Going from wheel off to wheel on trainer

If you’re not obsessed with a direct drive trainer there’s one system that could really change your value equation. You can pick up the inside ride ultimate Flex and connect your power pedals as the source. Then you have decent smart resistance with full rocking control, all floating on a motion platform. And they can be converted to smart rollers just in case you get the itch to ride free. I love mine… they rock!

I tested both. Zero issues with Flux S in that regard. Pretty different internals actually.

Bit out of my price range - plus I don’t think they are available in the U.K.

But if you take the money you save and get a power meter that you can now also use for outdoor riding, and let that also control your wheel on smart trainer’s erg mode, you are coming out well ahead.

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That’s exactly my thinking.

I’ve ordered an M2 which works out at £280 and a set of Vector 3’s for £400 with %10 cashback to come. So about breakeven in the end.

On paper yes but then you might as well have a fluid trainer and the power meters… it’s relatively easy to hold constant power in that scenario.

The 4th popped tube in as many weeks put an end to my usage of wheel on trainers though I use a power meter as my source of truth for the turbo anyway.

That’s wild, it’s doing almost exactly the same thing.

Wow. I’ve been using a fluid trainer for 2 years and have never even changed the tube??

I do have a trainer tire on it though. I’d be done with wheel on after that if I were you.

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Something is very wrong with your wheel/tire if you’re getting a flat a week on the trainer. Rim/tape damage?

For someone with budget to be thinking about a wheel-off trainer, I’d still vote for a smart trainer over dumb trainer, even with power on the bike, because without that you won’t have ERG mode. But if your total budget was say only $500, then I totally agree that makes sense.

put another way, my take -

$500 to spend - dumb trainer + power meter
$800-900 to spend - wheel on smart trainer + power meter
$1300+ to spend - wheel off smart trainer + power meter

If you live in a place that you never ever imagine doing a structured ride on the road, and have no ability or interest to ride anywhere outside that using a power meter might be relevant, such as pacing climbs, triathlons, fondos, etc. perhaps then it makes sense to exclude that requirement.

But there are so many threads of people wondering about their indoor/outdoor offsets and meter/calibration differences that I don’t see the point to go down the path of fancy indoor trainer to get 1% more accuracy and then have no outdoor power just because you’re worried about tire wear. Most of us have an old beater / stock wheel and extra nicked up tires that are no longer roadworthy if it’s that big a concern.

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Agree with that. Just to add on this, I use “dumb” wheel on trainer from Elite and experience almost no tire wear so I can use my regular wheelset with Conti GP / Schwalbe Pro One tires without problem. This could be because of Elite’s elastogel.

Indoor punctures are weird but I have experienced them also. My explanation is, there are probably some small sharp object in the tire from riding outside that make their way though the tire only on the trainer.
Once I have converted to tubeless, the problem vanished.

Well this is a bit of a bummer. I bought a flux 2 a few months back thinking the updated unit was fairly well recommended. Even checked that exact launch review at the time and there wasn’t anything negative.

I’ve not been able to test with my power meter by the side just yet but I’m sure this will all play in my head!

I had an original Hammer and now have an H2 and both were/are great with ERG mode, as well as general zwift riding. Yes there is a bit of “lag” in response time to gradients or intervals, but that 2-3 second ramp-up delay is also a delay during the ramp down, so you still get the full interval effect.

Lets say you have a 15 second interval that starts at 1:00 and ends at 1:15, you may not get full resistance until 1:02 but then the resistance also won’t drop until around 1:17.

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How do you blow a tube on a trainer? Low psi and 50+ km/h? That should generate a lot of heat.
My tyres hardly wear at all on a trainer. Not getting wheel off.

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I took back an old flux that sounded like a tractor expecting this one to be better - could find anything bad about the new ones till after I’d got it!

Wheel on trainers are known to prematurely square off some tires. It wasn’t a problem for me when I used a Gatorskin (aside from the noise) but my buddy ruined a GP4000s2 on his Magnus. Don’t get me wrong, I square off my rear tires outside also, but it generally takes me 2-3x more miles than he did on the trainer before his was toast, even running a decent pressure.

I’ve wrecked a couple of tyre myself until I learned how to set things up. A new tyre can shred in one ride if done wrong.

The only real factor here is tire pressure, lower pressure will wear it out faster, but even at higher pressure a softer tire like a GP4000 or Corsa will wear prematurely.

Does it really matter though? as long as it is consistently inaccurate you will still get a good workout, you just may have to adjust your ftp so you’re hitting the right relative power for the trainers inaccuracy.

High-end tires are expensive, so yeah, I think it matters.

Unless someone wants to have a spare back wheel with a second cassette and trainer specific tire, or wants to swap tires for each outdoor/trainer ride.