Review: LeMond Fitness Revolution windtrainer

LeMond RevolutionTraining indoors is the “four letter” word in cycling. No one relishes the thought of attaching their multi-thousand dollar machine to a windtrainer and turning it into a stationary bike. However time restraints or poor weather forces us to turn to other methods to maintain or hone our fitness. LeMond Fitness has entered the windtrainer market with the Revolution.

The Revolution has a different spin on how to attach your bike to the trainer. Instead of the trainer bolted to your bike at the rear wheel axles, your bike’s wheel is removed and the rear triangle is attached to the Revolution via a quick release. The Revolution is Shimano/ SRAM 10-speed compatible. Carolina Cycling News’ version came with a 10-speed cassette already installed. For those of you with Campagnolo shifting don’t despair – there’s an adapter available.

The resistance is generated by a belt that spins a flywheel which in turn spins an enclosed fan that causes drag. As the cadence increases so does the resistance. Also, as you shift through your gear ratios, the resistance either increases or decreases.

I immediately noticed the smooth progression of resistance when shifting through the gears or when I increased my cadence. LeMond Fitness calls this smooth transition High-inertia technology (HIT). This HIT technology really does give a nice road-like feel.

The LeMond Fitness Revolution windtrainer is one of the easiest when it comes to attaching your bike. Installing is no harder than swapping out your rear wheel. Just drop the bike’s rear drop out onto the Revolution’s axle and tighten the quick release. Boom – done. There’s no more worries about your bike’s quick release axle cap not being compatible with the trainer and having the bike slip out.

The Revolution frame is very stable and allowed me to safely pedal out of the saddle with no terrifying wobble. This is due to the wide stance of the trainers’ legs. Since there is no rear wheel used you don’t have to worry about burning up those expensive tires. This is also nice if you decide to warm-up at an event with the Revolution and you’re running tubulars.

LeMond RevolutionThe ProTour team Garmin-Cervelo lugs the LeMond Fitness Revolution to the races, but because it doesn’t fold flat like most trainers do, transporting it can be a bit cumbersome. The Revolution weighs 35 pounds in comparison my inexpensive fluid resistance trainer that weighs 10 pounds. However, if you have a soigneur at your beck and call by all means bring the Revolution to warm-up with and let them drag it around.

After several sessions on the LeMond Fitness Revolution trainer I can say this is the best trainer I’ve used. The resistance is the most realistic and road-like of any I’ve tried before. There are none of the usual dead spots in the resistance that I’ve found in other units which, at high revolutions, contribute to a very choppy pedal stroke. I typically train in my office, and while the Revolution doesn’t fold flat like other trainers I’ve used, it easily tucks into a corner out-of-the-way – leaving the fantastic office ambiance undisturbed. However with all this indoor training, I need to stock up on Fabreeze. While this may be the best trainer I’ve used it is also the loudest. As the speed increases so does the volume level and those with thin walls might have a problem.

If you are training with watts LeMond Fitness has that covered. The Power Pilot is a device that you mount to the trainer and measures your watts as well as your heart rate with the supplied chest strap. It is shipping now and retails for $349. Carolina Cycling News will review the Power Pilot once we receive the unit.

Revolution Trainer with cassette: $549
Revolution Trainer without cassette: $499

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