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A look at the Dare2Ride Fuego 1.0 Smart Bike Trainer

The first trainer from Dare2Ride offers impressive wattage and simulated incline capabilities

The popularity of indoor bike trainers has skyrocketed during the global pandemic as individuals have looked to improve their fitness in a safe environment at home. The Dare2Ride Fuego 1.0 smart trainer is the latest direct-drive smart trainer on the market with ANT+, ANT+FE-C and Bluetooth Smart connection abilities.

If you’re feeling like the “Dare2” moniker sounds familiar, Dare2Ride is the latest venture from the group behind Dare2Tri and deboer wetsuits, so while they are new to the bike trainer world, the company has lots of experience developing products for triathletes. Launched over the winter, Dare2Ride’s initial run of trainers were swept up by European cyclists and triathletes, but thanks to the company’s worldwide presence and the recent arrival of more stock, trainers can be easily be shipped right to your home in Canada.

Out of the box the Fuego 1.0 reminded me a lot of the Wahoo Kickr trainers, which share a similar design with a large flywheel providing smooth resistance, and near instantaneous changes in wattage based on the third-party platform the trainer is connected to. I opted to test the trainer out on Zwift, which is my preferred indoor riding platform, and a great way to put the Fuego 1.0 to the test. I was impressed with how easy it was to connect the trainer via Bluetooth to my laptop, and from there I was into training mode in the Zwift virtual cycling world in no time.

Related: What to look for in an indoor bike trainer

Quiet ride

The technical specifications of the trainer boast a 2 per cent accuracy, a 52dB sound level at 30 km/h, a max power output of 2,500 watts and a max simulated incline of 20 per cent. The power accuracy percentage seemed legit after my first few rides, where I took my power from both my Quarq power meter and the power from the trainer. My first few rides saw the two power numbers within about five watts, which I often find standard going between a trainer power meter and a crankset power reading from my bike.

While we all love our power numbers, some of the more important aspects of the trainer appeared as I spent more time on it. It is really quiet – it lives up to the quiet sound decibel level advertised. Even at 30 kph both my girlfriend and I were able to ride the trainer in our top floor apartment without bothering our downstairs neighbours (a huge bonus for tiny apartment living in Toronto).

Determined to really put the Fuego 1.0 to the test, I tried to have some fun doing some major climbs on the trainer. It was responsive and consistent when the gradient hit. I’ve found some trainers can struggle when you’re trying to really hammer up sustained, long climbs, but as much as I tried, I wasn’t able to take the Fuego 1.0 past its limit. I did find some gradient changes choppy resulting in some difficult gear shifts when the trainer was loaded up with resistance at inclines of 10 per cent or more. After a few rides, and a bit more attention to the upcoming terrain, I found myself avoiding the standstill gear grinding by ensuring I was not going into steep pitches in the 53-11. It was a welcome reminder that just like outside, you will have a much happier bike when you hit the bottom of a hill in a gear you are ready to climb in.

Related: A beginner’s guide to smart trainers, online platforms and pain cave set up

The trainer was easy to setup and comes with all the hardware you’ll need to mount bikes with disc or rim brakes. You will have to purchase a cassette (or transfer one from a wheel). I also had no issues getting the bike on and off the trainer when moving it from one training spot to another, whether that be from the bedroom, living room and even out on the back patio for those warm weather sessions.

The Dare2Ride Fuego 1.0 trainer comes in at $1,125 (the price is based in Euros, so can fluctuate a bit based on the exchange), including shipping. That will set you back a bit less than similar mid-range trainers like the Tacx Flux 2 ($1,199) and the Wahoo Kickr Core ($1,300).

With the pandemic, finding a trainer last year was quite a challenge. For those still in the hunt for a direct-drive trainer, the Fuego 1.0 is well worth a look – the wattage and simulated incline capabilities of this trainer make it a great option for triathletes and cyclists of all levels.

Sean Mackinnon is a regular contributor to Triathlon Magazine Canada. A former member of Canada’s national cycling team, he won two bronze medals at the 2015 Pan Am Games.