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CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer Review

cycleops fluid 2 bike trainer review

The CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer is a product of the famous CycleOps Company. It is the first fluid trainer in the CycleOps series. Despite the fact that it costs a little more than most trainers, it is the bestselling bike stand in the market and has tons of great reviews across all retailer websites. What makes it a bestseller? Is it worth the extra dollars? Well, keep reading to find out.

When you first set eyes on this turbo trainer, you will get the impression of a very firm and quality looking piece of equipment. The resistance roller (where your bike tire rotates) has a big radius to maximize the tire contact surface area and lower chances of slippage as you train and also keep the noise to a minimum. The unit exudes skill and expertise, with a polished and robust design.

The Cycle Ops Fluid 2 trainer uses progressive fluid resistance mechanism. It is, therefore, quieter than the magnetic and wind trainers. This progressive resistance gives you a smooth experience that you cannot get with magnetic or wind trainers. It does not require you to keep adjusting your resistance by use of a knob, rather, the faster you pedal, the more the resistance and the harder the workout. There is no limit to this resistance—which makes it a necessary piece of equipment if you are training for a race or looking to push yourself.

The best thing about the fluid resistance is that it feels natural – almost as though you are on the road.

CycleOps Fluid 2 – Features and Specifications

cycleops fluid 2 trainer review

It uses progressive fluid resistance. Unlike magnetic trainers that have magnets to provide resistance, fluid bike trainers use an impeller (a rotor inside a tube) which spins in a fluid (usually silicon) to produce resistance.

As the power increases, the resistance increases which makes the resistance infinite, in theory. This makes the riding situation more realistic and smooth. CycleOps have made the fluid levels better than in previous versions of the unit for improved resistance. They have also enhanced the location of the sealed-cartridge bearing for improved inertia.

It is easy to set up, store and transport. The unit is not fully assembled, and you will have to do it yourself. However, it has a folding body, and it is very compact. Between setting it up and starting your workout, you might only need ten minutes or less. The support legs and the main frame are attached, but the resistance unit is separate. You also have to set up the wheel locking pin. When folded, it will not take up much space, and it will fit in your trunk very easily.

The trainer is not noisy like wind or magnetic trainers, but it is not totally quiet either. However, even when you push it, the noise level will be fine. The faster you spin the resistance roller and the harder you pedal, the higher the level of noise, but it will never be high enough to bother you. Neighbors will not be banging on your door as with other trainers.

What makes the Fluid 2 silent compared to other trainers? Its body is built from a solid but light 2” round, 16-gauge steel and quality footpads to offer a stable and firm base for the unit, hence no vibrations and it has a redesigned fluid resistance unit. The resistance roller helps with noise reduction too, in that, it has a large radius hence the cylinder spins fewer times compared to one with a smaller radius.

It mimics the road feel almost perfectly. The engineers at CycleOps have used a 2.75 lb precision-balanced flywheel for advanced stability and a heightened riding experience. Do not set your expectations very high though, you cannot compare riding outside to the experience offered by the Fluid 2, but you will have a quiet and smooth ride. There is no resistance adjuster or knob on the trainer; you only need to change gears on the bike. One thing you can be sure of, you will always look forward to using this unit.

It has an ingenious tightening mechanism.  With most turbo trainers, you never know how much force you to use when pushing the resistance roller against your bike tire. You have to guess or follow a given rule like “turn the knob a specific number of times.” However, the CycleOps Fluid 2 indoor trainer has a knob for you to turn to push the resistance roller up against the bike tire. Continue turning the knob, and when the force is perfect, it will click and turn without using any more force. No more guesswork and you will have an optimal pressure between your tire and the roller for an excellent performance and workout.

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Summary of What the CycleOps Fluid 2 Has To Offer

  • PowerTuned for great road-like feel
  • 64-68 decibels noise level at 20 mph
  • Fluid resistance unit for a consistent and quiet ride
  • Large and individually precision-balanced flywheel offers enhanced road-like feel
  • Self-cooling mechanisms which include a patented fan design to keep the unit in good condition for longer
  • Eccentric leveling feet for easy adjustment when on uneven surfaces
  • Precision-machined alloy roller for minimum tire wear and slippage
  • Clutch knob for ultimate roller to tire tension for each ride
  • 2” resistance unit roller accommodates 650b, 700c, 26”, 27” and 29” wheel sizes; p to a 2.0 tire
  • Fits common road and mountain bike frames with steel quick release skewer and includes three settings for rear dropout spacing: 120mm, 130mm, and 135mm
  • Can be used with virtual training apps

10 Reasons for Buying The CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer

CycleOps 9904 Fluid2 Bike Trainer Base Black

1) It is compatible with virtual training apps. You can ride on video routes with realistic pacing. It incorporates Google Maps and GPS in addition to synchronizing route mapping and videos with the real outdoor terrain. To put it simply, the harder and faster you pedal the quicker you will progress through the route you are riding. You can also join online cycling races and communities.

2) It offers smooth resistance. This can be attributed to the large flywheel which makes the rear wheel more stable and progressive resistance that increases as you increase the intensity of your workout.

3) It is quiet. As pointed out earlier, it is not entirely silent, but the noise level will not bother your neighbors/roommates, much less you; thanks to the quality footpads, redesigned fluid resistance and the large roller radius.

4) It is durable. A quick glance at this indoor trainer will tell you that it is durable. Most trainers look cheap and tracky with their bright colors, but the CycleOps Fluid bike trainer has a bronze design that makes it look very up-market. It has curves as opposed to solid straight lines, so you know it was made by people who know what they are doing. The self-cooling mechanisms and precision-machined alloy roller also contribute to the durability.

5) The Fluid 2 is easy to set up. This trainer will make your work easier if you will need to set it up frequently. It is compact and has a folding body which makes everything simple.

6) It provides for easy storage and transport. It folds flat to fit in your trunk for transport or to take up a small storage space in your house.

7) It is stable and sturdy. Regardless, of your age, body size or level of skillfulness, your chances of falling while on this trainer—even on an unstable surface— are very minimal. Its feet are at a beveled angle to allow you to turn when you have set up on unleveled ground, making the unit very stable.

8) The clutch knob saves you the trouble of guessing the perfect force for pushing the resistance against your bike tire.

9) It can accommodate a wide range of tire sizes in case you are planning to use it with various wheel sizes—or share it with someone.

10) It enhances your indoor riding with the large flywheel and progressive resistance, to give you that road feel.

Its Downside

The CycleOps fluid trainer is expensive. Honestly, not everyone has a few hundred dollars just to buy a trainer. Though it is a bestseller, a good number of people are missing out on this experience because of the price. But again, given the features, it is worth every cent. Invest more to get more.

You will need a bicycle trainer tire. The roller gets very hot and may, melt your rear tire. Old tires may work here, but you will exhaust your “old tire reservoir” in no time. Though a trainer tire will help, it translates to an extra cost; but on the brighter side, it will serve you for a very long time.

It comes with poorly written instructions. Some people will figure out how to put it together very fast because it is not difficult. However, people who are using a trainer for the first time rely on these instructions. This is a high-end trainer and having spent a significant amount on it, one should not struggle to figure out how to assemble it.

What Users Are Saying about the CycleOps Fluid 2

cycleops fluid2 bicycle trainer review

As you can guess, the best selling trainer has so many positive reviews and very few negative ones.

The users agree that the resistance is impressive. It has made them better cyclists faster than when they were training outside only, and it is great for interval training. The fluid gives a great simulation of road friction. Maintaining a cadence just as in road training is easy. The smooth increase in resistance as the speed increases is a common theme across the reviews. The resistance being infinite, more cyclists can push themselves past their limits, even when they cannot ride outside.

Another feature that the users love is the quietness. Apartment dwellers can now train in peace, even in the middle of the night, without disturbing neighbors. There are no more complaints from roommates and spouses. The cyclists themselves can enjoy their favorite TV shows and music without blasting the volume.

The stability of this trainer is another thing that the users couldn’t fail to notice. There are riders who are rehabilitating from injuries, elderly riders and those at the entry level—all them need a stable platform for their workouts to avoid accidents that may end up badly. The CycleOps Fluid 2 indoor trainer has proven to be the best choice as far as stability is concerned.

Other reasons for positive Cycleops Fluid 2 reviews include ease in setting up, storage and travel, no leaks and amazing customer care.

As with any other product, negative reviews will always be there. Most of them seemed to be from people who received faulty units. Other reviews were about the poorly written instructions and the excessive tire-wear.

My verdict

The CycleOps Fluid 2 is an amazing turbo trainer. You can see why it is a bestseller despite being expensive. It has exceptional features that are hard to get in other trainers. It is quiet, which makes it ideal regardless of where you live or whether you live with roommates or not. It offers a smooth progressive resistance that gives you a road feel and lets you push yourself beyond your limits. It is stable which provides a safe workout. Setting it up is not hard and you can easily transport and store it, even in small spaces.

Although the CycleOps trainer is expensive, you can see from the customer feedback that it is an excellent product. It works exactly as CycleOps advertise it. If you need a turbo trainer, do not go for a cheap option, go for the CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer and make your indoor cycling experience something to always look forward to every day. It is worth every dime.

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