Do turbo trainers damage your bike

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by buggi, 27 Mar 2008.

  1. buggi

    buggi Bird Saviour

    i was thinking about this the other day when i was on my turbo. because the back chainstay/seatstays are locked in place, do you think this puts extra stress on your bike when you are pedalling?

    i seemed to be getting a lot of flex in the frame i was riding. don't know if that's just coz it was an old frame but it made me wonder if having the rear end locked down caused extra stress on the bike or maybe whether it just seemed like a lot of flex coz i wasn't going anywhere and was watching my bike rather than the road.

  2. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Guildford / London
    Riding a turbo shouldn't overstress your frame, as long as you don't overtighten the turbos' hold on your bike, or have it loose enough that your bike can wiggle around.

    I know for d@am sure that riding on the road flexes my frame far more than on the turbo. When I first bought the turbo I was concerned that the frame was flexing a lot for a pretty small power input from me, however I have pinned it down to a couple of things,

    1) Am not moving, so don't have the road pushing the bike around, and I can focus on the bike not looking where I'm going.

    2) The whole turbo sways through the pedal strokes a little, as I am on carpet laid on floorboards that give a little, that is what causes the apparently large flex in the frame when I'm on the turbo.
  3. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Behind a desk
    If you're sweating heavily, it can encourage corrosion, apparently.
  4. andygates

    andygates New Member

    Only if you let it drip all over your bike. Drape a towel over the tube - you'll want one anyway.

    No, turbos don't damage bikes. This question is in the same category as "clipless: will I die?" methinks :smile:
  5. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    S of Kendal
    My bike gets very bored and listless on the turbo. It's paint looks dull and it groans a lot at the start of every session.

    Or am I just projecting my own feelings onto it?
  6. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    I have heard carbon frames don't bide well in a turbo
  7. Dave5N

    Dave5N Über Member

    WTF? It grips through the skewer ffs!

    I don't like a decent carbon or lightweight bike on a turbo for anything other than warm-ups. I bought a cheapo (£20) bike and use that as a permanent trainer.
  8. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Likewise I use my very old and tired Fixie on the Turbo where she has taken root probably for the rest of her years. Also Turbo's square-off tyres very quickly. An old bike and tyre strapped-on seems a good idea for a lot of turbo use.
  9. Steve Austin

    Steve Austin The Marmalade Kid

    I used a Ti frame on a turbo for a session or two. It felt like i was sitting on top of a flag pole, with all the flexing going on beneath me.

    Now use a very old steel frame, which is much more stable.
  10. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    I agree, I use an old steel Raleigh Sprint someone dumped in my father-inlaw's garden as a permanent training bike. In the words of the old joke if it dies, it dies!
  11. palinurus

    palinurus Guru

    Next project: turbohack. At least I don't need to bother with brakes.
  12. Mac66

    Mac66 Senior Member

    Seem to recall that turbo's can be a bit rough on rear tyres. Conti do a special hard compound tyre for turbo training.
  13. robbarker

    robbarker Well-Known Member

    I've never liked the idea of the lateral flex you get on a turbo trainer.

    They are for wimps anyway; real riders use rollers..
  14. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    My old 531 plain Gauge Holds flexes by an amazing amount. I've never put my Alu frame on the trainer.
  15. OP

    buggi Bird Saviour

    yea, but flex when you are out on the road is taken into account when they design the frame of the bike. also, the bike is constantly on the move and not held in place. what i mean is, coz the back is fixed to the turbo, are you stressing the bike in a different kind of way or at a part of the frame that isn't designed to take the stress?

    i'm not sure i'm explaining myself but it's a bit like (obviously on a larger scale) if you are in a car and you bump into another car, the other car moves a little so you experience less damage to your own. but if you hit a tree you're car is totally fecked bcoz the tree don't move. does the turbo have the same effect on the bike frame as it allows little movement of the overall frame. do you understand what i mean?

    or put it like this, i watched a programme where a train hit some buffers at low speed (about 10mph). the first two carriages of the train were not too badly damaged, but the shock wave travelled down the train and unexpectedly wrecked the carriages at the other end. they said this was because their was no give in the buffers.

    i know those two things are on a totally larger scale but as the turbo is unnaturally holding the bike in place and allowing no normal movement across a surface, could it cause stress on parts of the bike that normal riding wouldn't? especially on new carbon frames as has been said, and would rollers be a better overall option?

    when i pedal down the road, i'm sure the whole frame moves with me because it's not held in place. when i pedal on a turbo, the back is held still but the front is not, and i think it would probably flex more.
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