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27-12-2022 | Eveline van der Hek

Dynamic Plate: dynamically through winter

Tacxing and zwifting, these two terms have only been in my cycling dictionary for about five years. And they are not on my favorite pages. Those of you who, like me, have a love-hate relationship with indoor cycling were no doubt also very grateful for the long Indian summer this year. But sooner or later, I have to get into it. For motivation, I am participating in the Zwift Racing League because a team sport makes me not want to give up and also like to make the most of it. And to be honest, once you get over the hurdle, it's secretly quite fun and an incredibly good workout.

What's not so fun, however, is that almost everything is going to hurt. You really have zero variation in your position on the bike. Only for a serious sprint do you get out of your saddle. And even as a very moderate sprinter, I already get the feeling that my bike could just break off the trainer. In short, it's completely static and that lack of variety results in a numb seat, strained shoulders and a groaning lower back.

Rocker plate

That I am not the only one is evident from the range of different brands and types of movable plates, the so called rocker plates. These can be placed under your trainer and bike and are said to make indoor cycling a lot more enjoyable. Somewhat by accident, I stumbled upon the Dynamic Plate via Strava and Instagram. This is made of two plates with rubber dampers between them and four pressure-adjustable balls. Suitable for most types of smart trainers, including my first generation Tacx Neo Smart. It is produced in the northern Netherlands which, being Dutch, I think is definitely a plus.

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Nice piece of engineering

Designers and owners Frank and Joost let me try out the Dynamic Plate before deciding whether or not to buy it. Time to put this Dynamic Plate to the test. First challenge is getting the thing into the attic. Thanks to the handle in the top plate, I manage to get the 22 kg construction up two flights of stairs quite easily. That handle is also the only slot made in the Dynamic Plate. Where other brands opt for a kind of cheese of holes to mount any type of trainer, the Dynamic Plate is nice and clean. Once your trainer is on it properly, you can easily secure it by screwing three blocks onto it and then attaching it to the trainer with Velcro. My Tacx Neo has its center of gravity in the middle, so as soon as it is in the middle of the Dynamic Plate, it is also immediately level. Should the whole thing not be level, you can use the included pump to provide one or more balls of extra air.

A different experience

All is set and I no longer have an excuse not to get on my bike. First, I work through a rather tough interval workout. It feels like I've been to the bike fitter and my body has to get used to new adjustments. I think it's a good sign because it means something is actually different. I alternate everything in this workout. Standing, sitting, high and low cadence. That way I'm discovering how the Dynamic Plate responds to what I'm doing. I'm cautiously positive.

A few days later comes the second test: a Zwift race of almost an hour and a half. I go full speed in the first sprint and it almost feels like being outside. You can move your bike really well from left to right. At least, the plate moves from left to right, because my Tacx, which is currently still loose on it, stays neatly in place.

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How about endurance training?

So far so good, but one more scoop is needed to make a final judgment. And that will be the Mega Pretzel in D1. For non-Zwifters: a 111 km route with over 1600 meters of elevation, at a low pace. Those are all the ingredients to get bothered by everything. And during this ride, I become definitive friends with my Dynamic Plate. What a relief! Only after an hour and a half I get out of my saddle for the first time to relieve my buttocks. By comparison, I couldn't last half an hour before. Sitting upright with my hands loose, I discover that I only need to tighten my core slightly to make the plate rock. I repeat this with my hands on the handlebars and that gives the same effect. The nice thing is that my pelvis is now moving instead of being fixed. And that in turn affects my lower back and shoulders. The need to regularly sit upright disappears as a result. I haven't figured it out, but I suspect it's also a good workout for my core. After four and a half hours, I am he-all done peering at my iPad, but still get off my bike smoothly.

Conclusion

Outdoor cycling is still way more fun than indoor cycling, but with the Dynamic Plate, it cycles a lot nicer. It can stay. At € 299 it is very reasonably priced compared to the competition. It is rock solid and very tightly finished. The top layer is easy to remove and non-slip. The latter is very nice because I will have to get used to stepping on a moving plate for a while.

Ordering can be done via the official website.

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