I googled to learn more and there were a whole gamut of options. They include learning from bike tech whizz Steve who has a very informative write up on a minoura LR340 and DC Rainmaker whom super detailed comparison of Bike Trainer made me realise a few things.
1) Wind and magneto based trainers are more cost effective, but noisy. This might be a big consideration if you live in close environment which can affect others.
2) Fluid based trainer gives a more "graduated" feel, meaning that if u pedal harder, the effort gets harder. Shift to harder gear, it get tougher. Just like riding in real life. Also they tend to be quieter
3)There are rollers option which gives a more realistic ride feel. But they require some agility.
With all the googling, reading and talking to folks who have one.
I chose to go for a fluid based bike trainer route - with a realistic ride feel and noise consideration in mind. My option was either Cyclops Fluid2 or Kurt Kinetic Road Trainer. Yes and they were more expensive.
I eventually bought it secondhand at Togoparts as I saw that many folks tried and didn't enjoy the trainer. I was lucky, I got it at 1/2 of the retail price. Something to consider if you don't mind using 2nd hand stuff.
This is how it looks at my home now.
|Attached to my Stripe MTB|
Here's some experience touch points I made to enhance the product"performance". Its not pretty but it works!
- Rigged up iPad holder so can watch movies while cycling. Get one from Daiso, zip tie to handle bar. Bang. Done! Wife loves it!
|wire iPad holder from Daiso, held in place by Zip Ties|
- Towel wrap on bike to catch sweat. Hold it with cloths peg. Very domesticated approach, not so nice but it works.
- Realistic bike feel and more cooling. Put a fan in front and set in low speed. Nice!
I am not a tech writer and I don't aim to be one. I am just like many of you, a cyclists who has a day job and family commitments. But I hope to share with you my perspective as there is a lack of article that addresses our point of view.
Hope this sharing will help you in deciding if a bike trainer is suitable for you. Keep on spining!