- Build Quality
CycleOps PowerBeam Pro Trainer Review
The CycleOps PowerBeam Pro trainer has been around some time now and was one of the original power trainers available on the market. It’s an expensive unit at retail but, spend a little time looking around, and you can always manage to find one at a great discount, making the CycleOps PowerBeam Pro a potential steal in terms of value for money.
Before upgrading to a direct drive unit my turbo trainer of choice was a PowerBeam Pro. I rode the Cycleops for several years and can personally testify to what a fantastic unit the PowerBeam Pro trainer is.
Out of the box set up of the CycleOps PowerBeam Pro trainer is about as simple as it gets. Fold the legs out and switch your Q/R with the one provided by CycleOps. Next, place the Q/R skewer in the fixed cone (right) side of the trainer. Once in place, tighten the yellow clamp knob to the non-drive side, 3-5 clicks should see your bike fitted securely in place. Next step of setup is to turn the clutch knob until it clicks twice, this is to set the resistance against your tire. Finally, of course, you need to plug the PowerBeam Pro trainer into a mains electricity supply.
This completes the main setup of the CycleOps PowerBeam Pro, however, if you have an uneven floor you’ll be pleased to hear that the PowerBeam Pro trainer comes with adjustable legs, meaning you can make sure you always have a level setup when training.
Once in place, you can feel how well built the PowerBeam Pro trainer is. The unit feels securely planted at all times with minimal rocking even when working hard out of the saddle. There’s no creaking or apparent flexing at all, it’s an extremely sturdy well put together trainer, clearly made using quality materials.
When it comes to noise, users of the CycleOps PowerBeam Pro trainer will be very pleased indeed. It’s exceptionally quiet, so much so that other non-cycling members of my household have commented on this particular quality, remarking that it’s the quietest turbo trainer they’ve ever heard me use. Even when performing very hard efforts, noise levels are kept to a minimum.
Performance wise, before the birth of direct drive trainers, the CycleOps PowerBeam Pro offered arguably the best trainer performance out there. Users will experience an ultra smooth ride, max power output of 1000+ watts, power accuracy of +/-5%, and the ability for resistance to be electronically controlled via ANT+. All these performance features make the PowerBeam Pro trainer suitable for the vast majority of riders out there. However, there is one area I find the PowerBeam Pro trainer to not work so well at. This is when performing high-intensity intervals in erg mode, using software such as TrainerRoad. When an interval kicks in, the trainer has some lag before adjusting resistance, unfortunately, this makes sessions such as Sufferfests Ugly 15’s almost impossible to carry out, and where you see one of the real benefits of using a direct drive system trainer.
The CycleOps PowerBeam Pro trainer is compatible with the majority of third part training software such as Zwift and TrainerRoad making it extremely consumer friendly. In addition to this, if you purchase the Joule model you’ll also have access to CycleOps Virtual Training software suite. This gives you a range of workouts and real life ride videos to choose from, meaning you can take on famous climbs such as Alpe d’Huez from the comfort of your own garage.
One thing that’s always worth mentioning to potential buyers is that the PowerBeam Pro will not work if it’s not plugged in directly to a mains power supply. Many people like to use their turbo trainers for warming up at races and other events, however, this is not possible without access to power and perhaps something that should be considered before making a purchase.
At the start of this review, I mentioned that I’ve owned a CycleOps PowerBeam Pro trainer for several years. Although I’ve now upgraded to using a direct drive unit, in all the time I was using the PowerBeam Pro, I never had any issues with it. It’s been extremely reliable with no hassles, part failures, or problems of any note whatsoever, testament, to the build quality I spoke of earlier. It is and has been, the most reliable and foolproof turbo trainer I’ve ever owned.
As I’m sure you can tell by my review, I’m a big fan of the CycleOps PowerBeam Pro trainer. When you take into account the low prices you can find the PowerBeam Pro available for, it’s exceptionally low noise level, more than adequate performance capabilities, compatibility with third party training software, I find the PowerBeam Pro trainer hard to fault. It may lack a little of the responsiveness of a more expensive direct drive unit but, this is a quality, ultra reliable, and durable turbo trainer, that does exactly what it’s supposed to, and doesn’t ever let you down. If you’re looking for a hidden gem amongst the smart trainer market, then if you find one at the right price, the CycleOps PowerBeam Pro trainer could well be your answer.
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