To answer the question straight away there are some advantages and disadvantages of smart bike trainers but the plus points outweigh the negatives. For example an obvious positive is that you can ride from the comfort of your home and if you have kids or just want to stay safe in doors instead of riding at night, you can do this with ease.
And a negative of this is the noise they make, if you don’t do your research (we have done this for you) you can have a really noisy one that can be very distracting. But we have found quiet ones at a modest price point.
In our opinion there are very much worth buying. Say in the winter and you don’t want to ride in the cold you can do this at home and these bike trainers are the closest you will get to actually riding on the road. We have a post which explains what bike trainers are and gives clear points on why we think they are good and it is HERE if you want to read.
Best Smart Bike Trainer Reviews For ZWIFT & other Apps
The NEO Smart is the closest you will get to having that “road feel” and it has one our editor’s choice award for that reason alone. With multiple bike smart bike trainers this one ticks all the boxes and actually feels like you are riding on the road.
The powerful motor can apple resistance of up to 2200w! And simulate slopes of up to 25% and it also speeds up on descents to give it that extra reel road feel.
The Tacx communicates using ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart and just to note you will need to download the Tacx Utility app on your iPhone and with your Neo plugged in and paired, to get all the updates.
Silky Extremely quiet
This smart bike trainer is whisper silent and one of the quietest trainers available. The Tacx NEO Smart was the first smart bike trainer to create the impossible silent trainer and is a staple in the bike trainer market.
Accurate and reliable
The Tacx NEO Smart measures your power with incredible accuracy, ensuring that your data is precise and reliable. The smart trainer is the only trainer that doesn’t need a calibration process. The NEO Smart measures your power with a maximum deviation of 1%
Dynamic inertia is developed to control the mass inertia (basically the roadfeel) which gives it the most realistic experience possible. Which is does amazingly well and many people say this is the closest you will get to riding on the road without leaving your home.
The design of the NEO Smart allows a few degrees of movement to the right and to the left while cycling. The frame follows the natural course of your body, which all adds to the ride experience which makes it so engaging.
The NEO Smart doesn’t require an external power source as it generates its own energy from your cycling movement. This direct drive trainer can easily be used anywhere you like. When connected to an external power source the Descent simulation feature is enabled.
No calibration, no wheel slippage, no pumping tire
Foldable and compact frame design, yet very stable
Expensive when compared to other bike trainers
This trainer straight out the box is easy to assemble, an assembly guide is provided and there are also helpful videos on the company’s website. You will be able to put everything together by yourself with no problems.
The Bike trainer is made in the US (Madison, WI), the stand and parts are made of steel and the trainer is extremely durable and rugged enough even if you are a very competitive rider. The only adjustment you will really need to make is to your bike is to replace the back tire skewer with the skewer included with the trainer.
The skewer that comes with steel connectors that fit into the bolt action tubes on either of side of the trainer. In the picture you can see a lever that tightens the bolt action tube onto the skewer to hold the bike in place.
In terms of the resistance you will find a yellow knob that you turn to tighten the resistance unit against the rear tire. The resistance unit then slots into place as soon as it is tight enough. Once the resistance unit is tight against the rear tire, you are ready to use the trainer!
The trainer has built in sensors which detect cadence, speed, and power (no external or extra sensor are needed). The trainer connects via the dual ANT + FE-C or Bluetooth to your phone, tablet, or other device running a virtual training app. The M2 is a “smart” trainer because the app can record your training data and also control the resistance you feel when pedaling.
The trainer is compatible with a variety of virtual training applications, though I personally think Zwift is the best. In Zwift, you not only get to choose different routes, but you can also interact with other riders and the app gives you constant feedback about your performance during the ride as well as summary statistics once you are done.
In Summary, the CycleOps M2 Bike Smart Trainer is an excellent bike trainer–it’s built to last. The trainer is also quiet (considering you aren’t using knobby tires), the noise level is 69 decibels at 20 mph.
Controlled, electromagnetic resistance which gives an accurate and precise workout
Incorporated cadence, speed, and power no external or extra sensors are needed
If you want to connect the sensors to apps it takes a bit of research to do this
This is our budget option but it has suprising quality for the price point of this smart bike trainer. It is accurate, affordable and simple to use, the Kinetic inRide sensor technology lets riders to connect with a world of training opportunities,
with apps like Kinetic Fit, Zwift, TrainerRoad, Rouvy, Kinomap Trainer and FulGaz on Bluetooth-connected smart phones, tablets and laptops. No additional sensors or add-ons are needed. All backed by the industry’s best lifetime warranty.
The kinetic road machine comes pre-installed with, “inRide sensor technology” which enables riders to connect to the Kinetic Fit app and use a power training program. No additional on-bike sensors are needed.
The patented “Kinetic Fit” power training app keeps can help keep you on track with 100s of built-in workouts which target-effort levels tailored to individual riders.
Every frame is made from a special tig welded, powdercoated steel. While each structural part is made of either steel or aluminium, making these machines very sturdy and robust.
The trainer has inRide Sensor Technology
Every Smart Trainer purchase includes a FREE 1-month subscription for the Kinetic Fit power-training app.
Calibration can be quite fiddly