I am in the process of acquiring a bike trainer (likely CycleOps Fluid 2) for winter conditioning. Most of the reviews and other information I have read suggestion that a regular road tire will be damaged or quickly worn out on a trainer. What type of tires or specific models/brands should I look for use on a trainer? Should I get a different rear wheel/tire that I change out during the winter conditioning season?

5 Answers 5


To make it easier on myself I purchased a cheap wheel on eBay and added a trainer specific tire such as the Continental Ultra Sport Hometrainer Tire. When I used regular road tires, the rubber wore out quickly. The trainer specific tire lasts much longer.

You do not want to run the trainer specific tire on the roads. So having a spare wheel with cassette makes it easier to put on your normal wheel for those nice winter days.

  • I haven't tried a trainer specific tire yet, do they slip less? The big problem I have with regular tires is slippage on the trainer. I've varied the roller pressure all the way from very little to way too much, and I still have the problem. If I put much force down, the tire slips. So, it's OK for just putting along, but if I'm trying to get a good workout, I can't get it done on the trainer. Dec 13, 2011 at 13:40
  • I have not noticed any difference with slippage. I have an older CycleOps Fluid 2 (with the twist mechanism to tighten/loosen pressure). Once the roller kisses the tire, I do two and a half rotations to tighten. I can only get it to slip if I am trying to make it slip, under normal workouts, various intervals, spin ups, one leg drills, I do not get any tire slips. Dec 13, 2011 at 16:48

I use worn road tires that I've taken off my road bike.Ask your friends to save theirs.The slicker the tire (most worn least tread=less noise) the better.If they only last a month that is only two or three changes per winter.The plus is they are free and its better for the enviroment.

  • I go through lots of old race tires and save them for this purpose when they start to show nylon. They still have enough tread for the trainer but not enough for the road. Dec 30, 2011 at 1:01

I've used both regular road tires and the newer style trainer tires over the last 10 years and have gone through 4 different turbo trainers over the time including actually carving a half centimetre tire size groove into a Tacx Cycleforce-One trainer.

I tend to find that with trainer tires the colder running rubber actually slips on a metal roller while putting in hard efforts and sprint efforts. You really have to ask yourself the question- Do you need a specific tyre for indoor cycling training?

I've found that a relatively inexpensive road tire provides a better adhesion to the roller for a more responsive training session for sprints.

I've never personally got on with the trainer tires and know a large number of riders who have bought a trainer tire, only to place it on eBay a number of months later and revert to traditional road tires.


A regular road tire will work fine, but you should keep it inflated and not press the roller bar up against it overly hard. But there is no disadvantage to getting a really cheap tire and using it on the trainer -- it will work just as good as an expensive racing tire.


Either a cheap road tire, or some manufacturers sell a trainer specific tire. Very smooth, hard and easy to get on and off. These will last 2 - 4x longer than just a cheap tire.

Example trainer tire for $30 http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1069774_-1___

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