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5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent smart bike trainer--sturdy, fun, train anytime
Reviewed in the United States on 21 November 2018
If you want to get in more miles on your bike, don’t want to miss a ride due to bad weather, or just want to ride your bike through virtual worlds, then the CycleOps M2 Bike Smart Trainer might be just what you are looking for.
Essentially the trainer is a stand onto which you mount your bike. A metal drum, called the “resistance unit,” is clamped against your rear tire–this provides friction when you ride. More about this in a moment, but just know that out of the box, some assembly is required. However, an assembly guide is provided and there are helpful videos on the company’s website. I was able to put everything together by myself with no problems.
Made in the US (Madison, WI), the stand and parts are made of steel and the trainer is very sturdy–this trainer is rugged enough for the competitive rider. The only adjustment you need to make to your bike is to replace the rear tire skewer with the skewer included with the trainer. The included skewer comes with steel connectors that fit into the bolt action tubes on either side of the trainer. In the picture you can see a lever that tightens the bolt action tube onto the skewer to hold the bike in place.
The closeup of the skewer shows the bike mounted onto the trainer. Just for reference, the bike I am using on the trainer is a Bianchi Via Nirone Claris Compact, with 700c wheels. The trainer fits many common road and mountain bike frames, though for example the trainer does not fit 650c wheels, so check the website if you don’t have a common bike size to be sure your bike will work with the trainer.
There is a yellow knob that you turn to tighten the resistance unit against the rear tire. The resistance unit clicks into place when it is tight enough. Once the resistance unit is tight against the rear tire, you are ready to use the trainer. With the unit turned on but unconnected to any apps, the trainer provides a progressive resistance curve via electromagnetic resistance when you pedal, but the real magic happens when you pair your trainer to a device running a virtual trainer app.
The trainer comes with sensors to detect cadence, speed, and power–no external or extra sensor are needed. The trainer connects via dual ANT + FE-C or Bluetooth to your phone, tablet, or other device running a virtual training app. The M2 is a “smart” trainer because the app can record your training data and also control the resistance you feel when pedaling. Even better–some training apps show you as a rider in a virtual world–as the course changes, so does the resistance you feel when riding.
The trainer is compatible with a variety of virtual training applications, though I chose Zwift. In Zwift, not only do you get a choice of different routes, but you can also interact with other riders and the app gives you continuous feedback about your performance during the ride as well as summary statistics once you are done. Note that the virtual training app does not come with the trainer–you must purchase the app separately.
All in all, the CycleOps M2 Bike Smart Trainer is an excellent bike trainer–it’s built to last. The trainer is also quiet–assuming you aren’t using knobby tires, the noise level is 69 decibels at 20 mph. Mounting or unmounting your bike from the trainer only takes seconds, so it’s easy to ride your bike on the road as well as on the trainer. The “smart” controls and virtual training app provides for immersive rides and fun but tough workouts. You will sweat, but you’ll have a blast on your bike while racking up the miles. And best of all, you can get in your rides anytime, no matter the weather outside.
Thanks for reading. By the way, if my review was helpful to you in choosing or not choosing this product, please consider clicking on the "was this review helpful" link at the end of this review—this motivates me to write more reviews!
Has worked flawlessly with Zwift. Paired no problem with my computer and phone. Primary reason I bought this model was its resistance and also the ability to simulate 15% grade - which is not uncommon in the Northeast US. Made in USA.
After moving away from Colorado, my poor road bike was feeling neglected. I had seen CycleOps trainers before, but I decided to finally take the leap and buy one for myself. I was fascinated by the premise of using VR apps like Rouvy and Zwift to simulate riding indoors, and I have to say it's definitely been worth it. This thing can simulate both gentle rolling hills and incredibly tough climbs without breaking a sweat (but I sure do break a sweat!!)
The trainer itself was very easy to assemble and seems very sturdy. I've put about 1000 miles on it now and I never once felt unsafe or unstable riding it. Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity has been seamless, and the calibration process is quick and easy.
The only less-than-awesome aspect of the experience is that both Rouvy and Zwift feel a bit unpolished as far as software goes. To be fair, I don't fault Saris/CycleOps for this, but it does impact the user experience. Things are better now that Rouvy released a native app for MacOS (I was using the Android app previously), but I've still experienced some annoying bugs, and at times the English localization leaves a bit to be desired.
Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase, and highly recommend this to anyone who is either looking to get into shape or stay in shape!
So far so good! This is my first powered trainer and I like it. I’m using the Rouvy app with this trainer. I’ve not had any issues. Pairing the trainer to the app was pretty much immediate ( again this is my first time using a powered trainer so it took me a minute to figure out the trainer and app ). I would recommend this trainer. FYI .. I ride for exercise only, I do not compete with anyone other than myself so this trainer if perfect for me.
Two cons: 1) when I opened the box the trainer was a bit dusty and there were a few scuff marks indicating it may have been used even though I purchased a new trainer at the time I placed my order. 2) the trainer was delivered 2 days later than the scheduled delivery date.
First smart trainer. Just a week in but several notes. Assembly was easy other than it took a few minutes to jiggle unit into frame. I am very impressEd how quiet it is. I was using a standard cycleops/trek trainer and the M2 is much quieter. I could not financially justify spending twice as much on a wheel off trainer even though they are obviously superior. I have an older Trek 2200 that has a trainer tire on it and I ride my Felt tri bike outside. Regardless of how you do it I highly recommend a trainer tire for durability and noise. Have been a Zwift user for a year and it appears to be working fine with the new smart M2. Have also used Rouvy and like some of its features and it also works fine with the M2. A little learning curve with it all but not steep.
Is very easy to set up having some issues with calibrating with TrainerRoad Cadence is way off. On Zwift everything seems to work out fine it’s been somewhat of an ordeal to get a hold of customer service this replace my old mag trainer from Cyclops Little disappointed in their marketing strategy for this product very little information out there on this product I found two videos from the company but not many reviews out there
I have used the unit I like it but having issues collaborating I’ve spoken to cycleops and have been told to use a few other apps to get a sound collaboration not as easy as you can see there is no way my cadence is above 100. Jill’s my motivation during the ride. I wouldn’t change my rating but calibrate often
I've only ridden a handful of times. There's not a lot of parts to install, but the pictures make a simple installation more difficult that it needs to be (bad pictures). It might be just me, but the flywheel gets really, really tight. I couldn't imagine a small woman being able to ratchet it all the way until it clicks.
The problem I’ve had is the clutch didn’t click stop like it was supposed to, and I kept tightening not realizing the L bracket was actually bending... So, not only did the clutch fail, the bolt is not really adequate... I’ve submitted to get some assist about a month ago but, Covid seems to have back response time way up. As is, I can’t use the trainer. So I can’t evaluate how well it works!
I received this trainer as a birthday gift and it is absolutely amazing! The set up was simple and straight forward. I have had no issues with any part except the knob has never "clicked into place" as the instruction say. The bluetooth connection is also quick and efficient. This trainer rides smooth, works well with Zwift, and it truly feels similar to an outdoor ride. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.