SMOOTH, QUIET, PRE­CISE

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - BIKE -

WHETHER WE LIKE it or not, in­door train­ing is very much a re­al­ity for Cana­dian triath­letes. Dur­ing the win­ter months you have no choice, but in­door train­ing can also be a reg­u­lar part of many peo­ple’s train­ing rou­tines. Those liv­ing in large cities might not be able to get out to open roads on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. But even triath­letes who have easy ac­cess to good roads see the ben­e­fits of an in­door work­out once or twice a week. These ses­sions can be ex­tremely ef­fi­cient, time wise, while also pro­vid­ing con­sis­tent con­di­tions so you can ac­cu­rately gauge your progress.

The bot­tom line is that Cana­dian triath­letes are all-too-aware of the im­por­tance of an in­door trainer – it can be an in­te­gral part of your train­ing equip­ment that can make all the dif­fer­ence when it comes to rac­ing at your best.

Long renowned for their pre­cise power me­ters, Cy­cleops has also been a ma­jor player in the world of bike train­ers. The Ham­mer, re­leased in 2016, is a di­rect drive trainer (you take the back wheel off and at­tach your bike right to the trainer, so the days of burn­ing through rear tires are done) that is in­cred­i­bly com­pact and quiet, com­pat­i­ble with pretty much any bike, eas­ily con­nected through ANT+ and Blue­tooth to pretty much any app and uses elec­tro­mag­netic re­sis­tance that is re­spon­sive and can han­dle up to 2,000 watts at 20 mph and sim­u­late up to a 20 per cent grade. Set­ting up the Ham­mer is pretty easy. It doesn’t come with a cas­sette, so you’ll need to put one on be­fore you get started. For

most bikes all you’ll need to do is use a quick-re­lease skewer and put your bike on the trainer (as if you were putting in your back wheel). There are a va­ri­ety of thru-axle adapters that come in the box in case your bike re­quires that. There’s a small front wheel tray that helps keep the front wheel from mov­ing around too much, too – it hardly takes up any space. There are a cou­ple of arms that pull out from the unit for sta­bil­ity (they are quite wide, pro­vid­ing a very sta­ble plat­form) that can be pushed back into the unit when you want to store it. The en­tire unit is ex­tremely com­pact.

Once plugged in you can use the trainer by it­self, but that’s kind of a waste con­sid­er­ing how many apps are avail­able that are com­pat­i­ble with the Ham­mer. Pair­ing the Ham­mer up to a com­puter or phone is quite easy through Blue­tooth and, once you’ve done that, it’s worth try­ing the free (for 14 days) pre­mium ver­sion of the Cy­cleops Vir­tu­al­train­ing app, which has lots of cour­ses with videos you can ei­ther down­load or stream. You’re hardly lim­ited to the Cy­cleops app, though – the Ham­mer is com­pat­i­ble with Zwift, Train­erroad and pretty much any other train­ing app you might want to use.

The ride on the Ham­mer is amaz­ingly quiet – ac­cord­ing to Cy­cleops the noise level at 32 kph is 64 deci­bels. While we didn’t have any way of mea­sur­ing that our­selves, suf­fice it to say that the Ham­mer is one of the qui­etest train­ers we’ve ever used. There’s a huge 9 kg fly­wheel (the en­tire unit weighs in at 21.3 kg) that gives you a smooth, road-like feel. Since it comes from the same com­pany that makes Pow­er­tap power me­ters, the Ham­mer pro­vides very ac­cu­rate power in­for­ma­tion.

Di­rect drive train­ers like the Ham­mer and the Wa­hoo Kickr have be­come ex­tremely pop­u­lar, and it’s easy to see why. Easy stor­age, lack of tire wear and quiet, ac­cu­rate per­for­mance are just a few of the ben­e­fits these train­ers pro­vide. It is a ma­jor in­vest­ment, for sure, but the Cy­cleops Ham­mer is cer­tainly worth it – it’s a fan­tas­tic unit that will help you race at your best.—km

Cy­cleops Ham­mer $1,620

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