Fluid trainer consistency

Hello, I have a pretty basic set up. Fluid Trainer (Cyclops Fluid2) Wahoo Blue SC and a road bike. I use an old IPAD for trainer road. It seems like over the last 2 months it has been hard to keep it consistent.

How do people measure tension on the wheel and how often do you check your tire pressure? I seem to have to be resetting the tension all the time. I back the roller off until it is barely touching then turn the pressure know 2 revolutions.

Also, it seems now I am getting a lot of rubber dust on the floor.

What is the best ways to keep it consistent. Thanks

For using VirtualPower in a case like this, consistency is all about just establishing a pattern of setup and use, and repeating it each time your ride.

  1. I recommend setting tire pressure each and every ride. All tires loose pressure over time. So you are best to do it at the start of every ride to ensure it is the same each time, for consistency of data.

  2. As to the roller pressure, again it’s about doing the same thing every time. Assuming the roller is not in contact with the tire (and after setting pressure above) spin until the roller contacts the tire, and find a revolution count that you can repeat each time. Sounds like you already have the roller setup consistent, and just need to make sure tire pressure is set each time.

As to the tire debris, it’s entirely possible you have worn the tire past a prior wear pattern and are more quickly degrading the remaining tire. It may well be a sign that you need a new tire, if this debris is a change from your prior use experience.

I recommend a regular cleaning of the tire and trainer roller surface, using a rag and rubbing alcohol to keep each surface (tire and roller) clean and limit buildup of aluminum oxide. I typically cleaned the tire each time and the roller about once a week. For me, this seemed to keep the friction between the tire and roller performing well and limited the need to use excessive roller pressure to minimize tire slip on surge efforts (though they still happen in some cases).

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Thanks Chad. That really helps. My workouts started getting easier (I thought I was crushing it) then I did my recent ramp test (OMG, I’m killing it, look at the FTP increase! All the work is paying off—honey check this out!!) Then killed the first workout at a super high FTP. Then began to wonder and did some checking. My resistance was low… Now back to the real world.


Add one thing to suggestions above, certainly is related to consistency. I do all of Chads list and I do a spin down calibration in TR at the 10 minute mark every ride on a Kinetic. Does that fluid trainer need that as well?

Same here.

Oops. Only do a manual check by squeezing with fingers. I’m now doubting my FTP gains :roll_eyes:

I’m doing Dremsel in 15 minutes. Will check tyre pressure and hopefully can cope with outcome.

@Tom_F how’s it going with the higher resistance?

Yeah, the tools are only as good as we make them, and VP relies entirely on us being consistent with setup each and every time (tire and roller pressure being the keys).

Until early this year same exact setup for nearly 3 years and certainly saw gains (and losses when I I stopped training). I second everything Chad said above. Not sure how old your fluid 2 is, but mine is from 2008 and last year started noticing that around 10-15 minutes in I would feel a spike in resistance as the fluid vicosity increased dramatically. Of course the virtual power stayed the same given measuirng speed, the impact of this was clearly during disaster day because it just felt so hard (well it is hard, but now I know it shouldnt have been that hard). In December I finally got a power meter and I now see a typical 20-30 watt jump at that time. POint being, keep an eye on that because on the long threshold workouts, if your trainer does get the ‘jump’ you will be actually be above threshold.

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I do the squeeze test too. I’m afraid if I use a gauge I will let enough air out each time that I will have to keep adjusting. I did the first workout at the super high FTP (Pierce-3) and kept reducing the intensity until it was doable. Then reset my FTP based on that. Then Clouds Rest +3, my 1st event this year is in a couple weeks so plan builder has me doing VO2 max, and it was really hard. I had to take a few breaks but in the end felt like I get a really good/hard workout. Thanks and Good Luck

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  • I get it, but there is no chance that the “pinch” is anything close to as consistent or accurate as necessary to get the most from VirtualPower.

  • Your tires lose pressure over time, especially when at the high pressures appropriate for trainer use. Even 24 hours is enough time that you should likely be adding a few PSI to the tire before each workout. Not to mention if you train with a greater time gap between sessions.

  • Like any other training prep step, this is about making the commitment each time, in order to have data that is the best you can expect from the estimated process. It’s not necessary for those with actual power meters, but for those relying on VirtualPower, it is an appropriate step to take if you want the that data to be reliable for your training.