1Up USA Trainer Review

It’s cold here in Saint Louis. I’ve been back in the gym using the Star Trac elliptical trainer and the recumbent bike but I can’t stand riding on the spinning bikes they have there. So I thought I’d buy myself a stationary trainer for my road bike.

Indoor trainers all use some sort of device attached to a roller to provide resistance against the bike’s drive wheel. Wind trainers, for example, use a fan to create progressive resistance. They tend to be noisy and once the fan passes a certain RPM the resistance curve flattens out. Fluid trainers, on the other hand, use a propeller encased inside a fluid chamber to create resistance. They are quieter than wind trainers and do a better job of mimicking outdoor riding, but tend to have issues with leaking and reliability.

The 1up USA Trainer is unique in that it uses what the company calls “Centrifugal Pressure Resistance”. Resistance is created by a friction plate that presses against a flywheel. As the plate and flywheel spin faster, centrifugal force moves 3 steel balls outward, pressing the friction plate ever tighter against the flywheel. It’s a smart design that applies pressure progressively from 4 to 3000 watts; it’s impossible to spin out this trainer.

The 1up is precision machined and a work of art. The adjustable legs are anodized aluminum and will accommodate wheels from 16-29″ in diameter. The flywheel weighs 6.5 lbs. (the heaviest on the market) and has a nice long coast down. It folds flat into a compact package for convenient storage. Overall the 1up is a beautifully built piece – quiet, reliable and effective.

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I’ll post a full review as soon as it arrives and I’ve had a chance to try it out.