Friday, December 28, 2007

Equipment - CycleOps Trainer stand

I promised a review of a trainer front wheel block that works. Pretty straightforward, to be sure, but after finding one that doesn't, I feel obligated to find one that does work.

The genius I am, I finally bought the CycleOps Climbing Block. Here's the label on the block:

The block is nice and solid, supports my weight fine, even while I bounce up and down on the bars. I guess if I really wanted to test things, I'd load weights onto the front of the bike until the poor block collapsed under the weight, but I figure this thing is strong enough that my bike would be unduly stressed.

Needless to say, I skipped the destructive testing.

There isn't a lot to say about the block. there are three channels for your front tire, each one a slightly different level. The lowest level keeps the bike even when it's in a trainer and there are two higher ones for "climbing".

I always wondered about this. With your front wheel higher, your bars are a bit higher, sure. So it's a bit more like climbing. But your seat now points up too, and if it's at a good angle when the bike is flat, well, it isn't anymore. I suppose though that a climber type rider wouldn't mind pretending to be going up Alpe d'Huez for a couple hours at a time, just like I don't mind pretending to be scampering after attacks in a crit for a couple hours at a time. So for me, the three channels are a bit of a wash.

The CycleOps block goes one step further than the three channels though - not only can you use the higher channels, the blocks are stackable, so you can pretend you're going up some 24% grade (or higher, not sure of the cumulative angle delta). I didn't know this until I was checking out the packaging in the store, and this is what I saw:

Anyway, with my other three-channel climbing block packed in the nethers of the basement, I bought this one. Incidentally you can buy this thing virtually anywhere - I saw them in Dick's Sporting Goods, I think Target, and I think even Wal-Mart (the big box stores sort of meld together). I also saw them at every local bike shop I've been to. A tip - since the block costs only $19.95 at a local bike shop and it costs $5 less at the big box places, do your local shop a favor and buy it from them. Unless, of course, you think the big box places have much better bicycle-related customer service and product knowledge than your local bike shop, in which case you know what to do.

I tried to get our cat Tiger to sit in the CycleOps block's deep and strong channels, but he skirted his way around it - I guess it's not as soft and fuzzy as the carpet. Regardless, we did catch him playing tag with his new Christmas dog. Sort of reminds me of that painting where the one guy is reaching out to another guy.

Or the bit where ET touches the kid.

And with that, I'll leave the climbing blocks alone for now.


a.d.j. said...

great picture :)

Aki said...

ha. Yes. Tiger is irresistible. (he's the living one btw).