I have a disc road bike (QR); I use it also with an indoor trainer with a specific training tire. I would like to buy a wheel to be used only on the trainer (with the specific tire).

Since I don't use the brakes on the indoor trainer (no descents there...) could I use a non-disc wheel on my bike for the indoor trainer? They would cost less and easily found on 2nd hand market...

Or are disc wheels actually different (both QR obviously)?

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    You should insert a spacer between the disk calipers to keep them from being closed. Purpose-made spacers are available from bike shops, or you can get a plastic shim (in bundles of 12) at a building supply shop. Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 12:05
  • yes but using spacers aside are there any other difference in the wheels? Are they compatible if I don't use the brakes?
    – Leo
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 12:59
  • There are several different axle diameters (though generally quick-release is consistent), and of course, several different hub widths. Those need to match, within reason. Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 13:01
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    You are not limited to a 700c wheel.As you aren't using brakes any wheel with the correct hub width should work. Even a 26 inch mountain bike wheel could work. The smaller wheel diameter should position the tire at a point in the chain stay that a slick 26 x 1.5 should fit.
    – mikes
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 22:28
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    Criggie, rollers are different than wheel-on rear trainers. Commented Mar 28, 2020 at 5:33

2 Answers 2


The standard hub width for road wheels with QR is 130mm for non disc and 135mm for disc hubs. Even though you can force the frame to clamp around narrower hub, it is strongly recommended to add spacers to the axle to adjust the width. As mentioned in comments, if you have hydraulic brake it's best to insert a spacer between brake pads so that you do not eject the pistons if you accidentally grab the brake.

  • 1
    Agreed. It’s probably preferable to add spacers, I think. If it’s a steel or titanium frame, the stays will likely bend and spring back. If it’s carbon, then presumably they didn’t engineer the stays to bend that way, so I would seriously avoid it - not that I can prove anything bad will happen, it’s just out of a reasonable amount of caution. Same with aluminum.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 13:14
  • I agree, I'm editing the answer to strongly recommend spacers
    – ojs
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 13:36
  • uh so they are actually different... 130 vs 135... then it does not make that much sense, I'll look into a disc based one...
    – Leo
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 14:23
  • Best to measure your frame to make sure before you go looking. Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 15:55
  • @ojs how do you add spacers to the hub?
    – CJ F
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 14:07

A minor point is that with no brake available for your roller session, the rear wheel will take longer to stop.

That's going to be totally fine most of the time, but if you have pets or children, keep them away from the spinning bits because there's no good way to stop it quickly.

Perhaps running the resistance slightly higher might mitigate this slightly.

  • I understand the OP is not using rollers but a trainer. A turbo trainer has a considerable resistance and will stop the wheel fast. Commented Mar 28, 2020 at 9:55

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