Quick Review: Travel Trac Comp Mag+ budget trainer from Performance Bike

Performance Bike Travel Trac Comp Mag-plus magnetic trainer review

We’ve tested a number of very high end trainers of the smart and not smart varieties recently, with more in the queue. But like everything else at the top of the the market these days, their prices continue to stretch past what most of us consider “affordable”.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are entry level trainers like the Travel Trac Comp Mag+ from Performance Bike. It’s cheap, but like everything else at the bottom of the market these days, it’s taken trickle down tech to provide a lot of features of trainers that used to cost much more. That’s not to say it’s for the serious cyclist looking for a premium training tool, but it’ll get the job done for anyone just looking to keep the legs in shape through the winter or if you need something simple for pre-race warmups…

Performance Bike Travel Trac Comp Mag-plus magnetic trainer review

It has a sturdy frame, keeping the bike solid enough for moderate out of the saddle sprints. The feet on my test unit needed to be slid out and repositioned so they were flat against the ground. It was a simple task and they’ve stayed put since.

Performance Bike Travel Trac Comp Mag-plus magnetic trainer review

It’s also plenty wide, as is evident when compared to the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. It’s not quite as planted on the ground during mad dashes hopping around out of the saddle, but if you’re doing that, my hunch is you’re in the market for a bigger, better trainer anyway.

Performance Bike Travel Trac Comp Mag-plus magnetic trainer review

Construction quality seems fine, and the axle capture system twists smoothly and has a locknut to keep it from working loose while riding. The knob’s reasonably sized and comfortable.  It comes with a skewer recommended for use since it slots directly into the frame for a secure hold. With it reasonably snug, bike wobble was well within range of any trainer I’ve tested.

Performance Bike Travel Trac Comp Mag-plus magnetic trainer review

Where I noticed the cost concessions were in the roller and magnetic resistance unit. The housing isn’t ugly, but is inexpensive in appearance. The resistance has three levels, controlled by a knob on the side that moves the magnets closer or further from the roller.

Performance Bike Travel Trac Comp Mag-plus magnetic trainer review

Above is the power curve shown on the packaging, which seems about right. Here’s what I experienced, as measured with a Polar M450 cycling computer paired with Keo Power pedals:

SETTING 1 2 3
WATTS @ 80rpm 57 89 106

It took 115+ RPM to maintain 350+ watts in a 52/11 combo on the hardest setting (3).

Performance Bike Travel Trac Comp Mag-plus magnetic trainer review

The roller is tiny, which puts a more incisive pressure point on the tire. Spin down rate seemed good, not to quick and not too slow. It’s not exactly mimicking road feel, but it kept me from spinning out when dropping a bunch of gears between intervals. Considering how small the flywheel is, it was surprising just how decent the spin up and down is.

In the hardest setting, noise levels are acceptable and I could carry on a conversation without yelling. But, it gets noisier in the easier settings. Not so loud that you couldn’t watch TV at a reasonable volume, but not quiet, either. My only real grip is that the roller/flywheel vibrations are felt all the way through the bike, causing hand numbness as though I was riding rough asphalt. Twenty minutes in, I was padding my handlebar with a towel.

Performance Bike Travel Trac Comp Mag-plus magnetic trainer review

Retail is just $149, on Performance Bike’s usual sale for $99. With the Fluid version on sale for just $129, my recommendation would be to go for it if only so it’s a bit quieter.

Besides cost, it’s got size and weight going for it. It weighed in at 22.2lbs (10.07kg), compared to the slightly heavier Kinetic (24.74lbs, or 11.22kg). That makes it a great travel trainer. Not quite as compact and light as Feedback Sports’ Omnium, but it’s less than 1/4 the cost.

It’ll fit road and mountain bikes from 26″ to 29er and could make a great little trainer for beginners, light users or those just looking for a “beater” to take to the races.

PerformanceBike.com

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woo49
woo49
6 years ago

The fluid trainer goes for $99 during their Christmas sale.

Strawberry Fields
Strawberry Fields
6 years ago

I’ve had the fluid version for about a year now and so far it has been pretty awesome (for the month to two months of winter we have here in Texas) even as compared to more expensive “better” trainers. I bought it as I buy everything at performance bike, on sale and half-off.

Stendhal
6 years ago

I bought the regular version last year to use in the garage over the rainy season (wimp!), and it works fine.

Eric Huber
Eric Huber
6 years ago

I have the fluid version of this trainer and so far its great. I absolutely hate riding a trainer so spending more for one just isn’t going to happen. The frame is plenty stable and the fluid unit is relatively quiet. I say go get yourself one, the price is right.

John
John
6 years ago

PSA: Performance Bike has a $20 off $99+ deal until midnight (PST) Christmas Day (for another 45 minutes). That drops the Comp Fluid model to $109.99 + $12 for oversize shipping.