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Cycling Weekly
Cycling Weekly
Stefan Abram

Decathlon unveils Van Rysel smart trainer range - but right now you can get a better deal at Evans Cycles

Van Rysel D100 smart trainer.

Decathlon’s in-house bike brand Van Rysel has sought to shake up the indoor trainer market, dominated by the likes of Wahoo and Tacx, through its release of three new direct-drive smart trainers.

The D100, D500 and D900 trainers are all compatible with 130 and 135mm QR axles, as well as 142 and 148x12mm thru axles. Bear in mind that the entry-level D100 trainer is only available with a HG11 freehub - but an XD/XDR freehub is at least sold separately for both the D500 and D900 models.

The smart trainers are not currently available in the US, but are being sold in the UK and Europe. Now, let’s break down the the specs of each of the trainers - and take a look at how the entry-level model compares with the cheapest on the market...

Van Rysel Interactive Turbo Trainer D100

(Image credit: Van Rysel)

Price: £239.99 / €250
Claimed accuracy: ±5%
Max resistance: 600 watts
Max gradient: 5%

Kicking off the range, Van Rysel’s D100 utilises the tried-and-tested ‘T-leg’ design - employed by everyone from Wahoo with its Kickr, JetBlack with its Volt 2, Zwift with its Hub One, Xplova with its Noza S and Pinnacle - the in-house brand of Evans Cycles - with its HC Turbo Home Trainer.

Curiously, despite being so similar in form, the claimed specs of the D100 vary quite significantly from some of the competition. For instance, the claimed accuracy of the Kickr sits at ±2%, while the Volt 2 is ±2.5% - contrasting sharply with the ±5% for the Van Rysel D100.

Likewise, the D100's maximum resistance (600w) and gradient (5%) both also stand out as low. The Pinnacle HC Turbo boasts 2,500w and 20%, whilst the Xplova Noza S likewise claims a 2,500w maximum resistance together with a slightly lower maximum incline of 18%.

We’re looking forward to putting the D100 through its paces and making our own call on where it ranks against the competition - claimed specs are not always as they seem. For instance, although the Xplova Noza S has a claimed accuracy of ±2.5%, we found the variance to be greater than that in our review.

One thing we can say at the outset is that, even with Decathlon’s reputation for keen prices, the French brand hasn’t taken the title for the cheapest smart trainer currently on the market. The Pinnacle HC Turbo currently undercuts it at £210.00, compared to the £239.99 list price for the D100.

Van Rysel Interactive Turbo Trainer D500

(Image credit: Van Rysel)

Price: £449.99 / €450
Claimed accuracy: ±2%
Max resistance: 1,500 watts
Max gradient: 12%

Next up, the D500 is targeted directly at the mid-range. It goes toe-to-toe with the Elite Zumo, which is level on price with the D500, both clocking an RRP of £449.99. Regarding the specs, the Zumo has a max resistance of 1,350 watts and a claimed accuracy of ±3% - both lower than those of the D500, although the max gradient is equal at 12%.

The Flux S, Tacx’s entry-level smart trainer, is undercut on price (RRP £599.99) and outranked in claimed accuracy and gradient: the Flux S holds itself to ±3% and 12%, respectively. That said, the D500 and Flux S are even on maximum resistance, both at 1,500 watts - plus the Flux S is a particularly sturdy platform, although at 20.5kg, the Van Rysel D500 has some heft and could offer stiff competition there as well.

Van Rysel Interactive Turbo Trainer D900

(Image credit: Van Rysel)

 Price: £549.99 / €600
Claimed accuracy: ±2%
Max resistance: 2,000 watts
Max gradient: 20%

Finally, we have the range-topping D900 smart trainer. Although it doesn’t quite beat or match all the specs boasted by flagship trainers such as the Wahoo Kickr V6 (£1,099.99, ±1%, 2,200w, 20%) or the Tacx Neo 2T (£1,199.99, ±1%, 2,200w, 25%), the D900 does come close. And standing at less than half the price of either the Wahoo or Tacx’s RRP, close might be all that’s needed.

Of course, there are many unique selling points to the Kickr V6 (auto zero offset, WiFi connectivity) and the Neo 2T (function without power supply, surface simulation) which might clinch the deal and write off the consideration of any other smart trainer. Equally, if those features just strike you as gimmicks, you could make quite a saving with the Van Rysel D900.

Again, we’re looking forward to getting these trainers in for testing and seeing just how they stack up for their respective price points - stay tuned for our reviews.

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