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LeMond Revolution Trainer

Wed, 09/01/2010 - 8:37pm by Andy Shen

Ok, let’s not bury the lede. The LeMond Revolution trainer simulates road feel better than any trainer, roller, or ergometer I’ve tried. It replicates the sensation of flying down the road with a slight tailwind so well that it lowers the misery index of riding indoors a notch or two. And less misery = more time training = more fitness. The thing spins so well one might even say it makes indoor training (gasp) fun. (Full disclosure: we’ve done some artwork for free for LeMond Fitness' Interbike display, so you can accuse us of being cozy. But that's why I back up the review with data.)

How it works

The outstanding feature of the Revolution is its drivetrain, or how it delivers your pedal force to its resistance unit: it does away with the rear wheel entirely. You simply install the trainer as you would a wheel, and your chain drives a cassette attached to a big belt drive sprocket. That in turns drives a smaller sprocket which is attached to a wind resistance fan unit.

The fan blades are connected with a heavy ring at its perimeter, so the fan doubles as a flywheel. The fan/flywheel carries a lot of rotational inertia due to its large 12” diameter, its heavy weight, and the concentration of its weight at the outer extreme.

Wind resistance units, like fluid units, are progressive – resistance is proportional to the square of speed, so there’s four times as much resistance at twice the speed. Since you’re overcoming wind resistance while riding outside as well, the resistance curve of the Revolution matches real life resistance well. Just when you think you can spin out the entire cassette the resistance ramps up and shoots through the roof. I’d love to tell you the max wattage you can ride at a steady speed on it, but I couldn’t get anywhere near the 12 on the cassette. (The mathematically predicted steady state wattage for 90 rpm in the 53x12 is about 670 watts.)

There are several benefits to the wheel-less direct drive system. Most obviously, you don’t tear up your tires. You won’t have to install cheap tires to get through a winter’s worth of training, and if you use it to warm up at a crit or a TT, you won’t wear down your nice racing tires or gouge up your fancy skewers. Mounting/removing the bike is a snap too, as quick and easy as a rear wheel change (Cervelo-style horizontal dropouts are a bear, however. You'll have to remove the skewer completely).

But the real benefit of the wheel-less system is a huge reduction in drag. The tire/drum interface employed by most trainers adds a ton of drag, so that they give the feeling of riding through sand. That drag hurts the back of my knees as I have to fight harder through the dead spots. The Revolution’s combination of high inertia and low drivetrain drag, on the other hand, feels like you’re flying down the road at 28 mph on a set of fine tubulars. The pedaling action is much more realistic and easy on my knees. For the data and science behind trainer resistance, go here for the full geek.

See that silver spacer next to the quick release? Move that to the inside of the dropout for mountain bikes.

The downsides

The biggest negative to the Revolution is the noise level. It’s almost as loud as a vacuum cleaner when you’re really cranking. My test unit is a prototype, and LeMond is working with engineers on a shroud that will better mute the fan. In any case, noise is an unavoidable side effect of a wind unit, a tradeoff for its simplicity (and hopefully, durability) compared to a fluid unit.

Also, the Revolution doesn’t fold up. If you’re really hard pressed for space you can undo three bolts and remove the base.

Finally, it’s a trainer. Nothing beats a freely moving bike on the road or a set of rollers. Having the frame locked down feels less natural, and puts stress on the frame. The flip side is you can really zone out while you train and not worry about falling off.


Despite the fact that cyclists love to wax poetic about 'suffering', riding a bike is, first and foremost, FUN. The Revolution comes very close to matching the adrenaline rush of flying down the road, where the thrill of speed helps you ignore the screaming pain in your legs. Its pedaling action mimics that ‘flying on the flats’ feeling, allowing you to train more with less stress on your joints. I for one am anticipating the winter with a tad less dread knowing the Revolution will be on hand.

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manual for mechano physics road machine?
By: Benedetto Skidmark
Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:57am

Might you know where I could obtain repair parts or a manual for the Road Machine? I was given one, and it is not quite in working order... :-/

The Road Machine - are parts or repair manual available?
By: Benedetto Skidmark
Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:21am

I was just given a The Road Machibe by Mechano Physics freewheel is somehow slipping on the drive shaft ... does any one know of a source for parts or a repair manual?


Soliton physics
Mon, 12/02/2013 - 11:27am

ve ground. Classes and as a consequence vehicle automobile have the freedom. Martijn signifiant Sterke is an accomplished theoretical physicist, In whoever process of the length of its studies seen as an looking for partnerships due to experimentalists. In optics he did on many difficulty in areas of nonlinear optics(Soliton physics, Nonlinear distribution, Statis

I'm waiting for Lance to come
By: Raphael Seattube
Sat, 11/30/2013 - 4:54pm

I'm waiting for Lance to come out with a line of trainers.

The Road Machibe by Mechano Physics
By: Francisco Garcia
Sat, 11/30/2013 - 1:55pm

The best indoors trainer I have ever had.

The Road Machine from Mechano Physics
By: Francisco Garcia
Sat, 11/30/2013 - 1:53pm

This is the best indoor trainer I have ever had.

Name Stealing
By: Downtube
Sun, 09/23/2012 - 1:43pm

Don't call your machine a Mechano-Physics. That name is already


A much better name for the Lemond trainer is a Lemond trainer.

If you continue to steal the Mechano-Physics name I'll do

something creative that you won't like at all.

So stop stealing the name and do something original for once and

come up with another original name, perhaps the idiot trainer is

best for you.

I too have an original road
By: Totto Steerer
Mon, 10/17/2011 - 8:32pm

I too have an original road machine, can you give me some advice on how to replace the freewheel?

Road machine belts
By: Loic Seattube
Wed, 09/14/2011 - 10:29pm

I too have the old Road Machine. Do you know of a source of belts? Isoran 330XL is the original. Thanks.

Replacement belt source
By: Arne Seattube
Fri, 03/25/2011 - 8:44pm

Tom- I too have one of the Original Road Machines. I would appreciate a source, as my original belt, a Pirelli ISORAN 330xl, is bound to break. Many thanks!

Road Machine
By: Bartolo Headset
Mon, 02/28/2011 - 11:18am

No, the LeMond trainer was copied from the original Road Machine offered by Mechano-Physics (USA) and designed by Larry Brown, who, at the time, held all the concepts of modern-day "track stand"-type trainers and other trainers in his patent #4,789,153.

That's awesome. I didn't
By: Andy Shen
Sat, 01/29/2011 - 1:39pm

That's awesome. I didn't calculate CdA and Crr for mine, but my graph looks very close to his, except my setup has a tad less drivetrain resistance:

Tom, you have the Findlay,
By: Andy Shen
Sat, 01/29/2011 - 10:19am

Tom, you have the Findlay, like the one in the picture if you scroll down? That's pretty cool, can you post a pic?

The Road Machine
By: Tom Chamois
Fri, 01/28/2011 - 11:07pm

I've riding a similar version of this trainer since 1988- yes 1988. The unit I have was called the Road Machine and it has been flawless for all these years. Mine came with the very high tech 6-speed 'cluster'- pre-cassette days.

It has a great road feel better than rollers and better than fluid trainers. I have them all but nothing comes close to the feel of this machine.

If you can afford one of these you will not regret it. Be sure to find out where you can get replacement belts. That has been the hardest part of keeping my old trainer going.

Happy riding.

If you have a SRM or Quarq
By: henochg
Thu, 01/06/2011 - 11:23am

If you have a SRM or Quarq then you can still get your power numbers, obviously if you have a PT then it won't work...

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 11:28am

So will this thing ever be able to broadcast an ANT+ signal that can be picked up by a Garmin? I don't mind going 500 bucks on this trainer, but can't see droping another 350 on their head unit when I already own a 500 dollar garmin that is doing the same thing (more actualy). Is this in future plans or is it going to be an iTunes/iPod type of exclusivity thing? I think this will be a deal breaker for a lot of guys looking to purchase this unit, I would think most people looking to drop 500 bucks on a trainer that measures power probably already have power meter on thier bikes, thus own a garmin etc. already.

By: KPonTheFly
Tue, 10/19/2010 - 12:33pm

So I understand the Power Pilot will generate and ANT+ file that we can upload to WKO+ or what not. But, will the trainer itself broadcast an ANT+ signal that can be read by any head unit (Garmin 705 for example)? Seems like this would be easy enough to do if it is broadcasting to the Pilot. Deal breaker for me, I will dump 500 bucks on the unit (I rode one @ interbike and it was great) but i don't want to spend another 350 on a Pilot that does the same thing as my 500 dollar Garmin that I already have. I feel an iPod-iTunes exclusivity thing going on here with LeMond.

You guys going to work out the Garmin native compatability? Seems like it would be a deal breaker for a lot of potential customers with the market you are going for with this unit.

My 1.5 cents...

Ant+ and Garmin compatible
By: Tom in Cali
Mon, 10/18/2010 - 2:33pm

Instead of buying the $350 power computer, will this work with my Garmin Edge 705? That would be a real plus!

tire eating
By: Eater of Tires
Thu, 10/14/2010 - 8:46am

I have these hideous continental trainer tires in bright orange made specifically for winter training on rollers or a trainer. I have had them for YEARS and there is still so much tread I am sure I will have them for many more. That with my Kreitler mini rollers works okay, except it is almost impossible to masturbate on the rollers. Easier on the trainer.

I tried an iPhone app to
By: Andy Shen
Wed, 10/06/2010 - 7:36pm

I tried an iPhone app to measure decibels, but it seemed really inaccurate. Since the test unit was a pre-production unit, I didn't want to make a definitive statement.

Not sure who makes the cassette it ships with, other than it's shimano compatible.

Cassette and noise
By: Remigio Seattube
Wed, 10/06/2010 - 6:30pm

I used a Shimano Dura-Ace. Which cassette does it used?

Have you measured how much decibels does it produce "when you’re really cranking"?

You can Preorder now
By: Daveb
Tue, 10/05/2010 - 2:08pm

The Wait is over, the LeMond Revolution Bike Trainer is now available for pre-order on the LeMond Fitness website. Units will begin to ship Oct 29th. Price $499 w/o cassette, $549 with 10 speed cassette. You can also pre-order the Power Pilot meter for $349. It will ship around Christmas. You can also get a campe adapter as an optional add for $68 and a FREE Disc brake spacer if you are using it with a Mtn Bike.

You can also sign up for the VIP list to get a special extra introductory coupon for your purchase.


I would not mount my
By: Bottom Bracket
Tue, 09/14/2010 - 3:11pm

I would not mount my expensive carbon fiber bicycle on a contraption like that. Imagine the twisting forces on the chain stays and bottom bracket area. No way Jose.

So then what is so
By: Tubeless
Tue, 09/14/2010 - 3:09pm

So then what is so revolutionary about "The LeMond Revolution"?

I think they both have an
By: Andy Shen
Sat, 09/11/2010 - 10:28pm

I think they both have an older precursor:

Looks like Lemond copied the
By: BT copycat
Sat, 09/11/2010 - 10:20pm

Looks like Lemond copied the BT trainer from Australian company BT bicycles.

Never bring old rubbers to an
By: Trojan Man
Fri, 09/10/2010 - 4:21pm

Never bring old rubbers to an indoor bicycle race.

Check this out - you don't
By: Worn Rubbers
Fri, 09/10/2010 - 3:04pm

Check this out - you don't have to worry about your rubbers getting worn out.

This is the ultimate in indoor training and it is portable. You can event use it while taking a crap on the toilet.

By: West Coast Reader
Thu, 09/09/2010 - 10:29pm

Maybe instead of a fan it can be attached to a generator to provide some power? (electrical power)

Rollers & tires
By: dkrenik
Thu, 09/09/2010 - 6:16pm

I've ridden rollers for over 15 years without them eating tires. Trainers, no that's a different story.

to hot load of crock
By: LR
Thu, 09/09/2010 - 1:54pm

You obviously haven't ridden rollers or a trainer. Otherwise you would know that rollers and trainers eat tires at an alarming rate. My guess is that tire wire is at least triple on a trainer as on the road.

What you get for $10k
By: Baldo Ziptie
Thu, 09/09/2010 - 1:53pm

"Safety devices have been integrated into the trainer to protect the rider. A light beam surrounds the entire unit. When a rider veers too far in any direction and breaks the infrared beam, the belt stops almost instantly." - should be exciting!

bike treadmill
By: !@#$%^&*()
Thu, 09/09/2010 - 1:28pm
useless junk
By: Baldo Ziptie
Thu, 09/09/2010 - 1:24pm

Just what we need - and a bit of physics chucked in to make it sound scientific. Can't they hook it up to a big fan in front so the faster you ride the more windy it gets? The only indoor trainer I have seen that looks as if it might be fun is a giant version of a running treadmill that takes more than one rider - the road rash must be awesome when you fall off the back or the power fails and you crash through the wall.

I would buy one if it comes
By: Expensivo
Thu, 09/09/2010 - 11:07am

I would buy one if it comes with a money back guarantee.

I would buy one only if it guarantees that I would increase my FTP power by 200 watts, win at least 5 cat 2/3 races in the spring.

For $500 dollars, that is the least I can ask for? No? Porque?

Removing wheels really upsets
By: Andy Shen
Wed, 09/08/2010 - 3:26pm

Removing wheels really upsets you?

Hahaha what a load of
By: Hot load of crock
Tue, 09/07/2010 - 4:20pm

Hahaha what a load of crock.

The cycling industry constantly needs to keep reinventing itself to make money off of suckers.

Lets see first wind trainer - take front wheel off and mount fork to device with rear wheel resting on wind resistant turbine.

Second wind trainer - place whole bicycle in device and chock front wheel with anything.

Now this - remove rear wheel and mount to device.

Eagerly awaiting the next iteration of a turbo trainer...maybe something we can take both the front wheel and back wheel off and just mount the frame to.

Of course there is the good old rollers.

and what is this about tires getting worn by riding them on trainers and rollers? Don't tires get worn just by riding on paved roads?

Re: measuring speed/distance,
By: Andy Shen
Sun, 09/05/2010 - 11:41am

Re: measuring speed/distance, I taped a magnet to the big sprocket and slid my ANT+ sensor down the chainstay and angled it in. I assume the power computer will take care of this.

By: Adam Tarmac
Sun, 09/05/2010 - 10:45am

Since the Revolution does away with the rear wheel (where one normally mounts a sensor/magnet for indoor training), how would one go about measuring speed/distance?

Like it or not
By: Arnaud Bushing
Fri, 09/03/2010 - 9:31pm

he changed the sport

are you nuts?
By: lorenzo rivnut
Fri, 09/03/2010 - 6:04pm

Benefit from technology because of Lance? How so? Trek was making carbon frames before Lance came along. He's done nothing for us, technology wise. The American racer who did do a lot was Greg LeMond. He brought us aero bars. He brought us carbon bike. Two things that we still use and now take for granted.

Emotion rollers
By: Richard Veronkadonk
Fri, 09/03/2010 - 3:12pm

I used these but one day I would love it, the next we would argue and sleep apart, then have make-up sex. But in the morning, sullen.

Lance has done
By: Marchionne Rim
Fri, 09/03/2010 - 2:06pm

Lance has done for cycling what the Olsen twins did for the straight-to-dvd market.

By: Mathias Rim
Fri, 09/03/2010 - 2:00pm

the ninth level of hell

Lance and Fat Golf Types
By: Quentin Seatpost
Fri, 09/03/2010 - 12:42pm

I Dont like Lance and share the thoughts of this forum on his doping program, however, he did bring Cycling to the mainstream and as a result, the racers benefit from new technology and trickle down tech. He has done a ton for racing on the product development side.

150,000 assholes
By: Tristan Butyl
Fri, 09/03/2010 - 11:10am

damn straight. get your fat asses out of lycra and back into plaid shorts where they belong.

RE: Great idea
By: Bob Abooey
Fri, 09/03/2010 - 10:31am

Lance has added more than 150,000 assholes to the sport who would have otherwise continued playing golf or tennis.

By: Seppe Crank
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 8:18pm
It's a little black schwinn
By: Giorgio Seatpost
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 5:21pm

It's a little black schwinn airdyne...clever!

BT erg
By: Colin
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 5:20pm

yeah, that BT erg is big with the trackie sprinters. its pretty expensive, though. its certainly something familiar to all rowers:

By: Mathys Topcap
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 4:09pm
Got this correction from
By: Andy Shen
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 4:04pm

Got this correction from LeMond Fitness about the power feature:

As for the Power Pilot, thought I’d give you a little correction. The console has temperature and humidity sensors built in that AUTOMATICALLY compensate for changes in air density. The only other factor is altitude and the user enters their elevation when they get the unit. Default is 1000ft.

Plus, the console will have a calibration feature to compensate for mechanical drag differences between units (belt tension, bearings, etc) so you can dial in your specific Revolution to really make the power accurate.

The unit will also have a USB port and be Ant+. This will allow the workout data (HR, Cadence, speed, power, etc) to be collected via USB stick or Ant+ enabled watch and uploaded to TrainingPeaks or other program. Another cool feature is that the unit will also allow you to UPLOAD workouts to it that are based on power zones, % threshold power, HR zones, % threshold HR, etc. All you have to do is increase or decrease your cadence to work in the designated zone as indicated by the console. No more referencing that printout from your coach…. Console beeps, shows you your goal and off you go…training and collecting your workout data. We plan on shipping the unit with a couple of programs pre-loaded...

Let me know if you have any other questions about the Power Pilot. It should be ready for sale before Thanksgiving.

Rob Bingham
Dir. Of Engineering
LeMond Fitness, Inc.

great idea!!!
By: Forese Grips
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 3:27pm

never would have thought of this...another genius idea from GL, no burning rubber saves tires and looks quite, leave it to GL, he's added over 150 invention to the sport. Lance?

Seems more like the purchase
By: schmalz
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 2:06pm

Seems more like the purchase of the metrigear.

Whoa, Schmalz, is that the
By: Arnaud Torque
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 1:21pm

Whoa, Schmalz, is that the evolution of Metrigear?

agree w/ LR, similar to kurt
By: the Duke
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 12:31pm

agree w/ LR, similar to kurt kinetic

andy you couldnt hit 690W ?!?!

polar/look pedal
By: LR
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 11:27am

Andy, you need to get your hands on the Polar/Look power pedals and do a review. I like this idea quite a bit. Looks like it should only add a minimal amount of weight to your bike and can easily be moved from one bike to another.

no power tap needed
By: LR
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 11:03am

You don't need a power tap with this. Unlike riding on the road where you have lots of variables contributing to resistance, riding the training only has one, the fan. So the manufacturer could just print a chart that you could use to figure out power.

Lemond should use a duct on the fan to blow the air straight at you while you ride, similar to what Kreitler does with their killer head wind unit.

I just checked the Lemond web site and it looks like they will have a power display unit with download capability available this winter.

Folding to a flat package would be a big plus.

$500 seems quite steep for what is basically a wind trainer.

By: killa
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 10:57am

Love the idea, great improvement. If not to late to modify design slightly it woulb be nice if they funneled the air up the rider's butt for a nice cooling effect, with a top vent like Kreitler's killer headwind does:
At least all those watts wouldn't go totally to waste if they saved you from having to put an electric fan on to cool off. It might make it less noisy too by allowing the air to escape.

As sez Goro Tigweld, leaves
By: Adrien Butyl
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 10:35am

As sez Goro Tigweld, leaves PowerTap owners scratching their heads.

racer mate
By: wind racer
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 10:27am

this device has been around at least 25 years, nice updated version with Lemond Fitness. As real feel as it gets especially for intervals/accelerations/sprints inddors, thats why the AUSSIE track team loves a similar device (BT Bikes Trainer)...end of the day, if you have rpm/hr/power numbers from your current trainer, not a huge difference in training effect for steady state effort.
E=Motion, "Inside Ride", rollers are by far the most road feel and actually ride your bike in or out of the saddle, steady state ir full sprint...just now light or foldable, so storage/portability limitations...

By: OC
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 9:46am

Emotion rollers are great. We own a set. They have a two layer system so that you don't fall off if you accelerate or slow since the inner frame is suspended and can move forward or backward to accommodate shifts. Also, there are bumpers (they look like rollerblade wheels) so you don't slide off the sides. The motion is nice and there are different resistance settings on the drums.

Yes you can use your own. You
By: Andy Shen
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 9:21am

Yes you can use your own. You can get a campy version too.

can you use
By: OC
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 9:20am

your own cassette? Will there be SRAM, Campy and Dura Ace versions?

I've only ridden it briefly
By: Andy Shen
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 9:13am

I've only ridden it briefly at Interbike a couple of years ago. Have some friends that just love them. My guess is that with small drums, you'll have a lot of rolling resistance, and if you turn on the resistance unit, you'll have a low inertia/high resistance package.

andy, realize its a very
By: snurgles
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 9:05am

andy, realize its a very different product, but have you tried emotion rollers, and if so any rec for one vs the other?

It'll be around $500, with
By: Andy Shen
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 8:40am

It'll be around $500, with the option of using your own cassette and paying less. They're working on a power calculator that'll give you your power based on speed and acceleration. You'll input numbers for air density.

Can I get one of these built
By: Goro Tigweld
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 8:32am

Can I get one of these built with a PowerTap hub? :-)

Other than that, the numbers make it look quite awesome.

By: Lars Internal Routing
Thu, 09/02/2010 - 8:29am

Looks interesting - how much will it sell for?

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