SportCrafters Trike Trainer with Progressive Resistance - courtesy of BentRiderOnline.com
November 19, 2012 by Bryan J. Ball, Managing Editor
I’ve been using a Sportcrafters Trike Trainer for years. The concept is simple. A tadpole trike won’t fall over when it’s on an indoor trainer. Therefore, there’s really no need for a heavy “clamp in” style trainer. A small set of mini rollers that sit under the rear wheel will do just fine.
My Trike Trainer an older model with a fan based resistance unit. It’s been very smooth and reliable for a long time and a lot of hours. However, I found that it was pretty easy to overpower it when I really started cranking. There has always a just a bit too much resistance at low speed and not nearly enough at the high-end. Sportscrafters has now developed the perfect remedy to my problem.
This solution is called the “Progressive Resistance” drum. It’s a magnetic based system that is housed entirely inside the roller drum itself. The system’s big trick is that it manages to provide small amounts of resistance when you put in smaller amounts of power and large amounts of resistance when you pedal harder. (The chart in the gallery will explain better.)
The best way I can describe the feeling I got when training with the new Progressive Roller is “eerily realistic.” It does exactly what it claims to do. If you leave your trike in low gear and pedal a medium cadence, it feels as if you’re just cruising down the bike path. But if you bang up a couple of gears and start hammering, it feels sort of like you’re pushing into a stiff headwind trying to hold 25 mph.
I’m not exactly a monster, but I do think that I’m stronger than the average trike rider and I am completely satisfied with the level of resistance. If you’re a weaker rider, you may find the resistance levels to be a bit intimidating at first. However, if you just gear down and pedal a normal cadence, everything falls right back down to more manageable levels again.
This newest version of the trike trainer also has another trick up its sleeve. If you find the Progressive mode to be too strong and you’d rather use it as a regular old mag trainer instead, all you have to do is flip it around so that the roller with the red cap is in front. This effectively disables the Progressive mode.
“Installing” the Trike Trainer couldn’t be easier. Just take it out of the box and place it under your back wheel like the photos show. The whole unit only weighs a few pounds. You may want to put something under your front wheels to make the trike level and do make sure that both front brakes are locked.
The Sportscrafters are pretty quiet. There’s more noise than there is from a $500 fluid trainer but not enough to stop your spouse from watching television in the next room.
The Trike Trainer with the Progressive Resistance option (Model MR110 retails for $250. $250 may sound like a lot for an indoor trainer but it’s actually quite reasonable when you compare it with something from Cycleops or 1up. As I said before, it’s also a lot more convenient than a conventional trainer.
There are also less expensive options. If you’d rather have a Trike Trainer with a standard magnetic resistance unit, that is still available for $199. You can even get the old school fan model for $165.
Overall, I was obviously quite impressed with this newest Trike Trainer. Honestly, I’m still pretty impressed with my older model as well. Any of the Sportscrafters models will do a great job of helping you maintain your fitness (and sanity) over the cold northern winter months.
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