LeMond Fitness Revolution Trainer - Interbike 2010

Sep 22, 2010
by Mike Levy  
With all the new exciting bikes and parts being shown at this years Interbike, it is easy to think that they can transform your riding from zero to hero. Only training can do that, which is why LeMond Fitness' new Revolution trainer that doesn't use your bike's rear wheel is so interesting. Inside you can get the lowdown on this interesting trainer!

Read on...
LeMond Fitness Revolution Trainer

The Revolution trainer doesn't look anything like your current bike trainer. LeMond Fitness takes a different approach to trainer design in that the Revolution doesn't rely on your bike's rear wheel, with your bike attaching to the Revolution's upright that consists of the drive wheel with the cassette bolted in the same place that you'd find on on a standard wheel. But why not just use the wheel that is already on your bike? One of the issues with using a mountain bike wheel with a standard trainer is the knobby tire rolling on the trainer wheel that creates a load of noise, as well as a rough feeling. Swapping your wheel out is one solution, as is changing your tire, but in the end both are less than ideal. The Revolution doesn't wear out your rear tire or expensive cassette, but your bike is also clamped in place just as it would be if your wheel was in the frame so it is more stable than that usual side clamping methods found on most trainers. The cassette pictured is actually part of the trainer (it uses a standard Shimano freehub that will fit any speed cassette and is available with or without one from the factory, a Campagnolo version will be available soon as well) and stays put on the unit. Simply drop your rear wheel out and set the dropouts onto the Revolution as if it was a wheel and you're ready to roll.
The Revolution trainer doesn't look anything like your current bike trainer. LeMond Fitness takes a different approach to trainer design in that the Revolution doesn't rely on your bike's rear wheel, with your bike attaching to the Revolution's upright that consists of the drive wheel with the cassette bolted in the same place that you'd find on on a standard wheel. But why not just use the wheel that is already on your bike? One of the issues with using a mountain bike wheel with a standard trainer is the knobby tire rolling on the trainer wheel that creates a load of noise, as well as a rough feeling. Swapping your wheel out is one solution, as is changing your tire, but in the end both are less than ideal. The Revolution doesn't wear out your rear tire or expensive cassette, but your bike is also clamped in place just as it would be if your wheel was in the frame so it is more stable than that usual side clamping methods found on most trainers. The cassette pictured is actually part of the trainer (it uses a standard Shimano freehub that will fit any speed cassette and is available with or without one from the factory, a Campagnolo version will be available soon as well) and stays put on the unit. Simply drop your rear wheel out and set the dropouts onto the Revolution as if it was a wheel and you're ready to roll.

The Revolution's surrogate rear wheel is connected to a fan via a drive belt that doesn't require any lube or maintenance. The weighted fan is what provides the resistance, which is a bit of a rarity these days as a lot of trainers have gone to magnetic resistance. While a fan can be louder than a magnetic unit, which is the main reason why they are less common, there are advantages to air resistance. The fan used on the LeMond Fitness unit features a weighted perimeter that is said to offer much more progressive resistance than a magnetic unit could produce, thereby having a far more realistic feel that is less lurchy and doesn't hesitate when putting the power down after a moment of coasting.
The Revolution's surrogate rear wheel is connected to a fan via a drive belt that doesn't require any lube or maintenance. The weighted fan is what provides the resistance, which is a bit of a rarity these days as a lot of trainers have gone to magnetic resistance. While a fan can be louder than a magnetic unit, which is the main reason why they are less common, there are advantages to air resistance. The fan used on the LeMond Fitness unit features a weighted perimeter that is said to offer much more progressive resistance than a magnetic unit could produce, thereby having a far more realistic feel that is less lurchy and doesn't hesitate when putting the power down after a moment of coasting.

You're looking at the sturdy upright that holds your bike in place. The internal webbing keeps things stiff and flex free. At the top of the photo you can see the axle that the surrogate wheel uses, and at the bottom you'll find the roller bearing (and sealed ball bearing hidden from view) that the drive axle spins upon. The bottom of the burly frame also features independently adjustable feet to let you dial in a stable position on uneven surfaces.
You're looking at the sturdy upright that holds your bike in place. The internal webbing keeps things stiff and flex free. At the top of the photo you can see the axle that the surrogate wheel uses, and at the bottom you'll find the roller bearing (and sealed ball bearing hidden from view) that the drive axle spins upon. The bottom of the burly frame also features independently adjustable feet to let you dial in a stable position on uneven surfaces.

I spent a few minutes on the Revolution trainer and it was quickly evident that the sensation is different from other units. Just as advertised, there is little to no hesitation when beginning to put the power down after coasting for a few seconds. What I was feeling is the weighted fan holding it's momentum as I eased up the pedaling. The Revolution isn't inexpensive, $499 USD without a cassette and $549 USD with, but could make sense for riders who spend a lot of their winter season training indoors. For those who are really serious about getting faster, an optional ANT+ compatible power meter will be available at the end of October.
I spent a few minutes on the Revolution trainer and it was quickly evident that the sensation is different from other units. Just as advertised, there is little to no hesitation when beginning to put the power down after coasting for a few seconds. What I was feeling is the weighted fan holding it's momentum as I eased up the pedaling. The Revolution isn't inexpensive, $499 USD without a cassette and $549 USD with, but could make sense for riders who spend a lot of their winter season training indoors. For those who are really serious about getting faster, an optional ANT+ compatible power meter will be available at the end of October.

Visit the LeMond Fitness website for more details.

Stay tuned for more Interbike coverage!



38 Comments

  • 6 1
 In the grand scheme of things if you are a racer, or even an avid mountain biker who is trying to get into shape this is a brilliant way to do it without leaving the comfort of your own home. As well, I can honestly say I have spent more then $500 on a part of my bike that has NOT aided me in the way this trainer could potentially aid you.

The reality is we spend thousands on mountain bikes that half of us only ride for 6 months of the year, why not invest money into staying in shape over the seasons that we fall behind, or are turned away from riding due to weather/winter sports?

If I looked at mountain biking as a career, or perused it as a racer any trainer is a great idea regardless.
  • 4 1
 cassette, belt, piece of aluminium stand and a bit of plastic for 549$ ... really ? I'm not saying it's a bad thing - bcuz it's not. But be real w/ the price ...
  • 4 0
 Not going to try and justify the price, but there are quite a few trainers that are more expensive and are not as well designed. Of course, there are plenty that are much simpler, not quite as nice, but retail for about half the price. Just like bikes I guess...
  • 3 0
 I used to sell trainers and we'd get customers regularly buying the $350-$550 range trainers as they are just that much better than a 200-300$ offering. That being said, one of my old Co-workers could also sell you a $1200 virtual trainer and you'd think you needed it by the time your Visa was swiped. Just like bikes, we all have our levels of what we want/need. I for one think that this is a pretty good concept for a trainer and the price is pretty spot on.
  • 2 0
 I have to agree brule. After spinning on a dozen plus trainers over the years, I had a chance to spin my legs to jello one on of these. Smoothness + long lasting = win. Def worth the money because trainers are entirely a "get what you pay for" item. I can't stand that has crap tolerances, and that mucky sticky feeling that normally comes from the cheaper ones.

Same as spin trainers as well. The old school ones with a rotating fan for the wheel always had a crazy real feeling to em, but the magnetic ones just give a mush sensation. Anyone else notice this one the spin trainers (like you see in a gym).


forgot to mention.... anyway I look at it though, I still prefer rollers any day Smile That makes riding more realistic... and ya can haul arse on them also. Never rideen me dh bike on it, but I think it would be an issue due to the travel. They own on hard tails and bmx tho Smile So not to side track, but this is another alternative guys... triathlons.thefuntimesguide.com/images/blogs/bike-rollers-in-winter-by-ccgd.jpg
  • 1 0
 I want one. but are rollers cheaper? I am a broke ass EMT, I want something to train on over the winter but money is certainly an issue. Any info you guys have would be great. Thanks a lot.
  • 2 0
 yea rollers u can get around $160....
  • 1 0
 o excellent. thank you so much.
  • 3 0
 Really cool but a bit pricy!
  • 2 1
 Better off buying a cheap roadie with a cadence computer and some rollers. Will teach you balance as well as increase your fitness.
  • 1 0
 Rollers are bad ass, I personally couldn't use them to save my life. I remember trying them in a door way for balance = nope! But like you said, balance gets dialed the more you used them.
  • 1 0
 Rollers are bad ass. I started in a doorway but can comfortably watch TV or a movie and happily spin away. The next challenge was to be able to take one hand off and take a drink whilst still going. Check that one as well. Next challenge is clipped in. Mmmm taking a while for that one. If you are worried about resistance training on rollers most are able to take a retro fitted magnetic device the same as normal turbo trainer. ROLLERS are the way forward.
  • 1 0
 the thing looks well designed.. although pedaling is not my forte.. nor my interest.. if it were i'd be investing in something like this.
  • 2 0
 I need one of those so i can get my fat ass in shape, lol
  • 2 0
 Kinda cool I guess.
  • 1 0
 SPin bike or this? what would you choose?
  • 1 0
 Personally, I'd much rather spend my time training on the bike that I'm going to sitting on while actually riding. Spin bikes are so "exercise bike" usually, if you know what I mean.
  • 1 0
 If you mean a proper spin bike with a big heavy flywheel and a belt drive, then I would go for the spin bike. 1. I don't have to bring my muddy bike inside (and I only ride inside if the weather is feral, which means my bike is too). 2. They are more stable for sprints. 3. Less wear on my chain and chainrings. 4. Less sweat on my bike (ever seen the corrosion in a headset caused by sweat?). 5. A belt drive spin bike is very quiet, probably quieter than this.

Saying all that, I think this Lemond trainer is an excellent concept. I would prefer it over a wind trainer (but just not a proper spin bike).
  • 1 0
 iamamodel, All good points for sure. I know that there are some super solid high quality spin bikes out there, but they can cost more than twice a much as this trainer! I would especially like to have less wear and tear on my already beat down drive train! I guess I just usually picture these beasts as old 70's exercise bikes.
  • 1 0
 Look at that! thats pritty dam neat!
  • 1 0
 I like! Very well thought out.
  • 1 0
 I play hockey in the winter Smile ...... gotta keep it fresh
  • 1 0
 Agree - good for sprinting and drinking beer.
  • 1 0
 great concept. hight time for someone to do something in this area.
  • 1 0
 same sistem like for my pc :X
  • 2 0
 Lemond is a punk!
  • 1 0
 Agreed
  • 1 0
 wow. looks sic.
  • 12 0
 Cool concept
  • 10 0
 I have to admit that while bike trainers aren't the coolest thing around, the Revolution is super well thought out. Mega solid to, zero rocking.
  • 3 0
 Neato
  • 2 1
 This is not a new concept at all. They have been around for years in the road/track world. It's called an erg
  • 3 1
 just ride your bike.
  • 1 2
 wtf is next chamois butter reviews?
  • 4 0
 Funnily enough, I have a lot to say on that topic... but won't because some clown will probably post a comment along the lines of "wtf is next bike trainer reviews?"
  • 1 0
 If anyone wants to really train indoors they'll be on rollers.
  • 1 0
 Rollers are great for form, but a lot of riders do find them intimidating. Not to mention that if you are already a fit rider you may have to attach a fan unit for additional resistance. For the average rider looking to put some indoor miles in, a trainer is best.
  • 1 0
 Roller trainers eat up tires, I like the looks of this thing personally.

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