We have all lived our inner lives intensely during the special period of the pandemic. Any system to have an escape valve has been valid to evade us and move us away from confinement. In the end we have discovered the various ways of training and cycling fans suffered from a shortage of rollers in all stores.
But with a roller and its resistance is not enough. Athletes now want more. Thanks to Internet connections and the various training platforms that allow you to train and have fun with other cyclists, the options have increased with better products, more precise measurements and sessions where training and competition itself can be combined.
The Spanish company ZYCLE has opted for this market segment with three increasingly evolved intelligent models. The roller roller (ZPro), the direct drive roller (ZDrive) and finally the smart belt drive Smart Bike (ZBike). At ZYCLE they maintain as a premise the connection to the different training platforms for both cycling and fitness and that cycling sessions are not boring. They manage to interconnect with other users to make the training more lively and transfer the sensations of the road as realistically as possible to the cyclist.
Because ZYCLE is above all a company of technological innovation, with a passion for cycling, but with a work base focused on the design, development and production of engineering solutions.
With offices and manufacturing plant in Massalfassar (Valencia) and another office and electronic component manufacturing headquarters in Sabadell (Barcelona), the most complicated development is “the calibration of each of the rollers and bicycle that we manufacture to ensure the estimation of power of the products ”points out Juan Ramón Vadillo, director of R + D + I at ZYCLE. This effort does not seem easy, which is the result of “many hours of work in the algorithm and the simulation of the terrain and other variables.” The system achieves very accurate measurements by estimating power every half second.
Our attention on the assembly line is a sterile area with a soundproof booth to verify that pedaling on the ZBike is the quietest possible. According to Diego Castillo, CEO of ZYCLE, “one of the initial premises of our Smart Bike is that during its use it does not make any noise so that it does not harm coexistence with family members or neighbors and we can say that we have achieved it.” In short, we can finally train without disturbing others.
What users say
ZYCLE prepared a demo session with Muy Interesante readers-cyclists who saw the possibility of enjoying the first of the ZBike. Among them, a regular from Spining like Isabel Panzuela was surprised by “how realistic and smooth the bicycle is, much better than the ones she used in the gym, and was surprised that the resistance was automatically adjusted to the training of the class.” They also compared it with the ZPro roller and on a screen they disputed a small section of a route to check the differences. If the roller is already silent, the ZBike is much more so. Former professional Javier Montaner acknowledged that “it is the most realistic thing I have ever used and that unlike training on a bicycle the performance is real, because in open traffic you always have roundabouts, cars or traffic lights that ruin a session”.
But not everyone has to be a high-level cyclist. For Cruz Sierra, the smart bike “invites you to train every day, you don’t have to put the bike on the roller and you and the rest of the family members can use it in your own home.”
The ZBike has an “electronic gearshift” that allows you to raise or lower gears with a button on each side of the handlebar. Everyone agreed that it was the closest thing to that used on a road bike.
Compatible and resistant
At ZYCLE they have managed to make their products compatible with all simulators on the market. They even have a battery, called ZPower, to be able to use the bike on a terrace or in an area with an electricity connection away from our ZBike and with a phone or tablet. To be compatible with the various simulators, most use bluetooth systems, ZYCLE has developed a USB port for its new ZDrive trainer that allows direct connection to the device with which they ensure a perfect connection without signal loss, something that happens frequently with some wireless connections.
We were surprised by the resistance that the various rollers and the Smart Bike can generate. Up to 1,200 watts on the ZPro, 1,800 on the direct drive ZDrive, and 1,500 on the ZBike. Far above those generated by a human being.
And now … to pedal
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