Five things you need to know about the new Bkool Smart Go turbo trainer

Want a great value smart turbo trainer? Bkool could have a solution for you

Bkool are one of the most recognisable players in the turbo trainer game thanks to their advanced open-use cycling simulator and the Spanish brand’s simple range of two machines: the Smart Pro, and now the new Smart Go.

As most readers of this will be familiar by now, a smart trainer is a turbo that’s able to interact with the virtual world it’s connected to (whether that’s on a smartphone, tablet or computer). This not only allows the trainer to send power data and other information to the virtual platform, but also means that the software itself can communicate with the smart trainer.

In effect, it brings outdoor realism into your indoor training life, helping to keep you spinning when weather, time, or day-to-day life dictate that you stay off the road. Smart trainers have revolutionised indoor riding and are helping more and more riders make the most of their training time.

The Smart Go is Bkool’s new interactive turbo trainer

Smart turbo trainers can cost north of £1,000 so the Smart Go, a new addition to the Bkool line-up, is a turbo trainer that gives you many of the benefits of smart training, without the sometimes prohibitive cost attached to it – the Smart Go has an RRP of £349 but Bkool currently have it on sale for £269. So what’s the story? We’ve picked out five key things you need to know about the Smart Go.

It’s smart

Ok, we may be stating the obvious here, but unlike some ‘smart’ turbo trainers that sit at the lower end of the cost spectrum, the Smart Go is genuinely a smart trainer – not just sending data, but receiving it too. This means it connects to the Bkool Simulator (more on that later) and is controlled by the software to support your workout.

As a result, if you wanted to load up a training video of a velodrome session, or a simulation of a ride up Alpe d’Huez, the Smart Go will be able to simulate the resistance you’d encounter if you were out completing the ride for real – including the gradient and the effect of drafting. This brings the trainer much closer to imitating the real-life scenarios you’re training for – which, after all, is why we do it!

Of course, like other smart turbo trainers on the market, if you want to use it as a simple warm up device, you can use the Smart Go without connecting and powering it on. Just fix your wheel to the roller using the clasps and away you go.

It can handle up to 800 watts

Once plugged into a power source, the Smart Go can handle up to 800 watts of resistance through its wheel-on flywheel, which is more than enough for the training demands of the vast majority of people. It is also able to simulate slopes of eight per cent gradient – perfect for training for your epic European sportive. Additionally, the electromagnets are also able to simulate inertia, so coming down the other side is just as fun.

The Smart Go is a wheel-on trainer which can handle up to 800 watts

Alongside this, you also get a stable platform on which to ride thanks to legs that extend outwards in order to minimise lateral movement, which is ideal when you’re going full gas up a virtual mountain or sprinting for the finish line at the end of a session. And, like mores expensive turbo trainers, while you’re putting the effort in it’ll also stay relatively quiet to the tune of 75dB.

Also, when you’re not using the turbo, it breaks down into two easy-to-stow away pieces, with a folding stand, and weighs only 9.85kg.

You get Ant+ and Bluetooth connectivity

The Smart Go offers both Ant+ and Bluetooth Smart connectivity, ensuring you can easily link the trainer to a range of devices, from GPS computers to power meters. Bkool also supply the Smart Go with an Ant+ dongle, which you can use to connect the trainer with your computer.

A quick release skewer is also provided to fit your bike to the trainer, along with a front wheel support unit to ensure you stay on the spot, as well as to protect your flooring. If you have a disc-equipped bike, you can buy a 12mm thru-axle for Bkool’s trainers.

And a free three-month subscription to Bkool Simulator

The Bkool Go comes with a free three-month premium subscription to the Bkool Simulator – the virtual reality program which can control the unit and allows you to select from more than half a million routes, hundreds of training videos, and even ride alongside your friends.

The premium subscription unlocks the full array of features the platform offers, including 3D real weather simulation, RealWorld 3D – which allows you to upload a GPX file, with the software generating a 3D route to match it for dynamic gradients and distance – velodrome games and access to competitive leagues, as well as Strava synchronisation and workout analysis tools.

However, if you prefer you can also use another third-party virtual training software provider, like Zwift, in order to provide your interactive workouts.

It’s an affordable smart trainer

The Smart Go trainer itself costs £269 (at Bkool’s current price; RRP £349), representing a genuinely affordable entry into the smart trainer market. It may not have all the bells and whistles of top-end trainers, but if you want a smart turbo which will undoubtedly shake-up your indoor training, allowing you to perform specific sessions, ride in a virtual reality world and compete against other cyclists, then the Go looks great value.

The Smart Go comes with a free three-month subscription to Bkool’s virtual reality simulator

If you need a speed and cadence sensor, Bkool’s costs £37.99, while the 12mm thru-axle kit costs £49.99. Premium subscription to the Bkool simulator costs £7.99 a month, or you can opt for a 20 per cent saving at £78 for an annual membership after the initial three month free subscription expires. Bkool also offer a range of other accessories, such as training mats and heart rate monitors.

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