2nd bike frame for smart trainer?

Hey squad,

First post!

Tldr; is it advantageous to have a dedicated 2nd bike/frame for your smart trainer? I assume so. If so, how important is it to duplicate the frame geometry to your regular outdoor ride? Is it as simple as just “getting another 54 cm frame”? What’s the best trainer out there right now? Wahoo kicker? What else should i know/ask/be aware of?

I should preface this post by saying I think I know I don’t NEED a second bike for indoor training, but that the idea of transitioning my lone road bike to and from indoor outdoor mode sounds taxing enough that it could prevent me from using it altogether sometimes. That said, on to my questions and story.

I’m relatively new to cycling. I’m a pro skier and found myself road biking after a particular injury in 2016. To my surprise, my back was not only way more comfortable while riding than I anticipated, but I really fell in love with the experience. I decided to treat myself, and upgarded from my mom’s old 1972 Motobecane to an end of season 60% off steal of a 2016 Cervelo R2 Ultegra. I am very happy with the Cervelo (and don’t worry, I still have mom’s beautiful vintage motobecane).

I hardly rode at all in 2019 and 2020, but on February 10th of this year, I suffered the worst ski crash of my career. I dislocated my left knee, tore my mcl, pcl and lcl. I fractured and crushed my tibial plateau. Tore the ecu tendon and tfc ligaments in my right wrist. And I fractured the medial side of my left ankle. Long story short, I was in a full right arm cast, left ankle cast, full left leg brace and relegated to a wheelchair for two months. As I set my sights on next winter’s ski season, I decided this would be “the summer of road biking.”

I stole my parent’s peloton a few months ago for rehab because they never use it. I fell in love with power zone training. I love how it game-ified the workouts for me. As the snow melted more and the knee started to feel better, I started researching power meters for the cervelo with the anticipation of lots of rides this summer and hoping to take power zone training outside. I ended up purchasing the assioma favero duos and a wahoo elemnt bolt.

When I landed here just a few weeks ago reading up on power zone training (beyond what I knew from peloton), I quickly realized how different power zone training on the peloton would be from my outdoor rides or a real legit smart trainer. If I didn’t already have the peloton and it wasn’t free, I’d certainly wish I had a smart trainer. Between my slightly inaccurate whoop, different FTP’s on wahoo and peloton and an essentially FREE peloton bike and subscription, I figured beggars can’t be choosers and that eventually I’d pony up for a smart trainer down the road.

Well, now my family needs my help in California as my father is in a cancer drug trial at city of hope. I have no reservations about going down there for the summer to help my family other than losing my road biking season. I might ride a little in LA, but our rural and excellent pathway system has ruined me for city riding. So I figure if I plunk down for a smart trainer to have in air conditioned LA, I’ll be happy as a clam helping out my fam.

I figure I’ll get a wahoo kicker. Any thoughts on that?

I also like the idea of finding a cheap(er) second bike to hook up to the kicker so I can either leave my cervelo at home or have it intact for outdoor rides. This will also be helpful once I’m back home with my new smart trainer as well.

How important is it to duplicate the frame geometry of my fitted outdoor cervelo bike? With all my injuries through the years I’m a bit of a princess and the pea. For instance, the peloton aggravates my knee ever so slightly while I couldn’t be any more comfortable on the cervelo.

If I get a second bike for the smart trainer, will I need to move my assioma pedals over? I would think not.

Any help and advice is greatly appreciated! Feel free to ask me questions too if that’s helpful for you experts to help me. I’m a complete novice to cycling and even more so to power zones.

Thanks for welcoming me to the community!



Lots of question! I’ll take a stab at a few just to get us started.

Main advantages that I see for a dedicated frame are 1) ease of not moving it on and off the trainer all the time and 2) wear on the frame; from what I’ve seen, sweat is the primary offender here, so get some great fans (Lasko Performance blower fans are the de facto) and you’ll go a long way to preventing issue. But yes, if you drop sweat all over your bars/headset/bottom bracket, you’re gonna have a bad time eventually.

I’m a sucker for reducing ‘friction,’ I get it.

The more you ride, the more important it is. It’s surprising how little of a change can really throw you off. In a perfect world, do your best to match them, yes.

No, but depending on the frame you get, you should probably be able to move things around to come pretty darn close. Your local bike shop should be able to help you out here or people here can too; geometry charts are tricky to read. Some bikes offer more adjustment than others.

This is a can of worms. I know sometimes it’s valuable to just get a starting point though, so I’ll put a stake in the sand and say: if you don’t go smart trainer, the Kurt Kinetic fluid trainers are great. If you go electronic, the Kicker Core or Saris H3 are a very good price:performance. All-up best is mayyyyybe the Tacx Neo 2t?

You should, or you run the risk of additional power discrepancies like you had before. Probably not as bad as between different Pelotons, but the Assioma vs. trainer will be a touch different. This does go to what I said above about getting a fluid trainer: Since you already have power pedals, you can use a fluid trainer to get better trainer feel than electronic trainers provide, and still accurate power using your pedals. Maybe a hot take, I still plant the flag that good fluid trainers (like the Kurt Kinetic or Cyclops Fluid 2) are better than electronic trainers to actually ride, but they’ve been sorta forgotten about. They are wheel-on trainers, though, which is a can of worms all its own. Smart trainers do provide erg mode, which locks you into a power; personally, I like erg mode quite a bit.

Anyway, I’ll let others chime in, but hopefully that’s a good start for ya. Enjoy the training!


A dedicated trainer bike is a great luxury to have. I’m using my 2009 Cannondale CAAD9 on a Tacx Neo, on a Saris MP1 platform. The bike has the same saddle, saddle position/height, and crank lengths as both of my road bikes. Bar height and reach have been tweaked to make indoor riding a bit more comfortable.

Wishing your family the very best.

Bruh, City of Hope is within spitting distance of Mt. Baldy.

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If you can afford it then yes, a second bike is a good idea. It has to be EXACTLY the same set up as your road bike.

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I’d say the seat-to-pedals should be close, but you can tolerate the front end height not matching exactly. There’s a big difference in height between riding on the hoods and in the drops anyway, and we don’t agonize over every second spent in each position.


If you shop for a second bike the bike’s geometry doesn’t matter as long as you can get the saddle and handlebars in the right places. Geometry is for handling, having your contact points match is for comfort. Since the bike is on a trainer handling doesn’t matter at all. So yes just getting another 54cm frame should work as long as you can get it set up properly.

FWIW I always find the trainer uncomfortable no matter what bike I use on it. A bike that I can comfortably do 100 miles on becomes a torture device on the trainer. I spent a long time try to get things just right on the trainer and finally gave up when I came to that realization. Given your injuries I would setup however possible to make sure they are not getting aggravated.

It was painful reading about your injuries. I hope you recover well.


I agree with rocurteau and wefty, you want the second bike to be close (mostly saddle height) to your regular bike. I own and ride 4 bikes (indoor, road, gravel, tri) and none are exactly the same (saddle height is super close on all).

The indoor bike is an older 2000’s Giant TCR, it has a shorter stem and raised bars for a bit more comfort indoors (and that is also what I had in my spare parts box)

I love the dedicated trainer bike - its always ready to go. I keep the chain waxed and little to no other upkeep. I have a Hammer H1, and the same pedals as you and move them from bike to bike. It just takes a few minutes.

I am super pleased with the setup


I did this for about a year before I treated myself to a Kickr bike after picking up a ton of OT shifts. It was nice not to have to swap bikes and to save ‘wear and tear’ on my outside bike.

In terms of sizing, you don’t need the same frame geometry. If there are difference between your outdoor bike and your indoor one you can account for them with a different stem, bars, seat height etc. having a super short or long stem to make up some difference is not a big deal since you are stationary and not concerned about handling. the nice thing about an indoor bike is you can save $$ on frame and components as you (1) don’t have to worry about weight and (2) you don’t need brakes or brake wires. You can also just pick up a super cheap front wheel and not even bother with a tube and tire. Mostly just focus on getting the same contact points as your current bike (pedals, saddle, bars and bar tape)

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Lots of good answers to your questions so far, but let me through out one other suggestion:

Feedback Sports Omnium

Since you already have pedals and already have a bike you’re comfortable on AND you’re going into what is really a temporary situation, this could make life a little easier. Yeah, you’ll need to have your head in the game more with this since it’s not a smart trainer and won’t change resistance for you, but you’re a pro athlete…you know how to do that. You’ll adapt quickly. It’s not like you’re someone just coming off the couch that doesn’t know what hard feels like.

The only issue here could be the “max watts” but again, I think you could make due for most workouts in most plans.

It’s better (and really simple) to do so. Unless you figure out that your trainer really really matches the pedals power measurement-wise, it takes 2 minutes to move the pedals, including doing a manual calibration. Plus you can save by buying a cheaper trainer without worrying about power measurement accuracy.

To expand on what I said earlier, the contact points on the bike should exactly mirror those on your road bike. The geometry doesn’t matter as others have said, but everything else needs to be as close as you can get it. Why would you train on one set up and then ride on another?

Another thought here, too. Duel record a few times to see what the trainer vs pedal difference is. Then, in the Assioma app, adjust the pedals up or down to agree with the trainer. Now, no more need to swap. :slight_smile:

(Yes, yes I’m lazy.)


Hmm - adjusting the high-precision device to match the low-precision one sounds scary. The other issue with many trainers is the consistency of power measurement vs spindle speed - so 250W at 90 rpm on 39x27 may be quite different from 250W at 90 rpm on 52x11. Using the pedals removes this issue.

Agreed, but Assioma gives this as an example of when to use this function in their app. For the vast majority of us, the few watt difference really won’t matter. However, I totally understand those that need the precision and for them swapping the pedals is the way to go for sure.

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I have a Kickr and it’s so easy to mount/unmount the bike that I wouldn’t want to mess with a 2nd trainer bike - especially for a temporary move to LA.

You should follow Phil Gaimon on Strava and see where he rides. There seems to be some great rides in LA and also gravel riding. If I took a 2nd bike, I’d take a gravel or mountain bike.

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Probably an unpopular opinion here but I don’t think it matters at all if the bikes fit the same way. I use my old mountain bike on the trainer, it fits completely differently than my road bike and the trainer measures my wattage waaaay differently than my assiomas but I just go with it. I have one ftp for trainer road and one for the real world. Works out fine for me. Hard is still hard no matter what numbers we label it with.
It’s super nice to have a dedicated bike on the trainer, but I would just buy whatever 54 cm option is cheap and easy and get the fit in the ballpark and comfortable.


The other reason I like to ride my same bike on the trainer is using the same power meter for all training. I record all power from my Stages rather than the Kickr.

I agree with @Juicetin

I ride a variety of bikes as I have 12 in my quiver, all of which I get out and about on. While setups are similar, they are not exact, and anyone touting that line is still riding in the 1980s. You can’t have a road and MTB bike setup identical but you can ride them both. Quite well too…

I have a dedicated road frame sitting atop my Tacx Neo. It is a Focus Izalco Max, setup with 1x drive train 42T with 11-28 10 speed, 780mm x 20mm MTB riser bars and a single Shimano Tiagra 10sp flat bar shifter. (No brakes, no front shifter, as not needed riding nowhere)

I have no idea if the reach and stack match any of my bikes, but my backside reaches the saddle, and my feet reach the pedals. I’m comfy as my hands also reach the handlebars. And I ride it, be it on TR workouts or Zwifting, or Fulgassing.

The Focus has a 54cm TT, yet my main road bike has a 55.5cm. My gravel a 51cm.

What a dedicated bike does do is reduce the faffing around between indoor and outdoor rides. The bike is always clean, always ready, and the shifting always in tune. That to me is more important than the reach being 5mm different.

Ride on, my friend. As @Juicetin says, hard is hard.


I’m still curious if it’s worth getting my indoor road bike set up with the exact same reach and drop as my outdoor road bike, given about 50% of my riding is indoors.

Surely there are advantages in being fully adapted to the outdoor bike’s position? Or maybe you might as well go for comfort when you are inside? Any bike fitters like @mcneese.chad have an opinion?

Your body is highly adaptable. Unless you’re riding solely a tri bike, or training specifically for a TT, then body position isn’t that important indoors. Sure, positional habits are a good thing to have, but I’d err towards comfort and gearing choice over where my head is positionally.