Elite Mag Speed Alu Hometrainer Review
For many, winter is equal with snow and therefore it is not safe to go out riding on a road bike. Others just do not like the cold weather often combined with a lot of wind, which is far from unusual on that part of the season in a lot of places around the world. The answer for those who can agree with the things above will often be a hometrainer or joining a gym. In the long run though, a hometrainer will be the least expensive by a big margin, so why not go for that? Here you have several opportunities. Some are cheap and basic, others are expensive, giving you the opportunity to ride up a virtual Alpe d’Huez via your TV, or compete against other riders on their expensive hometrainers on a given course or mountain.
The one I have been testing is the basic Elite Mag Speed Alu from Elite. It costs around 150 euro’s in the stores, and therefore does not have the possibility to plug it in your TV and ride up any mountains. No, it is just a standard hometrainer for those who does not need anything else. Along with it, you do get a training DVD with different exercises and a bottle, plus a sweatabsorber to install on your seatpost and handlebar. It is actually quite important since sweat is destructive for the paint, and you are gonna sweat A LOT more on a hometrainer than outdoor due to that there is no wind to cool you down.
I have been testing the Elite Mag Speed for 3 winters so far, with durations to maximum 1½ hours. It has been equipped with a Vittoria Zaffiro Pro reartire specially made for use on a hometrainer. It can give you 5 different resistance values, where 1 is equal to tailwind or downhill, and 5 is equal to either strong headwind or a tough climb. To simulate normal training speed (30 km/h +/-) I have been using the 2nd level. For intervals I went a bit higher on the resistance level. The roller and the tires had a great grip with each other’s, and only under heavy accelerations in the higher resistance levels, was I able to create any wheelspin.
For me, the motivation of it is lacking. I find it “fun” in the first 5 minutes, and after that I try looking around in the room for something to think about. I started missing the fields passing by in the side along with the wind bursting at your face. A way to solve this for me though, was listening to music and/or watch a tv-program I like. I will not recommend programs which demands much attention, but just something where the pictures changes all the time so you have something different to look at all the time. I was actually missing a feature being able to achieve anything, like climbing Alpe d’Huez, or battleing against a 25-year-old Italian online on Mount Ventoux.
A kinda fun thing to that though, is that the earlier mentioned lack of motivation for riding on longer periods on the hometrainer, actually makes me do a lot more interval training than on normal roads. Therefore, it does give a lot extra strength compared to spending the same amount of time just riding in a steady pace on 80-90% of max heartrate. So I wouldn’t say I don’t get just as much out of the training as doing 3 hours rides on the roads. I think it is equally as good.
But all that depends on the kind of person and how motivated you are. When it is getting close to a new season start, and I know there won’t be long till the snow is away, I am logging a longer time on the hometrainer than I am doing in the early winter. Most people will probably do it the same way, because of a increased motication. But as a training tool, the Elite Mag Speed is great. You save a lot of money compared to a gym center, and you do not have to battle freezing temperatures. I have only been happy getting mine, because I am training a lot more in the wintertime than I would have been doing without it.
A problem I have noticed though was that at higher speeds, would the rollers start to vibrate so much, that it creates a noticeable sound. Therefore, I did try to keep it below that speed to stop it from making the noise. It did not matter what tires I tried, the noise would still occur. It is more or less just a bad balance on the rollers that triggers the vibrations, which maybe won’t occur on all Mag Speed’s.
The Elite Mag Speed is a great hometrainer for the person who is just looking for a basic method of training when the weather does not give the best opportunity for going outside doing that. For me though it got quite boring pretty fast, unless I had music to listen to, or a TV-show to watch. Therefore, I will highly recommend doing that if you are going to buy any of the cheaper hometrainers without any fancy features like climbing Alpe d’Huez. Nevertheless, it made my do a lot more trainingsessions than if I had to go out in snow or bad weather, so it has definitely helped me becoming a better rider.
Written by René