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I have recently ordered an Elite Suito Direct Drive FE-C turbo trainer. The main use is for indoor, winter cross-training for my young son who's a keen athlete (we don't want to send him out in the dark on his own and I can't keep up with him any more) but I and my wife would like to use it too and we'd all like to use the same bike on the trainer. The tentative plan is to put my wife's step-through Dawes Discovery 301 hybrid bike on the trainer, as the frame is small enough for my son to manage and just about big enough for me (I might need to put a longer seat post in), so no frame swapping would be required.

The Dawes 301 has 8 cogs/sprockets at the back and 3 at the front, i.e. 24 speed. From a bit of googling, the rear cog (cassette?) on the bike may be a Shimano CS-HG30 11-30T, the rear wheel hub a Shimano FH-RM60 36H QR and the front cog (crankset?) a Shimano FC-M191 48/38/28T.

The specs for Elite Suito trainer include the following info:

  • "Compatible with 9, 10 and 11-speed Shimano and SRAM cassettes (not included), can be adapted for Campagnolo using adaptor TT14233 or SRAM XDR using adaptor TT14279"
  • "Compatible with 130 and 135 mm quick-release frames as well as 142 x 12 mm thru-axles, adaptors for BOOST 148 x 12 frames are available separately"

My question is, can I use this Dawes bike frame with the Elite Suito trainer and if so, what is the best way of doing this? For example:

  • can I take the 8 speed cog off the back wheel of the bike and use it to replace the 11 speed one that is supplied with the trainer; I'm guessing not because the trainer specs say it's only compatible with 9,10, or 11 speed cassettes but is there a workaround?
  • if not, what is likely to be the cheapest solution to get a basic, mid-size frame up and running with the trainer, e.g. would I need to swap out all of the drivetrain on the Dawes bike (front and rear cogs, front and rear derailleurs, shifters, chain) and if so, would it be cheaper to buy a compatible 2nd hand bike instead (if yes, what specs am I looking for)?

Apologies if my terminology is incorrect but I know virtually nothing about the technicalities of bike design and maintenance, as you can probably tell. Thanks in advance.

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Yes, you should be able to get this bike on the trainer.

You state the trainer supports quick release wheel axles. Assuming the bike has quick release wheels the frame will obviously fit on the trainer axle. Presumably there are adapters to accommodate either 130 or 135mm dropout spacing.

8, 9 and 10 speed cassettes are all the same width. Road 11 speed cassettes are slightly wider and require a wider freehub body on the hub to fit onto. 8, 9 and 10 speed cassettes can be fitted onto an 11 speed hub with a spacer. So, just follow instructions for fitting a 9 speed cassette.

If the bike has a threaded axle and securing nuts you can probably still get the bike on the trainer using a quick release skewer.

Note that you’ll very likely have to adjust rear derailleur indexing and limits as the trainer will not place the cassette in exactly the same place relative to the frame than the bike’s wheel does.

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    The Elite Suito comes preinstalled with an 11 speed cassette, so OP will need a chain whip and most likely a cassette tool to swap them over.
    – Dan K
    Jan 15 at 14:17
  • That note is spot on! You need to adjust the rear derailleur, and I can imagine you need to have to adjust or replace the chain, while that is made fit for 8 speed. Also your indexer is indexed on 8 speed not on 11. And if you have an older bike you need to keep in mind that the rear can be smaller than new bikes, but that might not be a problem. Good luck!
    – Emmie
    Jan 18 at 9:13
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Yes, you can also use your 8-speed cassette on 9/10 or 11 speed hubs. They just ignore it as 8-speed is something too cheap and people using such a trainer would probably have something "better".

You need to use the same 1.85 mm spacer you would use for 9 and 10 speed cassettes on the 11-speed hub. If the spacer did not come with the trainer, you have to buy it.

The frame should also be perfectly compatible.

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  • Thanks Vladimir F, that's good news. As a follow-up question, if my wife wants to keep using her bike on the road as well rather using it solely in the home gym, I'll need to buy a new 8 speed cassette rather than robbing the one from her bike. Two questions: 1) Will any 8 speed cassette with the same number of teeth on the largest and smallest sprockets work? 2) Would you advise renewing her bike's chain and/or crankset at the same time?
    – JonIoW
    Jan 15 at 14:16
  • @JonIoW 1) yes, 2) just the chain. But it depends what you use more, the trainer cassette or the bike cassette, because the former will still be old.
    – Vladimir F
    Jan 15 at 14:20
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    Good point, I didn't think of that. Since basic cassettes seem pretty cheap, I guess the best thing would be new cassettes on the trainer AND on the bike to go with the new chain.
    – JonIoW
    Jan 15 at 14:35

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