What was your first trainer?

(What Was Your First Sufferfest Video? - #39 by Glen.Coutts)

Thanks for the idea, Sir @Glen.Coutts!

Disregarding my childhood bike riding, I first starting riding my bike in 2017 when my dad could no longer ride it because of his advancing Atypical Parkinsonims (PSP) which eventually included ALS (yes, his docs eventually diagnosed him with both). I was a runner, but my dad’s bike was a nice light titanium frame and I didn’t want to let it sit in my garage and collect dust. So I began looking into duathlons and triathlon.

My wife had done a sprint triathlon a couple years early for which she had bought a very used, cheap dumb trainer for $20. She had stopped using it and let me use. I used that for all of 2017 thru the beginning of 2020 to train for my first season of triathlon in 2019 and what was planned to be a bigger season in 2020 (sigh). I used the trainer during the week and then rode out and around outside on the weekends.

After trying out The Sufferfest the end of March 2020, I never left. And by the September I was doing more bike riding that running. But by then I was riding a lot and the trainer was old and falling apart (We definitely got more than our $20 out of it) and the virtual watts never sat well with me. I really wanted to get a better trainier.

I first considering a Snap since it was wheel-on and would make it easy to take my bike off and ride outside. I was also considering getting power pedals and sticking with my old dumb trainer or getting another cheap dumb trainer. But then my dad offered to help me buy a new trainer, so I was considering having my dad help buy a Kickr Snap while I bought my power pedals. But supply chains were terrible and many shops were closed or horrendously backlogged.

So with a lot of help from my dad I ended up deciding to get the Kickr Core instead and not bothering with power pedals. Turns out that was a pretty good idea since I still haven’t ridden outside since then except for a few turns around the block with my son. But have ridden around 10k km per year inside since 2021, not to meantion my KOS attempt(s). :slight_smile: I feel like I’ve definitely got my money’s worth out of my Core, no matter what happens in the future.

Thanks, dad. :mending_heart: :heart:

So, what was your first trainer? And how did you end up here? Enquiring minds want to know…


@emacdoug CycleOps Fluid 2. It had a lifetime warranty. Unfortunately I put in a warranty claim during the pandemic when they were out of stock on parts. So I bought the Kickr Core and am glad I made the switch.


What was that again about not being as verbose as me? :joy:


A Performance Bicycles Elite magnetic trainer. It featured the ability to vary resistance over five steps. I ended up breaking it with riding the Sufferfest. Ripped the magnets loose. Replaced it with a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. That lasted until recently when I bought a Wahoo KICKR CORE. Wish I had done this many years earlier.


My very first indoor trainer was a fluid wheel-on trainer in the early-mid 90s. This was when I lived in south-east Australia, so didn’t really need indoor training as it’s possible to ride year-round there. It was so mindnumbingly boring and uncomfortable that I didn’t ride it much, and swore off indoor trainers until…

2014 when living in New York I bought a set of the InsideRide eMotion rollers so that I could start training through the winter for some long mountain bike races I was going to do. That’s when I also found The Sufferfest via the Strava promotion. I started out with the remote resistance control, and then upgraded to the smart control unit so I could run ERG mode - that was a gamechanger.

Finally, late last year, a shiny new KICKR MOVE appeared in the garage, and that is now my go-to trainer.


Ok, this will sound like a flex, but trust me - not so impressive. A set of Kreitler rollers at the US Olympic training center, circa 1985.

Just a jr olympic summer training camp, but real coaches, got to try the velodrome, good times.


My first was a cheap and cheerful wheel on mag dumb trainer. It cpst about 50 bucks new and it sucked. Even back then, my sprint efforts overwhelmed it. But it was all I knew and got me into structured training.
Upgraded to a Tacx Flux which was awesome and is still going strong handed down to a mate and has over 34,000km on it!
Have had my Kickr Bike v2 for about a year now. Wouldnt change back to a bike and trainer again. The Bike is amazing.


Stop enabling me!


1 Like

A Tacx Sirius Flow, it was a 31st birthday present from my wife shortly before our third child was born. I put my hardtail on it and thrashed away to Ride the Lightning or Rage Against The Machine, keeping track of speed and distance on a cateye wired computer. Then I saw a review for the Sufferfest videos online, paid €7.63 and on the 25th February 2010 I received a link to download the Downward Spiral, which I did to my iPod video. I’d never done any kind of structured workouts before and it was a revelation, within weeks my mates in the local MTB club noticed that I was starting to keep up with the fastest riders uphill.


Performance Bike Magnetic trainer with 3 resistance levels, I did not like it and eventually upgraded to a Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll. Loved that trainer, rode it for years watching DVD’s and then Zwift Beta… Upgraded to Saris H3 in late 2020 and did the 14 day free trial of the Sufferfest and the rest is history.
I used one of these until “upgrading” to the mag trainer, it originally was my father’s


My first trainer was a Schwinn Airdyne, probably in the 1980s.

It was so dumb, that you could not even call it a “dumb trainer”. Nonetheless, I once worked out so hard on it, that I almost passed out. Nothing like seeing a colorless, grey world.

In the process of looking for when that was introduced, I found this history:


My first trainer was a magnetic dumb trainer (Saris maybe?) bought used back in the mid 1990’s. My wife and I were both deeply into road biking and wanted something we could use to keep riding during Indiana winters. Used to put a tape of the 1988 Wide World of Sports Tour de France coverage into the VCR to keep myself motivated. :slight_smile:

Eventually, due to kids and career pressures, the trainer went into the attic and the bikes went on the wall of the garage, where they stayed for about 20 years.

Spring 2023, got my now 30 year old road bike off the wall, tuned it up and started riding again. The magnetic trainer no longer worked, so I got an Elite Tuo this December and started using it with Wahoo. The Sufferfest videos were my first experience with structured training and I’m loving it. Wish I’d known about Sufferfest years ago.



<< runs like the dickens out to the garage to see if there is a shiny new trainer there for me, immense disappointment when all he sees is a 2014 Kia Soul, and a wheelbarrow>>

if it looks like a flex, and sounds like a flex, it’s a…humble statement of fact.

I will not covet. I will not covet. I will not covet. Gah…SUF it, I covet!! :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes:

I keep forgetting how OLD you actually are :wink:

First trainer was Kurt Kinetic Road Machine with the inRide power pod thingy. A dumb trainer that reported power based on some kind of dark magic.

Used my Trek FX or DS 7.1 or 7.2 or something on the KK. I purchased the Trek around 2013 to replace a 30 year old Rocky Mountain mountain bike I’d been “maintaining” myself (with zero skill, knowledge or tools) and keeping together with duct tape and glue until the chainstay cracked. It took me awhile to realize why the chain kept dropping and there were funny sounds coming from the drive train. And by drive train, I had a triple up front, and I dunno how many cogs in the back but 20 years previous to this, I replaced the shift cable without leaving any slack so basically had a single speed.

Used the KK for about a year or so, then went smart with a Cyclops Magnus wheel on trainer as by that time, I had become an avid cyclist and bought my first actual road bike with drop bars and the whole 9 yards (2016 Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon…oh man did I LOVE that bike). Also had a PowerTap C1 Chain based PM. I could never get the power to even come close between the C1 and the Magnus and eventually just gave up and got a Kickr Snap. With the Snap, I was able align the power from the trainer and the C1 match within a small handful of watts.

Fast forward to fall of 2018 and got my current setup as a combined birthday/Xmas/early retirement gift of a Kickr '18 and a Climb.

The Climb for me was an actual game changer. I cannot imagine indoor training without it now (unless I got a Kickr Bike v2). In fact, I snapped the belt on the Climb during one of my stoooopid indoor climbing challenges and just could not get myself to continue indoor riding without it. The incomparable Wahoo CS came through with a replacement within a couple weeks.


@Heretic You can still see those at CrossFit boxes. One of the workouts I remember was sets for calories on the Airdyne alternating with heavy deadlifts. There was a short amount of rest walking from the Airdyne to the barbell and back. I actually liked that one - better for me than workouts with cleans or overhead squats.


If you really want one…I think I saw one being sold on E-Bay. :smile:


I remember President Kennedy’s inauguration.


Some people say I’m old when I tell them I was born a month before he was killed. But you, you’re oooooooooold old. :wink: :joy:


I remember what it was like being told about it while we were in school, and watching the funeral on TV.


You had a TV? Back in my day, we got our news by grabbing a fish wrapper from one of the newsboys in the street.


Before or after it wrapped a fish.