Wheel on trainer

Does tightening the spin wheel on a wheel on trainer, affect the power you need to pedal to put out the watts?

It’s going to be very minor. Usually, I try to use the least amount of tension and not have any wheel spin. On my Tacx you tighten the tension in conjunction with using the calibration in the app so if you get it between the lines you are good.

It most certainly does affect power. In all cases, the most important aspect is consistency in the tire pressure you use, and the resistance unit roller pressure against that tire. Keep them as close to the same as possible.

If you are using Virtual Power, or even most smart trainers, setting the roller tension as directed by the trainer maker is important. Find their instructions and follow them closely. Some trainers also offer a calibration, so follow those instructions as well.


I use a Kickr snap - if you tighten to much I find that after a spindown calibration then the wattage floor becomes more of an issue as mine won’t drop down to the less than 120W at a reasonable cadence…not a huge issue but worth considering.

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When I had my wheel on trainer I tried to put my bike on exactly the same way each time. I counted the number of turns on both knobs.


I’m not sure how it works on all trainers, but if I go into Devices tab of Trainerroad, then click my Kurt Kinetic, there’s a spin down option. I try to ride 5 or 10 minutes, do the callibration, then start my workout.