Changing chain for the indoor trainer

Hi folks.

Just wondering if I’m wasting my time or not. I have a wheel-off indoor trainer (Elite Drivo), but went for the ‘invest everything in a dream bike rather than have two’ option. Therefore, my bike is on and off the trainer a lot in the summer. I have always tended to change the chains over so there’s one chain for the indoor trainer cassette and one for the back wheel cassette. Is this REALLY necessary? This means that if I’m not feeling 100% motivated, it can sometimes put me off training or riding outside if I have to swap them over (which I know only takes a few minutes, but your hands get greasy and it’s just another ‘step’. I know chains wear faster than cassettes anyway, so am I putting an unnecessary barrier between me and training indoors if my bike is off the trainer or vice versa if it’s on it? How much damage/extra wear can it do?

For background, the cassette and chain on the trainer is a Shimano 105, and the back wheel cassette and chain are SRAM Red. Obviously I’m more concerned with wear on the latter given the replacement cost.


Unnecessary in my view. Get a chain wear checker and use it regularly. Replace the chain prior to advanced wear and you will minimize wear on the cassettes for the wheel and trainer.

Keep it simple.


Agree w/ chad. but also make sure that you aren’t using a cassette on the drivo that is so worn that it is pulling your chain apart. I stretched the hell out of a chain once by using an old cassette with very worn sprockets. Didn’t realize what was going on until I snapped it (10sp chain).


agree. this $10 tool should be in every cyclists tool box, just like a chain whip and cassette tool.


Yes, not necessary to do that. Just run the same chain and replace it when it is worn.

Another point to consider. I found a bike on Craigslist that was nothing special but was size 56. I ride in ERG mode on the trainer so drivetrain also didn’t matter. For $500 I had another bike and I adjusted and spaced it here and there to get it close to my outdoor bike fit but it’s far from a perfect match.

What is great however is that it’s locked into the trainer and is easy to jump on without any fuss. I’m definitely happy about making that choice even though it has nothing in common with my race bike other than frame size.

Good luck!


Suggest you take up waxing your chains, then use the other as a ready spare. This will even up the wear on each chain and save wear on the cassette and chain rings. Look for waxing in the forum for details.

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Just the answer I was hoping for. Did purchase a chain-wear checker not long ago, so sounds like I’m all set. Thanks for the response!

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