Is my trainer dying?

I have a wheel-on fluid trainer (Elite chrono elastogel) I’ve been using it for about a year, beginning with virtual power and now with a 4iiii left side power meter.

Recently I’ve noticed that the resistance seems to pulse, varying by about 20-40 watts while at the same cadence.

Is it dying?

Could it be because the wheel is slipping? (The wheel is held onto the roller with bodyweight)

Has anyone else had similar issues with their trainer?

Is it the resistance pulsing or your power?

I’ve often had power fluctuations whilst at the same cadence and was quick to blame the trainer. But I’ve started to wonder if the force part of the power equation is to blame. In other words, maybe I’m pedalling slightly less hard in that moment, despite pedalling just as fast

100% the resistance…well feels like it

Any changes for wheel or tire used?

Nope, same wheel…I guess it could be the bearings. I’ve used another wheel recently too and experienced the same issue.

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Have you looked for any fluid leaks?

That can lead to problems and reduction in fluid resistance performance. It is common on older or high-use trainers.

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Is it a mag or fluid? I believe the chrono comes in both varieties

Is there any play in the spindle? The bearings on my chrono mag started to give up eventually and there was noticeable movement on the spindle

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I’ll get my torch out and investigate

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Crazy as this sounds, check the tube for leaks. I’ve had a slow leak in the past and that fluctuated the power because of the decreasing pressure.