Smart Trainers: Inside Look
The introduction of the ANT+ and Bluetooth LE open-source communication platforms has opened the door for the next step in the evolution of trainers – the emergence of “smart” trainers. The definition of a “smart” trainer varies, but in general terms, a “smart” trainer is an indoor trainer that provides two-way communications via ANT+, Bluetooth or both, with built-in electronics to control resistance while measuring power output and speed. Some realistic resistance units also are capable of ERG mode, which allows training applications to control the load on the trainer at a target power, regardless of the rider’s cadence. Smart trainers work so well that many users, whether for convenience or safety, are choosing to the indoor-riding experience year-round, even on sunny bluebird days. Pedal Magazine tested a few options to meet your smart-training needs, and here’s what we found.