Friday File: Bring on the Winter - I'm on my Elite Crono Turbo Trainer

All photos: Cycling Art

Winter poses challenges for many cyclists as it's cold, wet, dark conditions and not to mention snow where I am; these conditions are not always ripe for riding outdoors. I didn't want my hard work and miles put in over the summer months to fizzle away to zero. The key factor is to maintain fitness through the winter. And my new turbo trainer is the 'companion' I need to keep my legs in shape without leaving the comforts of home. I ordered my turbo trainer online and although it arrived late I was happy with anticipation when it did arrive. My Elite Crono Mag Speed uses a magnet to adjust the resistance. It was quite simple to set up; fitting my bike to the trainer by changing the skewer and turning the handle until secure locked in place by a securing ring.

It has five resistance settings adjustable via a cable operated switch that you mount on your handlebars, easy to install with a quick release fitting. If you are space challenged, the Crono trainer can be folded up for easy storage. Of note; the Elite Crono trainer does not come with the front wheel riser block. This is an important item and worth to have as it levels the bike and maintains your usual riding position thus avoiding any strain. I bought an Elite Riser Block online and it turns out I'm very glad to have it.

Once on I found that using resistance level one is riding downhill. Level five was the hardest closer to climbing a tough hill. Oh, one thing to invest in is a turbo trainer tyre. I normally use Vittoria tyres and read good reviews on their inexpensive Zaffiro home trainer tyre and bought one. I have read online that some cyclists would save money and use a normal road tyre.

Normal road tyres will wear out faster due to the heat generated. A home trainer tyre is made with a special compound and tread pattern to disperse heat and reduce noise generated by use on a home trainer. Switching between levels is easy thanks to the remote. I'm using levels 1 and 2 for normal riding and leaning on 3 and 4 for high intensity. I have neighbors downstairs and to help reduce noise I purchased a ½" thick workout mat that also provides stability and comfort when riding.

I'm very happy with the entry level Elite Crono Mag Speed, it's great and perfect for maintaining my fitness. It's about the half way mark through Winter, and I'm using it four days a week around 30 mins per session - I really don't mind the Winter... I'm happily contented riding indoors.