MTB trainers and more

Hello, I am getting ready to join traineroad. I have a few questions.

  1. I have a MTB with boost and GX Eagle, 2.4 rear tire. I am cheap, what is the best inexpensive trainer. I am open to rollers. I would prefer a smart trainer.

  2. I travel 1-2 weeks out of the month. What is the best way to handle that? I usually hit the bike in the gym in the hotel.


You want wheel on or off? Also you planning to travel with it or your bike and/or trainer?

How much do you want to spend?

My advice would be to get a wheel off smart trainer first and save yourself the extra expense of upgrading shortly.

I have an Elite Qubo Power Fluid that worked very well with TR when I started. Only problem was you end up running an extra wheel and most of the cheaper trainers require an optional extra for boost. Don’t forget the garmin speed sensor as well.
I still have that trainer as a spare. It’s a good unit.

Thanks for the quick replies. I want to keep the wheel on if possible. I want to stay under $400 used if possible. Also, since It’s a mountain bike I don’t think having a speed sensor would work. I plan to do low volume and still ride with my buddies on Saturday.

When I travel, I don’t take my bike.

Smart Rollers ?


Your best best I believe would be a kickr snap in that price range. I am almost certain it will handle a Mtn bike.

Here is a guide for you to check:

Keeping the wheel on is problematic for a typical mtb tire. It will be loud and wear the tire very quickly. Not sure how it would do on rollers, I’ve only used a road bike with slick road tires on rollers.

I have a Kickr Snap and use a cheap spare wheel with a trainer tire when my bike is on the trainer. Swapping wheels only takes a minute and there are times when the weather is bad for a few weeks and the trainer wheel just stays on. In the summer/nice weather, the opposite sometimes happens and my trainer wheel collects dust.

There are tradeoffs regardless of which way you go.

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Thanks again for the help. It looks like the Kickr Snap won’t handle boost spacing. Can anyone confirm.

I’ve been using the Kickr Snap for 2 years with my MTB. I have a separate wheel with a trainer tire and it works great,

My bike is boost and it works with the Snap.

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Yeah, I think my snap would easily accommodate boost spacing. Did you have to get a new “trainer” thru axle to put your MTB on the Snap?

I did in order to put my gravel bike on it. Bought it from, not cheap but does the job perfectly.

I did the same, had to buy a “trainer axle” from The Robert Axle Project.

You only need the speed sensor for virtual power. If you go with the Snap you won’t need one.

Just remember to factor in all the costs when making a decision.

Good luck with your training.

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If you get the SNAP you’ll definitely want to get another cheapo rear wheel with a cassette and slick tire mounted. Otherwise it’ll be loud as hell and you’ll destroy the tire. You’ll also have a coating of black rubber all over the SNAP from the tire.
And as mentioned you’ll probably need a trainer specific axle.

The devil is in the details.

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I’d recommend searching ebay, craigslist, offerup etc for a used kickr or kickr core, or other wheel on smart trainer.

You’re going to have additional costs and headaches with the wheel on trainers.

Plus once you invest in a wheel off trainer you will save yourself so much time moving the bike on and off the trainer, that as time goes on you’ll be happy you spent a little more up front to save yourself time and money down the line.

Like others have mentioned you need a slick hard tire for the wheel on trainers. You can’t use a treaded tire with a wheel on trainer. The trainer will do a treaded to slick conversion for you. The heat of the trainer roller pressed up to the tire destroy supple tires.

I almost forgot to mention something that gets overlooked with the wheel on trainers…

If you have small children around it’s much safer with the wheel off type.

True in some cases, but the exposed flywheel on the Kickr/Core is not something you want any person or animal to touch. I’ve seen burns in shoes and even got a slight abrasion myself during an unplanned trip and trying too be to quick.

They are often hot and spin really fast. It’s one of the aspects I really dislike about the Kickr compared to other wheel-off trainers.

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OK, I am ready to go. Doing the ramp test Monday. I am cheap and wanted to get stuff I could sell eventually for what I bought it for or close. My set up took a few turns from my first post. I got a used Cycleops Fluid Trainer ($65.00) it’s in perfect shape. A used Wahoo sensor, looks new!, $40.00. I saw someone selling a trainer and they had taken single speed and put mountain bike bars and saddle on it to emulate their mountain bike cockpit. I was going to do the same, but yesterday found a carbon Specialized Roubaix that was my size for $400.00. It is 2015, but looks and rides like new. Tomorrow I am setting up my area in the garage and testing the apps/sensor etc. I can keep my mountain bike stuff completely separate. Happy News Years.