Bouncing on trainer

As the title suggests I find myself bouncing on the trainer at times during the sessions. I have a Kinetic Rick and roll(non smart) with the little inride add on for the power readings.
I try to keep my power and cadence in the required zones but if I have to change gears I find myself bouncing on the trainer. Is it my pedal strokes that I need to pay more attention to help stop this. Is it a sign of fatigue, I am not sure. This makes the riding uncomfortable and I have to move about a bit or change gears back to try and get it under control.

Usually this is from having a cadence higher than you can control. This happens because you haven’t trained your muscles to fire in the right sequence at speed, so the mistimed pattern goes up your leg as opposed to forward and into the downstroke. Increase your cadence by a few revolutions over time and slowly develop the muscle patterns required to activate around a faster pedal stroke. Over time you should be able to get up to 110-120 without the bouncing. Unless you’re a track rider, there’s not much point in developing a spin higher than this (unless you want to).


Thanks for that, I will stick with it and try building up slowly

I second that suggestion. Although I would say that you should try to push yourself slightly out of the comfort zone where you start to get inefficient but still retain control. To me once I get too bouncy on the saddle, I have to slow down until there is more movement in the sit bones than desired, but I still sit planted on the saddle. Once you master that cadence, you push a little further. With time you get better and better, and you can really increase the range of cadences you can work at — perhaps not optimally, but you can work at them.

That can be quite helpful if you are undergeared in a section: imagine you are in your small chain ring and you are just cresting a steep climb that is followed by a short, steep drop, but the next steep, longer climb is in sight. You may then decide to not change chain rings as that isn’t really worth it and instead stay in the inner ring, but spin like crazy.

PS One thing I found useful is to reprioritize a little when you are on a dumb trainer. I own a fluid trainer, so the flywheel speed determines the resistance, which simulates going on the flat quite well. But the problem is then that in order to hit a power target with a rough cadence range, you are forced to decide between usually two gears. Chad gives you cadence drills for extra credit, I find it easier to play a little loose with the power targets and prioritize cadence over them — especially if you want to push beyond the range where you are perfectly comfortable.


I was looking at the cadence readings today from the inride and it seems to fluctuate quite a lot. I turned my Garmin Epix on to indoor ride mode and it was showing 88rpm compared to 82-84 on the inride. I think I might use the Garmin to help me keep my cadence and follow the power on the inride just to see if I don’t start bouncing while trying to get the cadence right

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Yes, use a dedicated cadence sensor over the Inride data. It is an inconsistent method to measure cadence from the rear wheel in general.

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Another thing that can cause bouncing is not having your core engaged enough. On the trainer practice being in an aero position (either low in the hood or on the drops) and completely remove your hands. That level of core engagement is what you want when you’re really railing the cadence.

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I found the Rock and Roll to bounce a little bit regardless, but it will get obvious and unpleasant if you work at a higher cadence than you can control.

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Yes, the nature of the rear location of the pivot leads to high leverage on the rubber bushings. Any rough pedaling will lead to bouncing. It is worse with heavier riders as well. It’s one reason I designed my rocker plates with full support, to eliminate the risk of bouncing from the trainer support, at least.

Rough pedaling :heavy_check_mark:
Heavier rider :heavy_check_mark:

Going to have to really control my pedaling, I guess that could be a good thing though

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Good to have goals and work on getting smoother at all cadences, especially fast ones (if you need to apply them).

But, for the sake of clarity, know that on that trainer, it is about impossible to eliminate all bounce. Even at my lighter weight and what I hope is a smooth-ish pedal stroke, the Kinetic R&R still bounces a bit for me. It is due to the nature of our bodies in motion.

Despite our best efforts, we are still moving around mass that is not inherently balanced. We can do things to minimize the excess bounce and control that motion, but if you are suspended like this trainer, it will show movement no matter how much you improve.

It can help to setup a camera from the rear 3/4 angle and watch your motion. Then try to correct what you see gradually as described above. I have a camera I use for position and analysis connected to my PC for live review of my motion and riding style. It is eye opening how much we may be moving despite what we think is clean pedaling.

Much better ride today. I used the Garmin Cadence readings which were about 10rpm higher and therefore made keeping within the targets a lot smoother and no bouncing. Tried to concentrate on my form and leg position much more this time

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Good to hear. It’s worth stating that the cadence targets in the inride text should only be followed if you can do so with control. If you can’t spin at 95 with control, then aim for 5 rpm above what is comfortable for you and build up over time.