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Help!!! Trainer mishap(15 posts)

Help!!! Trainer mishapkeyser soze
Sep 27, 2001 3:58 PM
I'm new to road biking this year and thought I'd get an indoor trainer for the winter. Tried it out the first time today - now I feel like a moron. Set up the trainer (Blackburn wind trainer) with the tension very light. After 15 - 20 minutes I smelled some burning. When I got off and checked, the rear tire was wearing away a flat spot all the way around the center of the tire tread.

Does anyone have any experience with these and what am I doing wrong? It can't be that difficult. Should the tension be higher or lower?

Any advice would be appreciated.

PS - Is the tire ruined with that flat spot?
re: Help!!! Trainer mishapI Love Shimano
Sep 27, 2001 6:00 PM
I, too, don't know if I'm doing it right, but I also have the flat spot and the scent of burning rubber. I've heard before that trainers really wreck your tires. I've also heard that they don't. Some peope have told me that you just have to make the tire touch the trainer. This does not give me enough resistance, so I turned the adjustment know a couple or so millimeters. I think it's ok to tighten it a BIT. I get the burning scent no matter how tight the tire is on the trainer. As for how good the tire is for riding, I wouldn't try any fast corners or do any races on them!
First of all.....(kindred spirit?)rollo tommassi
Sep 27, 2001 6:27 PM
I just wanted to post "rollo tommassi" next to "keyser soze"
Us Kevin Spacey fans have to stick together.

the other thing to check with the tire is to make sure that you're not rubbing the ground. this would be especially true if you are on carpeting. nothing worse that singed DuPont...

i have to shim up my trainer about 1/4".
The usual Suspects...nm4bykn
Sep 27, 2001 10:51 PM
Yeah, watch that carpet...cory
Sep 28, 2001 7:55 AM
Want to know why I spent $1300 last spring? I set the trainer up in the living room, something I don't normally do, so I could watch the BIG television instead if the little one. The back wheel was ju-u-u-s-t touching the Dupont... I gave it a hard 45 minutes, occasionally sniffing smoke. When I got done, there was a permanent black stripe an inch wide and four inches long in the geometric center of the room.
That's just dumb design--why would you make a trainer so the wheel touches the ground????!!!--but if I ride on anything but bare floor, I have to put a brick or 2x4 under each side of the trainer, then block up the front wheel to level the bike.
As far as hurting the are expendable anyway, meant to wear out. But you can cut costs by watching the sales at Nashbar or Performance and buying a couple of whatever they have for $4.99 at the end of the season.
re: Help!!! Trainer mishapjacques
Sep 27, 2001 6:47 PM
It sounds like you set the tension too light. Before you get on the bike, grab one pedal with your strong hand. If you can make the tire slip by hand-cranking, it's set too light. Once you're on the bike, simulate a hard jump. If the tire slips for just one or two crank revolutions, the tension is right. If it doesn't slip at all, the tension is set too tight.

Re that flat spot: wipe your tire with a wet rag. The "flat spot" might just be accumulation of aluminum dust from the trainer contact roller.

And if you really think about it: go ahead and trash one tire during your fall/winter roller sessions. The gain in strength and aerobic fitness should be worth the $ 35.00 or so to you.


re: Help!!! Trainer mishapkeyser soze
Sep 28, 2001 4:28 AM
Thats about where I had the tension set - it was initially higher but was giving too much resistance. As for the tire, I'm more than willing to go through even a couple of tires through the winter - but this was less than 20 minutes and there were little black flakes/bits of rubber all over the cellar floor. I'm just concerned about getting on the trainer for an hour or more - that I could go through a tire every session. I'm not so willing to do that.
re: Not Only TrainersTylerman
Sep 28, 2001 2:33 AM
I have been using rollers during rainy periods (common here in Houston for several consecutive days of rain) and they really tear up the rear tire. In fact, when I finish an hour on them I usually have black streaks on the floor/carpet between the rear drums where the rubber has become particulate and fallen to the ground. The amateur physicist in me has theorized that this is due to the tire heating up more than normal from being in constant contact with an metal surface rather than asphalt or concrete, causing the rubber to break down. But as has been said by other posters, the cost of a new tire is worth the benefit.
Yep.Kaiser Permanente
Sep 28, 2001 4:28 AM
A lot of trainers do this. You can monkey w/ the tension and such to reduce the wear but the real solution is to use cheap training tires. Sad but true.
re: Help!!! Trainer mishapFred the Cross-Oser
Sep 28, 2001 5:27 AM
I have the same problem with my trainer. Adjusting the settings can help some, but I have learned that the only way to go is to have a tire for use only on the trainer.

I have found that Vittoria Techno Twin Treads hold up well on the trainer. They are on closeout sale at Performance for cheap $$$. The key is to get a cheaper, heavy tire instead the light racing tires. They just hold up to the heat and friction a lot better.
increase tire pressureDWH
Sep 28, 2001 6:38 AM
I have had the same problem. No way to eliminate it, but you can reduce it. Make sure your tire is inflated properly (the higher psi the better in my experience). Also, make sure the tension against the roller is tight (no slipping).
Anybody tried solid tires to deal with this? nmscottfree
Sep 28, 2001 7:44 AM
Rule #1 never use your good stuff on trainers or rollers.MB1
Sep 28, 2001 8:34 AM
Rule #2 It doesn't matter how junk the bike in your trainer is as long as it fits. A $25 yardsale special is fine as long as you can put your regular seat and pedals on it. $5 K-Mart tires are fine too.

Rule #3 You are not a moron, you are just going through a steep learning curve faster that those who don't learn from their mistakes.

Rule #4 Put a piece of plywood or cardboard underneath your training area. To protect the floor/carpet and to have an even surface under you.

Rule #5 Always have fun!
Rule #1 never use your good stuff on trainers .JohnG
Sep 28, 2001 11:47 AM
I corrected your misprint in the topic.

Watch the tire pressure, too.jw25
Sep 28, 2001 1:17 PM
It's not something you think about, but the tire needs to be inflated to it's "optimal" pressure. If it's too soft, the extra flex really heats up the casing and rubber, which can accelerate wear.
As for the quick and uneven wear, the only time I noticed this was during my first use of a trainer, when I set the tension far too low. The tire looked to be melting, and leaving a dark black stripe on the roller. The roller needs to be pushed into the tire (the suggestion about pedaling by hand and trying to get the tire to break away is spot on). Minoura recommends half a turn of the adjustment knob after the tire and roller touch.
Personally, I'd rather have the tension set too high, as the wear is still less than melting the center of the tire.
I use worn-out tires on the trainer, since if they pop, I'll stay upright...
Good luck with it, and have a great winter.