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CycleOps Magnus Smart Trainer Review

cycleops magnus smart trainer review

Ordinary bike trainers are just not enough anymore. Cyclists want more. Why wouldn’t they? Indoor cycling is already boring as it is and the more interesting they can make it the better.

The CycleOps Magnus Smart trainer is one of the best smart bike trainers currently available. And as usual, CycleOps are never late to the party. Their Magnus Smart trainer is blowing riders’ minds. CycleOps created this trainer to help you work out the way you have always wanted.

If there is a virtual training software you have been dying to use, this is your chance. As long as you have your Magnus and any device, you can cycle in the virtual environment of your choice.

Besides all the cool features on the Magnus, the best thing about it is probably the price. Of course, there are cheaper smart trainers; but this is a CycleOps trainer. $550-$600 is not such a big price to pay for a quality smart trainer from a reputable company. Most high-end smart trainers are priced at double this amount—there is even one that goes for $1800. Anyway $600 is still a lot of money, right? So why don’t you take a look at what exactly you will be getting out of it then decide if it is worth it or not.

Quick Summary of Features And Specifications

  • 1500 watt peak resistance
  • Quick response electromagnetic resistance
  • Super quiet (69 decibels at 20 mph)
  • Integrated dual ANT+ FE-C and Bluetooth 4.0 technologies
  • Has a clutch knob for the perfect roller to tire tension
  • 2” resistance roller that allows for 650b, 700c, 26”, 27” and 29” up to 2.0 tire
  • PowerTuned with PowerTap technology to allow for accurate power readings
  • Compatible with many devices and training apps (Zwift, Rouvy, TrainerRoad etc)
  • Precision-machined alloy roller for minimum wear and tear
  • Comes with a quick release skewer and 3 settings for rear dropout setting
  • Eccentric leveling feet for uneven surfaces
  • Easy to assemble
  • Does not accommodate 650c and 29er tires
  • Has a capacity of 300 lbs

Closer Look At The Features And Specifications

cycleops magnus smart bike trainerAll smart trainers nowadays have incorporated dual ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart transmission. This means that it transmits ANT +Power Broadcast, ANT+FE-C (Trainer Control), Bluetooth Smart Power Broadcast and Bluetooth Smart Trainer Control (for apps via API).

These specs make it possible for your Magnus trainer to integrate with trainer apps like TrainerRoad, Zwift, among others—which is one of the reasons for buying a smart trainer. Moreover, you can control the trainer using your bike computer. You will still need a cadence sensor though because this trainer cannot detect your cadence.

The Magnus requires assembly. This is definitely not what you want to hear but on the brighter side, the assembly is super easy. Within five minutes or so you should be done. It comes with a quick release skewer and a clear manual. You shouldn’t have trouble here.

The frame is strong and sturdy. CycleOps have used the CycleOps Classic Series frame on the Magnus trainer. The quality of the steel guarantees you a lifetime of hard work out sessions without worrying about the durability of the trainer. CycleOps lifetime warranty ensures that. The frame features a clutch knob that ensures just the perfect amount of roller to tire tension. All your rides are going to be consistent which is important if you are keen on accurate power numbers.

The CycleOps Magnus is compatible with most road and mountain bike frames. As already mentioned above, it has a quick release skewer and three settings for rear dropout spacing, that is, 120mm, 130mm, and 135mm. It fits 650b, 700c, 26”, 27”, and 29” up to a 2.0 tire. This smart bike stand neither fits 650c nor 29er tires.

It offers an accurate road feel. The Direct Drive Vs Wheel-On debate is still on with people arguing that wheel-on trainers are not really accurate in simulating the road. If that has been your stand, the CycleOps Magnus will make you rethink it with its perfect road simulation. The ride is smooth, mimicking the road to give you an awesome experience.

Calibration of the Magnus is necessary if you want to get the most out of it. Warm up the trainer and tire first, by pedaling for 10-25 minutes. If you are using the CycleOps VirtualTraining app, go to Settings > Virtual Bike > Trainer Settings. Find your trainer then under “Special Functionality” click on “Calibrate Trainer”. You can also use the other apps; whichever one you are using is fine.

The power reading accuracy is quite impressive. According to CycleOps, the Magnus smart trainer is PoweTuned with PowerTap technology to give +/-5% accurate power readings. The accuracy does not exactly match that of a PowerTap hub but the input that developed it is from PowerTap.

The Magnus has a very responsive electromagnetic resistance and it ramps faster than most trainers in the CycleOps smart series. You will get more out of interval work because the responsiveness reduces the dead time that the unit takes to catch up your to power inputs.

The noise level is minimal. Wheel-on smart trainers have a reputation for being a little too noisy. That, however, does not apply to the Magnus. According to the manufacturer, the noise level is approximately 69 decibels at 20mph, which is bearable for most people.

Why You Should Buy This Smart Trainer

cycleops magnus smart cycling trainerIt is lightweight and collapses for storage. The Magnus smart trainer weighs 20lbs/9kg; about half the weight of most smart trainers out there. The weight and the collapsible feature make it the best trainer if you plan to travel with it a lot. You also do not need a large space to store it as it can fit just about anywhere—in the closet, under the bed, wherever.

It is sturdy and strong. Using a smart trainer is an exhilarating experience and it is easy to get carried away with all the fun. You will also be motivated to go harder than with a regular trainer. When that happens, it will help if you are on a stable surface that can take all the pedaling and sprinting that you will be doing. The CycleOps Magnus has been made to hold your bike firmly in place for a safe workout.

If yours is a family of cyclists, each with their own bike, then the CycleOps Magnus will be a perfect addition to your home gym. It fits a wide range of bike sizes as already pointed out. Mounting and dismounting bicycles on this training stand is super easy.

It is affordable. $600 for all the features outlined above seems like a deal you cannot ignore. Smart trainers from big companies do not cost that little. Everything has been made to perfection and there is nothing you can complain about when such a trainer goes for that price.

Its Downside

The Magnus has a small flywheel, 2.6lbs/1.2kg. A large flywheel enhances the road feel. It gives you that inertia feeling. So although this smart trainer does a good job mimicking the road, its road feel may not really blow your mind. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, you are inside and no trainer will make you feel 100% as though you are riding your bike outside, however expensive it is. A trainer is just…a trainer.

What Users Are Saying

cycleops magnus smart trainerThis must be your best section of the review because it is where you get honest answers to all your questions.

Judging from the comments, the CycleOps Magnus trainer is great. Setting it up is not much work and they appreciated the clear manual. In less than 20 minutes, almost all the users had their trainer ready for riding. It is a quality trainer and very solid when working out.

The riders also say that pairing and connecting the trainer with apps and devices is easy—most of them seem to be using Zwift. For the price, users agree that the Magnus is worth every penny that they spent on it. In fact, most of them say that it exceeded their expectations.

There are a few complaints about tire slippage. However, this problem happens with almost all wheel-on trainers. Use the clutch knob to attain the perfect tension and get a trainer specific tire to eliminate this issue.

My verdict

It is hard to not vouch for the CycleOps Magnus smart trainer after reading the features and user feedback. It is a sturdy and well-made bike stand. The fast responsive electromagnetic resistance will help you get the most out of your sessions. It is compatible with all your favorite apps, devices and fits a wide range of bike sizes. You can store and carry it anywhere – thanks to its lightweight and collapsible feature. If you want to enjoy all the benefits of a smart trainer without breaking the bank, get the CycleOps Magnus smart trainer.