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 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.
It should be noted that our range of electric bikes may not be compatible with any model of indoor trainer. 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. To our knowledge, no wheel-out (direct drive) trainer accepts this style of wheel fitting.
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 methods are the quick-release skewer or bolt thru-axles. Fixed wheel, single-speed, and some models of e-bike 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 trainer.
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.
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 and 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.
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.
|Model||Brake Type||Dropout spacing||Axle Dimensions|
|CGR 725||Disc||142mm||M12 172mm x P1.5|
|CGR AL||Disc||142mm||M12 157mm x P1.5|
|CGR Ti||Disc||142mm||M12 172mm x P1.75|
|CGR SL||Disc||142mm||M12 172mm x P1.5|
|Hybrid Trail||Disc||142mm||M12 172mm x P1.5|
|Hybrid AL||Disc||142mm||M12 157mm x P1.5|
|End AL Disc||Disc||142mm||M12 157mm x P1.5|
|End SL Disc||Disc||142mm||M12 172mm x P1.5|
|End SLR Disc||Disc||142mm||M12 172mm x P1.5|
|End Ti Disc||Disc||142mm||M12 172mm x P1.75|
|End 725 Disc||Disc||142mm||M12 172mm x P1.5|
|R872 Disc||Disc||142mm||M12 168mm x P1.5|
|CX SL||Disc||142mm||M12 172mm x P1.5|
|CX AL||Disc||142mm||M12 157mm x P1.5|
|HT 725||Disc||Boost 148mm||M12 178mm x P1.5|
|HT Ti||Disc||Boost 148mm||M12 182mm x P1.75|
|Adventure 725||Disc||142mm||M12 178mm x P1.5|
|Adventure Ti||Disc||Boost 148mm||M12 168mm x P1.75|
|All quick release||Rim Caliper||130mm||9mm 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.
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