Feedback Sports Omnium Trainer Review (2017 – 2018)
This year at Interbike I got a chance to check out the Feedback Sports booth and their Feedback Sports Omnium Trainer.
The trainer is instantly recognizable with it’s bright red anodized finish and silver rollers. The Omnium Portable falls into a hybrid category, which is a cross between rollers and a stationary fork mount trainer. It’s a non-electric trainer, which means there are no electric or computerized components.
Most trainers in the market today are rear mount Direct Drive or Wheel-On. The Omnium is one of the few trainers that doesn’t require the rear wheel to be removed (Direct Drive trainers) or locked in place (Wheel-On trainers). Most people would agree removing the rear wheel is a hassle and would ultimately prefer not having to do so.
The problem with most Wheel-On trainers is they tend to wear down tires due to using a single roller to control resistance. The Omnium virtually eliminates the issue with the dual roller setup, providing much better tire grip and less slipping.
Feedback Sports Omnium Arrives
After speaking with Feedback Sports crew at Interbike, they sent out a review sample for us to test.
Unlike most trainers, the Feedback Sports Omnium packs up really small and is super light, weighing just around 14 pounds.
The Omnium comes standard with it’s own black carrying bag.
The trainer also comes with a fork mount quick release and thru axles adapters.
After unboxing the Omnium you get the trainer, a black transport carrying bag, a front quick release skewer and thru axles adapters.
Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer
What makes the Feedback Sports Omnium trainer rather unique is it’s ability to quickly breakdown for traveling purposes. The trainer’s portability is exactly why road cycling teams use these trainers for pre race warmups and cool downs.
The Omnium Trainer uses what Feedback Sports calls Internal Progressive Resistance (IPR): delivering a real-road feel with minimal noise. In essence, the IPR is a magnetic resistance drum based system. While on the trainer, as you increase your speed the resistance increases and requires more power (watts) to maintain, which is very similar to real-road conditions.
As far as noise goes, the trainer definitely is louder than a direct drive trainer when pushing big watts, but not over the top.
Cyclists who ride the Omnium will experience similar resistance to that of a fluid stationary bike trainer, but without the tire wear that comes with most Wheel-On trainers. The other benefit is there is absolutely no maintenance required and no risk of fluid leakage.
For those looking for a roller feel without the scariness of full rollers, the Omnium with it’s front fork mount is like having training-wheels on without having to worry about crashing or slipping off the rollers.
The trainer doesn’t have a fly wheel, so once you stop pedaling the trainer comes to a stop pretty quick.
There is a safety issue, like most Wheel-On trainers and rollers, you need to make sure your pets and kids don’t accidentally run into your rear wheel as it’s spinning.
With the rear wheel elevated by the rollers, getting on the trainer will be a bit more challenging for some due to the bike being higher than normal.
Feedback Sports Omnium Trainer Specifications
- MSRP: $429.99
- Folded dimensions: 27.75″ x 7.25″ x 8″
- Total weight: 14 lbs (list) 13.7 lbs actual
- Internal Progressive Resistance
- Accepts standard QR, 12×100, 15×100 & 15×110 (boost) thru axles
- Adjustable wheelbase and fork-mount height for various bicycles (road, MTB, cyclocross)
- No tools required to assemble or store — simply unfold and fold.
- Bearings are greased and sealed, requiring no maintenance
- Includes heavy-duty tote bag for transport and storage
- 3-year warranty
- More info: feedbacksports.com
Smart Trainer Cycling Sessions
While the Omnium isn’t considered a smart trainer, if you install the rear wheel with a speed sensor, you can use cycling applications like Zwift, Trainer Road and Sufferfest.
All that is required is the speed sensor and pairing an application like Zwift to the sensor. Once paired, Zwift or other cycling applications can simulate your riding on screen.
The downside of course is the Omnium trainer can’t take advantage of the cycling application’s instant feedback like changes in elevation, surfaces and resistance.
Feedback Sports Omnium Trainer | Bottom Line
We really like the concept of the Omnium trainer. Being able to easily transport it to and from a racing event is where the the trainer really shines. The progressive resistance works as advertised and can give you a heck of a workout. I can easily see using this trainer after a ride or race to cool down or just to spin.
The only drawback to the Omnium is lack of any type of electronic feedback on watts, speed or distance. Those who don’t have a watt meter on their cranks or pedals will not get any watt data. In my case I use the Wahoo Bolt out of the box, which relies on GPS for speed and distance and doesn’t register that information while stationary. Electronic Trainers like the Taxc Neo and the Wahoo KICKR do display all that information with the appropriate software applications like Zwift, Trainer Road and Sufferfest.
The Omnium trainer in our estimation is more of a niche market trainer that does exactly what it was designed to do, be a very portable trainer that is easy to setup and breakdown. Adding the ability to record cycling information such as speed, watts and distance would open it’s appeal to a wider audience looking to record their rides while on the trainer.
Check out Feedback Sports (https://www.feedbacksports.com) for their cool products and trainers.