It lasted one season!
The Overdrive bike trainer was one of the first pieces of equipment I bought. I had signed up for the California 70.3 and with the race being in late March, that meant winter training. I live in the Salt Lake City area where the winters are cold and snow on the roads don’t make for great training outdoors. I was still new to road biking and didn’t have a lot of money so I went out looking for a bargain bike trainer.
I was quickly amazed at how much trainers cost. I had heard about Computrainers and that would have been great but my budget (and wife) limited my buying power to the cheaper end. I found the OverDrive Bike Trainer on ebay. The posting was about as generic as you get and the company that makes the product is no where to be found on the web. It looked like a risk but I was able to get one for around $75.
I was completely ignorant about how trainers work and it took me more time than it should have to set it up and when I finally figured out that if I change the skewer, the whole thing works a lot better. Thankfully the product did come with a skewer.
The OverDrive is a magnetic trainer which means that it is very loud. I would have to turn my TV to it’s loudest setting and also turn on the surround sound and blast it as well. It was still difficult to hear the TV above the sound of the trainer. The loudness of the trainer ruled out any early morning or late night training sessions, especially with the kids trying to sleep. I live in a house with no shared walls with neighbors, but if you live in a house with shared walls or an apartment, your neighbors will probably not like you very much.
In order to have some tension, rather than the wheel just spinning, you would have to tighten the roller quite a bit. This actually ended up wearing the wheel more than it should have. Behind the trainer there was a trail of black rubber dust on the carpet. I actually blew a tube once, although admittedly I probably should have bought a trainer tire. I would have to typically remain in the higher gears to get a good workout because the resistance wasn’t quite there.
By the end of the winter season the trainer had been beaten up due to it’s inferior quality. I believe there is a disc magnet inside and on my trainer I believe it had snapped in half. The trainer still worked but the resistance was a little less and it was even louder. The skewer had actually started to fall apart as well. The quick release lever would fall right off the skewer and lay on the floor so I would have to put some electrical tape around it to keep it in place. This made it difficult when the weather was nice on the weekends because I would have to change out the skewer any time I wanted to ride outside.
In the end…you get what you pay for. My OverDrive lasted just long enough for me to get through winter training in great shape. If you are willing to take that risk, don’t have enough money for a decent trainer and are new to road cycling, you may want to buy this product…BUT from my experience it wont last more than one winter season. I have mentioned that I track everything and I road this trainer for a total of 97 hours and 50 minutes…and I am thankful I don’t have to ride it again because I have now replaced it with a great trainer (the loudness of the OverDrive made it easier for my wife to agree to allow me to purchase my new trainer).
The Bottom Line ~
The Pros: It lasted long enough for me to train during the winter and end up in great shape, and it is CHEAP.
The Cons: It will only last one season, it is loud.
If you do look to buy this product, DON’T try a better trainer because you will realize how great the good trainers are and how crappy the cheap ones are…that being said DO TRY a better trainer because that way you wont be spending $70-100 on a trainer that may or may not last one season.
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