Needed to elevate the front tire on my bike to get a somewhat level attitude based on the rear tire being 3 1/2″ off the ground. Ended up getting a CycleOps Climbing Block from the Spoke Shop here in town.
Wow! This is a little bigger than I imagined: ~13″ per side. One of the complaints in the reviews about this block (and others) was that it didn’t have an measurements on it to tell how high the bike tire was. I believe that the height of the tire is dependent on the diameter of the tire; i.e. the smaller the tire the lower it will sit in the block (my Bacchetta has a 20″ front tire). For note, on the highest lift my wheel is 3 3/8″ off the ground. In my case, I measeured the height of the front skewer, then set the bike in the block and re-measured the skewer.
The block is made from plastic and seems ridgid enough. It is big enough (did I mention this already?) to provide an ample platform for the front tire. It is light enough to easily move around to adjust it. As other people have noted, this tends to be more of a leveling block rather than a climbing block; that is probably true for the other brands, as well.
With the bike sitting level I believe the seat is reclined about as much as I can do, as my eye looks over the handle bars about straight ahead. If anything, I might need to raise the seat one notch to see a little more down in front rather than straight ahead. I may leave this alone until I can get out riding.
Well, I returned the Elite-It resistance trainer and purchased the Giant Auto II Cyclotron from Montana Cycling and Ski. I could have gotten the trainer cheaper on the internet, however, the people there spent a certain amount of time working with me so I owed them the purchase. I am not adverse to buying on the internet, however, I do not choose to use someone’s time and knowledge then go somewhere else to buy something. That’s just me, I guess.
I put about 5 1/2 hours of riding on the Elite-It so decided the money would be well spent. The Giant unit had some very good reviews so decided to get that one.
At this point I only have one solid hour on it so my thoughts may be a little shallow.
- Setting the unit up was a breeze: open the clamps, drop the bike in, adjust the fixed side, close the clamp, and whola, the bike is ready to ride. In my case I had already changed the rear skewer to fit the other unit, so I didn’t need to change that, this time around.
- The unit sat level on my floor, right out of the box, so I didn’t need to mess with the ‘level adjustment’ supports.
- The tension adjustment on this unit uses a screw knob adjustment. The other unit had a spring loaded auto adjustment feature, which was nice, but adjusting the tension on the Giant was simple and easy.
- The unit seemed to be quite, and I could easily hear the TV movie sound. There was a different sound than the Elite-It unit, more of a slight whine. Anyway, what little sound there was helped me focus on my spin because you could definitely hear a difference when cranking instead of spinning.
- One thing I noticed: this unit does not offer as much resistance as the Elite-It unit. With the Elite unit I was in the large front chain ring and the middle rear cog. With the Giant I am still in the large front chain ring but now in the 7th (of 9) rear cog. You have to spin the rear wheel up faster to get the same approximate resistance.
- The rear wheel sets about 1 1/2″ higher than it did with the Elite unit. This means I will have to rework the front block so the bike sits level again. If it was much higher I would be needing a set of steps to get on the bike.
- One other item. The rear derailleur cable on my bike between the bike frame and the derailleur itself has very little extra loop in it. On the Elite unit the cable ended up being forced out of shape at an odd angle due to the large diameter of the skewer support. This caused the bike to shift funny sometimes. The rear skewer support on the Giant is smaller. As a result the derailleur cable is not pushed out of the way nearly as much. Therefore the gears shift normally.
Bottom Line: After one ride I am very pleased with the product and would buy it again. I will try to some thoughts about the reliability at a later date.
Update: Just finished another hour ride using the trainer. One concern: the rear tire on the Bacchetta is 26″ in diameter as compared to ~27″ diameter on regular road tires. As a result, the trainer turnes slower for a given speed. Bottom line: the resistance offered is less for my bike. Today I ran the hour in eighth gear which only leaves me one more gear to go before I have topped out at max resistance. I believe this unit has less resistance than the Elite unit. Also, I think the roller being turned by the rear tire is slightly larger in diameter which will result in less resistance, also. I am still happy with it, just concerned, right now.