After using (and breaking) bike trainers for about six years I have come to the conclusion that the most important quality of a trainer is its reliability and durability. The Cycleops Magnus Smart Trainer does not disappoint at that front and has nice high-tech features to boot, so it was a pleasure to review this smart trainer.
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Features and Specifications
First and foremost, a trainer must be reliable, strong and sturdy – as we want it to last for a long time. Less plastic usually means stronger durability. This trainer uses the CycleOps Classic Series steel frame which pretty much guarantees an incredibly sturdy frame that you can rely on for many years to come. The life time warranty offered by Cycleops is a nice bonus. The frame’s clutch knob ensures that there is a perfect amount of roller to bike tension. Your biking experience will be consistent and will run with the same resistance setting each time.
CycleOps Magnus is compatible with most road and mountain bike frames. It fits 650b, 700c, 26”, 27”, and 29” up to a 2.0 tire. It also has a quick release skewer and 3 setting for rear dropout spacing in 20mm, 130mm, and 135mm. It will never require you to endlessly spin the tightening lever and try to find an exact spot each time.
Many bike trainers are now advertised with a decibel reading, so you can compare one against another. Noise level is pretty low for this trainer as its noise level is 69 decibels at 20mph – a tolerable noise for indoor use compared to many other products that we have reviewed.
The type of resistance your trainer has will have a direct impact to different components of the trainer. The responsiveness that reduces the dead time of this trainer is due to the very responsive electromagnetic resistance. It ramps faster than most trainers in the CycleOps smart series.
In my opinion Cycleops has stepped up its game as the the unit offers accuracy and realistic feeling, mimicking the road experience for a smooth road simulation. If you prefer a wind trainer but want the same quality you can check our Cycleops Fluid 2 review.
Today, more and more trainers and spinners are becoming “smart” much like everything else in the world. That means you can buy trainers incorporated dual ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart transmission. With the Magnus trainer, it is already possible to integrate with trainer apps like TrainerRoad, Zwift, among others for virtual training.
For added control, you can add a cadence sensor to be able to detect your cadence. Even though Magnus trainer requires assembly, it won’t take more than 5 minutes as it has clear manual and quick release skewer. Setup will never be an issue later on.
Magnus smart trainer is PowerTuned with PowerTap technology to give +/-5% accurate power readings. Also, to get the most out of this trainer, you will need to calibrate it for 10-25 minutes by pedaling. For detailed guide on calibration, you can use the CycleOps VirtualTraining app and go to Settings then “Virtual Bike” then “Trainer settings”. Find your trainer then under “Special Functionality” click on “Calibrate Trainer”. You can also use the other app whichever one you are using is fine.
There are a lot of reasons why Magnus smart trainer is a smart buy. First, it is sturdy and strong. Its been made with great considerations to safety and convenience. With all the actions you will be doing in your trainer, you need to be assured that you are on a stable surface that can take all your pedals and spins.
Aside from that, it is lightweight and portable. Finding a storage won’t be a problem since it is collapsible and can easily be stored anywhere. It only weighs 20lbs/9kg – almost a half lighter than most smart trainers. It is the perfect partner if you usually move from place to place. It is also ideal for families or groups with members having their own bikes.
Since CycleOps Magnus fits almost all kind of bikes, mounting and dismounting will be hassle free. For its price, it is definitely a great deal considering it has all you need for a smart trainer.
The flywheel weight has to do with more road-like feel. However, Magnus has a smaller flywheel at 2.6lbs/1.2kg. This might affect simulation experience if you really want it to be really road feel like. Yet, a lot of bikers tend to focus more on the accuracy that the road like experience. In the end, a trainer is just trainer! No trainer is made 100% just as real as the road bike.
Users seem to be generally very satisfied with the CycleOps Magnus trainer. It can be setup easily and gives a quality experience. It is also easy to connect and pair with apps and devices – most users use Zwift. Magnus is just the right combination of quality and competitive pricing. Though, there might be issues with tire slippage, which is very common on all wheel on trainers. The trick to address this issue is to find the trainer specific tire and use the clutch knob for a perfect tension.
CycleOps is no longer new in the bike trainer manufacturing business. Their trainers are already tested and proven both for quality and features. From the electromagnetic resistance, steel frame, portability and technology – they all contribute to an excellent riding experience. We give this trainer five stars out of five!