Needless to say, bike trainers have come a long way since the early days of rollers. And, as of late, advancements in technology seem to bring us closer and closer each year toward the perfect virtual reality trainer.
Indeed, companies like Tacx, BKool, Zwift and others have made great strides in the area of virtual reality trainers, both in terms of hardware, as well as major breakthroughs involving software.
However, a more recent company called Bitelli, appears to have taken the hardware aspect of virtual reality training to a whole new level.
Relying on high-end rollers for resistance, Bitelli has created a training platform that’s so immersive, hydraulics play a part in creating real-life riding conditions – to the effect of being able to simulate gradients of +/- 20%.
Combined with a 65 inch flat-screen, Bitelli uses its own app that allows users to manually adjust riding conditions such as resistance, wind and gradient, as well as import GPX files that automatically simulate real-world terrain. In addition, optional fans are also available to simulate head and tailwinds.
Additionally, Bitelli says its ANT+ app is compatible with both iOS/Android, and is capable of tracking key metrics like power, heart rate and speed, with further plans to integrate with third party platforms such as Training Peaks and Zwift.
As one would expect, the Bitelli trainer doesn’t come cheap, with the entry level version costing around $3,300, and the hydraulic gradient-adjusting version upwards of $6,200.
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