Want the most realistic road feel of any trainer out there? The new Oreka treadmill-style trainer could be just the ticket. Unlike a regular treadmill that’s moving the belt for you, the Oreka turns you into the motor and adds resistance to simulate climbing, acceleration, etc. It’s just that you’re turning the entire ground under you, not a little roller attached to the rear wheel.
The benefit is that you’re balancing the bike like normal, able to rock it back and forth for sprints, stand up naturally and generally act as though you’re outdoors. The platform also connects to a software simulation to makes it feel even more realistic, adjusting resistance based on the virtual landscape in front of you…
To ride it, you simply hook your rear axle into a retention device, which attaches to a cord to keep you from riding off the front. The cord pulls agains a sensor to detect that you’ve started to ride, which activates the electromagnetic resistance unit. If you ride harder and pull away from it, it’ll increase resistance. Slow down and it’ll pull you back, slowing the belt accordingly. Brake, and it’ll roll to a stop, just like you would on the road. Max resistance is currently 750 watts, which is what you’d need to simulate any climb in the world.
“We’re still working on upping that for sprinting,” says spokesperson and ex-pro cyclist Allan Davis. “The goal being up around the 2,000 mark, but that’s a long term goal. We’re really happy with where we are now since the focus is on a realistic road feel.”
At launch, the focus is on compatibility with Bkool’s training simulation software, but Davis told us it’ll also work with things like Zwift, The Sufferfest and TrainerRoad…likely any training software that communicates with smart trainers on a standard protocol like ANT+ or Bluetooth. Davis says there are also some new training simulators coming from other companies, and they’re working with them, they just can’t disclose who or what they are yet.
If you don’t have (or don’t want to pay for) a virtual training program, the resistance can be controlled manually.
The unit weighs at 18kg and takes up a good bit of floor space, but if you’ve got a torture chamber (or garage) already dedicated to training, it’s not going to take up much more space than your existing bike and trainer. And it’s an excuse to grab a new flat screen this Black Friday.
The Oreka Trainer will be available in January. You can reserve one now with no deposit, final retail price will be around €2,800. At first, their focus is selling in Europe (they’re based in Spain), but you can reserve one and they’ll use that data to determine future market expansion. Look for USA sales at some point in 2017 for sure.