The hot summer months certainly encourage most people to escape the heat and do their preferred exercise indoors; however, the CycleOps Virtual Pro Trainer is one to make the most of all year round.
This is a trainer with a solid base, a built-in power meter and its own software to track your training sessions and progress, as well as hosting a large selection of live routes. The unit is an electronically controlled resistance trainer and able to simulate changes in gradient – yes, like riding real hills. CycleOps offer a selection of trainers and whereas the PowerSync Pro trainer comes with Bluetooth connection, the PowerBeam Pro trainer comes standard with ANT+; at a couple of hundred dirhams extra this enables you to use other programs such as the competitive software Zwift or workout software TrainerRoad.
The Riding Experience
I immediately settled into the Virtual Training testing area at the GO Sport store in Mall of Emirates, and started riding on the chosen undulated time trial course exactly like I would outside; with a good solid power output, I was dripping with sweat within 10 minutes. The riding felt smooth and realistic.
Rodolfo, the bike department representative, explained all the metrics, figures and graphs showing on the big screen in front of me and I was keeping a close eye on the same numbers that I usually use outside on my road bike. The first thing I noticed was the accuracy of the power reading. Although I didn’t compare it directly with my own device, I know my own power output from experience and tens of thousands of kilometres riding. CycleOps uses the PowerTap technology which promises an accuracy reading within 5%.
Whilst with some home trainers you can feel the rear wheel slip slightly when picking up speed, rolling through the course and turning 100+ rpm on the downhill sections, I felt the trainer providing a solid and smooth grip under me. The best and most impressive part of the riding experience, however, was the stable and solid feeling as I simulated explosive sprinting.
The Virtual Aspect
The standard software, CycleOps Virtual Training, records all metrics such as power, heart rate, cadence, speed, elevation and time, enabling you to record your training sessions and track your progress. But if you want to fully enjoy this trainer, you can hook it up to a big TV screen, and use the CVT software to download one of many pre-existing courses. If you choose to upgrade to the premium package, you can also connect up to four trainers and train together on the same route (PC only). You can virtually ride any real route in the world.
Which rider is the Pro Trainer suited for?
The Pro Trainer doesn’t come cheap; at AED 4,599–4,999. However, it does come with the ultimate indoor cycling experience. For the beginner cyclist to the regular riding enthusiast, this trainer provides entertainment, motivation and purpose, all while logging the riding data. And for the elite cyclist and racer, the Pro trainer provides a solid foundation for riding hard, power output accuracy (from the PowerTap technology) and the option to pre-program customised workouts and of course compete against friends. If the price tag is too high, CycleOps offers a wider range of good quality home trainers to suit any rider’s needs.
Would I use the Virtual Pro trainer myself?
Personally I do find riding indoor on a home trainer a bit of a chore. However, this Virtual Pro Trainer would definitely appeal to me if I were seeking a trainer for home! With a regular cycling training schedule of 5-6
sessions per week, I would specifically include all year round weekly sessions at home. The Pro Trainer is a great choice, mainly for its smooth, solid and realistic feel, the endless profile and entertainment options, the power output accuracy and of course the convenience and time efficiency.
GO Sport Bike Division and Services
Located at the Mall of Emirates, you can ‘try before you buy’, in the CycleOps Virtual Trainer zone inside the GO Sport store. On offer in the same bike section you will find a wide range of bikes for sale, such as road, mountain, city and kid’s bikes, all by recognised bike brands such as Giant, Liv and Silverback. When you purchase a bike from the store you receive a complimentary bike fit to ensure the right fit for your body’s geometry. In addition, the GO Sport bike division offers maintenance services. One complimentary bike service comes with the purchase of a bike to be used within three months from the date of purchase to ensure good condition of the bike. The service team also offers education for their customers to ensure they take good care of their bicycle.
General maintenance services range from a bike wash and addressing minor concerns of the customer, to stripping down the bike and providing a full service. You can conveniently park behind the store and take the bike straight into the store from the car park.
For further details regarding the virtual trainer and bike services, contact Rodolfo at GO Sport Mall of the Emirates on +971 4 395 8951 or email@example.com
Words by: Helle Bachofen Von Echt
Photos by: Jung Francisco