It’s January, the end of winter is in sight and I’m starting to miss the cyclist noticeably. Riding in the cold and in the dark is nothing for me, so I’m starting to look for an exercise bike. Since I live in an apartment, my choice fell on the so-called indoor bike. And right off the bat I have two favorites.
Insportline inCondi S800i vs Trinfit Spin S800i
Incondi seems to me to be at a higher level in terms of quality, but it lacks compatibility with smart apps like Zwift and Rouvy. This is a significant deficit. So I focus on the TRINFIT Spin S800i machine and google reviews and experiences.
The first significant negative is the manufacturer’s deceptive promotion that the trainer is compatible with the Rouvy application. Which is simply not true, because Rouvy does not transfer automatic load to the trainer depending on the profile of the track. I asked for details via the contact form on the Fitham website and was told that compatibility is handled with Rouvy, that the machine will be sent to them, and that Rouvy will modify the software to make the app compatible with the machine. Ended with the sentence: “For the future anyway, the Spin S800i should be fully compatible.” Of course, I checked with Rouva and their response was, “Unfortunately, this trainer is not supported, and there are no plans to support it at this time.” So someone here is talking a lot.
Then I wasn’t exactly impressed with the tablet holder twice. If I place my tablet on the trainer, I can’t get to the load control, which is under the tablet at the time. So what is this solution? Another problem with the Spin is that I can’t connect it to my Polar H10 chest strap and I would have to buy a new 5 kHz chest strap, which in my opinion is far below the accuracy of the Ant+ or Bluetooth chest strap.
In short, there were a lot of compromises with both trainers, and in the end, I don’t think any machine would make me happy in the long term. It wants to reach deeper into the pocket.
Zycle ZBike Smart Bike
On paper, it’s a completely different league.
I googled reviews and experiences and, among other things, I came across a limited-time event where a ZBike can be purchased for EUR 1,075 including shipping to the Czech Republic. I order, pay by card and wait for what comes. On the seventh day after ordering, I have the trainer in my apartment. Assembled within an hour and going to the test machine.
Incredibly realistic feeling.
I can’t even last 5 minutes on the exercise bike in the gym, for that Zbike… That’s a different story! You can put yourself in good health on that :-). Connect to any application without any problems. It is very simple and intuitive to use. The trainer is really extremely quiet. I don’t have a wattmeter on a regular bike so this is my first experience with power measurement and I have to say that along with heart rate it’s the main reading I monitor.
Compatible with apps and Garmin
Garmin Edge 830
Thanks to Ant+, the exercise bike can be easily connected to Garmin Edge navigation. So if you have a favorite circuit, it is not a problem to create a route in Garmin Connect and then start a virtual ride at home in your apartment.
A simpler application where a 14-day trial period was enough for me. I am not considering a paid version.
The application with the highest number of active users. In addition to the actual races and outings, the training sessions are also interesting.
At the moment I rate it a hair better than Zwift.
The Quality of the Smart Bike
Since Zbike is from Spain, I expected the build quality to be at a significantly higher level than cheaper machines from China (Insportline, Trinfit). I was slightly disappointed with the quality of the machine. The tightening levers are aluminum (we’ll see how long they last), the screws are painted with a thick layer of varnish – they don’t really fit into the threads at first, the bottle cage came cracked, the brake hardly brakes, the machine comes with very poor quality pedals.
I’ve never had Shimano pedals come loose. Rather the opposite. Even if I lubricate them, I still usually have trouble getting them off. The supplied pedals sometimes come loose, even if they are tightened sufficiently. During one ride and while pedaling while standing, the pedal came loose and cut into the crank. The result was a destroyed thread on one of the cranks. I really wouldn’t expect such pedals for a machine with a recommended price of 40,000 crowns. They better not put any there.
The advantage of Zycle is that you apply the claim directly to the manufacturer. So it doesn’t matter if you buy the trainer in the Czech Republic or abroad. So I tried to make a claim, saying that it would probably be rejected. How pleasantly surprised I was! As part of the claim, I received new cranks and new pedals from Spain. Interestingly, both the cranks and pedals were different from the original parts on my machine. The pedals looked a lot better, but I still wasn’t going to risk anything and the new cranks went straight to Shimano SPD PD-M520. Since then, it’s been comfortable and everything works perfectly.
As I wrote a few lines above, I was a little disappointed in the quality of the workmanship, but you could say that it was a matter of small things. Compatibility with applications works perfectly. Driving on the simulator is very realistic, and thanks to the applications, it is not easy to get bored. Personally, I think that for a price of up to 30,000 crowns, this is a great package that has no competition in the given price category.
Where to buy Zycle ZBike??
If I were to buy an exercise bike now, I would buy it in partnership with Rouvy for €1,199 and a 6-month free membership. I rate this as a very good offer.