UPDATE: the S11.0 is no longer available. It’s a great trainer, but FreeMotion has told me that they didn’t see enough sales to home users = they’ve discontinued it.
FreeMotion S11.0 Review – NOTE: most of this applies to the commercial versions of the FreeMotion Indoor Cycles; S11.8, S11.9 as well. The primary differences are the frame material, seat, bars and some of the smaller components.
Disclosure and perspective: I’m teaching weekly on the FreeMotion S11.9 at LifeTime Fitness. FreeMotion sent me a demo S11.0 (free of charge) for me to evaluate and train on at home – thank you Cameron and Will Grossman!
The FreeMotion S11.0 was designed for a Road Cyclist / Triathlete (who trains with Power) looking for a stable Indoor Trainer to ride instead of clamping their very expensive road bike into a turbo trainer. Amazon.com offers the best price I’m aware of and it ships free.
Another option could be the ProForm Le Tour De France (2012 Model)
you’ve seen advertised on TV – read on to find out why…
Delivery and Setup
The bike came to my home in one large box via truck freight. Amazon is offering free shipping that I understand normally runs about $75.00 to most locations in the USA.
Assembling the bike was pretty easy as all I had to do, once I cut away the cardboard, was bolt the base to the frame 4 bolts total. The handlebars and seat come fully assembled – the seat was even perfectly level.
I checked the chain adjustment and alignment, which was spot on, and installed a pair of Look pedals. The S11.0 comes with simple one sided shoe baskets. The S11.9 version that I ride at Life Time comes with double-sided shoe basket/SPD pedals.
Accurate Power Indication with Magnetic Resistance
While Keiser, Schwinn and the ProForm Tour de France bike are estimating your power/watts through position sensors on the magnets that create the load, FreeMotion took a different route and gives you measured power from a Strain Gauge mounted on the left crank arm. While estimated power maybe OK for club members, If you train with power on your road bike you want the truest indication possible = something close to what you see from your Power Tap or other device. At $1,800 (with the power/cadence meter) there isn’t another indoor trainer like it on the planet.
UPDATE: Stages has a new iPhone App that is simply amazing and have review of the App here.
Ride Data Recording and Download
Here’s a graph of a one minute interval + two minute recovery I did as a demonstration. 193 data points 🙂 I have excluded the Miles and MPH data to make the graph clearer. The .csv file writes to the thumb drive whenever you hit the stage button or hold down the Ave/End button for 3 seconds.
Stable Training Platform
Heavy in a road bike is bad – but heavy in an Indoor Trainer is great. This trainer feels like it’s bolted to the floor. I’m only 160lbs and my big sprint days are long past – yet this thing is rock-solid stable during a short (OK, very short) 600 watt sprint in a big gear.
Racing Saddle and Drop Bars (33cm center to center)
I realize that the skinny seat is only attractive to cyclists, but it fits me perfectly. And why aren’t those adjustable drop bars on the top level S11.9?
The FreeMotion S11.0 is available at amazon.com and right now they’re offering free shipping >
Freemotion S11.0 Indoor Cycle – Includes FMPW11 Power Sensor Console
Dec 2013 update – I’m missing not being able to ride my road bike and am hoping to try out a Wahoo Kickr indoor trainer with my VeloVie in the near future.