TrueKinetix TrueTrainer Introduced: First Look

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This yr at Eurobike, TrueKinetix introduced their first good coach, which takes most of the options discovered of their higher-end good bike, the TrueBike. This coach has a slate of issues we merely haven’t seen earlier than on different good trainers. It’s obtained built-in WiFi, an HDMI port with a built-in coaching app, digital gearing (in a coach – we’ve solely seen that in bikes), and even a USB port for powering no matter it’s you must energy.

After all, it’s additionally obtained all the same old good coach issues too. Connecting to apps like Zwift & TrainerRoad with ANT+ & Bluetooth Good, max wattage of two,600w+, changeable resistance/incline as much as 30% (yikes!), standing lights, interchangeable cassettes, and no energy twine required both. Albeit, as one may count on, this one is a bit expensive. Extra on that in a second.

Only a fast reminder that as a primary look submit, this isn’t a full evaluation. First look posts are sometimes fast appears to be like at a product at a commerce present or like occasion, and thus doesn’t have any significant quantity of real-world testing. That every one comes later.

The Specs:

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First up, the identify of the coach is the TrueTrainer, inline with their TrueBike. As a reminder, that bike is pictured above, so you may get a tough scale of issues. For instance, within the bike it features a small show, that show has a full coaching software in it, which connects through WiFi to the web for importing to websites like Strava or TrainingPeaks. After all, you’ll be able to nonetheless use the TrueTrainer (or TrueBike) with any third celebration app too utilizing both Bluetooth or ANT+ (and WiFi possibly, extra on that in a second.

From a fast specs standpoint, not every part is finalized, however right here’s the place it stands:

– Direct drive coach: This implies you take away your rear wheel
– Protocol Compatibility: ANT+ FE-C, ANT+ Energy, Bluetooth Good Coach Management, Bluetooth Good Energy (every part you want)
– App Compatibility: Each app on the market mainly (Zwift, TrainerRoad, Rouvy, RGT, The Sufferfest, Kinomap, and so forth…)
– Max Incline: 30% simulated grade
– Max Wattage: 2,600+ watts resistance
– Said Accuracy: < +/- 0.5%
– Inside Energy Meter: Sure
– Energy Cable Required: No, energy block appropriate with 100-240v
– Standalone Mode: Sure, full management utilizing battery
– Pricing and Availability: 1,499-1,999EUR (together with VAT)

Notably, there are three completely different SKU’s supplied right here, with three very completely different worth factors, based mostly on completely different ranges of options. I’m not precisely positive this makes a number of sense for a corporation of this measurement, however right here they’re:

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Nevertheless, a few of the extra attention-grabbing specs are issues not in the usual checklist I normally use. So, let’s undergo them one after the other. First, is the HDMI out. That is mainly a carry-over from their bike, which exhibits a reside knowledge feed of your coaching stats. There’s a small embedded Linux app that runs on the bike (and now coach) that has a easy coaching overlay together with your stats, and in addition controls the WiFi bits. This implies you’d join the HDMI cable to a monitor of your selection:

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Once more, in 2022, I’m not likely positive there’s a number of demand for this, because the overwhelming majority of customers are going to be utilizing third celebration apps. But it surely appears like there could also be extra applicability in biking studios or such.

Subsequent up, there’s WiFi. This enables configuration and broadcasting of knowledge, although, it’s not 100% clear but on when it’ll be transmitting knowledge to Zwift and different apps. The indoor coach trade has (fortunately) agreed upon utilizing the Wahoo Direct Join protocol for wired and WiFi connections. This was launched on the Wahoo KICKR collection a number of years in the past, after which Elite added it to their Elite Justo. Each of those although required additional dongles, so this could be the primary firm to leverage it natively in a coach – which is nice. And extra importantly, all the primary coach app corporations have adopted this already, so the infrastructure is usually prepared to start out seeing utilization.

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Talking of connecting issues, along with the HDMI port (on the 2 greater finish items), there’s additionally a USB port for powering stuff. That is powered based mostly in your driving, which in flip expenses a battery. Your entire coach in truth may be charged utilizing your individual driving energy. You’ll see the cooling system off to the aspect. It is because the unit has an precise motor in it, identical to their bike does. However extra on that in my full evaluation down the street.

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Subsequent up is the digital gearing. The concept right here being you may make your cassette one thing it’s not. So you’ll be able to create digital gears, which in flip can remap your bodily gears to one thing else in-game. I’ve had this defined to me a number of occasions, and I even tried to trip it (however the bike was having some mechanical points). I’ve additionally tried to have GPLAMA re-explain it to me, and neither of us actually grasp what that is but. I see a glimmer of potential right here, however I simply want a number of rides on it to actually nail it. Once more, this could possibly be tremendous cool, I simply want some real-world rides.

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Now the principle factor on the TrueKinetix bike is their True Drive expertise that goals to higher mimic the outside trip really feel by utilizing an precise motor inside. That idea is carried over right here to the TrueTrainer. I gave issues a fast whirl out on the present flooring, and it felt good – however with out biking sneakers or blended gradient, it’s laborious to actually choose issues.

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Similar goes for noise, with out all of the present flooring noise, there’s no option to make any judgements on sound or such right here. That’ll have to return later in a full evaluation.

Wrap-Up:

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Shane Miller of GPLAMA and I have been speaking over lunch the opposite day, concerning the rise of smaller coach corporations within the indoor area. Whereas there have at all times been options, for essentially the most half the indoor good coach area was the realm of Tacx/Elite/Wahoo/Saris (and previous to that RacerMate). However over the past yr or two, we’re seeing corporations like True Kinetix or ZCycle or Oreka pop-up that on the face of it are laborious to compete immediately with the massive names. Nevertheless, Shane identified that what we is perhaps seeing is the beginning of the boutique coach period. Which means, sorta like some other boutique model, they don’t goal to compete in each market and at each worth level. As a substitute, they goal to test packing containers for these which are usually much less worth delicate.

Within the case TrueKinetix, that’s probably the case right here. The worth of the bottom coach exceeds all the higher-end choices available on the market proper now (street-price), although, does largely compete on specs. It’s the additional options which are distinctive right here that it’s charging a premium for. However, inline with the boutique angle, this unit is barely going to be initially out there within the Netherlands and neighboring nations. Although, TrueKinetix goals to broaden that subsequent season.

As for the coach itself, having only some seconds on the present flooring isn’t sufficient to check it totally – both for street really feel or accuracy. I like the thought of built-in WiFi (if it adopts the agreed-upon DirCon semi-standard), and I’m by no means against extra USB ports in my life. I truthfully don’t know what to make of the digital gearing at this level. It is perhaps nice, it is perhaps pointless. I simply want a number of rides to wrap my head round it. Sooner or later later this summer time or early fall, I’ll dive into testing one within the DCR Cave.

Nonetheless – like many different boutique markets, it’s usually much less about specs and extra about model or connection to a model. TrueKinetix has seemingly established that with their current good bike clients within the Netherlands, so it’ll be attention-grabbing to see in the event that they can’t solely carry that over to the good coach realm, however do it at a time when the indoor coach enterprise is ripe with strong choices at very cheap costs.

With that – thanks for studying!

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