Cheap versus expensive turbos trainers: are you paying four figures for features you don’t need?

Today's turbo trainers are available at a myriad of price points but what are the differences between entry level and top-tier units? We take a look at the details and their impact on the experience of riding indoors

Image shows a rider using a turbo trainer indoors
(Image credit: Future)

Before the birth of direct drive smart trainers and third-party interactive apps, training indoors was simply a means to an end. When the weather turned grim, cyclists would reluctantly head to their shed or garage and complete a few sessions, often staring blankly at the wall ahead while willing it all to be over. Retaining motivation over the winter months wasn’t helped by the turbo trainers themselves, which often lacked stability and created a racket, hence the need to be banished to an outhouse so family members could watch the television in peace.

Fortunately much has changed in recent years and indoor training is no longer reserved for sadists or indeed just the colder months. Indeed, for many cyclists, especially those who race, an indoor Zwift session or two forms part of their regular cycling week year round.

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