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Being able to ride your bike outdoors in comfortable temperatures and great weather is always the ideal situation. However, sometimes Mother Nature has other plans, but you still need to get in a warmup or a proper exercise on your preferred cycle. When needing to ride a bike indoors, your best bet is to invest in a bike trainer—but how long do these bike trainers usually tend to last?
Bike trainers should last a couple decades, so long as their engineering is of the highest quality. At the very least, you can expect a bike trainer to have a lifespan of about 10 years. However, this will depend on several factors, not least of which is your frequency of use.
Regardless, bike trainers are an excellent way to simulate a bike ride in the winter months when it’s too cold to go do so outside. This is ideal for professional cyclists or those who love to ensure that they get a good daily workout.
What is the Length of Time That a Bike Trainer Will Last?
The length of time a bike trainer will last mostly depends upon the brand. If it’s a solid and trusted name, such as CycleOps or Kinetic, these will typically last for well over 10 years. Some users report not even having to do many repairs on them—if any at all—as well.
Is There Anything That Can Shorten the Lifespan of a Bike Trainer?
One of the largest culprits of bike trainers not lasting as long as they should is often user error. This is particularly true in the case of tires, but there are other things that play apart in this problem as well.
Most manufacturers and experienced users recommend getting fluid square tires designed specifically for a trainer—this is because these specific tires can handle the heat and friction that tends to occur when riding your bike on a trainer. Regular road tires will blow out—it’s not a matter of if, but when. They simply cannot tolerate the heat.
That said, there are some people who have bike trainers and never experience a problem with using their road tires on it.
Using Road Tires on a Bike Trainer
Once again, this goes back to the brand and what kind of quality the bike trainer is. There are some types that offer the ability to keep your road tires on, yet there are also other models that adamantly insist on riders using special tires.
If you poke around through online forums about the people who used road tires with a bike trainer, there are quite a number of horror stories. Not only do the tires blow out, but this issue also has the potential to destroy the bike as well as the trainer. So, when shopping around for a trainer, take your time and don’t hesitate to spend a little extra if the quality is there.
Applying Too Much Pressure onto the Tires or Trainer
There is also the matter of some people putting too much pressure onto the trainer during their ride. This causes the tires to leak fluid, and it wears out the mechanisms on the trainer. This most often occurs when people do not get the right kind of trainer that is best suited for their intended purposes.
In some cases, users will be too heavy for the trainer’s total weight capacity. In other cases, the trainer’s design simply can’t cope with the wear-and-tear that a person puts onto it. This means that there will be many repairs in addition to shortening the bike trainer’s lifespan.
Total Mileage & Frequency of Use
The mileage capacity of the bike trainer and the tires of the bike will also come into play with regard to longevity. This couples with how often you use the trainer, too.
If you use it for an hour a day and only during the winter months, the trainer will probably last for decades. However, if you use it for several hours a day and all year round, it will probably last for only around five to ten years.
How Do You Ensure a Bike Trainer Lasts for a Long Time?
The best way to ensure your bike trainer lasts for as long as possible is to make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines about which tires to use. Also, pay attention to tire mileage capacity and how exactly the bike clamps into the trainer.
Inspect for Damage
If you already have a trainer, there are still some additional things to note. For instance, you should always check the bike tires before and after riding. Also, inspect the trainer for any damage like dents, dings, and bends.
Whenever you notice something amiss, get the trainer fixed, replace the tires, or fix whatever it is needing repair. This will ensure you keep the bike trainer in top-notch condition so it always stays in working order for many years.
When is it a Good Idea to Invest in a New Bike Trainer?
If you notice signs of any serious damage to the trainer, that it’s not holding your bike as it should, or that your tires almost wear out the moment you begin using the trainer, it’s probably time to get a new one.
However, it’s also quite possible that red flags began showing up long before those issues occurred, so it’s always ideal to start shopping around when you notice the very first signs of more serious issues arising with the trainer. By staying on top of it, that will help ensure that your next purchase will be quick, easy, and seamless.