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With a host of new product launches and updates, Eurobike 2022 could go down as a landmark show in the world of indoor training. While Zwift was among the first to kick it all off at Eurobike with a huge stand several years back, many other brands were keen to show off their new tech this year.
We walked the halls and booths of the 2022 Eurobike to bring you a round-up of some of the latest in indoor training tech.
Of all the indoor training brands on show, MyWhoosh seemed intent on making the biggest splash. The free virtual cycling app with a logo you may recognise from Tadej Pogacâr’s UAE Team Emirates kit, had one of the largest stands in hall 11. The stand featured several trainer setups for riders to try the MyWhoosh platform and win one of four Colnago C68s, but the centrepiece attraction was its “immersive cube” with a wrap-around screen spanning three walls and the floor.
With MyWhoosh now in its third year, the team behind it feel they now have the tech and physics in place to scale up the platform and bring it to more riders around the world. Kevin Poulton, director of product at MyWhoosh, believes the platform now has the best graphics, best racing, and the best-integrated calendar view offering TrainingPeaks and Today’s Plan integration.
Poulton explained that while many riders still turn to indoor training out of necessity – be that to avoid bad weather or for specific training adaptions – MyWhoosh intends to make indoor training even more attractive and rewarding.
MyWhoosh wants to facilitate better training and fitness programs. Alongside the calendar view with third-party training platform integration, MyWhoosh also hosts a range of specific testing sessions and integrations to help riders and coaches track changes in fitness.
Poulton’s suggestion that MyWhoosh already offers the “best indoor racing” is open to debate right now, but there is little doubt it’s the racing and daily events where MyWhoosh plans to expand. Daily events and racing are already live on the platform, and the racing prize money in particular is grabbing a lot of riders’ attention.
The platform boasts the biggest prize funds and with that comes a responsibility to ensure fair play. MyWhoosh currently verifies each rider’s data individually, but developers will soon roll out a new verification system set to deliver automatic and instant verification within minutes of a race finish.
The platform offers a mix of real and fantasy routes with a Middle East map already live and a virtual Colombia coming in the near future. Riders can customise their bikes and gear from kit colours right down to sock height. And while MyWhoosh only offers Colnago bikes at present, more brands are also coming soon.
For more information, head to MyWhoosh.com.
Next door to MyWhoop was VirtuPro, a new trainer platform focused on developing the “most realistic indoor cycling experience ever”. VirtuPro claims to combine the realism of video games with the intensity of serious training for improved performance and enjoyment.
While the platform offers challenges and achievements to complete in routes based on real-life stages, racing is built into its core with stage races, time trials, and free rides. With 60 stage routes over 1,600 km of virtual roads, VirtuPro offers everything from Alpine climbs to the Champs-Élysées and a host of other virtual recreations of routes from around the world.
The VirtuPro platform is said to offer a real-feel draft effect, FTP-based AI racing opponents, Classics-like crosswind and cobble racing, steering, and collisions. Furthermore, VirtuPro will offer “team communication” providing team tactics and commands.
While only available in a trial version as of yet, VirtuPro is free to sign up to and download. However, it is only compatible with Windows operating systems at present with Apple and Android apps to follow soon. More information is available at Virtuprocycling.com.
Gymrail Momentum X1 motion rocker system
Gymrail is a Finnish company claiming to offer the most natural indoor riding movement with its Momentum X1 4D bike rocker system. Said to be the first “4D full motion rocker system for indoor training”, the Momentum X1 offers 12 cm (4.5″) of total fore/aft movement, 15° total side-to-side tilt movement, 12 cm (4.5”) total side-to-side sway movement, and 7° of twisting rotation in both directions from the central axis. That’s a lot of movement.
The spring set allows you to adjust the stiffness of your Momentum X1 to your preference, and to complete the MX1 4D experience.
The Momentum X1 operates on a series of rails, springs, and roller wheels, with the trainer strapped to a board compatible with any trainer. The front forks are mounted to a motion platform moving independently of the rear. Furthermore, the system stiffness is now further adjustable with a range of new orange and red springs from Gymrail to tailor the motion feel to your preferred riding style.
We got a grand total of about 30 seconds riding on a Gymrail at Eurobike – nowhere near enough time to make any definitive conclusions on the system. But it sure is interesting.
TrueKinetix is the Dutch brand behind the TrueBike smart bike trainer and now the TrueTrainer, one of the only entirely new trainers at Eurobike 2022. The TrueTrainer is a direct-drive smart trainer offering the same claimed benefits of the TrueBike in a smaller package.
What are those benefits, you ask? TrueKinetix claims the TrueBike and now the TrueTrainer offer the most realistic cycling experience for indoor training thanks to its TrueForce technology. Bas van Rens, CEO of TrueKinetix, told us the TrueTrainer uses a small, low-weight motor to replicate the inertia and momentum experienced while riding outdoors. This motor replaces the flywheel found on many trainers and provides force feedback. This is most notable during the initial few pedal strokes after coasting, where the feeling is much more akin to that of riding outdoors compared with accelerating a flywheel on a typical trainer.
The TrueTrainer also calculates virtual gears meaning riders can virtually ride with a host of virtual cassettes without ever changing the actual cassette mounted to the trainer. The trainer calculates which gear the rider is currently in – presumably based on wattage, cadence, and virtual speed – and automatically shifts to match the rider’s real-world shifts. While we only had a very short ride on the TrueTrainer, this virtual shifting seems like it will take a little getting used to, with a significant delay from actual shifts translating into virtual shifts.
The TrueTrainer is also self-charging, powering itself from the energy created as you ride.
Beyond that, the new TrueTrainer has a claimed +/-0.5% power meter accuracy, a USB port and Wi-Fi connectivity for data transfer, and live data via HDMI on the top-end “Max” model priced at €1,999. While the intermediate “Shift” model retains the TrueForce technology, USB, and HDMI ports, it drops the Wi-Fi and live data HDMI connections, bringing the price down to €1,799. The entry-level “Base” trainer drops the price to €1,499 but further sacrifices the USB and HDMI ports to do so.
You can find out more at TrueKinetix.com.
Head unit and now vehicle radar brand, Bryton, was the only other brand to have a new direct-drive trainer on show. The new trainer is still unreleased and details are very slim, but its main feature is 8° of built-in swing bringing left-right rocking to a direct-drive trainer.
Again, details are very slim, but the new trainer looks well made, features a well-designed handle and folding legs, and from the LEDs at the rear, we can see it is ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible.
Again, a quick ride on the new trainer isn’t enough to make any definitive conclusions about Bryton’s new offering, but it was enough to get a sense of the left-right rocking motion. Initial impressions suggest only a modest well-balanced swing.
Spanish trainer brand Zycle had three trainers on show, all made in its two Spanish factories and now available throughout Europe.
First up is Zycle’s new Smart ZDrive direct-drive trainer equipped with USB link technology for direct connection to electronic hardware to help eradicate signal dropouts. With magnetic resistance, the Smart ZDrive is said to be among the quietest in class (although the Eurobike halls were much too loud to test those claims).
The Smart ZDrive has a claimed maximum wattage of 2,000 watts at 40 km/h or 375 watts at 10 km/h, up to 20% gradient simulations, and supposedly no calibration requirements. The trainer is compatible with 9 mm, 12 mm, and Boost thru-axles and features ANT+ and Bluetooth alongside the USB direct connection.
The new trainer is compatible with Zycle’s ZPower battery offering the option to use the Smart ZDrive without AC power for pre-event warm-ups.
Perhaps most impressive is the Zcycle Smart ZDrive’s price at just €699 for what appears to be a high-end direct drive trainer.
Next up is Zycle’s Smart ZPro wheel-on smart trainer, offering +/- 3% power accuracy, 1,200 Watt maximum, ANT+ and Bluetooth connections, and magnetic resistance, priced at €349.
Lastly from Zycle is the brand’s Smart ZBike. The dedicated smart bike is said to be perfect for both cycling and fitness training with a built-in power meter and integrated electronic gear shifting.
The Smart ZBike relies on a 14 kg flywheel said to offer improved pedalling sensations and is compatible with most indoor training software platforms. Although, the 188 mm Q-Factor might put off anyone quite in tune with their riding position.
Still though, at €1,499 the ZBike is one of the lowest-priced smart bikes available.
The Zycle range is available at Zycle.com with both the Smart ZBike and Smart ZPro available now and the Smart ZDrive available soon.
Elite Aria Fan
While we covered Elite’s new Aria smart fan last week, the new dedicated indoor training fan gets another mention here. The new smart fan adds power- and core-body-temperature-controlled fan speed to the speed and heart rate first seen with Wahoo’s Headwind fan.
Elite has also added carbon-activated air filters to each side of the new fan and is said to provide wind speeds up to 30 mph (48 km/h). While the fan on show is still a 3D-printed prototype, Elite plans to officially launch the new fan in February 2023. In the meantime, you can get all the information we have so far in our Elite Aria article from last week.
Elite Justo trainer
Elite also had its new Justo range-topping direct-drive trainer on show at Eurobike. Having announced the Justo on the eve of the Tour de France, this will be the first time many riders have seen the Justo in real life. As with the new Bryton seen above, the Justo incorporates left-right swing into a direct-drive trainer, doing so with squishy feet built into the stabilising legs of the new trainer.
The Justo is also said to offer improved power meter accuracy with an updated optical torque sensor, gradient simulator compatibility, and folding legs for a smaller storage footprint.
The Justo is available now, priced at US$1,199 / £999.99 / €999.99 at Elite-IT.com