Maximum Power on Trainer?

Was hoping to smash out a few last week of the season rides this weekend but looks like heavy wildfire smoke will be keeping me indoors…again. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: I want to test out my anaerobic/Z6/FRC power that I’ve been training this month but probably won’t be doing it on the road.

What’s the safest maximum power that a carbon bike/dumb trainer combo can handle? :man_shrugging:t2:

I’ve done a bit of searchy search and can’t find an adequate answer.
Most likely only going to hit <1,000 watts…depends on how many coffees I chug.
Not going for pure out-of-the-saddle sprints, more like 1-2min seated efforts.


Haven’t broken my bike doing 15-sec seated sprints with 900-1000W 5-sec power. I think GPLama has videos hitting 1500W while testing smart trainers. No worries IMHO.


I can’t imagine you’d have to worry about 1-2 minute seated efforts on any sort of working setup unless you’re an absolute freak.

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That depends on the trainer. My Elite Volano direct drive dumb trainer is rated for 1,400 W max. Its predecessor, the Muon for 2,500 W. I have hit 1,300 W for a second or two with 1,000–1,100 W max power over 20 seconds, I think. Honestly, I am not worried that my trainer is going to explode just because I hit 1,600 W for 3 seconds even though my trainer is officially rated at 1,400 W max.

While there are people who can put out 1,000 W average over 1 minute and exceptional sprinters 1,800+ W, I don’t think max wattage is something anyone ever has to worry about. The only exception are Olympic-level track sprinters perhaps. But even for them there are trainers that can handle that kind of power.

Max power only matters in so far that certain gradient simulations are only possible with a sufficiently beefy trainer.


Which dumb trainer? Assuming you have a power meter on the bike.

My husband had a supersix evo on a cycle ops dumb trainer and could hit over 1200w 5sec power without any problem. I don’t recall his peak. He’d do it seated though.

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KK road machine.
LS stages PM.

I really enjoy not racing your husband. :grin:


Ha , same! It blows my mind!

…and here I am near death, keeled over trying to hold 700w for 5 seconds :unamused: outdoors I’m a fair decent sprinter…but man that does not translate indoors for me.

@mcneese.chad any issues you may have heard of with putting power down on that trainer?

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Remembering I’ve seen @mcneese.chad video of trainer sprinting…with no damage. So we’ll see what I can throw down this weekend if I’m still smoked in.

Then I’m still unsure why you posted and asked. It’s not like the Internet is on fire with broken bikes on trainers :man_shrugging:


Life is chock full of unsurities. Don’t sweat it.

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It’s been a while since I sprinted on mine. My old issue was wheel slip unless you really wound up “steady”. But I might have been over 1000w per my PowerTap hub at the time.

I’ve been over 1200w on all my wheel-on trainers, since slip isn’t an issue.

  • True. I’ve used the my 2012 Roubaix on the trainer, hard since 2013, and its still kicking. Did some sprints way back fully rigid, but I’d bet I was sub 1000w back then (no power at that time).

  • I built my first rocker Dec 2015 for the Road Machine, with sprints hard for training Zwift races in 2016.

  • So hard use for many years with sprints. My bike is the lower end model with aluminum dropouts and likely more sturdy (heavy at least) carbon build. I’d be fine sprinting my new Emonda on a rocker. But I’d be extra careful if I tried rigid.

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I get too much wheel slip on my KK Road Machine to really max out on peak power as well.

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Even on my direct drive trainer I can make the belt slip if I go 0-100 directly. But I can avoid that by building power slightly more carefully.

Play the odds in the face of uncertainty, or roll the dice and see if you’ve got a hot hand :game_die::game_die:


Might rethink the all-out trainer session.
On the other hand, interesting experiment to see how fast I suffocate doing 180%s outside with a mask on.

Do it inside. Trial and error my threshold for riding outside is 50 AQI when PM2.5 is the primary pollutant. Others have higher limits. Know enough people down here that had stop cycling for a week or two after riding outside above AQI 100 that I don’t think it’s worth taking the risk.

A lot of info out there, here is one overview

Be safe and take care of yourself.

It’s not the power so much but the technique. I wouldn’t sprint like I do outside on the turbo, e.g the bike moving from left to right.