Tech Tuesday: CycleOps SuperMagneto Pro

Even though I know it's not true, it already feels like winter here in Vermont, where we spent most of our Sunday morning worshiping at the Church of M.N. (mother nature) as we floated from pillow to pillow of virgin new October snow in a backcountry trip to Ascutney.

But, after a few hours in the woods I was back at my home wishing I hadn't put off my real workouts, and wondering if there'd be enough daylight to get it all in. Sadly, there's always enough daylight when you own a stationary trainer. This is a terrible little torture device that Henry the VIII would have been proud of, and if you've ever spent more than an hour on one you know what I mean.

I get this question all the time: "What kind of trainer do you ride through the winter?"
Well, let me tell you, CycleOps has never given me a dime, and if they did I'd still give them an honest review. I have a CycleOps SuperMagneto Pro that I've developed a love/hate relationship with over the years, but, I guess the fact that it's been years is a good sign too.

CycleOps Supermagneto Pro

Purpose: Indoor cycling
Use: You put your bike in it and ride nowhere. Four resistance settings offer a wide range of workouts (spin down, interval, hill climb, steady state riding) although you have to get off to engage a new setting.
Quality: Pretty good stuff, despite early wear on the resistance drum, which I'm sure CycleOps would replace if you asked nice enough. Ahem...
Utility: Great for weeknight S & M after daylight savings time.
Value: On the high end, price wise, for a non-power feedback trainer, but it does the trick and offers good resistance at almost any effort level. I've never run out of room myself, and I can put down like... 2000 normalized watts if I want to

Bottom line: Great for indoor use and if you're mindless enough you can ride this thing into the sunset and it will never break down or wear out. But it still won't get you anywhere. And it's still not CompuTrainer... but hey, your 1000 dollars richer and still own a 400 dollar trainer if you get one of these babies.

Note: Something to think about if you're in the market for a new trainer. Fluid trainers, vs this magnetic one, offer constant resistance as the fluid heats up. Magnetic resistance beats the pants off fluid resistance in terms of quality, as fluid can be all wonky and spike to hard really really fast, and come down to easy too fast as well. And I'm also told the units can rupture and leave a spray of mineral oil in a finely painted line down your living room floor and up your back. But, they also offer some neat features in terms of getting power type workouts without having to purchase a power unit. More on that later, once Brett plays around a bit with TrainerRoad.com.

1 comment:

  1. While I am jealous that Gered has the SuperMag, would say that the JetFluid Pro is a lot more consistent with resistance than he gives credit for. I don't have an issue with managing resistance on my Fluid trainer, and I actually find it a bit more convenient in that unlike with the SuperMag, I don't have to change from the spin setting, to the hill setting, to the interval setting, etc. So advantages of the Fluid unit over the SuperMag are:

    1. Continually increasing resistance, without need to change a setting (i.e. on the Mag you can top out on resistance on, say the spin setting)
    2. It's QUIETER - for those of you that live on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th floor, and don't want your neighbors banging down your door, the fluid trainers (particularly the JetFluid Pro) are the quietest systems on the market.
    3. It's cheaper - the Fluid2 at ~$330, and the JetFluid Pro at ~$360 both come in under the SuperMag at $400.

    As for the rupturing of the Fluid unit. I've never personally heard of one rupturing, but I did have one leak. However, Cyclops has a 3 year warranty on the resistance unit. If yours leaks, just bring it in to your local cyclops dealer and they should be able to help you get you a warranty replacement pretty easily.

    Last thing - since I feel like I've been bashing the SuperMag... the best thing about it is it's road like feel. Unless you're on a spin bike with a fly-wheel, nothing comes close to the feel of the road. And like Gered said, for something that can often feel like torture, the closer you can feel to NOT being a trainer, the better.

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