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Turbo trainer cycle tires. Do you need a specific tyre for indoor cycling training?

Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. He is also a keen cyclist and a lover of the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District.

Turbo trainer tires- do I really need one?

The Tacx Satori Indoor Trainer

The Tacx Satori Indoor Trainer

Do you use a specific Turbo Trainer tyre?

With many cycle tyre companies now producing specific tyres for use on indoor trainers- Do you really need a specific tyre?

So to the non cyclists out there- What is a Turbo Trainer?
A Turbo Trainer is a frame that attached to the back wheel of a bicycle and provides a resistance unit. It allows training similar to that on an exercise bike.

This article will address questions like

Do you need a specific turbo trainer tyre?


Can I use a regular road tyre on my turbo trainer indoor cycle ergometer?

If I was to suggest a hypothesis for this turbo trainer tyre investigation it would be;

Using a turbo trainer tyre will be quieter, grippier and offer lower levels of tyre wear over time. (Based on the specific tyre company's marketing materials for turbo trainer tyres).

This is a subjective investigation as unfortunately I do not have laboratory conditions in my garage area at home.
The a Turbo Trainer tyre is designed for Turbo Trainer use ONLY and not designed for use on the road due to its alternative rubber compound. This limits usage to either on a specific Turbo Trainer Bike or the user must have a spare wheel to swap into their road bike.

Can you use a turbo trainer tyre on the road? NO- Definitely Not!

How do they ride?
In the past I've never had an issue using a traditional cycle tyre on the turbo trainer so I was interested in how a specific Turbo Trainer Tyre would perform in comparison to the old Vitoria Rubino tyres I reserved for Turbo Trainer use. I find these tyres to be great on the road and provide adequate levels of grip and longevity on the turbo trainer.

Most cyclists will have music playing loud to try to take away the monotony so noise is not considered to be a major issue. Without loud music playing I found the Turbo Trainer Cycle Tyre to be only slightly quieter however it did not eliminate noise created from the roller completely.

I found that the grip between tyre and roller was lower when compared to a traditional tyre. The Turbo Trainer cycle tyre slipped more under pressure while performing sprint style workouts. This slippage was minimal during steady workloads however was noticeably increased during acceleration attempts. In an attempt to minimise the slipping I experimented with a range of tyre pressures from 80-120 psi however this made very little effect on grip levels

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Cooler rolling (lower wear)
I removed the tyre in frustration after 2 weeks of slipping and have not refitted.

A quick check on the internet has a shown prices of $27 dollars on Amazon for Tacx Turbo Trainer Cycle tyres. Vittoria produces a version of its Zafiro tyre for indoor use which in most shops appears to be around 20-30 % cheaper than the equivalent Tacx model and would therefore be a viable budget alternative.

As a result of my investigations-
Do you really need a specific Turbo Trainer Tyre? I’m not sure you do however if you currently use one and feel otherwise please let me know your feedback.

Do I need a specific tyre for use on bicycle rollers?

Do you need a specific tyre for use on rollers?

Rollers do not incurr the friction that is created from the pressure between the roller on a turbo training and the tyre. Therefore there is no need to use Turbo Trainer Tyres on rollers. Use a normal road tyre on rollers and you should be fine.

Turbo Training Articles

Winter Cycling


Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on February 18, 2012:

Thanks for your comment Winterreifen glad you approve. Good luck with your riding

winterreifen on February 16, 2012:

i found your site through search, yours site is a nice and excellent website.. contents are nice.. will grow higher in future

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