The Silence of the Trainer: Introducing the CycleOps Magnus and Hammer

Use The Magnus with Zwift for a game changing winter workout experience

The Zwift phenomenon has brought hope back to (if there ever was any) the enjoyment of winter training indoors. If you haven't heard of Zwift, perhaps you have been living in a Faraday Cage for the past year, which we totally dig. So here's what you've missed: Zwift is an online, virtual cycling software that allows you to connect your smart phone, tablet, computer, or SmartTV to your smart trainer and "ride" with people from all over the world in different virtual destinations. In these destinations, the actual inclines and terrain of those areas are simulated through Zwift and to your trainer. You can also race or ride in a group with other users, and track numerous data points during your ride. It's very cool, we know. We actually, I dare say, enjoy hopping on the trainer for a Zwift workout.

Gone are the days of indoor training while staring in to your laundry room and trying to listen to Linkin Park on 11 in order to drown out the noise from your trainer. Not only do you have Zwift to keep your mind occupied and your spirit at ease (no cars on the road, no traffic, no careless drivers, etc.), but we've found that when paired with one of the CycleOps trainers, your ears can take a rest too. This way, you have a greater amount of energy focused on your indoor workout - which we've all been trying to accomplish for years. CycleOps recently released the Hammer and the Magnus trainers, both of which could be used in a library even when you're hitting speeds of 20mph. There are a few differences between them, but for their price points, we think they're generous with the bells and whistles, plus they're a great match for the Zwift experience. Imagine being able to hop on the trainer while the kids are sleeping. Now that's definitely something to get excited about.  

The CycleOps Hammer Trainer The CycleOps Magnus Trainer
 hammer-trainer  magnus
What's to love?
  • The Direct drive set-up saves tread on your rear wheel
  • Has a massive 20 lb. precision-balanced flywheel that replicates real world inertia
  • Just 64 decibels at 20mph, so you can train while the kids sleep
  • Uses PowerTap Technology for a +/-3% power reading accuracy
  • 2,000 watt peak resistance
  • Uses ANT+ FE-C and Bluetooth 4.0 to connect with Zwift
  • Performs live adjustments during a Zwift workout
  • Simulates up to a 20% incline grade
  • Uses electro-magnetic resistance, so it works just plugged in
What's to love?
  • It's a rear-wheel on trainer, so it's quick to set up
  • Precision-machined alloy roller reduces tire wear and slippage
  • Has a noise level of 69 decibels at 20mph (like a loud whisper)
  • Uses PowerTap Technology for a +/-5% power reading accuracy
  • 1,500 watt peak resistance
  • Uses ANT+ FE-C and Bluetooth 4.0 to connect with Zwift
  • Performs live adjustments during a Zwift workout
  • Simulates up to a 20% incline grade
  • Uses electro-magnetic resistance, so it works just plugged in

Just to recap, both of the Hammer and the Magnus trainers are quiet, use PowerTap technology for great power reading accuracy, connect to Zwift via built-in ANT+FE-C and Bluetooth 4.0, are capable of doing live adjustments during a Zwift workout, can simulate incline grades up to 20%, and use electro-magnetic resistance to allow you to use it when the wifi is down.

What sets them a part are how you connect your bike to them, how much noise they make, the difference in power reading accuracy, and their peak watt resistance.

To connect your bike to the Hammer, you'll need to remove your rear wheel, which saves its tread. To connect your bike to the Magnus, you'll keep your rear wheel on. This does make set up a lot quicker with the Magnus, but it also wears down your tread. For this, we suggest using a low-cost tire that you don't mind wearing out. We actually don't count the rear-wheel on feature as a negative. If you were riding outside, your tires would be susceptible to more than just worn down tread. Plus, the Magnus has an alloy roller to reduce tire wear and slippage, which is much more forgiving than asphalt.

The noise difference between the two is minimal. At 20mph, the Hammer puts out 64 decibels which is similar to a whisper, and the Magnus puts out 69 decibels which is like a slightly louder whisper. Either way, you're not waking anyone up if you fancy a late night sesh.

The difference between the power reading accuracy of these trainers is minimal. The Magnus has a +/-5% difference, while the Hammer has a +/-3% difference. If you're interested in determining and improving your power output during a workout, this part of the trainer will be of great interest to you. If you will be comparing numbers between your bike's power meter and the trainer's power meter, it's easier when the reading accuracy difference is lower. Because of this, we would suggest going with the Hammer over the Magnus to keep your data tracking as accurate as possible.The choice is up to you and depends on how you're using the readings from your trainer, but the Hammer does have a tighter grip on accuracy by almost double than that of the Magnus.

Finally, you'll notice that there's a sizable difference in their peak watt resistance. The Hammer has a peak watt resistance of up to 2,000 watts, while the Magnus reigns in at 1,500 watts. I'll spare you the math this time and point out that the Magnus is capable of 75% of the resistance than that of the Hammer (1,500 is 75% of 2,000). If you aren't going for stick-in-the-mud resistance, the Magnus is still a more than excellent choice for a trainer. But, if you think you may one day be craving a workout where you pretend that you're trying to ride out of a patch of quicksand, then you'll need the Hammer to fulfill that dream.

What you're looking for in a trainer will decide which of these 2 CycleOps you should get. They're both great machines with fun features, and when you pair them with Zwift the two words you won't stop thinking are: "Game Changer".

Bicycle Trainers