And many of us reached the conclusion that, even after years of denial, this indoor training lark was much better than we had anticipated – certainly much better than we remembered. Riding with other people all over the world, albeit a virtual world, is pretty cool. And the technology has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. Vastly reduced noise levels, built-in power meters, variable resistance – improvements across the board that make the dreaded turbo workouts of old look like Medieval torture sessions.
Riders have become smarter along with the technology. Data is king. Numbers are key. Hours in the saddle, fun though they might be, do not necessarily equate to fitness levels. Time-pressed cyclists are getting race-ready with intelligent application of training programmes, an indoor set up and some sweat-inducing efforts.
Tuscany-based high-tech company Magnetic Days make the smartest of smart trainers – in both looks and technology departments – as well as their new power cranks, indoor training bikes, hand bikes and complete training programme packages.
Back to the trainer. It’s called Jarvis, not because the company’s founders are massive fans of Mr. Cocker and Pulp, but something about a Marvel comics hero called Iron Man and an artificial intelligence programme called Jarvis. None the wiser? Me neither...
What is clear, however, from the moment you open the handsome wooden crate – yes, even the packaging is darned attractive – is that this is a serious piece of kit. Every single component is handmade at their facility in Tuscany using the highest quality materials: steel, anodised aluminium, even a smattering of carbon.
It takes about half an hour to get everything set up and running, even for a technophobe. The Jarvis connects via ANT+, Bluetooth or wifi to an app for tablet, iPhone or Android users. PC users, don’t panic: Magnetic Days do downloadable software for you too.
Included in the package is a heart rate belt and cadence sensor, so everything you need for info-based training – what MD call HTT Methodology [High Tech Training], based on four components: force, RPM, power and heart rate. A dozen HTT workouts also come with the purchase price to get you started, but equally, if working out on Zwift with some company is your bag, jump on there and it will record every moment with remarkable precision – a claimed calibration level of around 0.6 per cent. You’d be hard pressed to find a more accurate trainer. They even include a certificate guaranteeing its credentials to put their mouth where your money is.
In summary: quiet, accurate, smooth-running, rather intelligent and very handsome – the complete package.
Shop Jarvis in our very own store and receive a customised Rouleur Edition