January Gear Review: Jet Black Trainer

Each month, our friends at Hawley share a review on the latest gear that is passing through their warehouse on its way to your local bike shop. As always, thanks to Ken Klatte, Production Artist with Hawley, for this sneak-preview and words of wisdom. For more from Hawley on the latest and greatest in bike gear, check out their blog or YouTube channel.

Let’s be honest, the only reason trainers were invented was to offer an alternative for those spineless cyclists who lack the meteorological fortitude to ride in cold or inclement weather. In the spirit of candor and openness, I readily group myself among the spineless and weak-willed. Riding outside when most other life forms are either buried underground hibernating or desperately trying to fly south to warmer climes is generally considered a pointless if not destructive activity but for many cyclists is the only way to stay in shape during the fall and winter.

This November and December, in an attempt to fight the scourge of holiday weight gain and keep my extremities frostbite-free, I decided to try out the Jet Black S-1 magnetic trainer. First impressions of the S-1 were positive. The Australian-made trainer comes pre-assembled. Other than attaching the magnetic resistance unit, you’re ready to take it for a spin in literally seconds. Made from a mix of alloys, the trainer is surprisingly lightweight so if you want to load it in your car to take to a spin class or cyclocross race, it won’t require any awkward straining.

With this trainer you can comfortably shed lbs gained from too many Holiday meals!

The S-1 being the base model trainer means there are few if any bells and whistles. The blue collar-styled fixed resistance roller uses a simple screw with a nice giant knob for turning. Once you fix the resistance to your desired level (I prefer “rolling downhill with a hurricane level tailwind”), hop on and start your ride. Unlike most base model and entry level trainers, the S-1 is surprisingly quiet which makes it great for using in front of the TV or listening to your favorite music or NPR podcast.

Other than the garish orange and black paint scheme, I couldn’t find anything functionally wrong with the S-1. Its strength is its simplicity and durability, which will please cyclists looking for an economical and straightforward way to start an indoor training regimen. MSRP $119.99

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