Indoor trainers: magnetic or fluid resistance?

  • Home
  • Indoor trainers: magnetic or fluid resistance?
3 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

I'm shopping for an indoor trainer and I'm seeking opinions on what club members think is the best type of trainer, mostly comparing magnetic and fluid resistance. I know one is quieter than the other (a factor since I'd be using it in my apartment at 6:00 when it's too cold/wet to go out), but I also want to understand the basic issues.

I've used rollers and I love them, but you really can't do certain exercises on rollers, like stomping really hard on the pedals at full effort.

Anonymous's picture
David Blume (not verified)
Kurt Kinetic / 1UP USA

The Kurt Kinetic is the one I hear most often regarded as the best - hands down. The 1UP USA is also a good design and super compact for storage.

Anonymous's picture
Robert Shay (not verified)
My research...

I too am in the market for an indoor trainer and reviewed all of the threads on this site as well as researched many other sites.

My findings (and I am no expert)-

You can get a really good indoor trainer for about $275 from either Cycleops, 1Up, or Kurt Kinetic. Fluid provides the combination of most resistance with least noise. (

Users of earlier versions of the Cycleops2 fluid trainer reported fluid leaks after repetitive 1hour+ rides. I've also read that Cycleops fixed the problem and provides a lifetime warranty. Many, many reviews of each of these trainers are on I was going to opt for the Kurt Kinetic (which provides a combination of fluid and magnets) until I began reading about power curves. See comparison chart -

From what I understand, the resistance measured in watts increases with speed to simulate the resistance of a road ride. My training goal is to improve my speed on hills, so I wanted ideally to simulate Perkins and river road repeats - high resistance at slower speeds with 90rpm cadence. The only product I found to accomplish this is a computrainer. The price was really steep so I looked at ebay. The used price was 80% of the new price. So, it looks like the demand for the product is high.

That being said, I may well be able to obtain the same physiological training result with a Kurt Kinetic trainer.

Anonymous's picture
David R (not verified)
Sounds like fluid is the way to go

A friend just bought a computrainer and she absolutely loves it--she said an hour-long training period, which used to be pure torture/boredom, goes right by; her mind is occupied and she concentrate on training. She cautioned me however: this thing isn't very small, and it takes a while to set up. She lives in Hastings, and leaves it set up in her basement; she and her husband alternate using it. She said she wouldn't own one if she lived in Manhattan with a spouse, as I do. She got it on ebay in June from some Columbia student who had to move (you won't do as well as she did this time of year!).

btw, owning a trainer is a great reason to keep at least one worn out tire on hand--ride it down to the casing.

cycling trips