The rise of the Smart turbo trainer has revolutionised the world of indoor training. No longer do you have to suffer tedious hours in the shed reliant on inefficient power resistance and guesswork to achieve those precious performance gains.
A smart trainer can help you train effectively, efficiently and above all create a better link with real world riding. Thanks to a more realistic ride feel, automatic resistance adjustment and increased interactivity thanks to apps such as Zwift, indoor training has never been more popular.
But what trainer to get? If you need some help with deciding which is best for you then do check out our turbo trainer buyers guide which will cover anything and everything there is to know.
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Where we can, we’ll always link to a review of the product but rest assured, if we’ve included a deal it’s because Cycling Weekly’s tech team recognise the brand and trust the products they produce. You’ll notice that all the deals include a ‘buy now’ link. By clicking on this link we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you buy a product. This does not affect the amount you pay.
Tacx Bushido smart trainer was £549, now £275
The Tacx Bushido is a simple and very user-friendly smart trainer, perfect for dipping your toe into interactive training.
Where it stands out from the crowd is that it is completely wireless; you don’t need a power supply with the Bushido, it powers itself so it’s handy for taking to races if you want a warm up. It connects to your smartphone or tablet using Ant+ or Bluetooth and is capable of providing resistance up to a whopping 1400 watts. You will need an additional upgrade if you want to use it with your computer and Zwift though.
Elite Qubo Digital B+ was £324.99, now £259.99
Another simple and user-friendly ‘smart’ trainer, the Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+ has been designed specifically for use with a smartphone or tablet.
The Qubo Digital Smart features a wirelessly controlled 16-level resistance unit that can be paired with a compatible Android or iOS device via Bluetooth or ANT+. The trainer includes a 6 month subscription to Elite’s fully featured My E-training app but can also be used with many third party software options giving you a huge variety of training options.
Cycleops H2 Direct Drive was £1000, now £624.99
Cyclops’ H2 Direct Drive turbo is at the premium end of the trainer market but offers a more immersive and rewarding training experience. Fully automatic resistance adjustment and the ability to recreate climbs makes the H2 the ideal base if you want to use Zwift or other realistic or game style training programs.
With a direct drive system and large 20lb flywheel, this turbo trainer replicates real-world inertia outstandingly well and offers a real ride feel. Offering integrated cadence, speed and power data, the amount of information available with this unit is astounding.
Tacx Neo 2 was £1199.99, now £999.99
Read more: Tacx Neo Smart Trainer review
We really rated the Tacx Neo when it came out but now there’s a new, improved version on the market and it’s even better. It still folds down neatly when not needed and can still be used without a power source (unlike many smart trainers) but now it’s quieter, more sophisticated and even smarter.
If you really take your indoor training seriously the Tacx Neo 2 has you covered easily and it works superbly with Zwift and all other programs to bring a more immersive experience with it even able to replicate downhills as well as climbs!
Elite Drivo was £1200, now £600
Read more: Elite Drivo review
Whilst Elite has introduced the Drivo II recently, the original Drivo packs in all the features any aspiring athlete could ever wish for from their turbo. Highly accurate power measurement combines with a huge amount of adjustability, generating over 2000 watts of automatically changing resistance.
It can recreate climbing slopes of up to 24% and is one of the best in terms of compatibility with Zwift and other apps. The direct drive approach means the Drivo is incredibly quiet and wide legs make it very stable when really turning on the power.
Buy now: Elite Drivo at Halfords for £600
BKOOL Smart Pro 2 was £550, now £325
Read now: BKOOL Smart Pro 2 review
BKOOL’s futuristic looking Smart Pro 2 trainer is quieter than the previous model and has a quick release system that now allows easy adjustment to fit wider hubs and accommodates all wheel sizes – road and mountain bikes. Set-up is fast and simple, with weight kept to a minimum, making it easier to transport. It’s also wireless, ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart compatible.
Featuring Smart resistance control the BKOOL Smart Pro 2 trainer adjusts automatically during your session according to the route you have set. The advanced simulator continuously adjusts its resistance up to 1200W with a maximum virtual 20% slope to recreate the demands of the most grueling rides you would typically do in the real world.