We train level on the trainer, do we?

Hallo I was wondering if everybody is training level on the trainer. I think I read somewhere that you should train on the treadmill with 1-3% inclination so why not on the trainer? Using my Kickr Core the bike is 100% level and was thinking to use the stand from tacx to get a slight inclination - thoughts?

  • This has to do with trying to replicate the effort and momentum of running outside. It is an attempt to compensate for the real differences in running in place on a moving belt vs moving in a forward direction while outside. They are similar, but different.

  • We don’t need to do the same adjustment on a bike necessarily to get the right resistance (as is done on treadmills), because the trainers can more accurately replicate the feel and inertia of a real ride outside.

  • One notable exception is the impact of wind resistance. That wind pushes us back and has a tendency to shift the weight off the hands a bit, and onto the saddle. If you use a pure flat/level bike inside, you tend to have more loading on the hands. This can lead to more discomfort, numbness and even pain when riding the same exact bike inside, that you have none of those issues outside.

  • I have been a long time advocate of lifting the front wheel about 25-50mm (1-2") higher than the rear. This is done in effort to mimic the slight weight distribution shift that we experience when rolling at 15-20+ mph outside. I have found (and many I have shared this tip with) that it improves comfort and gets the feel much more like riding outside.


I’ve read somewhere that the front wheel should be slightly elevated to compensate for the lack of air resistance when riding on trainer. My front wheel is elevated about 1/2", but that is more of a coincidence than anything; I have mat that is in three parts and when i got my kickr I just removed the last part to get a stable connection to the floor. Feels ok so I am inclined (!) to keep it that way.

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Very interesting!

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Lack of wind resistance on the body riding inside. That is a difference that I find because you end up with slightly more weight on the hands and arms, because you don’t have the wind pushing your upper body back.

  • To compensate for that, I recommend that people raise the front axle about 1"-2" [25mm-50mm] higher than the rear axle. This shifts the weight slightly back onto the saddle and off the hands and arms.

Pulled from my Rocker Plate thread.


Thanks a lot, now I understand the purpose and I will try your tip for comfort. :partying_face:

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Wonder if this is why I struggle to hold my TT position indoors for more than few minutes but happy for 30 plus mins in race outdoors? Might try raising front wheel a little! Thanks for tip @mcneese.chad!

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I think the weight shift will vary with each rider and their position. I would expect the weight shift for a more upright road position on the hoods to be greater than the lower TT position on the extensions. But I do think it can still have an impact, so a test is something I would recommend to see if you feel any difference.

Please report back even if it doesn’t work. It’s a theory of mine and seems to work for most people, but I know it has made no difference for some riders.

As ever, no perfect solution for all people or issues, but this is so easy to apply and see if it works or not.


No change raising my front wheel, so I don’t bother doing it.

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I raise my front wheel on the trainer for the very reasons that @mcneese.chad mentions. It makes a difference to me and I feel better balanced on the bike, more in keeping with how I feel outdoors.

I would imagine any effect you might or might not notice will be largely dependent on your position on the bike in the first place. If you have your saddle quite rearward and have very little weight on your hands when riding anyway, you might not notice any difference riding indoors.

Likewise the opposite might be true if you have a reasonably long position with your saddle more forward, you might see a more noticeable change in weight distribution when raising the front wheel.

Core strength will also play a factor. The stronger the core the less you might notice any change as it is doing more of the work and less of the weight/emphasis is on your hands.

Give it a go and see what works for you :blush: