How to fit Ribble bikes to indoor trainers

When the weather closes in and the roads are akin to ice skating rinks, the wisest course of action is often to head indoors and indulge in a spot of indoor training. But what if you own a Ribble bike and are looking to purchase an indoor trainer? Well, one thing you should definitely take into account is how the bike attaches to the trainer. In our latest blog, we outline how to fit Ribble bikes to a turbo trainer.

How to fit Ribble bikes to turbo trainers

The purpose of this guide is to provide you with the information you need to help you ascertain what you may need to make your Ribble bike fit any model of indoor trainer.

(Please note that this guide is specific to our own brand of bikes. Please check with your frame manufacturer before using your carbon bike on a trainer. This may affect your warranty).

Can I use my Ribble bike on a trainer?

Yes, all of our frames (except e-bikes) are perfectly safe to use on a turbo trainer as long as they are mounted correctly and you use the appropriate adaptors. You should also take extra care when mounting and dismounting the bike.

Electric Bikes

It should be noted that, to our knowledge, there is no brand or type of indoor trainer that is compatible with the 12mm bolt-on rear axle that comes as standard on our e-bikes. This is due to the rear wheel being secured with wheel nuts rather than a skewer or thru-axle. These M12 wheel nuts may also be too large a diameter to be clamped safely to the arms of a wheel-in trainer.

A close up of the Gravel AL e’s rear hub clearly displays the oversize wheel nut that makes it compatible with most types of trainers.

How will I know if my bike is compatible with a specific model of turbo trainer?

This will entirely depend upon which type of bike you have and more specifically the means by which the wheels are secured. The most common method by which the bike is mounted to the trainer is by a quick-release skewer or bolt thru-axle. Fixed wheel and single speed bikes will be secured using track nuts.

Types of trainer & axle fitting

This may be is a little bit of an oversimplification. But there are essentially two types of turbo trainers.

Wheel-on (Classic Trainer)

Firstly, we have the basic (wheel-on) type of trainer. The rear wheel remains in-situ and the arms of the trainer clamp to the hub axle. The wheel is raised off the ground with the tyre sitting atop a roller situated within the resistance unit. The front wheel is then similarly raised off the ground using a separate wheel riser block (or a phone book if you are old school).

Quick release/ Bolt-on Axles

Any bike that uses wheel nuts or a quick release skewer can usually be fitted straight into such a trainer with little fuss. Some trainers will include a replacement skewer that is fitted in lieu of the existing skewer. This helps to prevent damage to your ‘best’ skewer.

If the bike is equipped with disc brakes, the wheels will almost certainly be secured with thru-axles. However, if it is one of the rare models that has disc brakes and quick release skewers (like the CGR 2017) then you can just clamp them in the same way as outlined above.

Thru-Axle

In the case of bikes equipped with disc brakes and thru-axles, however, they cannot be clamped into such a trainer. Simply because there is nothing for the arms of the trainer to clamp onto. In such an instance, a thru-axle adaptor is required to provide a clamping point for the arms of the trainer. When sourcing a thru-axle adaptor it is necessary to order one of the appropriate length and thread pitch. The table further down the blog will help you ascertain what axle size is required for each bike type. You then simply need to order an adaptor that matches the dimensions in the right-hand column.

Bolt-on (track nuts)

Fixed gear and single speed bikes will use track nuts to secure the wheels instead of skewers or thru-axles. The arms of the trainer should simply clamp onto the bolts on the end of the axle. However, if these are of the wrong diameter, it is possible to purchase replacements on the web.

It should be noted that our e-bikes also use a bolt-on style of nut, but these may be too large a diameter to fit into the arms of most trainers. We have no way of ascertaining if this will be the case for specific models of trainers. We would therefore advise against thoughts of using such a bike for indoor training.

Wheel off (direct drive)

The second type of trainer is the ‘direct drive’. The rear wheel is removed and the bike is then mounted directly onto the trainer. This type of trainer is usually compatible with thru-axle style bikes straight out of the box. To clarify, the trainer is usually supplied with the appropriate adaptors to facilitate quick release and thru-axle bikes being compatible straight out of the box.

To our knowledge, such a trainer is not compatible with any electric bikes that have a hub-mounted motor that utilises a bolt-on style axle.

When purchasing a direct drive trainer, it’s recommended to have a cassette permanently fitted to make the transition to the trainer much easier.

Both types of trainer are available in ‘SMART’ (interactive) variants that help you to keep track of training data and which can be used to link to training apps like Zwift.

Which type of trainer you own or wish to purchase will affect the compatibility with your bike. Due to the many different brands of turbo trainer manufacturer, we would always advise you to check the manufacturer’s website for details of what is included with each model. Check the table below for axle dimensions if your bike has thru-axles.

Axle dimensions for trainer compatibility

You can find all the information you need to ensure compatibility with any trainer below. It should be noted that if you use a direct drive (wheel out trainer) and your bike is fitted with a rear thru-axle you may not need an adaptor. This is entirely dependent upon whether the trainer’s default compatibility is with a thru-axle style system. In all instances, we would always advise that you check the manufacturer’s product listing for compatibility and what is included in the box.

  • Dropout spacing is the distance between the rear stays of the frame, where the wheel fits into the rear end. It is this dimension that determines trainer compatibility.
  • Axle measurements are M12 for axle diameter, measurement in mm is total axle length (though this measurement has no bearing on trainer compatibility) and dimension P is the thread pitch.
  • For example, if you have a CGR 725 and the trainer requires a thru-axle adaptor you would need to order a thru-axle adaptor of dimensions M12x142mm with a thread pitch of 1.5.
ModelBrake TypeDropout spacingAxle Dimensions
CGR 725Disc142mmM12 172mm x P1.5
CGR ALDisc142mmM12 157mm x P1.5
CGR TiDisc142mmM12 172mm x P1.75
CGR SLDisc142mmM12 172mm x P1.5
Hybrid TrailDisc142mmM12 172mm x P1.5
Hybrid ALDisc142mmM12 157mm x P1.5
End AL DiscDisc142mmM12 157mm x P1.5
End SL DiscDisc142mmM12 172mm x P1.5
End SLR DiscDisc142mmM12 172mm x P1.5
End Ti DiscDisc142mmM12 172mm x P1.75
End 725 DiscDisc142mmM12 172mm x P1.5
R872 DiscDisc142mmM12 168mm x P1.5
CX SLDisc142mmM12 172mm x P1.5
CX ALDisc142mmM12 157mm x P1.5
HT 725DiscBoost 148mmM12 178mm x P1.5
HT TiDiscBoost 148mmM12 182mm x P1.75
Adventure 725Disc142mmM12 178mm x P1.5
Adventure TiDiscBoost 148mmM12 168mm x P1.75
All quick releaseRim Caliper130mm9mm Quick Release

We hope that this guide ‘how to fit Ribble bikes to indoor trainers’ helps you to get your turbo set up so you can enjoy the fruits of your labours come the spring. If you need further assistance you can, of course, contact us via one of the usual channels.


Looking at an electric bike and wondering if it is right for you? Here we explore the many benefits of these advanced machines.


New to cycling? Make sure you don’t leave home without these essentials when you embark upon your cycling journey.

32 Comments
  1. Not all disc brake bikes are thru-axle, even some not so old Ribbles, but hey, you forget about this

  2. Hi Sharon,
    Thanks for getting in touch and you have raised a very good point which we can only thank you for. It is worth pointing out that very few models of bikes equipped with disc brakes will be equipped with thru-axles as it is now an outmoded concept for such bikes. The Thru-axle system is much better able to cope with the unique stresses of disc brakes and all of our bikes since 2018 use this system. Our very earliest disc brake-equipped bikes were indeed quick release due to the Thru-axle having not yet been adopted by manufacturers of road bikes. It was, however, widely used in MTB circles. We have amended the blog slightly to take this into account.Regards
    Team Ribble

  3. Hi David, thanks for getting in touch,
    As you will be aware the rear wheel on the e-bike is a bolt-on type rather than a thru-axle or quick release. If you have a wheel-in trainer where you mount the back wheel to the trainer and the tyre contacts a roller this should not cause a problem. The arms of the trainer that you clamp the wheel into are hollow and can be clamped directly onto the wheel nuts. Some trainers will be supplied with spare wheel nuts to avoid damaging the existing one and you can even buy specific replacement trainer wheel nuts. We are not aware of any method of mounting such a bike to a direct drive trainer, however.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  4. Hi. I have been told that I should not attach a carbon frame to a direct drive trainer as it could crack the frame? Is that the case please?

  5. Hello!

    Is it really important to change your tyre if using a a simple wheel on type turbo trainer?

    Many thanks

    Martin

  6. Hi Martin,
    Thanks for getting in touch. It’s by no means critical to replace your tyre for turbo training but doing so will reduce the wear to your normal road-going tyre. During use, the friction of the roller on the tyre creates far more heat than it would ever normally experience during normal riding and will significantly affect tyre wear. Trainer tyres are constructed from compounds that are specifically designed to cope better with this increased friction. Many riders will either have a spare bike to mount to the trainer or an older wheel fitted with a trainer tyre that can be swapped in for training. Regards
    Team Ribble

  7. Hi Mark,
    The blog is specifically about fitted our own range fo bikes to a turbo so this should not be used as carte blanche to fit any brand of carbon bike to an indoor trainer. Some manufacturers are happy for their bikes to be fitted to a turbo (as long as the bike is fitted correctly and the appropriate adaptors are used) and some are not, you should first check what your bike manufacturer recommends. Failure to do so will affect any warranty claim in case of damage.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  8. I have a CGR ALe, I just got a wahoo snap trainer. The bolts on rear axle are too large to fit in the supports on the wahoo snap. Can you tell me the thread size and pitch so I can source different bolts to use with the trainer. I did message yesterday but for some reason it has not appeared on this blog. Weird.

  9. Hello, I have a problem where my Endurance 725 disc (105) refuses to shift into my top 3 gears on the back while connected to my new Wahoo Kickr (essentially it’s run out of clicks to the right). The Kickr comes with a thru axel adaptor for 148mm and 142mm but this post states: “It should be noted that if you use a direct-drive (wheel out trainer) and your bike is fitted with a rear thru-axle there should be no need for an adaptor. You can simply use the existing thru-axle.”

    Does that mean I shouldn’t be using the adaptor and that maybe my problem derives from that?

    Thank you

  10. Hi Tom,
    Thanks for getting in touch, that section of the blog may need to be recorded slightly. The ability to use the existing thru-axle will only be possible if the trainer’s default setup is for a thru-axle style system. The Wahoo is a quick-release default from recollection, so will need the axle adaptors that are included with the trainer. If fitted correctly this should not affect the spacing and therefore affect the shifting as you have reported. It may be worth double-checking that the adaptors are installed correctly and this video gives is a great way to check. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RXATMoTu6Q. If you have the setup correct then it may be worth getting in touch with the Ribble owners on Zwift Facebook group as they are frankly more familiar with the actual setting up of bikes on all of the various models/brands of trainers than we here are and may be able to help you ascertain what may be wrong with your setup.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  11. Hi Simon,
    Thanks for getting in touch, the total length of the axle has literally no effect on trainer compatibility. The important dimension is the dropout spacing which on practically all disc brake-equipped bikes is 142mm. Hope this helps clear up the confusion.
    Best Regards
    [email protected]

  12. Hi I’ve got a elite turbo muin with quick release from my previous rim braked bike and now got the sl disc do I need to change anything on the turbo trainer or the bike?

  13. Hi Noel,
    I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it doesn’t look like you can convert the Turbo Muin to accept bikes with thru-axles. At least, this is what Elite state in this post that they responded to. This is no doubt due to that model of trainer being of a slightly older design.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  14. Hi me again, I’ve updated my trainer to a tacx neo 2t and it came with the spacers for the through axle, I’ve been on the tacx/garmin YouTube page and they are going on about getting adapters for the skewer. Do I need to buy the adapter for my bike. It’s the sl disc
    Thanks again

  15. Hi me again, I’ve replaced my turbo trainer with a tacx neo 2t, do I need to buy the skewer kit. I’ve got the SL disc
    Thanks

  16. Hi Noel,
    Thanks for getting in touch, having just checked out Tacx’s description of ‘what’s in the box’ we can confirm that you should already have the necessary adaptors. Virtually every road bike that is equipped with disc brakes uses a 142x12mm thru-axle. So to fit your bike to the trainer using the existing thru-axle you will need to first fit the 2x 142x12mm thru-axle end caps. Tacx also advises that you should use the 2.7mm spacer ring that is supplied to prevent the disc rotor from contacting the trainer (Fig.3 in the Tacx instructions). We hope this helps.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  17. Hi Alan
    I have a Wahoo Kickr Version 4. I’m looking at they R872 rim brake bike to possibly use on it. I see the correct mount is the quick release 9 mm. Is this bike ok to use on the wahoo kickr? I am checking with you to see if the bike is acceptable to be used on the wahoo kickr and doesn’t void the Ribble frame warranty.

  18. Hi Todd,
    Thanks for getting in touch, and yes the R872 is perfectly safe to be fitted to the Wahoo Kickr range of trainers and it does not affect your warranty (as long as the bike is set up correctly and any damage is not the result of an accident/misuse, of course). The Wahoo trainers are supplied with a selection of axle adaptors so you can fit standard 9mm QR axles as well as thru-axles. Happy indoor training and once you get set up if you intend to join Zwift there is a Ribble Owners on Zwift Facebook group you can join to meet up for rides or seek advice too!
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  19. Hi. I have a CGR al e and am considering getting a wheel on smart trainer. I was wondering if you are able to say if there are any makes/models that are known to fit Ribble ebikes. Looking at the most common brands online I’ve been unable to get enough information to confirm if they would take the m12 wheel nuts or not.

    Cheers

  20. Hi Joseph,
    Thanks for getting in touch, we’re sorry to have to inform you that we know of no trainer that is compatible with the rear axle bolts. The bolts are too large for wheel-on trainers and wheel-out trainers aren’t, to our knowledge, compatible with the bolt-on style hub of the X35 motor system.
    Sorry, we have not been able to offer more advice.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  21. Hi Andy,
    Thanks for getting in touch. It will depend entirely upon which type of Aero 883 you have, disc or rim brake? If you have the rim brake then you should not need any adaptors. If it is the disc version then you simply need a 12×142 thru-axle adaptor IF the trainer does not include said adaptors as standard. In all instances, you should ideally check what exactly is included in the box at time of purchase. You can also seek assistance from the knowledgable Ribble owners on Zwift Facebook group for all things turbo related.
    Best Regards
    [email protected]

  22. Hi Ben,
    Thanks for getting in touch, most indoor trainer manufacturer’s produce their own brand of adaptors and we would only advise buying those for a particular model of trainer to guarantee compatibility. The Bike Hut trainer is not one we are familiar with tbh, but it looks to be a fairly typical wheel-on style of trainer. Therefore something like this should fit.
    I hope this helps
    [email protected]

  23. I have a new Ultra Tri disc and can’t find a way to set this up on any type of turbo trainer! It has a 161mm rear thru axle. Does anyone know if there is an adapter for a wahoo Kickr, or which turbo is compatible? Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Sam

  24. Hi Sam,
    The most common mistake people make when considering fitting a bike to a trainer is to assume that the adaptor that they need is the total length of their current thru-axle. This is incorrect, the adaptor you require is actually 142mm which is the distance between the dropouts of the frame. So you only need a 142×12 adaptor to enable you to mount it to a trainer. However, you may also find that you need to space out the rear end slightly to allow for the disc rotor. This is trainer dependent, however, for the best advice available we thoroughly recommend that you consult the members of the Ribble owners on Zwift Facebook group who have in-depth knowledge of all the different variations of trainers and their particular fitting secifics.
    Best Regards
    [email protected]

  25. Hi, can you confirm if it safe to use the either of the following bikes with the Wahoo Kickr v5 direct train turbo please:

    AL endurance disc
    SL endurance disc

    I obviously do not wish to invalidate any warranty.

    Thanks

  26. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for getting in touch, there is absolutely no issue with using our aluminium or carbon frames on indoor trainers. Historically, there was always uncertainty surrounding the use of carbon bikes on trainers but as technology and manufacturing techniques have advanced, the carbon frames of today are more than up to the task.
    I hope this helps
    [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.