Aluminum frame for trainer

Does anyone use an aluminum frame on the trainer? I’m thinking about buying a spare bike to be my permanent trainer bike/travel bag bike/backup bike. I don’t want to spend a ton because it will be on the trainer 99% of the time, but will also be subject to airline handlers a few times a year. There are lots of good prices on aluminum bikes and they keep the weight down for the price compared to low end carbon frames. I’ve pretty much ruled Canyon out for various reasons.

I haven’t ridden an aluminum bike in at least 5 years and I’m worried it will really beat me up on the trainer.

Anyone have any experience here?

depends on the aluminium bike you go… I have 2 Alumin bikes and I ride them on the road and on the trainer.
they have come along way since the old days.
I’d definitely try and get your hands on either a CAAD or a Allez, they both ride as well if not better than my BMC RM01 (2011)

if you can pick one up second hand they are a steal. I paid $AU1500 for a CAAD 10 with Di2 and light aluminium Giant wheel set.

1 Like

I got an aluminium Forme road bike that was bought just for the indoor trainer, it has been taken out on the road a few times when my road bike was getting serviced and the difference is minimal on the road. I didn’t do any crazy climbs or anything so I guess the weight difference would be a little more noticeable then but it’s a bike so it’s always going to be super fun whether it is 6 or 16kgs.


Tires, saddle and bar tape are the biggest factors in comfort for a bike. Youmwon’t Be able to notice any difference in frames on the trainer - especially when it comes to fatigue.

1 Like

Ive been riding thousands of miles per year on a used trek 1500 bonded al frame. Since 1998. Al is fine for the trainer.


Ps it’s all been on the same computrainer too


I bought a second-hand Allez frame and bars very cheaply from my LBS, and put my own seat and Ultegra groupset (minus brakes!) on it. Set it up with approx. the same dimensions as my road bike (Roubaix). It has been my permanent (and only) trainer bike on a Kickr for the last two years.
As BMAC615 points out, there’s no road shock to absorb, so comfort is not an issue. Very convenient to have a separate “bike” on the trainer, too.


Got hold of a dirt cheap Raleigh RC2000 a few months ago, for this exact purpose. It has the same saddle as my “outdoor” bike, with stem/spacers also in a configuration that matches all aspects of my outdoor bike fit.

It’s permanently mounted to my Kickr and works great, with the best part being that the entire “indoor” bike and parts cost less than a replacement cassette would on my outdoor bike. :grinning:

I’ve stripped the frame bare of the brakes and front derailleur and am also considering removing the RD and making it a SS, as I know which gear works best for me on the trainer. I only train on TR, so don’t need more than one gear.

1 Like

Thanks for the replies everyone. So far, all the replies have said they don’t feel increased stiffness from aluminum on the trainer, which is a surprise. I feel a lot of vibration from my Neo while riding my Tarmac. The CAAD 9 I had in the past had significantly more vibration on the road than my carbon frame. Are you saying you also don’t feel increased vibration on the road from aluminum? If so, maybe I’m just a lot more sensitive to the vibration.

If you feel vibrations from your Neo with your Tarmac, then you’re going to feel vibrations with an aluminum frame too. The key thing here is that the vibrations you feel with your Neo will not be discernible between the frames being carbon or aluminum.

Personally, I think it’s not a comparable comparison (ha!) to look at vibration sensitivity on the road and on the trainer. Not an apples to apples scenario.

1 Like

Thanks! The “comparable comparison” question is exactly what I was wondering. Funny wording, but spot on.

I can handle it for the occasionally fondo or charity ride when I travel to ride with friends, but don’t want it to be a 4 or 5 times a week thing.

I bought a Forme Longcliffe frame for the trainer nearly 2 years ago; it was dirt cheap (£128 if I recall correctly) but perfect for the job. It has had one spin round the block when I built it but otherwise had been on the trainer ever since.


I have a CAAD10 with 105 on it for a trainer / spring weather / crit machine. I honestly have zero complaints about harshness. It is also plenty fast and has beaten many “super bikes”.

Honestly most people run wayyyy to much tire pressure on the road which is proven to be slower, but also the largest contributer to harshness.