Bkool Go $400

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - IN DEPTH -

The Bkool Go had me at “ant+ usb don­gle in­cluded.” With that lit­tle piece of hard­ware, the trainer re­ally is good-to-go right out of the box. Setup is as easy as putting a trainer tire and the sup­plied quick-re­lease on your rear wheel. Plug the smart trainer in, and you’re off to the races. Which races is up to you. Bkool has an ex­ten­sive sim­u­la­tion en­vi­ron­ment. There are leg­endary climbs, such as Alpe d’huez and Col du Gal­i­bier. You can ride lo­ca­tions all over the world. You can even upload your own routes and video to go along with them. The trainer ships with a code for three months of premium ac­cess to the sim­u­la­tor. You friends, how­ever, are likely in an­other vir­tual ride en­vi­ron­ment with fewer routes: Zwift. The Bkool trainer does patch in eas­ily to that world, too. The Bkool Go has lower num­bers than most train­ers in this test. Its max­i­mum re­sis­tance is 800 watts. It can sim­u­late grades of eight per cent. Where these low num­bers start to re­ally mat­ter is the weight of the unit, a lit­tle less than 10 kg, and its size. When it’s folded up, it’s roughly 20 cm high. The only other trainer in this group that is more stow­able is the stac. Also there’s the price. At $400, the Go is an ex­cel­lent deal that will have you rid­ing with power in your home.

The power num­bers that the Bkool trainer cap­tures are con­sis­tent, but pos­si­bly not as ego-boost­ing as oth­ers. When I com­pared the num­bers dis­played by the trainer with those from the Race Face Cinch crank-and-spin­dle-based power me­ter on my bike, the on-bike power me­ter was more re­spon­sive. If I launched into a sprint, the Cinch would fol­low the rise in watts. The Bkool would lag and of­ten didn’t reg­is­ter as high a power out­put. The Cinch’s strain gauges are a lot closer to the power souce, my legs, than the rear tire of the bike, which is the point of con­tact with the trainer. The con­sis­tency of the power num­bers from the Bkool mean it is still a valu­able, and fairly in­ex­pen­sive, train­ing tool. ( bkool.com)—mp

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