In case you didn’t know, I really love my 1UpUSA bicycle trainer. I reviewed this trainer earlier this year. In short, my wife purchased the trainer a number of years ago – and I found that it was super quiet and a great ride.
Over the years, I did zero maintenance on it. It held up well – but – started to drag a bit. I took the time to re-oil it – based on directions from the folks at 1UpUSA (and I put the step-by-step instructions on this blog). Alas, I must not have done a good enough job. After a few days of smoother riding, it started to drag again.
I switched over to my CycleOps trainer – which deserves its own review – but I’ll give you a quick preview of what that will say. The CycleOps trainer is smooth but LOUD! I can barely hear the videos and/or TV programs when I’m on it. Many of my recent Video Reviews mention the fact that I couldn’t hear much of what was being said.
Fast forward to the end of November. I decided that I wanted to find a way to get back on my 1UPUSA trainer. The folks at 1UPUSA recently introduced a brand new trainer (with a brand new resistance unit (that part that spins with your tire – the very part that was dragging on my current trainer), and it retails for around $300. Being the ever frugal (OK – cheap) cyclist I am, I contacted the company and asked if – by chance – it was possible to use the new resistance unit on the old frame – and, if so – would they would be willing to sell me ONLY the resistance unit (the “RU”).
Shortly after my inquiry, I received an email back saying that it was “possible” to use the new RU on the old frame (though I sensed it wasn’t ideal – and they were telling me that). And they’d be willing to sell me the new RU. To make things easy, the rep even sent me a link right to the ordering spot. Talk about ease!
So, for $50 (plus shipping), I happily ordered the new RU – pleased that I saved me the money for an entirely new trainer. In a few short days, the RU arrived. Immediately, I went to the basement to change out the RU. Let me tell you. That was no easy task. Because I was trying to retrofit, I tried getting the pins out while the frame was fully assembled. Something tells me that the RU either gets assembled BEFORE some other pieces – OR – the factory has a special tool to allow inserting a pin sideways.
Let’s just say – I was using a hammer and punch to do the job. A few dents, bent punches, and cuss words later, the pins finally came out. Then, I got to repeat the process putting the pins back in with the new RU. What I thought would have been a five minute process turned out to be a 30-minute ordeal. Yes – I’m a home builder by trade, but they keep me at a desk managing – not out pounding nails (which is a good thing for my customers).
After all was done, I slid the new RU to the “ready” position. Unfortunately, this new RU is heavier than the old one, and my whole trainer toppled. I tried readjusting the position a few times – only to have it continue to flop onto the RU. A few more cuss words may have entered my mind….
So, I thought I’d just hook the old bike up to it. After all, the weight of the bike (and my girth) would certainly counterbalance the weight of the new RU. I put everything together – but something just wasn’t right. The pedaling was all messed up and it was anything but smooth. I went through the process of trying to reseat my bike in the trainer – but it didn’t do any good. Finally, I thought I must have messed something up with my bike when taking it off the CycleOps.
I thought I’d put the CycleOps trainer back down and set my bike in it (to confirm my suspicions). Hmmm……smooth pedaling again. No problems….. You guessed it – a few more cuss words! I guess the “possible” RU transplant was not ideal. You can only imagine that a few more dirty words entered my mind when I realized I had to get those $%$#$@$ pins back out (AND back in) to put the old RU back on.
There was only one thing I could do now. With helmet in hand, I wrote an email back to the company – asking if, by chance, they would allow me to return the RU and put it towards the purchase of an entirely new trainer (using my RU). I figured the worst they could say was “No!” To my surprise, I received an email saying it was no problem to do so – just make sure I clearly note what’s going on when I ship the RU unit back.
Wow! That was awesome customer service! I was thrilled they didn’t laugh in my virtual face!
So, I proudly ponied up $17 to ship the RU back to 1UpUSA (realizing that now I had ended up paying a bit more for the trainer than I would have if I tried not to go the cheap way). Within the week, they had my new trainer back to me – just in time for Christmas. Needless to say, this is my gift for this year (made my wife’s job of shopping for me super easy). It’s still in the box. I figured I’d leave it there until Christmas morning – then break it out (maybe with some new videos) and start pedaling off the Christmas Eve party goodies.
Maybe – just maybe – I’ll do an “unboxing” video. Heck! Phone nerds do it all the time. Why can’t a cycling nerd? I’ll even need to do comparisons between old trainer and new trainer…..