Carbon Bike on Trainer....... Safe?

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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lovemydales
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:08 am

by lovemydales

Hey Guys,

Just keen to find out what your views are on using a carbon bike on a stationary trainer. I've reached my limit of bikes and looking to sell of my bikes.

I'm looking to sell my older Trek 1.5 which is Aluminum and use my Cannondale Supersix Carbon on the trainer. I do trainer workouts using Sufferfest so obviously these make you push and are not light sessions. Is a Carbon frame able to cope? I've read the owner manual and just says to be careful and attach bike properly as to avoid any damage. Doesn't say do not use on trainer.

What are your opinions on this?

goodboyr
Posts: 1390
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:56 pm
Location: Canada

by goodboyr

Its fine. You can search on the many threads that have discussed this. Bottom line, is it will be fine. Anybody telling you otherwise is propagating an urban legend.

aussietim
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:59 am

by aussietim

I race triathlon and asked this question to several training partners recently as most people do their hard interval sessions on the turbo. 90% of them said their carbon TT bikes live on the trainer for most of the year, even in summer and have done so for many seasons with no problems. Albeit, they aren't doing any silly efforts out of the saddle or anything. Whether there is much of a difference for road vs TT in this situation I don't think so.

kulivontot
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:28 pm

by kulivontot

goodboyr,
Not sure it's an urban legend if it actually happens...
We had a teammate who was doing work on a stationary trainer, and broke his Norco carbon frame at the chainstay. They replaced it under warranty, though. Dude was a taller guy who probably put out 350+ watts FTP though, so your mileage may vary. Check with your specific manufacturer to see what their stance is on stationary trainers, I believe Trek says it voids your warranty. That's probably a more reliable indicator than a poll of random internet dudes...

goodboyr
Posts: 1390
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:56 pm
Location: Canada

by goodboyr

Please point me to the link that states trek voids warranty, or once again.........Urban Legend.........

aaric
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:10 pm

by aaric

https://twitter.com/theMasterLink/statu ... 4068354048

Not trek, but specialized. I do recall reading in their fine print it wasn't covered too. However, I've run multiple specialized carbon bikes on my trainers without issue.

kulivontot
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:28 pm

by kulivontot

Or take the extra 3 seconds to look up the policy of the said company.
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/support/ ... y_trainer/
"Damage from the trainer or from falling off of rollers would be the result of an outside force acting on the frame, and not a manufacturing defect, so would not be covered under the warranty."

goodboyr
Posts: 1390
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:56 pm
Location: Canada

by goodboyr

It means that if you fall off rollers, or bang or scratch the frame on the trainer its not covered,just as its not covered if you fall on the road. It does not mean that using it on a trainer voids the warranty......because it doesn't say that.

goodboyr
Posts: 1390
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:56 pm
Location: Canada

by goodboyr

aaric wrote:https://twitter.com/theMasterLink/status/149162064068354048

Not trek, but specialized. I do recall reading in their fine print it wasn't covered too. However, I've run multiple specialized carbon bikes on my trainers without issue.

Well, that wouldn't be the first time the left hand doesn't talk to the right hand at specialized......
https://twitter.com/puft54cs/status/152087500842729472

aaric
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:10 pm

by aaric

too funny.

kulivontot
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:28 pm

by kulivontot

goodboyr,
Did you actually click the link and read the entire statement? Or are you just being an ass? Giving blanket statements without actually checking sources is the worst kind of advice you can give.

Op,
It is probably fine as long as you're not a heavy rider and doing VO2max intervals, but people have broken carbon frames on trainers before. I advice you to check with your frame manufacturer to see their actual policy is as nobody on this board will pay to fix your frame if something does happen.

goodboyr
Posts: 1390
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:56 pm
Location: Canada

by goodboyr

OK then. Next time you're riding your bike over cobbles or down a mountain be very worried,,,,,because if it was in a trainer it might explode.......
But of course I'm an ass, not you...note that the op asked about cannondale, but you reference trek, and took the statement out of context. I stand by my original answer to the original post, its perfectly fine to use the cannondale in a trainer.

Dodger747
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:44 pm
Location: Belgium

by Dodger747

If a frame can't handle a turbo, I don't want to ride it on the road, simple as that.

I use my carbon bikes extensively on my trainers and never had an issue...
VO2 Max - 79 ml/kg/min
W/kg - 4.9

maquisard
Posts: 1862
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 8:51 pm
Location: France

by maquisard

Dodger747 wrote:If a frame can't handle a turbo, I don't want to ride it on the road, simple as that.

I use my carbon bikes extensively on my trainers and never had an issue...


Completely agree with Dodger747 and goodboyr, a trainer is the least of a bike frames worries compared to the stresses involved with riding on the road.

The failure mode of carbon fibre composites is almost always in the resin. If you look at this stress / strain curve of the material then it is quite obvious that the frame will be as resilient to damage on the turbo as other materials in normal use. If a failure does occur I would guess that it is due to incorrect mounting leading to a sudden release or shift in how the frame is held within the trainer.

By comparison the biggest stresses a carbon fibre frame will ever face are the frequent sudden impacts faced when riding over potholes and ruts in the road. These are the impacts that can damage a frame, but those on a turbo trainer are mild in comparison.

lovemydales
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:08 am

by lovemydales

Ok well that escalated quickly.

Appreciate the responses guys. Used it on the trainer a couple of time and funny enough the bike felt more solid then the Trek. Maybe its just my mind playing tricks on me.

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