Can you use a normal tire with a bike trainer?
There are some tire problems and trainer pitfalls to be aware of. Read on to understand more about using tires with your bike trainer.
Bike trainer tire tips
Avoid puncture resistant tires
Puncture resistant tires use a hard rubber compound. This rubber doesn’t grip well on a trainer and often results in bike trainer roller slippage. This slipping of the tire means it will wear early and leave rubber on the trainer roller.
Avoid mountain bike tires
Mountain bike tires are very different to your standard road tires. They need to grip in mud and slippy conditions, meaning the tread is deep and far apart.
As a result of the tread design, when you use mountain bike tires with a trainer they are very loud. The trainer leads to the tread friction wearing away reducing your tire effectiveness outside.
Go for smooth tread
The smoother the tread the better. Ideally choose a trainer tire, but if you’re going to use a regular road tire on your trainer, go for one with smooth tread in the middle. A standard road tire can perform well on a bike trainer and shouldn’t slip too much.
Keep it clean
Whichever tire you chose to use on your trainer, make sure you keep it clean.
Use rubbing alcohol or glass cleaner to remove dirt from your tire before using it on your trainer.
The alcohol or glass cleaner will evaporate, and ensure you get great tire to trainer roller contact.
Keep a spare wheel
Keeping a spare wheel for your trainer is going to make your life a lot easier. This avoids you having to mess about swopping tires.
If you upgrade your wheels, keep the rear wheel for use on your trainer with a dedicated bike trainer tire.
Benefits of trainer tires
Get a spare wheel fitted with a bike trainer tire. Keep your spare bike trainer tire wheel for indoor use. When it comes time for indoor workout, replace your outdoor wheel with the trainer tire wheel.
Bike trainers can be very noisy, especially when you use regular tires. The courser the tire tread the worse the noise, so mountain bike tires are much worse than road tires.
Ideally you should get some a trainer tire. Trainer tires have tread that’s designed to be as silent as possible, no matter how fast you go.
The friction from your tire on the trainer roller creates a lot more heat than outside usage. This heat is sometimes capable of even melting normal tires.
Usage of regular tires rather than trainer tires can result in melting not only the tire, but smother the roller in a layer of rubber.
The design of a trainer tire means it disperses heat and prevent melting.
The friction between rollers and tires creates a lot of heat. On a regular road tire this can lead to tire and even roller damage. If you use a standard tire on an indoor stand you’ll notice it wears out much quicker than outdoors.
A trainer tire create less heat and will last much longer on your trainer than a regular tire. You can expect trainer tires to last around 5,000 miles.