Back in December, the time came to retire my old trainer and go for something more modern. I knew the Muin was going to be a solid trainer when the guys in the shop suggested I should go and pick it from the warehouse myself – It’s a hefty 21 kg’s.
Thanks to getting a bit addicted to Zwift (online training game) – I have used it quite a lot since then – including a solid 1000 kilometres in January.
The Elite Muin fluid trainer is built like a tank. Once out of the box and support legs fitted with the included allen key, it felt rock solid. Being a direct drive trainer it needed a cassette fitting, I mounted a Shimano 5800 cassette and popped my bike on. The first thing I noticed was that the bike is level when it was mounted – without a front wheel support. I downloading the Elite ‘My E’ Training App on my smartphone and connected via Bluetooth within a couple of minutes.
The first neat, built-in feature I noticed on the Muin was the initial sound of the fluid sloshing around. The sound acted as a reminder to go the toilet before settling in for my first proper ride. After a few pedal rev’s the fluid sloshing quickly subsided and the trainer felt very road-like indeed. The trainer is also really quiet, not completely silent but very quiet for a trainer – the bulk of the noise is probably the sound of bike transmission. Minimal noise and vibration also made it suitable for the upstairs spare room. It’s even quiet enough to use when the kids are asleap. I would not have dared to use my old trainer upstairs, the Muin features much less noise and vibration. Being direct drive, the Muin doesn’t have the ‘weak-link’ of tyre-on-roller traction of traditional trainers – that annoying feeling of the tyre slipping was gone!
The solid nature of the Muin makes it is possible to have a really, really hard work-out. The base of the trainer seems to ‘give’ slightly with pedalling action, without ever getting the niggly feeling that you are about to break something. The Muin is a fluid trainer and so has no resistance levels to select. The resistance depends on what gear you are riding and your cadence. This allows for effective overload power training with 53 x 11 at 50 RPM, for example, requiring around 450 watts. For most sessions the little chainring will be likely to see a fair bit of action.
Elite’s own ‘ME Training’ App (Screenshot on the right) is free to download onto Android devices. It provides cadence, speed, power, heart rate (you need a chest strap HR Sensor), distance and time information. The ME Training App offers various training options including constant power, preset programs as well as tests such as the Conconi Test. The App also offers links to training road video through ‘Elite RealVideo’. After a couple of sessions on the ME Training App, it was time to join Zwift and see what all the fuss was about.
A couple of years ago, the Zwift training game launched and immediately became popular with bike riders all over the world. Zwift was built on a long standing passion for cycling shared between a group of talented software and video game developers. Zwift was designed with both social and more serious training in mind. To use Zwift with Ant+, I bought a USB sensor for my computer and used a USB extension to have the sensor positioned right next to the Muin’s Misuro Ant Sensor to ensure accuracy and a reliable signal. The pool of sweat on the mat under the trainer after each session (despite the big fan on its highest setting) is testimony to Zwifts gameplay / immersive nature. That desire to not get dropped from a group is just as real as any chaingang… Read my Zwift blog here.
The Elite Muin makes for a solid training ride. As a training tool for a competitive rider, the Muin would provide more than enough resistance. Hard enough to challenge the most serious of riders with an almost endless amount of resistance available through rider cadence and gearing. The harder you pedal, the more the resistance ramps up – the chances are, it will break you, before you break it. The maximum resistance of the Muin is over 2000 watts. To put this into perspective, the video below shows 2016 TDF Stage Winner, Michael Mathews, hitting a peak power of 1550 watts in a standing start sprint. It would be a tough challenge to max out the Muin…
Click here to view the Elite Turbo Muin B+ Smart Trainer.