Australian Mountain Bike - - Tested - WORDS: ANNA BECK IM­AGES: TECHNO GYM

In re­cent years, smart train­ers like the Wa­hoo Kickr and the TacX Neo have led the way, and it is dif­fi­cult to go past an in­door trainer those of us who seek fit­ness but have to fit it around other life com­mit­ments, like fam­ily and work. Would TechnoGym’s pedi­gree of train­ers–hav­ing de­vel­oped the iconic SPINTRAINER from the 90s–mean that the MyCy­cling can com­pete with the modern-day smart trainer? We un­boxed it to find out.


TechnoGym have cer­tainly chan­nelled the aes­thetic needs and wants of many high-end cy­clists; the unit is com­pact and sleek and with a weight of 18kg, on the lighter side for a smart trainer. The sil­ver al­loy body and large (5kg) mag­netic re­sis­tance fly­wheel–which has a max­i­mum power out­put of 2100w and max­i­mum slope of 15%–are matched with sub­tle graph­ics; in essence this is a trainer that would look the part in an art gallery. Set­ting up the unit was a ten minute af­fair; sim­ply se­lect where you’re putting it (near a power cord or grab an ex­ten­sion lead if re­quired), pull out the sta­bil­is­ing legs (which fold up neatly for stor­age), se­lect the cor­rect adap­tors, and away you go. The MyCy­cling comes with stan­dard QR mounts and 142x12mm through-axle. The trainer is sup­plied with an 11-speed Miche cas­sette, and is op­er­ated through the MyCy­cling app, down­load­able through the apps man­ager on your smart­phone.


Once I had set up the trainer and down­loaded the app (avail­able for both An­droid and Ap­ple prod­ucts), the first thing to do was to com­plete a test­ing ses­sion in or­der to cal­cu­late power-based zones to be used with the ses­sions on the app. For those who know their thresh­old value for an in­door trainer, you can skip this point, how­ever with the MyCy­cling app be­ing ac­cu­rate within +/-1%—it's more ac­cu­rate than most crank and pedal-based power me­ters. Though it was equipped with an 11spd cas­sette and the main test bike was run­ning SRAM Ea­gle, the di­rect drive re­sis­tance meant that gear­ing dif­fi­cul­ties weren’t re­ally an is­sue: just find a cog that works and turn on the App. TechnoGym of­fers two tests to as­sess thresh­old power: the TechnoGym Max­i­mal Test (re­quir­ing a heart rate mon­i­tor) and the Func­tional Thresh­old Power test. As we had a heart rate mon­i­tor and had pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence with lab-based grad­u­ated ex­er­cise test­ing, I se­lected the max­i­mal test. Af­ter 5 min­utes spin­ning at a self-se­lected wattage, the test pro­to­col in­creases power at a rate of around 15w/min un­til ex­haus­tion. Any­one who has com­pleted a lab-based VO2 test knows what the step test is like; and the MyCy­cling test is spec­tac­u­larly sim­i­lar to the lab-based tests; if any­thing the power steps seemed smoother and less clunky than the Lode ma­chines in a lab. Once your cadence has dropped be­low 85 or you have straight-up blown up your test is over, and the MyCy­cling app as­sesses the re­sult for heart rate data, and com­putes your thresh­old re­sult from this. Con­sid­er­ing it’s an al­go­rithm rather than blood lac­tate test­ing and/or gas ex­change meth­ods, I was sur­prised that the VO2 max es­ti­mate matched up to pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ences in the lab; and the MyCy­cling was right on with my cur­rent thresh­old power and heart rate. Upon the com­ple­tion of the test, the app gives you a list of this data in­clud­ing cadence at thresh­old, power at thresh­old, max power, VO2 max, thresh­old and max heart rate and au­to­mated heart rate zones. Put sim­ply: it’s a data junkie’s wet dream. With re­pro­ducibil­ity in mind, I com­pleted the test twice and had dif­fer­ent re­sults, how­ever this is more likely a re­sult of dif­fer­ing en­vi­ron­ments and vari­ables (test com­pleted in am­bi­ent 36 de­grees ver­sus 26 de­grees, with one test com­pleted fresh and the other, flogged) than in­ac­cu­racy of the trainer. The Func­tional Thresh­old Power test em­u­lates the stan­dard 20min power test pi­o­neered by Allen and Cog­gan, typ­i­cally un­der­taken by ath­lete’s train­ing with power me­tres on the road; and upon com­ple­tion of the test au­to­mates a thresh­old power wattage from the 20min av­er­age. This test has the ad­van­tage of not re­quir­ing a heart rate mon­i­tor


Once you have com­pleted the test, it’s time to delve into a va­ri­ety of pro­grams and ses­sions. The App has mul­ti­ple pro­grams, in­clud­ing train­ing plans for a va­ri­ety of goals. Pro­grams range be­tween one week and

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