Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The trainer arrived!

As you can see from my last post, I watched the UPS tracking page for my trainer shipment all morning at work yesterday.  And when I pulled up in my driveway, I was ecstatic to see a big "Giant" box sitting next to my garage door!  I immediately carried my new Giant Cyclotron Auto II down to my basement to inspect.

Here's what came inside the box (the chopping block was sold separately, but the good people at Kozy's Cyclery were smart and just shipped it right in the trainer box).

I had planned on taking step-by-step photos of the setup process, but it was honestly so simple that before I new it, the thing was done!

Essentially, all I had to do was trade out my rear quick release skewer for the one that came with the trainer.  Then I closed the brackets around the quick release and locked the unit in place.

Next I adjusted the resistance drum so that it contacted the rear wheel and finally set the front wheel on the chopping block to level the bike out.

It was that easy! 

Then for my own personal enjoyment, I switched my computer sensor from the front wheel to the rear, so I could watch my speed and distance during workouts.  I also set up a small TV and DVD player in front of the bike so I can watch movies or workout videos.  I need some kind of distraction without scenery to keep me on my toes.

And finally, I was ready to give the Giant Cyclotron Auto II a try!  I rode about 10 miles and shifted through various gears to feel it out.  The first thing I noticed wat how stable I felt.  The bike did not move under me at all.  I will feel very comfortable working hard on this machine without worrying about falling over, sliding around or hurting my bike.

Secondly, I noticed that the resistance adjusted to the gear that I rode in.  A higher gear produced greater resistance and vice versa.  Before trying it, I wondered if the higher gears would just feel really easy, but they do not!  The resistance is strong, and I was working up a sweat almost immediately.  It was also quite nice not to have to worry about adjusting the resistance settings part way through a workout.  The "auto" aspect of this trainer is highly convenient.

Finally, as other online reviews have said, this trainer is pretty quiet.  I set it up in the basement, and I'm sure someone upstairs wouldn't be able to hear it.  I also had no trouble hearing my tiny little TV speaker.

So after my first ride, I'm very happy with this trainer.  Setup was incredibly easy and took me about 10 minutes.  Riding is comfortable, quiet, stable and challenging.  I'd highly recommend this model to others.  And at the sale price of $200 (regular $250), I think I've gotten a great value for my money.

I love having the option to ride my own bike indoors now and to not have to go out to the gym when the weather is particularly bad.  More review to come as I put this trainer to use!


  1. YIPPEE! HURAY! The Trainer has arrived! Merry Christmas!

  2. Now that it has been almost 2 months do you like the Giant?

  3. magrath&co -

    So far, the trainer is every bit as good as the first time I used it. I'm very happy and feel that I got everything I expected from it.

  4. thanks for your blog on this. It is amazing how little info they have on their site. I just picked mine up today as it was on sale as well (end of one type of season of biking and prep for the outdoor biking ;)

    Are you still happy with it a year later?

    Do you recommend switching back your axle for going outside biking or just leave the Giant one installed?

    I really like the idea of using my own bike for an exercise bike as well. It is a great idea. I was looking at a model that was linked in to your computer to show a biking routine/game but at 1200$ I opted for pre-recorded videos.

  5. @schumway

    I AM still happy with the trainer a year later. I do switch back to my bike's axle for riding outside. I'm not sure, but I don't think the trainer axle is made for the same stresses the road would cause on the bike. I just don't want to take the chance of breaking it or having it loosen while riding. Crashes are not fun.

    I've ridden on the trainer while watching one video set that I won from the Bike Lemming, and it was a good workout. Much more cost effeftive than the $1200 game for sure!