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?
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'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.
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___