Looking to get a dedicated bike for training

My main sport is MTB and more of cross country. I currently have an Ibis Ripley as my only bike and looking to get a secondary bike for primarily trainer use.

Considering getting a gravel bike so that I could also join some friends in their road rides but I’m just concerned that the training that I do indoors won’t be as effective as training on a mountain bike due to the differing forms. Any thoughts?

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Literally every person I know that races MTB at a high level has some form of road bike for cross training. Its different core and leg muscles and whatnot but the aerobic training doesnt differ. 2 hours at Z2 is the same on a MTB/Road bike/Kayak/jump rope

Give yourself an excuse to get another bike!

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I’ll be an enabler - get the gravel bike. It will open up longer rides and those longer rides will likely translate to even better fitness when you mountain bike.

Some of us on the forum actually have dedicated indoor training bikes. That is a luxury for sure but also keeps wear and sweat off the “good” outdoor machines.

Have fun with your new bike!!

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Agree with the others. No reason you can’t use a gravel/road bike as your trainer bike. You can set them up basically the same and use gearing on the bike to simulate the inertia of mountain biking if you feel you want to.

There’s some slight ergonomic differences in terms of shifters/hand positions but it’s not something you can’t quickly adapt to/flick between.

I’m in the same situation as you (though my bike is a Santa Cruz Tallboy). I ordered a Blur for racing but now looking for a gravel bike or maybe switching to a hard tail for exactly what you are looking to do… some road rides and for a trainer.

I say go for it, though for me the hardest part is convincing the wife a third bike in as many years is a NEED more than a want. Good luck!

Yes the right amount of bikes if [n+1]. Gonna have to convince the wife for that though

yes, I’m most worried about the wear and tear on my MTB as I don’t really need to have suspension on indoor training and just wearing them out.

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Not an issue. I’ve used my Spark RC 900 World Cup on my Kickr for 4 years without issue. That’s including high volume plans for the past 2 years and 100% of my rides indoors through winter. I’m locking out the suspension and increasing PSI in the fork/shock so it’s basically a rigid.

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Tons of gravel racing in Michigan

I would get a gravel bike

No reason it shouldn’t be a gravel or road bike for fitness training. My main love is mtb - more of a winch up / ride down some janky off piste tech stuff at the moment more than big xc rides.

I’ve got a Caad12 road bike on my turbo - which I use for outdoor rides to commute to work or when I don’t have time to go out on my mtb (normally drive 45 mins to an hour each way for decent mtb riding).

The turbo has made a massive difference to my mtb fitness - my road bike has flat pedals on it the same as my mtb as I got some foot problems using road pedals on the turbo. No idea why.

I can now ride at much higher intensity on my
Mtb for longer periods of time - instead of being dropped on climbs by some of the guys I ride with I can now keep up whilst also still holding a conversation. Last time out we were going at quite a high pace and one guy got dropped and another was on the limit but actually I think I could have gone a bit harder. Just to add it wasn’t me driving the pace though - it was a younger / slimmer / more xc guy and another one on an ebike.


Definitely get another bike, but I’ve been using an old 7 speed as a turbo bike for years now on my H1. Just need the right spaces. Obviously in ERG it doesn’t matter, but I’ve also used it for Zwift - reducing trainer difficulty reduces the gaps in the cassette.

tl:dr get two bikes!


Just to add I always use erg mode on my turbo. Don’t even need to change gear then - just speed up your rpm and the resistance lowers so you’re still putting out the same power - and low down if you want more resistance / lower cadence

I was hoping to do the same but I’m a heavy rider and wear+tear is likely more with that

Yea, I love training indoors and having the fitness to perform outdoors. I feel that it’s much safer that way because I’m not out of breath when tackling the more technical stuff on the trails

I don’t always use the same rear cog for erg - perdioacally I swap the one I’m using so it doesn’t wear one out. Plus road cassettes are much cheaper than wide range mtb ones - using a 105 level 11 speed cassette. Road gears and chains last way longer without all the mud / grit etc too

Yea N+1 is the way of the cyclist

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I use ERG too for indoor training all the time and I have one specific gear that I always use. Some suppliers sell individual cogs so all I need to do is replace that one cog only every season for a few euros. My go to cog is the 17T on a 12-25 ultegra. Replacing that is around 5euros. That way I have a brand new spare cassette sitting there for when it’s needed, with 10 cogs acting like expensive spacers and one cog doing all the work

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