blog entries

Why I need never go out in the rain again

The Bkool turbo has to be the best investment in gear I've made outside of my bikes themselves. OK, at £400 for starters it's a considered investment  - and then there's the monthly subscription of around £7 if you want access to all the online feature available, but it most definitely is worth it.

For your money you get a sturdy bit of kit  and what's great is there's no building of the turbo itself. Just  change over your quick release skewer, fix on the cadence sensor and part one is done. Of course, to get online there's a bit more work to be done but even for a technophobe like myself(and allowing for the fact that the instructions are rudimentary)set up is pretty intuative and quick.

Far a complete run down on all the features there's some great info out there - I particularly liked the very informative(as ever!) D.C. Rainmaker feature at, but had also read various other reviews that had piqued my interest. With my old turbo on it's last legs I was weighing up turbo/roller options and probably favouring rollers - my thinking being I'd have to concentrate so much at least the time would fly. However, a smashed collarbone and extended layoff from riding made me plump for the Bkool.

From the first session I realised that I'd previously been wasting my time on turbo's and was basically just turning pedals. On the Bkool I quickly found sessions that kept me engaged for far more than the 30-40 minutes of boredom I'd previously done. For me this is down to the combined stimulus of data (never used power before and that's such an eye opener!), testing (you start as an amateur and work up to Pro level. Maybe!), racing against AI or in multiplayer challenges, and the chance to ride video/google earth routes of some awesome places. For example I got the Bkool as the Vuelta went into week two, watched Dani Moreno fly up the final slopes at Valdepenas de Jaen, then downloaded the last hour that the pro's did that day. Took me slightly longer than them for some reason.

Another feature is being able to upload your own routes using things like gpx files from your Garmin. I first selected a favourite 2 hour training ride and set that up. The Bkool(which obviously tracks your data as my 'zones' have subtly changed as I do more work) helpfully suggested that 'given your physical condition we estimate this route will take you 2 hours 15 minutes and you should therefore not do it'. WHAT !!!! - This is my go-to, quick blast ride, how dare you. I clearly also respond to the stimulus of perceived insults as I blasted round in 1:46. Couldn't do much for the rest of the day but boy did I show that stupid computer.

8 weeks in and coming to the end of my 2 month free subsription I've just signed up for a full 12 months. For me the Bkool not only takes the boredom away, but actually motivates me to work harder and smarter. I'm back out on the road again now (even in the rain since a turbo's never as good as the real thing!) but the biggest recommendation I could make for Bkool is that I honestly came back stronger than I was before. That for me is a great investment.