Performance Fluid Trainer Trainer

3.88/5 (49 Reviews)
MSRP : $179.99


Product Description

Performance Fluid Trainer


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Reviews 1 - 15 (49 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Rawhyde a Weekend Warrior from Jacksonville, FL, USA

Date Reviewed: April 10, 2011

Strengths:    Appears to be solidly built. Holds Schwinn Avenue Aluminum Hybrid securely. Makes weight room look better having a real bicycle in it to spin.

Weaknesses:    Noisy.

Bottom Line:   
25 Years ago I was an avid MTN biker. Now it is back and forth to work. Around the neighborhood and on the streets of jax. Found this item in the local thrift shop for 10 bucks. Haven't checked the heat from the fluid drive yet but will now that I've read these posts. I'm hoping that everyone is talking about replacing the fluid drive unit and not the stand. Is the fluid unit optional due to different models and how do I tell which unit I have. I do have the thumb shifter but agree that using the bike's gears does the job.
Average chili's due to not owning it long enough.

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Favorite Trail:   A1A

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $10.00

Purchased At:   Thrift shop

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Going to put a 79 Schwinn Spitfire 5 (Google it!) on it this coming winter. Thanks to the reviewer who suggested putting a mat down to keep chain grit off carpet.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Adam a Cross Country Rider from Germany

Date Reviewed: February 15, 2006

Strengths:    Price
Surprisingly durable, at least for me


Weaknesses:    Loud, heavy, useless handlebar mounted shift lever

Bottom Line:   
I have used this product now for six years during winter training and pre race warm ups at MTB events. It always seems to be on sale making it a good value. Newer models may be lighter than mine which is a struggle to carry around. I agree with other reviewers that the handlebar mounted shift lever is useless. I also toss it on the ground and just shift the bike for resistance changes. No doubt there are better fluid units out there but for the money I was pleased to get six years out of it. While my resistance unit never leaked, just the other day it died. The power drill description used in previous reviews is an accurate one. I will toss it and research new ones from several makers.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   Cycle Ops

Bike Setup:   Orbea alum road bike with Ultegra 9 Speed and Mavic Cosmic Elite wheels

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Svetik a Weekend Warrior from San Francisco

Date Reviewed: January 5, 2006

Strengths:    Durable, simple, inexpensive.

Weaknesses:    Performance changed the style, when it does break, that will be it.

Bottom Line:   
Things been great. Put thousands of miles since 2001. No problems.

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Favorite Trail:   Boggs

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $140.00

Purchased At:   Performance


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Chas a Weekend Warrior from Mclean

Date Reviewed: January 8, 2005

Strengths:    Inexpensive and seems to get the job done.

Weaknesses:    None noted so far.

Bottom Line:   
Needed a trainer to get me through the cold, wet, winter season here in northern Virginia. Bought the Performance Traval Trak Fluid Century model from the local Performance Bike storefront. After several weeks of daily workout rides I have noted no problems. There are probably more expensive and better trainers out there but this one works for me. But I did have to swap out my rear tire for a slick because even with my semislick the tire-roller noise was unbearable!

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Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $139.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   2000 Giant Rincon MTB

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Patchito a Cross Country Rider from OC, California

Date Reviewed: July 31, 2004

Strengths:    I had the adjustable unit, and it produced acceptable power for even pretty difficult intervals - something I didn't get when I demoed a Cycleops.
- quiet...at first


Weaknesses:    - No product support from Performace. There's no way they are able (or willing rather) to do even a minor repair on the unit.
- bike tended to wobble from side to side and lean to the right.
- plastic feet tended to slide, so in the course of a hard interval, I'd actually be gradually moving around the garage floor as I hammered. Needs a rubber matt.
- scuffs up quick releases
- not built to last
- locking mechanism clumsy when trying attach bike


Bottom Line:   
Expect to get about two years worth of use out of the Performance units. As it stands now, I have a unit with bad bearings in the roller mechanism that make it sound like a power drill. That, and for some reason the resistance has become noticeably more difficult - like the fluid somehow got contaminated and is a lot more viscous.

You'd think just swapping out the bearing would be easy to fix or that Performance would just swap out the resistance unit - you'd be thinking wrong! I first explained the problem to the manager at my local Performance shop (Tustin, CA) and was told that if they couldn't repair the unit, they'd replace it. However, when I actually brought the unit in, Performance was unwilling to do anything about it. I was told that they'd changed their models slightly and offer no spares for the older units, and apparently the bearings in the roller are sealed (not well enough apparently) and can't be replaced. So basically I've gotta buy a new unit. I thought it was rather lame that I was told one thing and they did (or didn't do) another.

I don't know, am I being unreasonable in expecting a relatively high dollar piece of equipment to last more than a couple of years - or at least be repairable? I keep reading testimonials by 1upUSA users who have no problems, and when the do in a couple years or so, 1Up repairs them. To me, having to replace an entire trainer because the bearings in the roller are shot is like tossing out an entire bike because the bottom bracket went bad. Next time, I'm gonna buy a 1up trainer. It seems better designed, better made, and most importantly, they stand behind their product. The Performance model might be a hundred bucks cheaper, but it's not worth it.

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Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $179.00

Purchased At:   Peformance

Similar Products Used:   Cycle-ops, Blackburn turbo, old mag unit, one of those Monarchs

Bike Setup:   road bike set up with spare rear wheel

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Pieter Thole a Racer from Amsterdam

Date Reviewed: December 9, 2002

Strengths:    Fluid instead of MAg or wind.

Weaknesses:    Bike swings to the right due to asymetrical construction.

Bottom Line:   
Nice resistance but noticed the swinging to the right instantly. Pedalstroke left feeld harder than on the right. Very sad!

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Favorite Trail:   Marmotte

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $160.00

Purchased At:   Decathlon

Similar Products Used:   Tacx

Bike Setup:   Santos 02, Ultegra, Ritchey WCS.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by timothy a Racer from reading,pa,usa

Date Reviewed: November 6, 2002

Strengths:    interchangeable base with fan or magnet unit

Weaknesses:    YES. I thought it was just my unit. Thanks all for your comments. My unit had 2 levels.. super easy and near impossible. I returned it but lost all the shipping money, over 30.00 total

Bottom Line:   
fluid is only good for quiet apartment riding. stick with mag or fan

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   performance

Similar Products Used:   blackburn mag, nashbar mag, racermate fan, performance fan


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by RJ a Racer from Boise, ID

Date Reviewed: July 19, 2002

Strengths:    durable, reliable, quiet (with road tires). easy to set up and use. provides good resistance.

Weaknesses:    mine causes me to lean very slightly to the right...maybe i just weigh more on that side (riiiiight), It scratches your quick releases

Bottom Line:   
Good solid product. No leakage, no mechanical failure. This is good for anyone who wants to train when its bad weather or use as a way of pre race warm up.

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $180.00

Purchased At:   performance

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   GF Ziggurat with XT components

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tony a Cross Country Rider from Boise, ID, USA

Date Reviewed: May 14, 2002

Strengths:    quiet (for a trainer), stable, consistent resistance, holds onto bike (haven't pedaled through the wall yet)

Weaknesses:    adjustment lever, scratches quick releases (suppose they all do)

Bottom Line:   
Haven't had any problems with leaking or noises. I have the AF-500 with the little adjustment switch. My advice if you are getting one is to get the non-adjustable. I just turn it up to hardest and toss the switch on the floor, when you want different resistance just shift gears. I don't think the little switch does much anyway and it is hard to move. I also thought I would have to get a different skewer to use it but it seems like it will fit almost any quick release, scratches em up pretty bad though but what can you expect. Four for value cause I think Performance is becoming the LL Bean (overpriced yuppie crap) of the biking world and 4 for overall cause the adjustment switch is worthless but otherwise no problems.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $180.00

Purchased At:   Performance USA

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   hardtail

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by JOe from ALberta Canada

Date Reviewed: January 27, 2002

Strengths:    Sturdy frame

Weaknesses:    My unit is making a clicking noise until it warms up!

Bottom Line:   
Can any let me know where I can get my unit serviced? I purchased my unit used and it looked good. Only after a few weeks of use (no idea how long the previous owner used it)it started making noise.

It is a HF300 Fluid model by Performance.

Are there rebuild kits? Frame is great!

vv vv vvv vvv vv vv v v v v v v

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Duration Product Used:   3 months


Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Tony a Weekend Warrior from York, Pa.

Date Reviewed: January 24, 2002

Strengths:    Looks nice, fair price, easy to set up.

Weaknesses:    The AF-500 adjustable unit is a piece of crap! I returned the first defective unit and was disappointed to find that my second unit was defective just as the first unit was. As for the adjustment lever, I agree with the previous reviews saying that it has a narrow adustment range...then again, I don't think it even adjusts the resistance whatsoever.

Bottom Line:   
When I spoke with the Tech Dept they said that there "was a bad batch of units." Not very comforting to say the least. Unfortunately I have to give this trainer (more less the AF-500 unit) a bad rating. What a hassle it is to return something of this nature! Make it easy on yourself and buy a trainer from a shop so you don't have to go thru the mail-order return crap.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Trail 7 at Lake Redman

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $170.00

Purchased At:   Performance Catalog

Similar Products Used:   Blackburn MagTrack

Bike Setup:   All Treks

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Blake Williams a Cross Country Rider from Chicago, IL, USA

Date Reviewed: January 18, 2002

Strengths:    Sold Base and Resistance Unit. My roomie and I are big boys and it held us solidly. Seems pretty durable. Quiet resistance unit, I got the 500 adjustable.

Weaknesses:    Adjustment range feels narrow. Adjustment lever is as bad as people say, but I didn't really play with it much.

Bottom Line:   
I think it is as good as the positive ratings. I will have to wait and see. I was surprised with the service @ Performance.

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Favorite Trail:   Potto

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $190.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   Older magnetic units

Bike Setup:   Klein Pulse Comp

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Adam Toner a Cross Country Rider from Atlanta, GA, US

Date Reviewed: January 7, 2002

Strengths:    sturdy, good resistance, easy to use, good customer service

Weaknesses:    resistance adjuster either doesn't stay put on handlebar or breaks, rubber grippers on adjuster are easy to loose, noise from fluid unit and tire, a little wobbly when really cranking

Bottom Line:   
Regarding kids near the unit when it is in use, I'd be more worried about the rotating wheel than the warm resistance unit. I had a friend in school that lost the tip of his finger to his mom's exercise bike.

I had to really tighten the resistance adjuster to keep it from slipping on my handlebar (yes, I have the two rubber grippers on.) Soon after I got the trainer I tightened the adjuster too much and the plastic broke. Metal would be better. Performance was very good about sending me a replacement adjuster. Using a rubber spacer would help reduce the slipping (a cut old bike tube).

The fluid unit started making noise at resistances above the lowest. It isn't too bad, and I plan on seeing if it can be fixed.

I have a cheap Performance slick tire that still makes a fair amount of noise. After the unit sat for the summer the tire made a lot of noise when I put it back to use. Scuffing the tire with sandpaper fixed this.

The front tire block is a good idea. Without it I felt like I was tilted too far forward.

A heart rate monitor also helps motivation.

All in all I'm happy.

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Favorite Trail:   Tsali

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $180.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   Specialized S-Works M2, all XTR

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Troy a Racer from Dallas, TX

Date Reviewed: December 16, 2001

Strengths:    Quiet, smooth, easy to assemble, easy to mount bike, adjustability, resistance.

Weaknesses:    Locking mechanism has too much plastic, I would feel more confident with something a little more tough looking.

Bottom Line:   
I ordered the AF500 adjustable unit because of some of the reviews here about the 300 being a little light. The 500 is plenty for me. The adjustability is nice and seems to work well. The unit is very stable and I haven't had any problems with the legs being uneven like others. The fins get very hot, I would recommend pointing a fan at it directly to help cool. Overall it has been a great purchase, it works well and I have been able to get more workouts in after work. Not going to give it 5 chilis just because I haven't had it long enough to give it credit for reliability yet.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $180.00

Purchased At:   Performance.com

Similar Products Used:   This is my first trainer.


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Eric Bowen a Racer from Chino Hills, CA ,USA

Date Reviewed: July 27, 2001

Strengths:    Quiet and smooth.

Weaknesses:    Unit gets very hot and has poor reliability.

Bottom Line:   
Since I have had my TravelTrac 3 with the adjustable fluid for over two years now, I can offer a little different perspective than the other postings. I was thrilled with the unit the first year or so, but have noticef that the fluid seems to be "thickening" over time. I can't even use my big ring in the easiest of resistance levels without my heart rate going sky high. I have had no breaks in training, and my fitness on the road is at a much higher level than when I first used the trainer. I can only conclude that something is going wrong with the unit. For those with small children, I would be very concerned about them being anywhere near the TravelTrac after recent use; the chamber that holds the fluid get super hot. I can only give two chilis. Too bad, because it worked so well in the beginning.

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Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $179.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Road bike.

Reviews 1 - 15 (49 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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