Inexpensive indoor trainer with a power meter

Hey Lee, you mentioned that you have a “cheapo Performance trainer with power meter”. What brand/model is this? The cheapest trainer with a power meter I can find is in the $1750 price range, which I wouldn’t really consider cheapo!


Hey Rob,

Yeah man, power meters can be expensive. I really want a PowerTap setup for one of my mountain bikes, but $1,700 just ain’t gonna happen. And besides, pedaling power is only part of the off-road equation. When we figure out a way to measure pumping power, then it’ll be on.

However, I am super glad I bought an indoor trainer with a power meter. It:

– Gives me something to look at in that frozen garage.

– Adds structure to my workouts. Rather than gauging my intervals by heart rate or perceived exertion (both flawed), I’m measuring them by actual work performed. Super pro.

– Teaches me about pedaling form. It’s amazing how much small tweaks can affect your power.

– Gives me confidence. While my trainer proves that my sustainable power is completely average, it supports my assertion that I’m a decent sprinter. I mentioned my numbers to Coach Greg Romero, whose athletes won two Olympic medals in BMX. “That’s plenty,” he said. That’s all I need to know. OK riders, set ’em up …

My trainer is a Performance Travel Trac Millennium V Fluid Force Wireless. It cost about $300. Its 999-watt max isn’t enough for my sprint intervals, but this thing is awesome for the lower-level threshold work (where I need the most improvement). This trainer is no longer on the market.

The new Travel Trac Millennium i-Force Wireless Inertial Trainer seems comparable. Retail $399, on sale now for $299. A review on the Performance site says it maxes out at 750 watts. Not high enough for mega sprints, but plenty for endurance work.

Check it out: Travel Trac Millennium i-Force Wireless Inertial Trainer

If your head isn’t spinning and your fingers aren’t tingling, you’re not riding hard enough!

— Lee

Know more. Have more fun!

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