Advice Needed - 8 Speed Beater vs 11 Speed Canyon for Indoor Training?

Hello Fellow Masochists, looking for some advice from you experienced athletes and enthusiats.

Canyon has recently released statements saying that their bikes have been tested and are suitable for indoor trainers, without risking voiding the Warranty. As such, I’ve been considering moving it on the Kurt Kinetic (non Rock and Roll version) for the Winter. The 11 speed Canyon would therefore replace my 8 speed Hybrid/Fitness bike that I currently use.

Some considerations I’ve made so far:

  • Using the Hybrid lets me use it as a beater, not really worrying about every little thing, like sweat, etc.
  • Using the 11 speed Canyon gives me far better control on cadence and power which sometimes is hard on only 8 gears
  • Using the Canyon I would have the drops and could get more accustomed to that position

Both were fitted professionally so although they have different geometries, they are both comfortable.

Any experience and advice on whether I should “upgrade” my current setup, or if the considerations are so marginal that even with “marginal gains” all that really matters is hopping on the saddle and getting the work done.

Thanks in advance!

I have an old 7 speed beater as my turbo bike. The two caveats compared to your situation is that it is a road bike, and I’ve a smart trainer which I use exclusively in erg mode so I don’t have to worry about gear changes (I just have it indexed to one cog mid cassette on the rear for the straightest chain line).

It’s great to have it permanently set up ready to go, and have no concerns about the frame or sweat damage.

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I would keep the beater on there. I primarily race MTB but only use an old road bike on my trainer. When my FTP goes up on the trainer my PRs improve off the trainer on my MTB. Keep the Canyon ready to ride outside :+1:t4:


turbo = beater

I use a 42 x 16 fixed gear on a Kurt Kinetic dumb trainer.

80-90rpm, zone 2

90-95 rpm zone 3

95-100rpm zone 4

100+ rpm zone 5

no sprints, and no strength work, but it gets the aerobic job done

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Conventional wisdom says go with the beater for your trainer.

I recommend against conventional wisdom. Upgrade to the Canyon!!!

Training inside is hard enough. Anything you can do to help you get on the trainer more often and enjoy it is a huge win. Just the sight of that Canyon should get you stoked. And when you’re on it, you’ll feel more pro than being on some hybrid fitness bike. That kind of stuff helps a ton.

Post pictures when your new setup is dialed in!


Go for the beater. I would guess that with some experimenting you could put together a close ratio 8 speed cassette that would give you small gaps and enough range. I have 11 speed (12-25), but I only use 4 of them for 90% of my workouts

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Put whichever bike you use outdoors less on the turbo. I find having the bike set up and ready to go leaves me less opportunity to faff about and delay getting started. I’ve a TT and a road bike. In the winter TT sits on the turbo and I mostly use the road bike outdoors, then I swap over during the summer.

I couldn’t disagree more. Use the bike you plan to race with on the trainer. My triathlon bike never leaves the trainer except for race day/openers/very specific race simulation work. Otherwise, I use my roadie on the road for long rides and climbing.


You may want to think about how often you are riding inside v. outside.

If you are riding exclusively inside over winter, then using the Canyon on the trainer would give you more time on the trainer in the road position.

If you are using the trainer for some structured sessions indoors, but riding outside on weekends whenever you can, then you may want to keep the beater on the trainer. You will still be logging plenty of time in the road position, and the lack of the hassle of installing/removing the bike from the trainer means you are more likely to jump on either bike when you have some free time. More time training beats any marginal gains from position.


I would say yes, use your Canyon for training for two reasons: if you want to get faster on a road bike, you should learn how to produce power in a road bike position. And secondly, since you are using a dumb trainer, there is significant benefit in having more gears to tune cadence-to-power. I do all my training on a dumb trainer myself, and I can tell you that I wouldn’t want to make do with 8 speeds.


I say beater on the trainer. First, mine is set up ready to go. Second, if I need to regrease or upgrade my road bike I can do it without time constraints. Right now my road bike is in the stand waiting on paint supplies do I can touch it up. During this wait i also cleaned out the bottom bracket area and put in a new bottom bracket and am keeping to my training schedule.


I don’t even use a beater on my trainer. It’s not even a fully functional bike. No brakes. Some hacked up MTB rigid fork on 26" wheels (fork is for 29er), just set the height on blocks, adjust the cockpit, and go. All that matters is the position, and shifting (barely needed).

Thank you all! I might give it a try and see if the experience is significantly different both physically and emotionally.

Seeing that the bike is staying on the trainer for the next 4 months (US Midwest weather is not too forgiving from now until March) I am inclined to use the good bike!

Enjoy your training sessions!


My N+1 was that RPE felt easier on my good bike! Whether the old aluminium frame and whatever the cranks were made of were absorbing a bunch of energy, it definitely felt different on the better bike.

+1. I ride exclusively on MTBs and Fatbikes and use my 2001 Trek Carbon road bike on the trainer. albeit with flats for pedals. I did over 3 years with my MTB and Power Meter and still prefer the beater setup because of the reasons above. I have sufficient gross gains to make before I worry about marginal gains like Q factors, exact positioning and so forth. If I was a TT/Tri guy then I’d agree with @cloy26

Regardless the most important factor is consistent training. Good luck.