By Robbie Ferri
Personal Trainer & Cycling Instructor
Robbie from “Riding with Robbie” is a Personal Trainer living in in Norfolk, UK. He has bikepacked all over the World, and also raced ultra distance at a top-level. He has worked closely with industry leaders such as Shimano.
Cycling is an excellent sport that offers so much. It helps you explore nature and can be an excellent way to improve your
There are two types of turbo trainers on the market you will find. A direct drive turbo trainer and a wheel-on turbo trainer. With a direct drive trainer, the
When it comes to wheel-on trainers, a question we get asked a lot at Girl
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What is a Special Turbo Trainer Tire?
A special turbo trainer tire is very different compared to a normal tire. You will find they have some very unique properties compared to a standard tire. Here’s what you can expect from a turbo trainer tire.
What happens if I use a normal tire on a Turbo Trainer
Although many people use a standard tire on a turbo trainer, it isn’t an ideal situation, and you can expect a few things to happen over time. Here’s what you can expect.
Our Recommended Tires
When it comes to turbo trainer tires, you have so many you can choose from, and this can make it challenging as they can be quite expensive. Here are our recommended tires that are currently available.
Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Home Trainer Foldable Tire
Zaffiro is one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to bike tires, and their Zaffiro Corsa tire is one of the most popular tires to come on road bikes and is often seen in pro races.
- Cost: $43
- Color: Red
- Size: 700 x 23c
- TPI: 26
- Weight: 270g
The Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Home Trainer Tire is one of the most popular turbo trainer tires on the market and is used by many cyclists who choose a wheel on trainer. It comes in a bright red, and it’s definitely a tire you won’t mistake for a standard road tire.
It has a TPI (Threads per inch) rating of 26. This means it is not very flexible but has a lot of rubber compound, making it a seriously tough tire that is going to give you a huge amount of training miles.
Tacx Trainer Tire
Tacx are known for making some of the best turbo trainers on the market, such as the Neo and the Flux. They are experts when it comes to home training, and they also make a tire for wheel on trainers.
- Cost: $50
- Color: Blue
- Size: 700 x 23c
- TPI: 60
- Weight: 244g
The Tacx Trainer Tire comes in about $40, it is a vibrant blue and has a TPI rating of 60, which makes it less stiff, but it does soften some of the noise you get from the trainer. The tire’s weight is 244g which is very light, meaning it is easier to get it spinning, and it offers a huge amount of grip, a slightly more flexible compound.
It comes in a 23c in size and is very easy to mount onto a wheel ready for the trainer. From user reviews, they wear down quicker than other turbo trainer tires but offer a huge amount of grip and are very quiet.
Bike Trainer Indoor Tire
If you're looking for a more budget-friendly turbo trainer tire, then look no further than the GORIX. They are not a well-known brand, but their turbo trainer tires have become one of the most popular on the Amazon marketplace.
- Cost: $35
- Color: Red
- Size: 700 x 23c
- TPI: Unknown
- Weight: 350g
The GORIX tire is a 350g strong rubber compound tire with a resistant compound to protect your turbo trainer. They don’t tell us a TPI rating, but it’s a solid tire heavily designed towards reducing turbo trainer noise.
It’s made to be very hard wearing and lasts for a long time, so you don’t worry about having to replace it often. We highly recommend it, but some riders do struggle with installation. You have to ensure it is on properly and pumped to the correct PSI for it to work properly.
Tips for picking the right trainer tire?
So none of these tires takes your fancy, but you’re not sure what you should be looking for when buying a trainer tire. Here are our top tips;
Although you don’t need to go for a top-end brand, you will get more out of investing in them. Companies like Tacx and Saris put a lot more time and research into trainer tires, and although they cost a bit more do last and perform well.
Typically when it comes to turbo trainer tires, you get what you pay for. Spending less than $20 will get you a tire that will work, but it won’t last long, and you’re not going to get an amazing experience from it. Spending $40 or more will get you a tire that will last for years and give you a great experience.
It’s important not to underestimate the performance that a turbo trainer tire will give you in a Zwift race. A lighter tire will be less weight you have to move around on the rear of the
What if I want to use a normal tire?
So just say you want to use a normal on your turbo trainer and don’t use it enough to warrant using a turbo trainer tire. Here are our recommendations for prolonging the life of the tire.
1. Keep it clean
Before you start training, the first thing to do is to ensure the
2. Keep the sessions short
The next thing is to keep the sessions shorter rather than longer. Light sessions under an hour should be fine, but if you plan on being on the turbo for two or more hours, you will find that it is going to heat the tire and wear it very quickly. This can affect the compound of the tires, and it can lose its puncture resistance when you take it outdoors later.
3. The cooler, the better
When you’re using a turbo trainer, you need good airflow not just for yourself but also for the tire too. The cooler you can keep the tire, the less wear it is going to take and the better it will perform and last over time.
4. Avoid slips
You’ll also want to do your best to avoid super short, powerful sprints. A normal tire doesn’t have as much grip on a turbo trainer as a turbo trainer tire would. This means it’s possible the tire can slip easily, and it just makes training uncomfortable.
Can you use a turbo trainer tire outdoors?
With all these advantages that an indoor trainer has, many people ask if you can use them on the roads outdoors. When searching the internet, you will get a lot of mixed advice on if you can or can’t. Here are our thoughts on it.
Unfortunately, it’s highly advised that you don’t. The companies who make these tires recommend not using these outdoors. This is because they are not designed for roads. They don’t have the handling ability, and they are not made for the rough tarmac of the roads.
Many cyclists say they make great puncture-proof tires, but although they might do a good job at stopping a thorn or two, they have very few other advantages unless on a trainer.
When it comes to the discussion between using a turbo trainer tire or a normal tire, we highly recommend using a turbo trainer tire. They last longer, perform better, reduce noise, and even reduce slipping on the roller. We highly recommend our choices and feel they are some of the best.
Why do Turbo Trainer Tires have bright colors?
Turbo trainer tires are typically made in very bright colors and made to stand out. Companies do this, so you don’t mistake a turbo trainer tire for a new tire and end up going out riding on it instead. Typically different brands will use different colors. Tacx uses a blue tire, MyElite uses a red tire, and Saris uses a yellow tire.
How do you know when you need to change a Turbo Trainer Tire?
You know when you need to change a turbo trainer tire when the surface starts to bubble, or you start to get small slits in the tires. The sooner you change the tire, the better, and eventually, it will just wear through to the inner tube, and then it will just go flat.
Can I use a mountain bike tire on a turbo trainer?
You can, but it won’t be very good. It will make the bike very noisy, and it will destroy the tire very quickly. You can get away with a hard-wearing road bike tire, but it’s far from ideal on mountain bike tires.
Can you use tubeless on a wheel on turbo trainer?
It’s not advised. A tubeless system firstly isn’t designed for a turbo trainer, and the special compound of the tubeless tire will break down a lot faster than a normal tire.
Do bike trainers damage tires?
The wheel on bike trainers don’t damage tires, but they do wear them down very quickly and can affect the amount of puncture protection you get after frequent use on a turbo trainer. We don’t recommend using them unless for short periods of time or bike fitting.