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Reviews of CompuTrainer(3 posts)

Reviews of CompuTrainerLauderdaleGuy
May 7, 2001 10:29 PM
I liked to see some reviews of the CompuTrainer for indoor training.
I have not been able to find much feedback about it, other than their website...which is all positive of course.
re: Reviews of CompuTrainerDoc
May 8, 2001 6:19 AM
I've used this for about 4 years. Very useful if you don't have a lot of time to go out and ride. Unfortunately, I've gotten in the habit of using it mainly early in the season when I'm trying to get back in shape. Over all I'm very positive about it. You can build strength quickly, work hills, which is hard to do in Houston, and work on your stroke and power with lots of feedback. It's expensive, but it's been worth it to me. Hope that helps.
re: Reviews of CompuTrainerKyle
May 8, 2001 10:32 AM
I've tried to get Computrainer added to the product reviews on MTBR a few times, with no more success than getting Merlin added to the Roadbikereview database. Anyway, my thoughts:

I've had a CT for about two and a half years. The unit itself appears to be quite durable and the only problems I've had with the mechanics are occasional blips from the ear mounted HRM. Generally, though it is within one BPM of my Polar.

The CT has two big weaknesses in my mind—software and price.

The software is glitchy despite numerous upgrades. The new version no longer requires a graphics accelerator, but also is not compatible with older versions (not a problem for you.) I was going to upgrade, but after looking at their FAQs there are so many possible problems I figured I better stay with what I know works. At least I understand my current bugs and I don't want to lose all my old saved races.

While CT has concentrated on their video game-like graphics (coming out with new Moab-like scenery this year) you won't really use it. After about a month, you'll end up unhooking the computer and watching movies or listening to music like you do now. In stand-alone mode, you can pick a constant power output (i.e. gear and cadence don't affect effort) which is a great feature for aerobic training. Then, two or three times a year, you'll plug in the computer, load your last saved race, and ride against your former self to gauge your improvement. The average power output and HR numbers are always interesting and motivating. I also understand they have finally (partially) fixed the pacer function, so you can race against a theoretical opponent with a given power output. I'd be interested to see how this works, since speed doesn't always seem to follow power output for some reason (another glitch?)

The Spinscan is interesting, but I only used it once. There was a glitch that didn't allow it to output to a TV and lets face it, you can tell when you're pedaling right—you don't need a multicolored graph.

I tested the new ‘training' software they're offering and found it to be the technological equivalent of Space Invaders. Don't waste your time.

I'd give their software support a C. Don't bother emailing—they never return them. Call.

What you are getting with the CT is basically a power measuring device and a constant load trainer—great if you're into objective measurements of your ability. When they were the only game in town, I guess it was worth the price. But now there seem to be a number of competitors offering similar features (though, without the somewhat useless video game component.) In many ways, the Performance unit (Axiom, I think it's called) appears more sophisticated for 1/3 money. I'd give that one a try first. You can always return it if you don't like it and shell out the bucks for the CT.