InsideRide Smart Resistance - Anyone used it? Thoughts?

trainer

#1

I’ve got a set of the InsideRide rollers and love them - I always think it would be awesome to be able to have erg mode on the rollers for TR (especially longer steady-power intervals), but it seems like every 6 months InsideRide is coming out with a new version of the smart resistance unit, which has been causing me to hold back on buying…just wondering what everyone’s experience with it. Thanks!


#2

The old Elite version seemed plagued with issues, from what I saw.

Their “new” InsideRide designed and sourced one is interesting. It appears to be the final version of their original attempt at smart resistance years ago. The Elite option may well have been a stop-gap.

I have not seen any reviews or comments on the new unit.


#3

It definitely looks interesting. Would be nice to know how well it’s executed


#4

For sure. I follow them on FB and they are pushing the new unit.
But I haven’t see any info from a customer yet.


#5

I’m still looking for a better explanation of the upside. To be clear i do love my rollers and have the Elite unit. As a ‘trainer’ though its sometimes a little too kind — allowing me to spin to achieve power levels in a way I have trouble replicating on the bike. Going to try to mix it up between the KICKR core and the rollers this year.

The problems with the Elite unit that i saw were difficulties in calibrating/updating the firmware. The combination worked fine on TrainerRoad/Zwift which both seem to favor the power meter over the trainer. Sufferfest/Rouvy favor the trainer reported power and it was off by a good margin. My impression of the new resistance unit is they’re doing onboard power matching by sniffing the bike’s power meter… I can see this introducing new compatibility issues.

regards,
Adam


#6

I’m currently shopping for a new trainer, and the e-motion rollers looked interesting, so I called InsideRide and spoke with Larry.

He said that the smart controller works like a normal smart trainer, adjusting resistance according to the software’s (Zwift, TR, etc.) commands, the only difference being the ends of the power spectrum where the rollers don’t go.

So if TR asks for 1000w, the contoller will max out at whatever it maxes out at, and you’ll just have to spin faster to get there (if possible).

I don’t own this product, but I thought I’d share what I learned talking with Larry. If you’re interested, just find their contact page online, and give ‘em a call or email. They were friendly and answered my questions. Hope this helps.


#7

Thanks @teuthis, that’s helpful. :+1:

I’m considering getting the electronic resistance unit for my Inside Ride E-Motion rollers after doing my first “microburst” workout today. With the resistance set to Level 2, I can usually get all resistance range needed for most workouts, by just shifting gears.

The problem is with the short microbursts in Spanish Needle, I had to shift my front derailleur once and shift my rear derailleur 3–4 clicks, every 15 seconds. I have a mechanical groupset and was able to do it and hit my targets, but it was tedious. And with six intervals @ 8min. each, that’s a lot of wear and tear on the components. I think I shifted more in today’s workout than in the past three weeks!? :open_mouth:

If anyone has the electronic resistance for the E-Motions, I’d love to know how well it works with microburst workouts? Does it decrease the amount of shifting needed?


#8

How timely. :smile:

Inside Ride’s November sale prompted me to buy, so this week I ordered the E-motion Smart Control ($1020 with coupon). If FedEx doesn’t get lost on the way to my house, I’ll be on the rollers for Thanksgiving.

It’ll be my first time ever on any kind of roller and my first time ever on a trainer with Erg and sim modes.

My current setup is a Powertap G3 hub on a Kurt Road Machine, and I like that the trainer is ignorant of whatever app I’m using. If I’m climbing Alpe Du Zwift, for example, I can roll gently (albeit very slowly) along at 100w if I want, no grinding necessary. And in TR, it’s totally up to me to hit my target watts.

So it’s gonna be an interesting holiday for me, learning to ride rollers first, then experimenting with all the smart trainer features I’ve never had. I’ll be back with an update then. :+1:


#9

Congrats on the purchase @Teuthis! I can’t speak to the SmartPower resistance control, but I’ve had my E-Motions since 2014 and love 'em! I’ve been riding rollers for over 20 years, most of that time on Kreitlers, which are also quality rollers. But the E-Motions were still a big step up. The floating frame really makes riding them feel so natural. And between the side bumpers and the “safety” rollers, they’ll be a great learn on.

One tip for the first few times, is to put them in a doorway so your shoulders line up with the door frame. That way your shoulders will bump the door frame before your front wheel hits the side bumpers. Those bumpers do prevent you from riding off the rollers, but it’s still possible to slowly creep over to the edge, hit the bumper, and have your weight continue sideways so you start to fall over! :scream_cat:

Occasionally it’ll happen to me, which is why I ride with a wall on my left and a tall makeshift table on my right. When it does, I just quickly “dab” my hand out. Usually it’ll happen while watching a cycling video with twisty descents, where my subconscious takes over and wants to follow the road!


#10

Okay, @Bikr, I’ll make a bold prediction just for funzies, though I’ll probably jinx myself by doing so.

I’ve read alotta posts and watched alotta videos about learning to ride rollers, and I can’t help but suspect rampant fearmongering, with everyone warning noobs to wear safety harnesses and set up their rollers in inflatable bouncy castles, lest they crash to their fiery deaths, to which I respond “horsehockey!” (props to Colonel Potter).

I bet I’ll get up and rolling along with no problems and without doorways/walls/tables/parachutes. What I DO worry about are those hard training sessions that require all my concentration just to hold my watts, nevermind staying upright. Or more likely, the recovery just after an interval like that when I relax and grab a towel or bottle, forgetting to balance in my exhaustion. And since inattention would be the cause of that off, a wall or table would be just another thing to hit on the way to the floor.

I’ll letcha know next week. :grin:


#11

Those difficulties and risk during the super hard efforts and subsequent recoveries are the reason I moved away from my DIY motion rollers. I love them for Endurance and up to Sweet Spot work. But they are a ton of work for the more taxing efforts.

My love for the feel and freedom of motion rollers is what lead me to make my first rocker plate. I wanted something closer to the rollers, but with a bit more support and security. If I had more room, I’d have both setup and swap between rollers and a rocker plate trainer depending on workout intensity.


#12

I agree completely.

I’m keeping my Road Machine just for that reason, and if I really prefer the E-motions for the feel and smart control but need more stability for hard sessions, I’ll go ahead and purchase their “Floating Fork Stand,” which seems like a neat idea anyway.


#13

Funny this thread came back up…I just pulled the trigger on the new smart resistance unit Friday. I’m really excited to see how well it works, and I’m hoping (along the lines of what @mcneese.chad said) it becomes my go-to over the KICKR for longer endurance/sweet spot interval work.


#14

Awesome. Please share your thoughts once you get some time on it. :smiley:


#15

I ride Elite e-Motion B+ (ERG) rollers on Tempo/Endurance stuff. For anything harder, I have an Elite Drivo. Like most have commented, rollers (ERG or not) are not ideally suited for busts/quick intervals or VO2/sprint stuff with specific power targets. They’re awesome for building cadence, working on pedal stroke, core stability and such… but high/quick power? Not so much.


#16

Update #1

About 90 minutes ago, FedEx arrived. In that time, I unboxed, setup, learned to ride rollers, paired my devices (power meter, Zwift, iPhone app for InsideRide), and rode Watopia’s Hilly Loop.

For those wondering about the E-motion’s smart control, bear in mind that I have no other smart trainer experience to compare to.

Wow. Just freaking wow. I am soooo glad I didn’t spend a comparable amount of money on a normal trainer. I initially set up the rollers next to the back of a big fluffy couch. I steadied my hand against the couch for a few minutes, then let go and rode normally, practicing bouncing off the guide wheels and swerving back and forth (yes, deliberately zagging and veering to accustom myself to the feeling, learn how to correct, and overcome any fear of ping-ponging). Then I practiced getting in and out of the saddle, spinning fast, going as slow as possible, and eventually unclipping one foot, coasting to a stop, then clipping back in and restarting. Finally, still next to the fluffy couch, I practiced mounting and starting from a stop.

This done, I set up the rollers in my usual configuration, in front of the TV (to which my computer is attached) with a small stand for the keyboard, mouse, and bottle. The E-motion app quickly recognized the rollers and my power meter and paired with both. Go here for deets on how the app works with your power meter and software: http://www.insideride.com/smartpower-user-guide/ Then, I booted up Zwift, which easily recognized the rollers in addition to my usual cadence and HR sensors, and rode the Hilly Loop for a short intro to sim mode.

As you know, the Hilly Loop starts on the flat, and I was rolling along, thoroughly enjoying the free floaty feeling of rollers, compared the the rigid, butt-numbing feeling of a normal trainer, and suddenly, the rear wheel got draggy, like there was some kind of resistance (I kid you not; for an instant I was concerned, being so accustomed to my dumb trainer). I looked to the gradient display and saw 1%. It went back to 0%, and the dragginess went away. Holy wow! What were the upcoming hills going to feel like?

Awesome. That’s how they felt. The resistance came and went seamlessly and quietly, with the steeper pitches requiring me to either shift or get out of the saddle. I was unprepared for the 10% part, so when it came, I stood up and ground at 60 rpm and over 300 watts with no slippage or wheel hop or any kind of ungoodness, other than actually fearing the so-called death spiral I’ve heard about. But all ended well, and I completed the loop quite happy with the experience.

The only weirdness I encountered was something I’ve heard other roller-riders note: it feels so natural that you tend to try to go around corners out of habit, which I did repeatedly, finding that I had drifted to one side of the rollers. There were no oopses, of course. It just felt weird.

Anyway, I’ve more testing to do. Back later with more info. :+1:


#17

I too have the InsideRide E-Motion smart rollers. I quite enjoy using them in Erg mode using power match in TR my Quarq power meter. I enjoy using my rollers for most workout shorter than 90 minutes as long as they don’t have short sprint intervals or lots of cadence work in short blocks. For the latter, resistance mode is a better match. I like the rollers because I feel more engaged with the workout and if we are being honest, I like it more because I can use my favorite bike. For longer workouts I prefer to use my Tacx Neo because it is less mentally fatiguing, but I use an older retired bike, which brings me less joy and passion.


#18

Glad you have a similar setup; perhaps you can help me.

Having Zwifted today, I proceeded to my scheduled TR workout: Kaiser. Things did not go so super duper.

I think part of my problem was that I was expecting the E-mos to be more… erggy? Which they weren’t. I selected erg mode and power match with my G3 hub, and first of all, the target power only ever showerd “0,” “1,” “2,” or “3.” Like it was telling me the magnetic resistance setting, rather than watts. Then, it didn’t really erg. It half erged. Like it was thinking “The workout requires 124 watts, so I’ll just set the resistance to 1.” And it stayed in “1” when the first little step arrived, and I just had to manually shift or pedal faster to make the little green bar meet the circle, because I had no idea what watts were required at the time. Then when the first tall blue block came, the target power switched to “2,” and I could feel the resistance increase, but I still had to manually set my gear/cadence to put the green bar in the circle.

When the resistance ramped up, it was smooth and pleasant, but early. Same for the end of an interval, when the resistance decreased nicely, but early. It really seems like instead of erg mode, it simply selects one of four mag resistance settings that is close to what you’ll need, and it’s up to you to do the rest. Is this how it’s supposed to work? If so, that’s fine. I’d just like to know.

Finally, I think it broke TR because I exited TR, unplugged the E-mos, rebooted TR, and it still would only show the one-digit target power, even with no smart trainers shown in the devices list.

Worst of all, I repeated the warm up intervals three or four times, with all my fiddling and resetting (even tried resistance mode like you mentioned), and I tired myself out too much to actually complete the workout. :confounded:

Any thoughts?


#19

Well that’s disconcerting on the TR front. Were you using powermatch? My smart power unit should be here early next week, so i’ll be figuring it out once I get it installed.


#20

I was using powermatch, and the watts were accurate; I rode with my Bolt displaying power, and it agreed with the numbers on TR.

My gripe is the target numerical display looked like a mag setting, rather than watts.

I’ll hafta re-read Inside Ride’s instructions; I seem to remember them recommending a different pairing procedure than I used. I’ll try that out tonight and report back.