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Smart Trainers Explained

What is a smart trainer?

A smart trainer is a trainer with a load generator that can be electronically controlled. TrainerRoad can connect and interact with the following models. 


What are the models TrainerRoad supports?


CycleOps Powerbeam Pro




What are the modes?

Smart trainers can be used in three different modes. The terminology for each mode differs between manufacturers, but the functionality of each mode is the same. 

Resistance Control (ERG) Mode - This is the most commonly used mode as TrainerRoad can automatically control the trainer's resistance in accordance with the workout's profile. There's no need to shift in this mode as the resistance will change automatically.

Fluid Trainer Mode - This mode mimics the functionality of a fluid trainer. Fluid trainers have non-linear, exponential power-to-speed ratios (power curves) that are simulated in this mode. This mode often includes a variable resistance setting that can be electronically adjusted. 

Magnetic Trainer Mode - This mode mimics the functionality of magnetic trainer with a linear power curve. This mode includes a variable resistance setting that can be electronically adjusted.


Why doesn't TrainerRoad have resistance control for every smart trainer?

In order to understand why we cannot support resistance control for every smart trainer, let's delve into a bit of ANT communication protocol background.

ANT is a wireless protocol that many fitness companies use.

ANT+ is a division of ANT and includes open standards that any ANT alliance member can gain access to.

Here are the ANT+ profiles we support:

- Heart Rate Monitor

- Speed Sensor

- Cadence Sensor

- Speed and Cadence Sensor

- Power Meter

Any device that uses one of the above ANT+ profiles should work with TrainerRoad.

Now that we've gone over a bit of background info, let's talk about what this means for smart trainers. Among the ANT+ profiles listed above, there is now an ANT+ Bike Trainer profile known as ANT+ FE-C.


Tacx Smart Trainer Support Through ANT+ FE-C

Thanks to the new ANT+ FE-C (Fitness Equipment) protocol, TrainerRoad now supports the following Tacx smart trainers:

  • Bkool Pro and Classic Trainers with updated firmware that includes ANT+ FE-C Support
  • Elite Drivo
  • Elite Rampa
  • Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+
  • Elite Real E-Motion B+
  • Elite Real Turbo Muin B+
  • Elite RealAxiom B+
  • Elite RealTour B+
  • Tacx Bushido Smart (Model # T2780)
  • Tacx Bushido Smart TDF (Model #T2300)
  • Tacx Vortex Smart (Model # T2180)
  • Tacx Vortex Smart TDF (Model # T2380)
  • Tacx Neo (Model # T2800)
  • Tacx Flux (Model # T2900)
  • Tacx Genius Smart (Model # T2080)
  • Tacx Genius Multiplayer Smart (Model #2010)
  • Tacx IRONMAN Smart (Model # T2060)
  • Tacx Flow Smart (Model # T2240)


TrainerRoad also supports some Tacx smart trainers through VirtualPower.


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