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Frame set up for indoor trainer?

Old 08-29-21, 03:06 PM
  #1  
bark_eater 
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Frame set up for indoor trainer?

I know it seems early to consider the coming winter, but I absolutely need to have some sort of indoor trainer set up this year.

I was wondering if there are any particular details that would make a frame more suited for trainer duty?

I have kept an eye out for an aluminum frame but haven't found a cheap one yet, so I could use one of the steel project bikes I have pilled up.

My usual ride is a 58cm road bike with a french fit. I know I would want to have my contact points to generally match what I usually ride, but beyond that is there any reason to use a 58cm road frame? It seems like a smaller road frame, or a mountain bike frame would be work as well as an exercise machine.

The other choice would be what wheel set to use? I've got plenty of 27 and 26" wheels but not that many 700c sets to work with. I've seen "trainer" tires in 700C, but have no idea if that's realy necessary verses wearing out a set of cheap 26" or 27" tires. Brakes aren't necessary on a trainer, and there's no pedaling through the corners, so I assume I could put 26" wheels on a road frame, or 27" on a mountain frame. If I needed to cold set a frame, alignment would be less critical, so there's plenty of Lego possibility's there

I'm also not clear about how gearing makes a difference on a trainer, or at least a "dumb" trainer. If your resistance is variable it seems like you could have a single speed and adjust you resistance to the cadence you want to keep, or maybe just run 5-6 speeds on the back?

Another consideration is whether I will try and use Zwift for S+G? I've got cadence, speed and heart rate monitors, but have no idea how the "game " works, or whether I would need 10 or 12 speeds to enjoy playing.

Kind of a random question and realistically, I can just park a functional road bike on the trainer this winter, but I'd be interested in hearing everyone's thoughts. Thanks, Woody
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Old 08-29-21, 03:37 PM
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1) don't use a steel frame you care about, the sweat generated on a trainer kills steel frames.....been there......
2) re the trainer . fwiw; I got a used Computrainer for a couple hundred $ a couple yrs ago & love it. If you insist on being connected to the net it won't do it for you.
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Old 08-29-21, 03:38 PM
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I have been thinking about this myself. One observation I will share - bikes that see trainer duty are often rusted from sweat, so maybe get one of those towels that stretches from brake levers to seat post? That or keep it scrupulously clean, or use a beater. My plan is to use the already rough looking Centurion LeMans I got for $35 for the Clunker Challenge.
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Old 08-29-21, 05:14 PM
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Sweat On Indoor Trainers???

Don't be so lazy! How long does it take to wipe down the top tube??? DOH!

I bought this Specialized Saturn trainer back in the 1980's. Nothing fancy but it was cheap and works - easier than rollers!

I've used quite a few different bikes on it, mainly ones that I don't generally ride. I had a beat up old Ironman on there for a while.

The last iteration was with a 1978 Moto Team Champion frame set up as a SS with upright bars. It was a 53cm and I ride 55cm - 56cm frames. Sold the frame last year to someone who could use that size.



It only takes a few minutes at most to wipe off the sweat with a damp cloth! What did your last soigneur die from???

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Old 08-29-21, 05:20 PM
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The rust is why I don't want to use a "real" bike. There's a good chance that the trainer will get set up in a damp out building this year. That and the chance that the chance of fatiguing the frame doing somethin "unnatural" to to it locked into a ridged rear mount.

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Old 08-29-21, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
....That and the chance that the chance of fatiguing the frame doing somethin "unnatural" to to it locked into a ridged rear mount.
Rollers solve that problem. Plus they're fun!
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Old 08-29-21, 10:22 PM
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I put a length of pipe insulation on the top tube of my trainer bike. No problems so far.


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Old 08-29-21, 10:33 PM
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Trainers in my experience have been hard on rear tires and QR skewers. I have a dedicated wheel, cheap internal cam skewer (necessary for my old Blackburn trainer) and used 23mm tire for trainer use. Cassette is made up of cogs that I don’t use much. I’m with @Vertyg on simply wiping down the bike after a session (not that I do all that many of them!). But if it was going to be stored in a damp location, then a dedicated bike is probably a good idea.

I tend to use one resistance level on the trainer and shift gears to vary the load. FWIW, I use the Miyata that now carries a big rando bag for that occasional trainer use. Flat top of that bag is a handy shelf for towel and music source.
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Old 08-29-21, 11:24 PM
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Rollers

Originally Posted by canopus View Post
Rollers solve that problem. Plus they're fun!
Fun until you go sailing off into the living room crashing into furniture! HaHaHa

I got rid of my rollers when I bought that trainer years ago.

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Old 08-30-21, 02:13 AM
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Thanks for balanceing out all that over thinking.
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Old 08-30-21, 05:17 AM
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You’ll want some fans as well. Even if in a cold outbuilding in the winter, airflow is important. I use Zwift on an Aluminum ‘87(?) Trek 1000 w/ indexed 6sp. It had a bent fork and fell into my lap free of charge, so a good fit for the job. I have a Kinetic wheel-on trainer with power, but Zwift will run based on a speed sensor…just don’t trust the power numbers as absolute. Good enough for benchmarking and seeing improvement, which is the main point anyways. Yes, trainer tires help, so I’d recommend 700c unless you can find them in other sizes. Make sure to use a beefy steel internal cam skewer on the rear (the trainer may come with one - if so, use it). I’d recommend getting something as close in size/geometry as your main “real bike” as possible. Getting the contact points right is important of course, and you can use the trainer to dial in fit. Also, use components that you don’t care about all too much. Make sure they work well, but something utilitarian. Know where your towel is.

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Old 08-30-21, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by 3Roch View Post
1) don't use a steel frame you care about, the sweat generated on a trainer kills steel frames.....been there......















Top
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Old 08-30-21, 07:19 AM
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I have an Elite Ritmo wheel on smart trainer that i ride on with Zwift and was in the same boat as you a few years ago. Found a well kept but cheep steel bike that I thought would be great on the trainer and prevent me from having to remove and mount my more current road bike.

But, I found the mounting points of the trainer on the rear forks was a better fit on the wider aluminum road bikes than my more narrow steel frame and made riding awkward. Any kind of rocking back and forth often dislodged the bike from the trainer.

I ended up scouring FB marketplace until I found another more current road bike and then was able to leave my previous aluminum bike on the trainer permanently. This was before COVID mind you, when prices were more reasonable.
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Old 08-30-21, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
Fun until you go sailing off into the living room crashing into furniture! HaHaHa

I got rid of my rollers when I bought that trainer years ago.

verktyg
Which is why rollers should be required... It teaches you to keep a line... which SSSSOOOOO many riders need when they head off to their favorite charity ride. I don't know how many people I saw swerving all over the place during the couple of MS150's I've done. Better their furniture than me .
Personally we had a hallway I would set up in, if I got tired or off track I just fell against the wall. During group training the better ones had the room to spin, then just ride off the side and keep going (it was a wide open paint shop).
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Old 08-30-21, 08:39 AM
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A towel for your headset and top tube, a headband, and industrial sized fan will do a lot to prevent sweat dripping on your frame. Aluminum will still corrode from sweat from normal use and your bitter tears during an FTP test.

I like direct drive trainers as they are so much quieter than wheel-on ones, you really only get drivetrain noise. Lots of new ones seem to be coming to the market so there are lots of choices. The recent JetBlack Volt looks intriguing to me, so might be one to check out.
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Old 08-30-21, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by top506 View Post














Top
yeah, like that but I actually ended up with holes in the chainstays near the bb.
I think the sweat issue depends on how long/how hard. I was doing 45 min 5 days a week as hard as I could-i had puddles on the floor.
I did use a big box fan and as far as trainers are concerned fluid or magnetic are much quieter than the ones that use a fan for the load
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Old 08-30-21, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
II'd be interested in hearing everyone's thoughts. Thanks, Woody
- zwift is what I use for entertainment as if it were just netflix of youtube videos I would be dead bored. zwift at least allows me to do something different each session- so a solo ride, then a race the next session, then a group ride where i dont really interact, then a solo ride, then a training ride using zwift's software, then another race. That sort of thing. Variety helps me stay interested.
- a smart trainer is ideal since it adjusts resistance for climbing. a dumb trainer will work if you add cadence and speed sensors, but a smart trainer definitely makes the activity more engaging as I need to use more of my gears.
- I have only ever used steel frame bikes and none are in bad condition. I just wipe down the frame with a towel that I already have from sweating and a bit of water that I already have from drinking. Its all right there- just a 5 second pass seems to be enough.
- I cover the top tube with pipe insulation. In years past I have covered the downtube with pipe insulation too. Its foam, is dirt cheap, and last years(ive used the same foam for 3 years now). A physical barrier makes the most sense to me and the foam is super easy to use. It stays put and is out of the way too.
- A direct mount smart trainer will negate your lack of a 700c wheel. You can just mount your cassette to the trainer, lock your frame in, and you are good. The direct mount smart trainers tend to be more accurate for numbers and allow for a more realistic experience(freewheeling). A wheel on smart trainer is less expensive.
- zwift can run on a tv, laptop, phone, etc. I use a tv that is connected to AppleTV. It is dead simple- the smart trainer connects to the AppleTV and there is a zwift app that I launch. It gives me quick loading and a large screen. Its infinitely better than my old setup which was a laptop connected via hdmi to a tv.
- If you mount your phone to your bars with a cheap phone holder, you can run the zwift companion app on your phone which makes in game play more convenient.
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Old 08-30-21, 11:46 AM
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I've started using something like this to protect against sweat: https://www.rei.com/product/130578/cycleops-sweat-guard

I haven't had a problem with rust, but the clearcoat on one bike that I used on the trainer (and the road) did begin failing, and I suspect it may have been from the sweat. This was before using the sweat guard.
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Old 08-30-21, 11:50 AM
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https://www.runningalife.com/the-che...-have-a-point/

I know it's sorta old school but I still like my $200 computrainer...and you can draft him and feel the difference
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Old 08-30-21, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by delicious View Post
I've started using something like this to protect against sweat: https://www.rei.com/product/130578/cycleops-sweat-guard

I haven't had a problem with rust, but the clearcoat on one bike that I used on the trainer (and the road) did begin failing, and I suspect it may have been from the sweat. This was before using the sweat guard.
That is EXACTLY the device I was thinking of! Though I think this year I will try the pipe insulation trick and see how that works for me!

I DO have a set of rollers, and last year I attempted to learn to ride them. I will try again this year, and perhaps I will have greater success with a freewheeling bike with variable gears instead of the fixed-gear I was using before ...
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Old 08-30-21, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
That is EXACTLY the device I was thinking of! Though I think this year I will try the pipe insulation trick and see how that works for me!

I DO have a set of rollers, and last year I attempted to learn to ride them. I will try again this year, and perhaps I will have greater success with a freewheeling bike with variable gears instead of the fixed-gear I was using before ...
I thought about a sweat thong, but passed because I didnt see the value in spending $30. There are a couple that ive seen that have a clear plastic pouch for your phone though, so it sorta doubles as a holder, which is really nice.
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Old 08-30-21, 03:40 PM
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I use my old aluminum time trial bike with a beat up set of wheels. A wheel on trailer will chew through tires, so if you don’t have a pile semi worn tires to go through, then get a dedicated trainer tire. They grip the roller better, don’t make a mess and are a little quieter.

I ride indoor trainer during worst of winter weather, which fortunately around here only amounts to about to 15-20 times during the winter. I hate riding indoors but Zwift has made it much more bearable and I can do 1-2 hour rides whereas, old school I’d max out after 30-45 minutes. I don’t really consider it a game so much, although there are levels, achievements, etc, but I don’t pay attention to that stuff.
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Old 08-30-21, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I thought about a sweat thong, but passed because I didnt see the value in spending $30. There are a couple that ive seen that have a clear plastic pouch for your phone though, so it sorta doubles as a holder, which is really nice.
I went with this one. Reasonable cost, added phone holder.

Amazon link
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Old 08-31-21, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
Don't be so lazy!





verktyg
"This old thing I had kicking around" apparently means different things to different people..

My most obvious candidate in my size is a Panasonic "sport" bike. I have a couple smaller frames with good tubing, but I don't know if "ride quality" is a concern with a trainer.
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Old 08-31-21, 04:49 AM
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I actually use one of my nicer steel bikes so I equip it with a sweat guard, always wear a headband, towel off a lot and point a fan straight at me. For me, the fan and toweling off is key. I sweat a lot but rarely see drops making it to the mat under my trainer. Conversely if I do a spin class, a small person might drown in the pool I leave behind.
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