4

Hoping someone can advise.

I recently ordered a Saris Fluid2 trainer, which requires me to use a special quick release skewer on the rear wheel.  However, my regular road bike is an old Acapulco Giant and the rear wheel is not on quick release hardware at all (photos below). I am not much of a cyclist and even less of a mechanic, under normal circumstances I'd just bring the bike in to my regular shop and have them do the switch, but at the moment we're completely isolated here at home. Would really appreciate whatever advice you can give on doing the switch. Do I need to worry about the gears coming apart when I disassemble? Do I need any adapter hardware? What else do I need to know?

Thanks in advance

edited to add: I see that someone has already asked about using a trainer with an existing solid axle. That is a super helpful question and answer but my original question - now also very well answered - was about swapping out the existing axle for a different one.

rear wheel 1

rear wheel 2

  • 2
    Can you post a photo of the part of the trainer that the quick release would fit in (both sides}? I use my old Univega on my trainer and it has nutted axles. – mikes Mar 30 at 23:40
  • 2
    It may well be that the trainer will happily mate with the axle you have. Replacing the skewer, on a QR wheel, is necessary because the skewer release lever may get in the way and because the other end of the skewer is often secured with a plastic nut that would be damaged by the trainer's axle clamp. – Daniel R Hicks Mar 31 at 0:50
  • Looking at the manual, I'd try it without replacing the axle. You may need to use a short length of something like 3/8" copper pipe around the end of the axle to achieve a tighter fit from the trainer clamps. Otherwise buy a used wheel somewhere (though getting it to fit in the dropouts may be a problem). – Daniel R Hicks Mar 31 at 1:55
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Using turbo trainer with solid axles – Swifty Mar 31 at 9:23
  • 1
    Just buy a cheap used QR wheel. Then you can also (but don't have to) put a dedicated trainer tyre on it. And you can easily swap the wheels when using the bike indoors and outdoors. – Vladimir F Mar 31 at 12:21
7

Leave the wheel in tact and see if you can order some 'turbo trainer axle nuts', pictured below, to replace your current nuts on existing axle. If these don't work for you then start disassembling the wheel but research first; you need skinny spanners called cone spanners (£?) to do the job properly and risk dropping ball bearings (annoying). Not normally a huge problem but if bike shops are closed and we're all social distancing atm, then you want to reduce the risk of messing up, temporarily, in case you are left without a functioning bike or help to fix.

Trying to patiently find a solution with low risk atm is reasonable.

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Yep, this is the right answer! – Daniel R Hicks Mar 31 at 12:43
  • 2
    If it's possible to get nuts that have a similar profile to the special QR and will interface with the trainer properly, this is definitely the easiest way forward – Argenti Apparatus Mar 31 at 13:30
2

This is not an easy swap.
It would be easier to buy a wheel and freewheel and swap the tire.

As Swifty points out in comments - it's a great convenience to have a turbo tire and wheel to swap in when training.

I looked up your trainer and read the manual. I had hoped that they could somehow accommodate a solid axle - Nope.
It says that you have to use the special skewer that comes with the trainer. The only exception is if you buy the thru axle kit - but you don't have a thru axle.

Swapping to a quick release axle requires special tools
- Tool to remove the freewheel (assuming it's not a cassette)
It might look like this. There are a variety of types depending on your freewheel
enter image description here
- Hub wrench
It might look something like this - just an example
A special flat wrench that lets you hold the cone while tightening the nuts.
enter image description here

I requires the right parts
- quick release axle
- assume your current cones / spacers / nuts will fit on the new axle (no guarantee)
- Quick release skewer

Your current rear hub parts look like this
enter image description here

You would swap those parts with a quick release axle that looks something like this:
enter image description here

The simplified explanation of the steps is:
1. Remove the wheel
2. Remove the freewheel (various ways to do this)
3. Remove the solid axle (sometimes tricky - worn parts, lost bearings, etc.)
4. Install the quick release axle. Adjusting bearings takes some practice.
5. Install the freewheel
6. Install the wheel

If your bike is a 1998 Giant Acapulco it has aluminum 700c wheels that can handle a 40c tire. Quick release front, bolt on rear with 6-speed, 14 - 28 teeth freewheel
enter image description here

It would be easier to buy a wheel and a freewheel and swap the tire.

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    That last sentence is a bit of a gem risking being buried - having a spare QR wheel with turbo specific tyre is great convenience and might be the least technical solution. If one can change a tyre it's pretty simple and turbo tyres last longer, apparently – Swifty Mar 31 at 9:33
  • @Swifty Thanks! per your comment I added the conclusion to the beginning – David D Mar 31 at 13:23
2

As you have observed your bike has a threaded, solid axle. The wheel is fixed in the frame with a nut on each end of the axle. The Fluid 2 trainer is designed for wheels with a standard quick release mechanism. Quick release hubs have an axle that does not protrude past the frame dropouts and has a concentric hole through which the quick release skewer passes. When you mount the bike in the trainer the special quick release is used which interfaces into the trainer. Older or cheaper trainer designs held onto the existing skewer ends and usually did a lot of cosmetic damage to them.

It is possible to replace a threaded axle with a quick release one, but this means disassembling and rebuilding the hub - not a fun or trivial operation. Another option is to purchase a new wheel with a quick release hub. (Replacing the hub requires a wheel rebuild which will cost more than a new wheel for this level of bike). However, your frame has slotted dropouts which allow the wheel to be moved forward or backward. These do not work at all well with quick releases as you have to re-align the wheel each time the quick release is undone. With a threaded axle and nuts this does not matter as the wheel is not designed to be removed. Additionally a quick release may not have enough holding power to keep the wheel aligned in the slots.

Possibly your best option is to return the trainer and purchase one that specifically works with nutted axles.

BTW, if you undo the bolts the wheel will come out of the frame, but the hub and sprocket cluster will not come apart.

| improve this answer | |
1

I have a similar Saris trainer. I tried fitting a solid axle wheel onto it. In my setup the wheel did not securely fit in the clamp. The only thing I think would work is if you could find some domed caps nuts to go the end of the axle. Finding these may be difficult as axle threads are not always a standard thread. Their website did not offer and adapters or solutions. I would contact them to see if they have a solution.

| improve this answer | |
  • Swifty's answer addresses this. – Daniel R Hicks Mar 31 at 14:24
  • @DanielRHicks in fairness, this answer came a few hours before mine – Swifty Mar 31 at 17:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.