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Do trainers damage bikes?(4 posts)

Do trainers damage bikes?kenyee
Aug 14, 2001 10:26 AM
Inadvertently posted this as a reply when it should be a new topic...

I just started reading the Smart Cycling book by Arnie Baker. He mentions that to really train, you can't use rollers; you need to use a trainer. However, he also says to get an old bike to stick on the trainer because you'll do premature stress damage to your bike if you stick it on a trainer; he also mentions sweat, but you can get sweat shields for that.
re: Do trainers damage bikes?Cliff Oates
Aug 14, 2001 10:43 AM
From the Tech Q&A at the Waterford web site:

Should I use my Waterford on my Windtrainer?



Only if you're careful. When you ride on the road, your bike sways and leans as you shift your weight from side to side. Clamp it into a wind trainer, all that force is absorbed by the dropout, dramatically accelerating frame fatigue. What can you do?

  • Avoid wind trainers which clamp at the bottom bracket. These can be particularly damaging to your bike. Trainers which clamp at the rear dropouts put less stress on the frame.

  • Supplement your wind trainer with a set of rollers which, since they have no such clamping, take less of a toll on the frame. Rollers help you develop important handling skills which you can't get from a regular wind trainer.

  • Use your "beater" frame on your wind trainer. This can mean many more seasons for your Waterford frameset.

  • Tell us if you plan to buy a Waterford for use with a wind trainer. We can substitute extra-strong chainstays and seatstays which compensate for the extra stress and strain.


  • What else should I know about indoor training?



    Besides the extra wear and tear from wind trainers, don't forget about other considerations associated with indoor training.

    Among such considerations, protecting your frame from sweat is most important. When on the road, wind dramatically reduces the amount of sweat which drips onto the frame during riding. When riding indoors, less evaporation takes place and some training areas are quite warm. This means a lot more sweat hitting the frame. Be sure to clean off your frame after every workout! An occasional waxing provides additional protection.

    Lube it up: Just because you train indoors doesn't mean you can ignore normal mechanical maintenance. In particular, make sure the drive train and head set are properly lubricated before every ride. Not only does this extend your bike's life, it makes your spring ramp up easier.

    Keep it warm or keep it cold: Keep your bike indoors if it is your trainer and outdoors if it's your commuter bike. Great changes in temperature inevitably create condensation on both inside and outside surfaces - expecially when you bring your bike in from the cold.

    It's just like how an ice-cold glass sweats on a hot summer day. If you plan on riding all winter, store your outdoor bike in the cold. Not only does this eliminate condensation from forming, it also keeps your bike in closer adjustment since your cables don't contract and expand with the temperature changes.
    re: I wouldn't worry so muchTaylor_A
    Aug 14, 2001 10:55 AM
    My steel frame bike probably has about 500 hours in the trainer with no ill effects.

    Not saying that something couldn't happen, but I think the likelihood is slim.
    Trainers won't do much damage ifSlothlike
    Aug 14, 2001 9:13 PM
    you keep a steady pedal stroke. It is the hard out of the saddle, pulling on the handlebars type of riding that causes the frame to twist. On the road, the bike flexes but with no restraint but when locked into the trainer it the flex is restrained. If you keep a nice steady pedal stroke you won't cause too much twisting action. Sweat is far more damaging. The costs of a little wear and tear on the bike is much better than not riding at all. Plus the fluid trainer I have gives me a really hard workout that not even rollers could give you. A lot of resistance. I almost dread it.