FreeMotion S11.0 Home Trainer Indoor Cycle Review
FreeMotion S11.0 Review - NOTE: most of this applies to the commercial versions of the FreeMotion Indoor Cycles; S11.8, S11.9 as well. The primary differences are the frame material, seat, bars and some of the smaller components.
Disclosure and perspective: I'm teaching weekly on the FreeMotion S11.9 at LifeTime Fitness. FreeMotion sent me a demo S11.0 (free of charge) for me to evaluate and train on at home - thank you Cameron and Will Grossman!
The S11.0 was designed for a Road Cyclist / Triathlete (who trains with Power) looking for a stable Indoor Trainer to ride instead of clamping their very expensive road bike into a turbo trainer.
Freemotion S11.0 Indoor Cycle - Includes FMPW11 Power Sensor Console
I see the S11.0 as a better option than the ProForm Tour de France bike you've seen advertised on TV - read on to find out why...
Delivery and Setup
The bike came to my home in one large box via truck freight that I understand runs about $75.00 to most locations in the USA. Assembling the bike was pretty easy as all I had to do once I cut away the cardboard was bolt the base to the frame 4 bolts total. The handle bars and seat come fully assembled - the seat was even perfectly level.
I checked the chain adjustment and alignment, which was spot on, and installed a pair of Look pedals. The S11.0 comes with simple one sided shoe baskets. The S11.9 version that I ride at Life Time comes with double-sided shoe basket/SPD pedals.
Accurate Power Indication with Magnetic Resistance
While Keiser, Schwinn and the ProForm Tour de France bike are estimating your power/watts through position sensors on the magnets that create the load, FreeMotion took a different route and gives you measured power from a Strain Gauge mounted on the left crank arm. While estimated power maybe OK for club members, If you train with power on your road bike you want the truest indication possible = something close to what you see from your Power Tap or other device. At $1,800 there isn't another indoor trainer like it on the planet.
UPDATE: Stages has a new iPhone App that is simply amazing and I have a review of the App here.
Ride Data Recording and Download
Here's a graph of a one minute interval + two minute recovery I did as a demonstration. 193 data points 🙂 I have excluded the Miles and MPH data to make the graph clearer. The .csv file writes to the thumb drive whenever you hit the stage button or hold down the Ave/End button for 3 seconds.
Stable Training Platform
Heavy in a road bike is bad - but heavy in an Indoor Trainer is great. This trainer feels like it's bolted to the floor. I'm only 160lbs and my big sprint days are long past - yet this thing is rock-solid stable during a short (OK, very short) 600 watt sprint in a big gear.
Racing Saddle and Drop Bars (33cm center to center)
I realize that the skinny seat is only attractive to cyclists, but it fits me perfectly. And why aren't those adjustable drop bars on the top level S11.9?
We've had a very crappy spring here in MN and near zero outdoor riding. The level of training this cycle provides is awesome. I credit it for helping me have the fitness to be able to hang with the Life Time Fitness "A" group on my first attempt 🙂
FreeMotion is shipping a complete Power/RPM console with each S11 series indoor cycles ordered at amazon.com with no shipping charges.
Freemotion S11.0 Indoor Cycle - Includes FMPW11 Power Sensor Console - ships free from amazon.com
Stages Cycling offers a similar Power Meter for your road bike.