The Gymrail is an indoor rocker solution from Finland that comes close to ‘cracking the code’ and making indoor training feel more natural than ever before. For indoor trainers and accessories there have been a number of steps to introduce a ride feeling closer to outdoor cycling; the Wahoo kickr climb and kickr bikr can simulate climbing, but are still rigid systems, the Oreka O2 (from Spain) is a treadmill with a bungee cord and the Saris Motion Platform (and other rocker plate copies and variations) position a smart trainer and bike on an elevated board with various movement and suspension built in. What about the 4D Gymrail?
The Gymrail is both complex and simple… first the simple. It has two independent platforms. Attach your smart indoor trainer to the floating plate at the back and mount your bike. Your front wheel is not used, the forks attach to the independent mount at the front and you are ready to roll. The ride-feel is really good and the cherry on top is you can steer as well so can be a big difference to standard smart trainer setups.
While Saris had a good solution with their MP1 Nfinity Technology Motion Platform, the Gymrail improves on this by separating the front and rear mounts and allowing steering which really comes to play when you are out of the saddle. It delivers movement fore/aft, tilting, sideways (left/right) and twisting (which means that the bike naturally flexes and the Gymrail accommodates for this). They call it 4D and even if it doesn’t actually transcend across to the 4th dimension – it delivers a great ride-feel and even without adaptive elevation (like the Kickr), I expect it will be a big step-up for people who do a lot of indoor cycling or racing.
For the complex part, the Gymrail is a clever combination of sliders, rollers, pivots and springs. The springs can even be swapped (softer / harder springs) to give you the ride-feel you prefer. It may take some time to get the right setup, heights and positioning when you first start, though once set, it is purely mechanical and wouldn’t require much attention. The entire format (2 parts) is also sufficiently compact so that transportation is not a big deal.
An unanswered question is whether this movements translates into more watts or equalises into the same watts. There were a few hints that it can provide more so can be a real head-turner for competitive eSports cyclists. And if not, the increased comfort is still a positive and where I see the biggest plus.
One catch, it costs 1,395 € (ca. AUD 2,050) and at the time of writing is on special for 999 € (ca. AUD 1,460). You also have to add ‘the Australia tax’ and don’t forget that it is additional to the cost of the smart trainer, bike and virtual training system subscription and electronics. With the price in mind, the Gymrail is suited to more frequent indoor cyclists and competitive eSports cyclists and would be a noticeable upgrade. Even though the construction quality and ride-feel from my experience briefly testing at Eurobike suggest that it is a top-notch product, for many riders the Gymrail will be a luxury.
Learn more: gymrail.com