additional noise. It can be fixed via superglue as shown on several YouTube videos.


Yes they do have common breakdown issues. I bought a used one at one of the lowest prices i’d seen on the used market.

Seller didn’t mention there was noise, but… yes there was noise indeed, only when coasting or slowing down.

I messaged tacx and they sent me a replacement part even though i explicitely told them it was out of warranty and i was 2nd owner.

For that, they probably have gotten themselves a lifelong customer, tacx neo here i come? hahha

+1 for the Vortex. I’ve had mine since November, get on it 3 times a week. No issues so far. It’s pretty crazy how cheap it is now. I paid $260 with the black friday deal and thought I was getting away with something. Wasn’t aware of it’s reputation for being generous with power readings though. I’ll be visiting my brother in May for a bit who has a Kickr. Might be in for a rude awakening.

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“your new FTP is… 100”

also how crappy is the cadence sensor eh? sheesh

but overall, for the PRICE it’s worth it. If i would’ve bought it at full retail price in what they’re trying to sell it for over here, i wouldn’t recommend it. Ever.

Lol god I hope not. Whenever my bro posts a ride I check his avg power and think “cmon man step it up.”
I might need to be a little more forgiving. Yes, cadence can be all over the place sometimes. Cadence/Speed sensors are my next purchase. I just needed something entry level as I ease into this lifestyle. I can see a direct drive in my future.

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Also another thing to think about for OP,

My wife tried ERG mode and didn’t like it.

She’s been acclimated/brainwashed by her spin sessions, which were pretty intense, i’ll give it to her but she’s very music/beat driven. So she wants to start her interval on say, a certain beat driven section of a song instead of the set intervals…and that might be hard to do in ERG mode or with preset intervals…something to keep in mind. In that case there’s always resistance mode they can use…but then if they don’t use ERG AT ALL, fluid trainer might be a better option

Kurt kinetic without a doubt. Their trainers are built like tanks and their inride sensor offer a really accurate power measurement.

Last year I upgraded from a cheap dumb trainer to a Kickr Snap. Really, really pleased with it. Was using power matching with my Quarq crank but I’ve turned that off and just go off trainer now, as sometimes resistance overshot on starting an interval. Power changes have been amazingly smooth since. Very happy indeed. Plus I can ride previous routes indoor using my Bolt.

Another Vortex user here. Once I fixed the aforementioned noise issue (I went with the epoxy fix over the superglue) and connectivity issues fixed it had be rock solid. In all fairness, the connectivity issues are not the trainer’s fault in my opinion but less than ideal PC connectivity. My Galaxy Tab had been 100%

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I had a Kinetic Road Machine for 3 years, it worked great and I loved it. I recently bought a CycleOps Hammer H2 and WOW ERG mode is dope! There was a small learning curve but I’m hooked, I love it.

You should go to your local bike shops and give all of them a spin.

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I have to sat my Stac Halcyon. I ride it 6 days a week and it is fantastic. It uses magnets and your wheels so there is no wheel on wheel contact and it is completely silent. I only hear my dirty drive train.


Plus one for the Halcyon. I love mine: accurate power, quiet, reliable, top notch customer service (even though I have never had to call them up regarding technical issues), smooth in erg and resistance mode

My Kickr Snap wheel on has been great, no issues after almost 1.5 years use and 4-5 rides a week on it.

+1 for the Kickr Snap. Great unit and easy to use. Mine hasn’t missed a beat since I got it.

Alternatively, if you don’t NEED to go smart - consider getting the Feedback Sports Omnium. This way you can use it as a 2nd indoor trainer, but also use it yourself when you travel to races, etc (packs up very small and only weights 6kg… so great even for international flights). I use this all the time as my 2nd trainer when going to races in countries or places that I don’t want to risk riding on the roads!

Food for thought.

+1 Wahoo Snap too. I had a defective unit initially but Customer Service just replaced it through my dealer here and it’s been going good since.