CycleOps Hammer Direct Drive Smart Bike Trainer Review

Excited to try out various cycling simulators? Unfortunately, you can’t just choose any smart trainer you see. You need to consider some possible limitations about its compatibility with different software. Today’s your lucky day for we’re about to recommend a versatile electromagnetic model. If you’re looking for the best bike trainer for the money as well as for a wide range of simulators, the CycleOps Hammer Direct Drive Smart Trainer is a solid choice. Find out why!

Features and Specifications

ANT+ FE-C & Bluetooth 4.0

As long as the training software is compatible with ANT+ and BLE, this bike trainer can easily connect to it because of its Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ FE-C protocols. You’ll have a blast riding nonstop thanks to the engaging aspect of virtual cycling apps.

Another purpose of those two features is to support the functions of the PowerTap technology. They allow the system to transmit power and speed data to other devices or units so you can monitor your performance real-time.

Now that we’ve mentioned the PowerTap technology, you should know that it makes this bike trainer PowerTuned for precision. The power readings will remain +/- 3% accurate.

Since accuracy can be affected by overheating, this bike trainer also has its own cooling system. It means that no matter how long you ride your bike indoors, no amount of heat will force the unit to provide inaccurate numbers.

If ever you’re into indoor cycling sets, we also recommend the CycleOps Fluid 2 Cycling Power Training Kit because of its high-quality cooling feature.

Direct Drive Technology

The updated design of its Direct Drive technology is one of the main reasons why this bike trainer is well-known globally. It can protect expensive bike wheels and tires from abrasion by keeping the performance smooth. As a plus, this indoor trainer can perform so quietly that it can pass the standards of strict libraries. See how important it is to prioritize less friction?

Electromagnetic Resistance Flywheel

The flywheel is large and heavy to guarantee the impact of electromagnetic resistance. An electromagnetic system can quicken the response for resistance and maintain very powerful performance. It’s the modern version of magnetic systems found in models like the 1114 RAD Cycle Products Max Racer PRO.

To be more specific, the 20-pound flywheel will make your rides more realistic aside from the fact that you’ll use a simulator. It can ensure simulation with a 20% riding grade and support the strength of 2,000 watts. Most of the time, it’s all about the road-like feel–not the visuals. Pro cyclists would instantly agree.

Front Wheel Tray

You shouldn’t just think about performance and durability. What about convenience? It’s a good thing that this bike trainer comes with an integrated tray for the front wheel to let you store the unit quickly. It will also be easier for you to set the height of the wheel.

Additional Details

  • Weighing approximately 60 pounds
  • Shimano-splined freehub for 8-11 speed cassettes
  • Convertible for SRAM XD cassettes
  • XD driver body sold separately

The Good

Can Be Used Without a Climbing Block

With the CycleOps Hammer Direct Drive Smart Trainer, there’s no need to use a climbing block anymore. This is good news if you want to ride the trainer as soon as you set it up. Its own leveling block is enough as an alternative.

Speaking of alternatives, this bike trainer won’t require you to buy a special floor mat. Placing a large towel underneath the unit is enough to get things going.

Keeps You Entertained

Just in case you’ll eventually get bored with one simulator, you’re free to try another app until you’re satisfied as long as you’re using this bike trainer. You’ll have a great time trying out different simulators that can be used with BLE and ANT+ protocols. Just search the Web for an exciting list of training software.

Helpful for Serious Training

Pro cyclists have managed to improve their skills on the road by taking their performance data seriously. The same idea should also be applied to indoor training. With features like the PowerTap technology and the PowerTuned system from the CycleOps Hammer Direct Drive Smart Trainer, you’ll be able to read your stats automatically. More importantly, the numbers will be accurate. That’s also the priority of modern exercise bikes with complete details on screen like the Body Champ BRB852 Magnetic Recumbent Bike.

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The Bad

Calibration Issues

Every bike trainer needs some calibration once in a while to keep things smooth. Unfortunately, this model may be an inconvenience for some users. Some of its units won’t let owners calibrate the system after a few months of use. One reason is the need for third-party software that can facilitate the process.

Lack of Complete Instructions

Some first-time users find it virtually impossible to use this bike trainer without a hitch. They find the instruction manual incomplete, especially when it comes to connecting the unit to the simulator. Instead of a fun workout, they get busy searching for tutorials or contacting the seller.

Who Is It For?

The CycleOps Hammer Direct Drive Smart Trainer is specifically designed for cyclists who want something more than mere resistance adjustments. A realistic feel is better with visuals to help you focus on your training. Besides, you can’t just ignore the opportunity to play and, at the same time, improve your cycling skills. Take a break from your computer or mobile games sometimes and have some fun with this equipment in a healthy way.

In case you’ll enjoy this bike trainer a little too much and end up using it for more than two hours, the cooling system will protect it from overheating. It’s perfect for people who will use most of their free time for training.

Conclusion

You’ll probably need to put a bit more effort with this model when it comes to set up and calibration, but it will all be worth it with the CycleOps Hammer Direct Drive Smart Trainer. It’s an easy-to-use, hi-tech option compatible with several training apps. You can enjoy using it for years.

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