bikeacces.com Co-Plate Review

First things first.. What is it?

Co-plate aims to increase the realistic feeling of indoor training, by using air suspension the plate allow the attached trainer to move side to side, up and down.

Make sense?! If not this video helps explain much more than words can

Installation and setup

Bikeacces include all required manuals and they are very easy to follow (I can provide links if you wish) but as a quick over-view here’s the installation I did to my Tacx Vortex Smart.
Here’s the main plate itself, It comes packaged with the main plate and the small boxes containing the various fixings.

Initial Plate and Pack
Co-Plate removed from packaging and fixings

Use the fixings to secure the trainer in place (Note that in the case of the Tacx Vortex Smart the resistance unit will need to be removed to secure the fixings around the tube frame)

Install fixings
Fixings secured

That’s installation completed for the main unit, there is also additionally a front wheel riser and step (*These are additional cost) they could be made yourself, but for simplicity I bought via Co-Plate for a “complete” experience.

The riser could be done with a small box but the step whether bought from Co-plate or making your own is essential as you must NOT stand on the main unit as it will damage the air suspension.
The supplied step and riser in my case were easy to assemble, four screw in feet and also includes some double sided sticky pads to secure in place.

Pads installed and bike
Left – Pads installed to bottom of Tacx front wheel support

So all done!..

Well nearly the package includes a pump and gauge these are to check and adjust the air suspension either for your weight or preference (Increasing the pressure would reduce the amount of movement, the manuals give max pressures) It’s very easy to do and as the manual says make sure the pump needle and the gauge are entered into the valve at a 90degree angle to ensure the valve/air suspension is not damaged.

Pump and gauge
Left – Packaged Pump + Gauge. Right – Gauge into air suspension

So now all done? Yes! Here’s how it looks when setup

All done!
Various completed views

 

Review Time!

Ok.. So how does it perform?..

Very well indeed I have to say I was initially concerned about the stability I felt as though I was going to fall over to the side when I first “hopped” on, For this reason I must stress that the step is an essential (Whether bought from Co-plate or home-made) because during this getting used to the Co-Plate you can balance one foot on the step while getting stable/clipped in.
It’s a unusual feeling at first as you feel a lot higher than before and the movement makes you feel un-easy but once you start pedalling away it goes, and there starts the more natural movement of the bike and the way your body moves during the pedal stroke it feels a lot more “normal” I say that as nothing is going to feel like riding outdoors because at the end of the day you’re not!

Then after 2-3 minute of riding you forget the fact you were at first thinking it felt odd and away you go, sprinting and climbing feels SO much better.
I held back from posting this review as I felt 1-2 weeks testing wasn’t long enough I’ve now had the Co-Plate since 2nd February 2016 (so nearly four weeks) and can comfortably say its highly recommended bit of kit from me, I’ve done a few FTP test on Zwift make sure its stable with twenty minutes flat out.
I’ve then done longer rides watching a film for 2-3 hours to ensure the suspension stayed inflated after continuous movement, pure 20-30 and 40 seconds sprints and its not missed a beat, Weight shouldn’t be an issue I weigh around 15stone/95KG/210lbs so a fairly big build for road cycling and no problems what so ever.

You do have to check the pressure (I personally do it every week-two – not sure on the official maintenance interval check) using the gauge, I’ve not seen a drop but it’s worth checking as part of a routine.
One thing I can say is the noise produced is certainly less, How much? I’ve no idea as I didn’t measure it before but its certainly quieter as I don’t have to have the TV volume as high anymore. (Hopefully someone can do a db test before and after installing)

So overall I really rate the Co-Plate its certainly added a more immersive feel to my indoor training, most of my testing has been done while using Zwift and its certainly given me a boost to train because it feels “better” whether that’s because its new toy or more engaging I can’t say but it does make me want to train more indoor because it feels overall more interesting.
Would I buy it again, Definitely I saw the Co-Plate posted on the Zwift Riders Facebook group and it sparked my interest from there I sent Co an email asking for details and a price estimate and he was more than happy to answer all questions I asked and has been a fantastic resource and a genuinely nice guy.

It does what it claims and I personally think its priced fair, its well-built and backed by a two- year warranty, It certainly adds to the overall training experience.

Zwift has made a big improvement to my fitness regime and given me a lot less reasons to skip training because of time constraints, weather etc etc and this coupled with Zwift has become my go to work out.

Here’s the view of the trainer / Zwift

IMG_0086
Co-Plate/Zwift View

Variants

I’ve received a few questions about different versions, Coplate list the following trainers they support – Tacx, WAHOO Kickr, Elite Real Turbo Muin , CycleOps* Jetblack*, Kurt Kinetic*, M-Wave* , Bkool* etc.     * = available on request.

Part numbers and details on these are available here:- http://www.bikeacces.com/rocking-plate-info.html

Manuals for the devices can be found here:- http://www.bikeacces.com/rocking-plate-assembly.html

So if your interested drop them an email @ bikeacces@ziggo.nl or using the contact us page on their website (http://www.bikeacces.com/contact.html).

Main website – http://www.bikeacces.com/

Product Link – http://www.bikeacces.com/rocking-plate-info.html

I’ve managed to secure a discount on the Co-Plate it may vary dependant on your location (shipping methods etc) simply quote Zwift when asking for a quote, As an indication the full non-discounted Co-Plate itself is 189Euro plus shipping, the step and front wheel riser are extra.
*The price for the Co-Plate includes the Gauge and Pump*

The delivery came VERY well packaged! Infact it took me quite some time to get it unpacked but it was well protected! Good to see!

Questions? Ask away

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bikeacces.com Co-Plate Review

6 thoughts on “bikeacces.com Co-Plate Review

  1. Paul Rich says:

    Nice review and have to say that this was something that’s been on my mind for a while. I’ve always thought that the biggest problem with turbo training is that when you really push the effort it’s actually counter intuitive to real life. Having the fixed bike means that rather than using your upper body to pull the bike for hills and sprints you’re the one doing the moving (not the bike). Plus, it can over stress the bottom bracket shell and despite people saying that the manufacturers have told them that their bike is OK for turbo training I wonder whether if it came to it the companies would actually stand to it – I really don;t think that they’re aware of the punishment bikes can have when using Zwift – especially with racing. So, the question I have for you is to what extent do you feel that it replicates the feeling you get on the road and do you think it gets the power down better than having the static trainer. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Paul, Thanks for reading the review and your question.

      Completely agree and its why I mentioned that during the pedal stroke the feeling/momentum does feel more “normal” hard to say to what extent it replicates but its a major step up from static pedalling.
      I feel more of my body involved involved from the workout and with Zwift climbing feels so much better, as you mentioned if I stand out of the saddle it felt exactly the same as sitting before where as know I feel the movement from my upper body and hips actually assisting.
      Same applies with the sprint sections I feel more like I would outside if I decided to sprint climb I would at times move more on the bike as I became struggling or needed that out of saddle movement.

      As for strain on the bike, funny you should mention it! When I first saw this mentioned on Zwift Riders one of the appeals was the thinking that as the “load” and “force” are applied to the trainer the Co-Plate should vary this more reducing the effect on the frame (My thinking and I could be wrong!) but it was also something that pushed me towards buying one.

      Hope this helps 🙂

      Like

  2. shadowmate says:

    Good to see your review. I have been following this with great interest. Just contacted now for my quote. A couple of questions for you.
    1. I am nearly your exact weight. Is it feasible to fine tune the rocking using pressures? Are there minimum and maximum pressures and the higher it gets the less rocking and bounce there is?
    2. Could costs be reduced by not bundling a pump and gauge in future models? Thinking of a home track pump.and pressure gauge with a football inflator adaptor.
    3. Have you tried a Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller type trainer previously to compare against for us?
    4. How is the power lead with the rocking n wobbles from the unit? Any loosening?
    5. If you sat on the bike and leaned to the side what angle does it stop at?

    Thanks. Mark

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mark

      Thanks for your comment and reading the review.

      1 – Yes the rocking effect can be tuned to your liking I personally have it around 0.35 bar this to compensate for my weight slightly and also so that the rocking effect is minor in normal riding and the rocking effect is more apparent when climbing/sprinting.
      Heres a response I had from Co when I contacted them about buying the Coplate

      “Hello Lee Parker,

      Your weight is no problem for construction.

      The pressure of 0,2 bar is based on my experience for the rocking effect.
      With a pressure higher than about 0,4 bar the ‘rocking effect’ will be minimum.”

      I will ask for some more details around pressure and weights and report back, as the manual says maximum of 0.3 bar on the sticker so I`ll check for more details

      2 – Possibly as I don’t work for them I’m not sure if they are sourced at cost or provided with some of the parts they purchase to create the unit. I have personally bought another pressure gauge as I dropped the included one and was worried it may not work correctly but it has continued to do so, So I’ve not yet used the new one! (Ask when emailing and see what they say)

      3 – Unfortunately I’ve not so I cant comment

      4 – Honestly its not something I had considered but its never come loose, On my trainers its a figure of eight type connector that is fairly snug inside. I`ll keep an eye out but so far I’ve not had a problem I had the cable run over the plate and straight into the resistance unit.

      5 – This can be changed to each riders own preference using the pressure of the air suspension. I personally have it so it only moves slightly during normal riding (5-10 degrees maybe?) and then during more sprint/climbing style movement around 10-25 degrees? (Im guessing here!)
      Quite hard to say angle as when I’m on the bike I cant see myself but that’s how it feels! As I say this can be tweaked to suit.
      I have noticed if you go on the http://www.bikeacces.com website one of the scrolling images on the main page show the unit at near full lean, This might help. The angles I’ve mentioned are of my body in relation to the floor.

      Hope this helps, Anymore questions feel free to ask 🙂

      Like

  3. Rocky Mark says:

    Hi – I just received the Co-plate a week ago and been on a few rides since then. Can only confirm what Lee has written in his review. Good value for money, got a nice discount and the quality of the assembly is indeed good. The riding feeling has improved and I would buy it again. It took about a 20′ to assemble, quite easy, and I had to fine tune the air on both sides to have the balance right, this is critical to feel stable on the bike, I am happily using the stock pump and gauge. A step is required and I bought a chip one on Amazon. So far very pleased with the purchase, will give an update in a couple of weeks time.

    Like

    1. Hello!
      Great to hear of other peoples thoughts. I made a slight tweak last night to the pressures so I now have some more movement (Lowering pressures) now I feel confident getting on and off the Coplate/Bike.

      Looking forward to hearing your feedback in a few weeks time

      Like

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