Monday, 16 January 2012

Tacx Speedmatic T1810 Trainer

If you follow my twitter @FoxontheMove, you may have noticed that I had been promising to write a review on the Tacx Trainer that I bought during the boxing day sale season. Finally, I've had a chance to ride with it a few times, and feel like I could write a fair review of my thoughts and observations about the trainer.

I bought the trainer from They routinely have pretty decent specials on a wide assortment of bike-related products, and I have bought a few different things from them. They happened to have a deal on the Trainer, which aside from having a reduced price, came with a free Tacx Training Tyre! Having a training tyre is important because using the Trainer causes a lot of heat on the rear wheel, and will quickly wear out your regular, possibly racing-specific tyre.

I received the tyre and the Trainer separately about a day apart, which gave me time to figure out how to change my tyre. I found youtube to be pretty useful for instruction guides and tips:

Unfortunately, even with youtube on my side, I managed to pinch my tube right at the valve, which made one hell of an explosion when I was pumping it. The result was this;
This is why you should check for pinches
Anyway, I managed to get my replacement tube on properly, and then waited eagerly for the Trainer itself, which came the next day. I don't know who is to blame, but the box that I picked up from the mail depot was pretty much just the standard package with some tape around it a few times. It had clearly not been handled properly, and there were holes and cuts all over. 
Right off the bat, I should say that the instructions that are provided to assemble the Trainer are pretty complicated. There are some pictures and then a lot of writing which consist of IKEA-esque labelling. "Attach component A to part C and push on Tube E". Kinda nonsense, but you should be able to figure it out for yourself since there aren't too many pieces. Once built, the Trainer is pretty sturdy. With your bike locked in (with the Tacx wheel spoke, provided), your precious bike has become stationary. 
Now that's a pretty sight
One thing that I was worried about was that the Trainer would make a lot of noise, which I had read was a problem for many Trainer. I don't know what everyone is talking about, because with the Training Tyre, the unit makes no more noise than a desk-fan. The Tacx Trainer has a controller that attaches to your handlebar, and offers 10 levels of resistance. Personally, I don't always notice big shifts between the different levels, but it satisfies my needs, and I can usually cruise around level 6. The one thing that I almost definitely cant do with the trainer is stand up and peddle. Even on level 10 and with my gears shifted down, trying to stand and peddle would cause the back wheel to spin too fast, and slip from the resistance roller. Not a big issue, but it  is usually nice to stand and stretch  from time to time on long sessions.
I hope this review is useful. If you have any questions just shoot me a message and I will respond as quickly as possible.
Thanks, and keep Tri-ing!


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