CycleOps has some of the best models of bike trainers in the market. Below, we will discuss the comparison of CycleOps Fluid 2 vs Fluid. In a glance, these two models look very similar. However, CycleOps Fluid 2 is an upgraded version of CycleOps Fluid, so there should be some notable differences in the build quality and features.
What we will discuss below includes:
– What items and accessories that are included with each model
– The comparison of the design and build quality
– The features of CycleOps Fluid and CycleOps Fluid 2
– The comparison of their performance
– The noise of CycleOps Fluid 2 vs Fluid
– The warranty information for these bike trainers
Let’s start with the included items and accessories. Setting up a new bike trainer in your home can be a bit problematic, especially if you don’t own the necessary tools. Fortunately, CycleOps has decided to included some stuff that will allow you to start training in no time. See also: CycleOps Fluid 2 Vs Kurt Kinetic
CycleOps Fluid comes with a quick-release skewer, which makes it possible to install and uninstall a bike easily. The trainer is compatible with bikes with a rear dropout spacing of 120mm, 130mm, and 135mm. However, an optional thru-axle adapter for 142x12mm and 148x12mm bikes is available as a separate purchase.
There is also a DVD included, but the content is rather monotonous. It only provides simple videos that won’t really entice you to train hard.
CycleOps Fluid 2 is more refined, as the company has sold it in three packages to choose from. The first package is the basic one, which includes the quick-release skewer. The second package is the Training Kit, which includes a training mat, a sweat guard, and two climbing blocks – pretty nice to make getting on and off the bike easier. The third package is the Power Training Kit, which includes a speed sensor, the PowerCal, and the Joule 1.0.
If you only want to be able to analyze your performance data, getting the Power Training Kit is a great idea. With all of the included items, you will be able to track and record various metrics such as speed and power. Additionally, every package includes a nice training DVD which provides a virtual interval session with a warm-up. The virtual race goes for 40 minutes, and it is actually very good.
Design-wise, CycleOps Fluid 2 vs Fluid are almost identical. Almost. Besides the fact that they come in different colors, they actually also have slightly different dimensions.
CycleOps Fluid 2 comes in a black finish. Some parts, such as the clutch knob, have a matte metallic color. There is a sticker showing the CycleOps logo on the frame. Overall, CycleOps Fluid 2 looks stylish and elegant. On the other hand, the old CycleOps Fluid has a bright yellow color; to be honest, yellow is not particularly attractive, but some people may have different preferences.
In terms of dimensions, CycleOps Fluid 2 is a little bit larger. The frame is beefier, and it is made of a tough 2-inch 16-gauge steel. As the effect, this model feels quite more robust and durable. The maximum weight capacity is rated at 300 pounds, which should be sufficient for most people. The clutch knob is also a little bit wider.
On the other hand, the old CycleOps Fluid is slightly slimmer. The clutch knob is smaller. Although it is also made of a high-quality steel, and the maximum weight capacity is still rated at 300 pounds, the slim frame may make it feel less robust and less durable.
Both the old CycleOps Fluid and the new CycleOps Fluid 2 are foldable. However, even when folded, the old CycleOps Fluid is still difficult to store. The unit doesn’t get compact enough. The new CycleOps Fluid 2 is more portable and storage-friendly, as its two legs can fold in to reduce the amount of space required.
Feature-wise, CycleOps Fluid 2 vs Fluid are actually similar. They are fluid-based bike trainers. The mechanism uses an impeller to spin a fluid (usually silicon) to generate progressive resistance. Besides offering a quiet performance, a fluid-based mechanism also offers a smoother and more realistic riding experience.
One of the coolest features of CycleOps Fluid and CycleOps Fluid 2 is the tightening mechanism. With other models, it is often difficult to tell whether the resistance roller has been tightened enough against the tire. However, on CycleOps Fluid and CycleOps Fluid 2, you only need to turn a knob until there is a click and the knob starts moving freely without requiring any force, indicating that the optimum tightness has been achieved. So, there is no guesswork!
Note that such training will wear down your bike’s tire very quickly, so you don’t want to use an expensive road tire on a bike trainer. It is highly recommended that you use a dedicated training tire when you want to use a bike trainer.
These models are already equipped with a sophisticated self-cooling mechanism to prevent overheating. Excessive heat is one potential problem that can damage the bike trainer. Heat will build up over the course of your training session. Fortunately, the self-cooling mechanism will ensure a stable performance and keep the unit in a safe condition.
Finally, CycleOps Fluid and CycleOps Fluid 2 can be used with popular training apps, such as Zwift and Rouvy. By equipping sensors on your bike, you can track and record your performance data. This way, you can evaluate your performance and share your records to your fellow bike riders.
In terms of performance, CycleOps Fluid 2 vs Fluid are more-or-less similar. The new CycleOps Fluid 2 may feel a little bit smoother and more refined than the old CycleOps Fluid, especially when riding at a high speed, but the difference is not very noticeable.
According to the company, CycleOps Fluid 2 is made with an improved fluid level and an enhanced sealed-cartridge bearing. As the effect, this new model should be more resistant to leaking and provide better overall performance. However, the old CycleOps Fluid itself doesn’t have any leaking issue, and the performance is already quite good.
Each bike trainer here uses a 2.75-lb flywheel which has been precision-balanced for enhanced stability and riding experience. There is no resistance adjuster. The resistance will dynamically increase the harder you pedal. You can increase the challenge simply by changing the bike’s gear.
Well, let’s keep a realistic expectation. CycleOps Fluid and CycleOps Fluid 2 won’t mimic the road feel perfectly. That’s why some people say that training outside is still better, with real roads and real challenges. However, when you can’t go outside, these bike trainers are the best training option. They perform very smoothly, and the dynamic resistance levels are increased gradually yet consistently. These units can give you real training.
Bike trainers are often very noisy – but not with these models. While magnetic and wind bike trainers are notoriously noisy, fluid-based bike trainers are relatively quieter. And among fluid-based bike trainers, both CycleOps Fluid and CycleOps Fluid 2 are considered the quieter ones.
At 20 mph, the noise level of CycleOps Fluid 2 is around 64 – 68 dB. This is fairly quiet, comparable to the sound of a normal conversation. On the other hand, the old CycleOps Fluid is just a little bit louder at 70 dB, which is also low-enough to be non-disruptive.
If you are living with other people, getting a silent bike trainer is definitely preferable. With either CycleOps Fluid or CycleOps Fluid 2, you can train in the morning without waking up people who are sleeping in other rooms. People who are living in apartments or dorms will also benefit from these bike trainers because they will be able to train without disturbing their neighbors.
Last but not least, always check the warranty. This is particularly important when buying a bike trainer because you don’t want to end up with a defective unit which can’t be repaired or replaced. But don’t need to worry, as CycleOps is known for providing excellent warranty and customer support.
Each model here is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. With “limited”, it means the warranty will only cover manufacturing defects. It won’t cover normal wear and tear, or any damage that is resulted from the user’s mistake or negligence. “Lifetime” means the warranty is valid for as long as the product’s life. No matter if you purchased the bike trainer one month ago or one year ago, you can make a warranty claim if you suspect a manufacturing defect.
That said, it is quite rare to get a defective product from CycleOps. And the bike trainers from the company are very durable. Owners of CycleOps Fluid and CycleOps Fluid 2 say that their units can last for years without any issue. But knowing there is a lifetime warranty backing your bike trainer is quite mind-relieving.
CycleOps Fluid 2 vs Fluid
Although these two models look similar, CycleOps Fluid 2 is better and thus more recommended. This newer version comes with a more robust frame and an improved design. The performance is smoother, and the noise is lower. It also comes with a better training DVD.