Does that mean it’s a matter of ‘Mountain bikes need not apply here’ in the bike trainer world?
Not necessarily. First off, it’s important to establish why mountain bikes aren’t a ‘natural’ fit for bike trainers.
It’s the knobby tires, Einstein. With those knobby tires, you’d have to wear ear plugs to keep from getting a bad case of knobby tire induced ‘roaring ear’. Your pocketbook would take a hit too, since the offending knobs’ll be worn off the tire soon after you break a sweat.
Your treasured mountain bike tires will fall victim to premature knobby-tire patterned baldness. A carefully crafted comb-over will do no good, and Rogaine is out of the question.
So…if you’d like to load up the trainer with your mountain bike, all you have to do is put a slick tire like these (opens to Amazon’s selection of mountain bike tires) onto your mountain bike wheel.
Or how about just getting another wheel with a slick tire fitted onto it permanently? They don’t cost all that much and with quick release hubs, switching out wheels is weak sauce.
If you’re stubborn and insist on getting a bike trainer that’ll work for a knobby tire, you can get a rim drive trainer like the one pictured.
Minoura claims to be the only company in the world to make such a beast with their Minoura RDA80D Rimdrive Trainer. But because I believe in the value of stiff competition, I’m suspicious of such a beast. With no one to compete against, I suspect that Minoura has little impetus to perfect the machine. Take a look at those little rollers which contact the rim. They don’t look stout and manly to this reviewer.
You know what? Just get a slick and put your mountain bike onto a tried and true trainer like the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, or the CycleOps Fluid 2. You can’t go wrong with either trainer, and they’ll serve you well, no matter which bike you load onto them. I’ve done a lot of bike trainer reviews that can be accessed from the tabs at the top of this page. Start at the tab labeled “Accessories”.
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