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Random Musing: I've Fallen in Love with my Feedback Omnium Trainer
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Background: I've been through a bunch of trainers including an old Cycleops mag trainer, KK Road Machine, Powerbeam Pro, Computrainer, and my Feedback Omnium. I've spent most of the last ~3 years on my Computrainer. It's a great piece of equipment. I leave a bike on it and I basically roll out of bed in the morning and start pedaling. It just works. It's great.

....but

It's just like every other trainer out there (other than rollers) in that the rear wheel is fixed.

I originally bought my Omnium to travel with and to warm up at the occasional TT. It's a great piece of kit as it folds up pretty small, is relatively light, and is easy to set up and take down. I've been traveling a crazy amount this year for work and have taken my Omnium and my race bike with me accordingly.

The resistance of the Omnium, for me, is plenty for sustained efforts. For sprinters putting down big wattages it might not be workable. The biggest feature, though, is that the fork is fixed and the rear wheel is free to move side to side a bit. For me this makes a huge difference in comfort on the bike during training sessions. Also, I've rediscovered the art of pacing. Because I'm not in erg mode constantly, I actually have to be conscious of my effort. One thing I've noticed while spending time over on the timetrial.co.uk forums is how few people use erg mode. Yes, erg mode is a nice luxury when you need to bang out a three hour ride at a steady effort... which can be mind-numbing. That said, I think there's a lot of value in doing a 2x20 on a "dumb" trainer or in "slope" mode so that you have to focus on your effort rather than just pushing the pedals.

Just some random thoughts. Feel free to ask a question or comment.

WTB: TriRig Omega SV (not x). PM me if you have one :)
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Re: Random Musing: I've Fallen in Love with my Feedback Omnium Trainer [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for sharing! I recall seeing you mention the omnium in a thread about 1-1.5 years ago maybe and I had asked about it. At the time it was manufactured and branded by SportsCrafters which i was elated to find was a company very local to where I grew up. I had planned on picking up the omnium but things took a turn when i got a concussion and was benched all last year. This past season I wanted to try rollers to help with my balance issues I was experiencing from post-concussion syndrome. Naturally I went back to SportsCrafters and got a pair of their rollers (not the omnium). I've been really happy with the build and quality. Since then we've had a few teammates order the omnium which is now branded under feedback but still the same manufacturer. Haven't had a chance to see or try it out myself yet but I continue to hear good things.

And yes, when i first got my kickr ~3.5 years ago I was a slave to erg mode. Staying away from erg mode definitely gives me more confidence in holding down the watts. I still will use it occasionally but I'd say 95% of my rides are non-erg these days.
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Re: Random Musing: I've Fallen in Love with my Feedback Omnium Trainer [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
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GreenPlease wrote:
One thing I've noticed while spending time over on the timetrial.co.uk forums is how few people use erg mode. Yes, erg mode is a nice luxury when you need to bang out a three hour ride at a steady effort... which can be mind-numbing. That said, I think there's a lot of value in doing a 2x20 on a "dumb" trainer or in "slope" mode so that you have to focus on your effort rather than just pushing the pedals.

While there may be some truth to this mentally, as long as you're following the same cadence you want to perform outdoors with, your legs/heart don't know whether you're in ERG or slope. I spent probably 85% of my time in ERG mode from January to July this year, with probably only 10-15 outdoor rides. My FTP went from 296 to 350W.

At least for me, ERG mode is an indispensable tool for putting in quality work. Now, if I started to struggle and my cadence dropped to maintain the effort, that would not be productive.

That said, I hate hauling my Tacx Neo around when I travel. These rollers look super convenient for that.
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Re: Random Musing: I've Fallen in Love with my Feedback Omnium Trainer [TriowaCPA] [ In reply to ]
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I had the Sportcrafters one and sold it to buy a Feedback Sports one - firstly it's quicker to assemble, and secondly it takes a variety of different front axles / thru axles (I use it for warming up on my cross bike).

Well built - quick and easy to use - and works well. Great for travel.

Love mine too !!!

LG
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Re: Random Musing: I've Fallen in Love with my Feedback Omnium Trainer [TriowaCPA] [ In reply to ]
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Don't get me wrong, I'm fully aware there are no physiological benefits. Power is power, work is work. IMO there's a mental value to making yourself hold a tight power band. If you look at the power files of some of the TTers over on the UK TT forums, they're crazy flat. We're talking about APs of 320w with a NP of 325w. That sort of pacing is a skill that you have to practice IMO.

WTB: TriRig Omega SV (not x). PM me if you have one :)
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Re: Random Musing: I've Fallen in Love with my Feedback Omnium Trainer [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
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I agree with you on both accounts. A watt is a watt (HybridAthlete disagrees with us on that thought.... whatever happened to him?). But I do feel there is some benefit to holding your power in slope mode or outside compared to erg mode. I personally ride all my weekday rides on the trainer and majority of them are in erg mode. I will mix it up if I feel like I've done too much erg mode recently or I have a workout with a bunch of short hard intervals (trying to change the power setpoint on the computrainer just takes too much time for 30-60 sec intervals). Like you said, I think the benefit is mostly mental but I think helps someone develop that ability to learn proper pacing and how to suffer through something like an FTP test or 20 min TT without fading off.
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Re: Random Musing: I've Fallen in Love with my Feedback Omnium Trainer [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
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almost every tt i do the AP is the exact same as the NP. you need a fairly rolly course to make them different and not long rollers either, short steep ones only.
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Re: Random Musing: I've Fallen in Love with my Feedback Omnium Trainer [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
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FWIW, my 3 time trials this year have had VI's of 0.99 - 1.008. My one 70.3 this year had a VI of 1.02; a little more variability considering the longer course. All I'm saying is that ERG mode can train you to hold incredibly stable power.

10000% agree on psychological benefit of having to push a certain wattage and focus on your output though. I do most of my ERG training at 4:30 AM when my legs are awake but my mind is not--just have to sit on the bike and not fade. It's key to focus on cadence specificity leading into races though to figure out what a target wattage feels like.
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