I'm trying to get back on my bike after some failed attempts at recovery from a herniated disk (PT's told me to stop riding but I just got worse anyway so now I'm trying to come back). I bought an upgrade to my magnetic trainer - a nice fluid one that's supposed to give better training, or so I heard.

So far I've been laying in the low gears and just keeping cadence high. Everything was fine, nice smooth ride. I can go 20-40 minutes just fine like that. But if I try to push myself a little bit by increasing the gear speed the trainer suddenly hits a wall and starts vibrating. It's really loud, like those buzz strips on the side of the road. Starts to pedal like I'm riding through snow or mud. I also have to tighten down the contact bar thing pretty tight to keep the tire from just squeeking.

Once I do this it pretty much kills the workout. Even dropping back down a gear or two doesn't make it go away. It's like the fluid gets too hot or something and it just doesn't perform as well.

Is this normal for a fluid trainer?

Further attempts to find the correct google incantations yielded some other people complaining about the same thing wrt the trainer I have, a Blackburn Tech Fluid. Still interested in more knowledgeable answers though...sometimes people just complain and don't know wtf they're talking about. Descriptions are very much like what I'm experiencing though:


1 Answer 1


That doesn't sound good... My fluid trainer has a pretty steady increase in resistance as I gear up. The noise also increases steadily with resistance. But there is no "wall". Vibration isn't really noticeable while on the bike either. It's normal for the fluid to heat up quite a bit -- it's what absorbs much of the energy you're putting out -- and the fins on the casing can get hot enough to burn after a long workout.

Can you get it checked out by the shop you bought it from? The fact that your tire is slipping sounds like something might be wrong with the unit (could also be the tire skipping on the roller that causes the noise/vibration?).

  • Thanks. Yeah, can probably talk them into checking it out. Thanks.
    – anon
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 1:30

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