I am wanting to buy a new rear wheel to make my life easier when wanting to use my turbo trainer, so I don't need to change the tyre on my current wheel every time I wish to go out/stay in.

My current wheel is an AlexRims Ace19 with a internal width of 17mm.

As this is my first time buying wheels, what would be some considerations for getting something cheap that fits the bill? I say cheap because I'm using a used adventure bike, so nothing is expensive in my setup.

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    I'm afraid we don't do product recommendations here, as they are prone to becoming quickly outdated.
    – Andy P
    Jan 15, 2019 at 9:31
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    For this purpose, consider a used wheel. Try your local bike shop (LBS) or search around your city for a bike recycler. Or try ebay/gumtree/whatever auction/local listings sites there are in your city.
    – Criggie
    Jan 15, 2019 at 9:59
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    Possible duplicate of Rear wheel needed
    – ojs
    Jan 15, 2019 at 10:27
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    Edited the question and title to make it more generic and less closeable.
    – physicsboy
    Jan 15, 2019 at 11:44
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    Any cheap wheel (2nd hand) will do. Put on the cheapest 9-speed cassette and if it needs a new tyre get one of those ultra-hard trainer tyres that are not meant for road use. You'll go for many years.
    – Carel
    Jan 15, 2019 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


From your other question we know you have a Specialized Tri-Cross 3x9 with an XT MTB derailleur.

This is what you need to know:

  • Rim brakes and quick release hub.

  • Rim diameter: ISO 622 or '700c' - you can look up bicycle wheel rim diameter conventions

  • Rim internal width: You can go a little narrower or wider than 17mm as tires work on a range of rim widths. Check the min and max rim widths of the trainer tire you will be getting.

  • Hub width (between the frame dropouts); Your bike will either be 130 or 135mm. It's easy to measure with the rear wheel out.

  • 8/9/10 speed compatible. The cassette freehub body width for all those speeds is the same. On 11 speed wheels it's a little wider to accommodate 1 extra sprocket.

You don't care about spoke count, weight or stiffness so you can literally get any wheel that meets those specs. I'd look around on Craigslist or Facebook for a used wheel - but make sure it's reasonably true and the hub bearings are not worn out. Alternately you can get a new cheap wheel from either your LBS or one of the online bike component stores.


Just about any cheap wheel will do for trainer use.

Check your local Craig's List, peruse internet auction sites, and don't forget your local bike store - you may find they have "take offs", or wheels removed from new bikes they sold. Lots of stronger/heavier riders can't really ride some of the lightly-built 24- or 28-spoke rear wheels that come on some road bikes, so they'll buy a bike and a stronger set of wheels, leaving the bike store with a set of lighter wheels to sell.

But even if you're larger/heavier, riding a trainer isn't all that rough on a rear wheel - the wheel isn't supporting your weight, nor is it being subjected to impacts from hitting things while supporting your weight. And even if you're really strong, suddenly hammering the pedals in a sprint effort doesn't put anywhere near the stress on the wheel that doing the same outside does. On a trainer, if you spike your power really hard during a sprint effort, you'll just cause the tire to skip on the trainer's roller instead of passing a huge torque spike from your effort through the wheel to accelerate your and your bike.

One thing that does matter more on a trainer - trueness. You can actually get away with a wheel being quite a bit out-of-true outside, as the tire will absorb a lot. Not so on a trainer, especially if you have any in-and-out or "hop" in your wheel. You want a nice even engagement between the tire and the trainer's roller.

And if you're not using a "smart" trainer that can vary resistance to do things like simulate a real climb - don't use a wide-range cassette on a trainer - no 11-32s. Get something with a closer range. For a 9-speed, I wouldn't want anything much wider than an 11-25 or so, and ideally an 11-23 corncob. The close ranges are necessary so you can closely tune your cadence, power, and effort level. For example, if you want to do a 90-min ride at, say, 90 RPM, you may find a wide-range cassette limiting your options to 81 or 97 RPM at an effort level you can sustain for 90 min. You're not likely to even be able to use a 32 or even a 28 on the trainer, but there are uses for the 11 - simulating steep hill climbs, for example.

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    The OP has indicated in another question that he is using a smart trainer - in this instance a larger cassette can be desirable when it simulates a climb. For oldschool 'dumb' trainers however I agree 100%
    – Andy P
    Jan 15, 2019 at 12:21

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