Anyone have kids using trainers?

Just wanted to pick the brain(s) of anyone with kids using trainers. I got my son a 24" road bike and set him up on both the kinetic road machine with inride and had tried using his 20" bike on zwift with an elite qubo. He’s not super smooth with the pedaling so zwifting isn’t a great experience for him (lots of starts and stops because he’ll pedal a little and coast), so he’s not really invested in sticking with it at the moment, even though he really needs to burn off some energy on days we can’t get outside together. Just curious if that was the experience of others when their kids started out using a trainer.

Oh, and I briefly had him set up on my Hammer and it was a little smoother (the inride seems to have a little lag and it’s hard to do a proper calibration given my son can’t get to 21mph lol). If he’s relatively smooth he can do like 30-35w but he’s all over the place with his cadence so it’s all over the map. Anyhow would love to hear from anyone with experience on getting their kids started

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My two cents:

I’ve been thinking about getting one for the kids, but I wouldn’t sign any of them up for zwift (I don’t and won’t pay them for that service for myself, either). I’d probably do a VO2 workout with them and encourage about 15 minutes of total efforts while watching whatever TV/YouTube they want. Its not hard for an 8 year old to work hard for 1 or 2 minutes at a time and who cares what wattage/resistance the fluid trainer is “calibrated” at?

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It’s not about the calibration or the watts per se, just smoothness to keep his avatar moving. BTW zwift is free for kids with an adult account which is why I got him on

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The co-rider free pass is a nice touch on the part of Zwift, but still not enough to convince me to subscribe, with my cheapskate self. Since you’re signed up already, I can definitely see the benefits of getting a smoother interface.

My daughter (8) already knows that I have different types of rides and reasons for rides… Outside rides are usually about the experience, the weather, the destination and the journey, but she knows that my basement rides are to elicit a specific training (or mental health) benefit.

FWIW, kids can have a free Zwift account without the adult having a subscription - there just needs to be a separate adult account to control privacy settings, supervise meet-ups etc.


I set my kids up on a free cheap magnet trainer on a free Zwift account. I played around with having them on different fluid and rollers trainer in settings. I’m not fast but theY keep up and pass me with these cheating settings. Another option may be a meet up to catch them up??

I think it’s wasteful to put kids on trainers.

They make zero income, so the least they could do is pedal a generator to maintain power to the fridge.


Yes, my son tried Zwift once or twice in 2019, then my wife got on his case about being lazy now he’s in there every other day :slight_smile:

I have him set up next to me with a dumb trainer and my backup power meter pedals. Basically I’m taking the approach of leaving him to it, encourage him when he’s come out of the cave, give him a tip maybe once every few weeks.

As @wysbf2 said, Zwift have him a free account in Jan 2019 Which took a little while, and you have to renew it annually which took another couple of days, I didn’t subscribe myself until Dec 2019.

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This thread would be incomplete without DCRainmaker’s review of his kids using a FisherPrice trainer:


I’ve got my 9-year-old and 13-year-old on free Zwift accounts with a DIY PVC bike stand and a speed sensor. I’m still adjusting their height, weight, and wheel size in Zwift to get them close to my w/kg so we can stay together. I still haven’t gotten it right, but a Zwift Meet Up with Keep Everyone Together enabled works.

Because the kids don’t pedal continuously it’s hard to stay together without the Keep Everyone Together option. Also, the 13-year-old occasionally gets flagged since he can really get his rear wheel going without any resistance. There are some pretty creative ways to add resistance using old inner tubes, rolling pins, or whatever else you have lying around. I’m not there yet, and have done such a poor job maintaining their drive trains that they have plenty of resistance (bad dad moment).

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Will kids bikes fit on all trainers or are there specific ones?

Guess it depends how old - e.g. our son had a CX/road bike when he was 9-10 that had 26” wheels that fitted fine on an old Elite wheel-on trainer I had.

He also learned to ride my rollers - I have some Elite Arian rollers that had enough adjustability for his small CX bike.

But for younger kids bikes with 18 or 20 inch wheels, I guess a regular trainer may not work…

I put my kids’ bikes on the trainer when there were a few weeks where we couldn’t go outside. They enjoyed it but did what OP’s kid does, pedal it up real quick then coast. I have an old wheel-on trainer and the resistance part doesn’t reach up to their 20inch wheel so it just spins freely.

It’s a 20 but I can get him a 24 if the 24 will fit. He is about a year away from sizing up anyways.

For smaller wheels an elite qubo or similar trainer works. Kinetic also has a small wheel adapter for those under 24”

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I have the Kinetic Road Machine, and my son uses it with his 24" bike.

Problem is: we can’t calibrate it to hit the “25 MPH” no matter how hard we try; can’t find anywhere on the app to get it to set to 24" wheel.

Anyone else have this issue?

Hey there. I am just starting to look into getting my son into riding indoors. I just got him a 20" bike (Cannondale Quick 20), and I just wanted to know if there were any other trainers besides the Elite Qubo that would fit the smaller bike. Also, if you have any updates since this is an old topic that would be great. Thanks!

When my son was around 9 or 10, I had him on a Pinarello Speedy + CycleOps fluid trainer. When he outgrew that setup, he migrated onto my wife’s Peloton.

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Bkool works well with small bikes.

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Saris just came out with an adapter for smaller wheels for wheel on trainers. That said, I haven’t seen a great setup for smaller wheels. My kids got a 16” wheel bike and is asking why he can’t have a trainer since my wife and I have them for our bikes. Unfortunately, nothing is really designed for that size. Fortunately for you, 20" wheels are when the adapters start to fit.

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