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VR Turbo trainer

Best Smart Trainers

Smart trainers are a great way to gamify fitness sessions to break the monotony of your regime. These powerful electronically controlled bike trainers (also known as Smart trainers) use wireless communication including ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart to sync to your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

We’ve handpicked the best Smart trainers in three categories to appeal to all budgets. We have a premium, mid-range and entry-level model, chosen for their spec and performance against comparable models.

These turbo trainers automatically change the resistance you face based on the route you are riding, giving a realistic feel. The best turbo’s can also simulate inclines up to 25% and descents up to 5% for an immersive experience.

Many off these turbo trainers are compatible with their own manufacturer’s VR application as well as third party options like the extremely popular Zwift (set on an imaginary island) or BKOOL’s 500,000 route directory. These applications come with a range of features including multi-player racing, interval training, events and downloadable maps to keep your training interesting.


Tacx Neo Smart Trainer

Tacx Neo Smart Trainer
tacx

£1,199.99



Quick look

Connectivity Ant+ FE-C protocol / Bluetooth Smart


Max Power Output 2,200W


Compatible Software Tacx App, Zwift, BKOOL & others


Max Incline 25%


Simulated Descent Yes


Review

In our opinion the best smart trainer is the Tacx Neo Smart – for many reasons. Firstly, this is a turbo direct drive turbo, so you’re bike is fixed through the cassette to the resistance unit. The ride is more stable, is quieter and you don’t have to worry about tyre wear.

Secondly, the Tacx Neo is compatible with all major VR training apps including Zwift and BKOOL amongst many others. Wireless communication between is enhanced between the Smart and third part software on your laptop, bike computers and sensors thanks to the new ANT+ FE-C protocol.

Other good features include a max power output of 2,200w (even the pro’s can’t overclock this), a max incline simulation of 25% and even a simulated descent that lets you freewheel for a realistic riding experience.



Extremely capable turbo trainer with all the bells and whistles you could ask for.


BKOOL Turbo Trainer

BKOOL Turbo Trainer
bkool

£449.98



Quick look

Connectivity Ant+ FE-C protocol / Bluetooth Smart


Max Power Output 1,200W


Compatible Software BKOOL Simulator, Zwift & others


Max Incline 20%


Simulated Descent Yes


Review

The mid-range turbo in our list is the BKOOL turbo trainer. Recently the VR software that comes with the BKOOL has been updated for a more refined experience. You have over 500,000 routes to choose from, realistic video playback, a new 3D mode and you can even listen to Spotify whilst riding.

Resistance is controlled by the BKOOL simulator based on the route you are riding to recreate realistic gradients. In terms of the core features, the BKOOL can reach up to 1,200W and simulate slopes up to 20%. BKOOL trainers are the only ones to simulate inertia and this is compatible with all wheel sizes from 20” right up to 29”.

Included with the turbo is 3 months of their premium simulator membership. New extendable legs give you a very stable ride, while also reducing noise. Considering the level of features you get and the quality of the design, the BKOOL is much cheaper than comparable VR turbo trainers like the Tacx i-Genius. This is why we including the BKOOL instead of the Tacx.



Powerful turbo trainer 3months membership to updated BKOOL VR software.


Elite Qubo Digital Smart B Plus Trainer

Elite Qubo Digital Smart B Plus Trainer
elite

£299.99



Quick look

Connectivity Ant+ FE-C protocol / Bluetooth Smart


Max Power Output 1,600W (60km/h)


Compatible Software BKOOL , Zwift, Elite My E-Training & others


Max Incline 6%


Simulated Descent No


Review

The Elite Qubo Digital Smart B Plus is one of the cheapest smart trainers on the market with resistance control for simulating climbs and pre-programmed intervals. At this price point you don’t get the same range of features as the mid-range and high-end option.

Elite’s Qubo can simulate inclines up to 6% and a 1,600w max power at 60km/h (920w power at 40km/h and 335w max power at 20km/h). Included with the turbo is a 6-month subscription to the Elite My E-Training app with 100’s of downloadable courses or challenge others in a race. You can also create your own route using Google Maps.

The Elite Qubo Digital Smart B turbo trainer is ANT+ FE-C enabled so you can connect with a range of displays such as smartphones, cycle computers and tablets. This turbo trainer is also compatible with Zwift, Kinomap Trainer, BKOOL and others.

If you’re just starting out and want a great value VR trainer with a good range of features this is the best turbo trainer for you.



Powerful turbo trainer 3months membership to updated BKOOL VR software.