Don’t Screw Up Putting Your Bike Into A CycleOps Trainer

The first time I put my bike into my trainer I did it the manly way.  I kind of looked at the thing, consulted my man-instincts and just got the job done.

No sense reading some drivel in an instruction sheet. But then the nagging doubts started to creep in.

  • Why do they say that you should use a special skewer when the bike’s in the trainer.  Is it for the sake of the skewer…or does using a ‘road skewer’ damage my bike when the bike’s in a trainer?
  • Should the skewer lever be pointed up when it’s being ‘cupped’ in the cone?
  • How much pressure should the roller apply to the tire when it’s tightened up?  Is some slippage OK?

My Awkward Instructions (Easier To Watch The Video)

Well, here’s a bit of instruction on correctly inserting your bike into a CycleOps trainer.  The same principles apply whether it’s a CycleOps Fluid 2, a CycleOps Magneto, or a CycleOps Mag trainer.

You should start on the ‘driver’s’ side of the trainer (that would be on the left side if you’re facing in the direction the bike would be going if you were going anywhere).  There’s a cone that cups the lever side of the skewer.

The skewer lever should be facing straight up and ‘drop’ into the slotted cone.  At this point in the procedure you don’t really have to tighten the locking nut, since you may be making changes after you check the other side of the trainer.

When you go over to the ‘passenger’ side, you put the other side of the skewer into the cone on that side and then push down the quick release lever.

This is where the ‘art’ comes into the ‘art and science’ of cycling.  You’ll have to reach down into your ‘creative self’ and determine that the quick release lever of the trainer arrives at the end-range of it’s travel at the point in which the bike is held securely into the trainer.

If you can’t get the lever to go all the way down, you’ll have to go over to the other side (driver’s side) and screw the shaft away from the bike in order to allow the quick release lever more room to travel.

If the quick release lever gets to its end-range without snugging the bike into the trailer tightly enough, you’ll have to go over to the original side and screw the cone toward the bike.

Once the whole thing’s just like you want it, you go over to the skewer lever side again, and tighten up the lock nut so that you don’t have to repeat this whole miserable process.

It’s now time to tighten up the roller to the tire.  You’ll be working with the yellow cam lever at the back of the trainer.

When the yellow cam lever is parallel to the floor, the roller should be just barely touching the tire.  If the cam lever is pushed downward, the roller should come away from the tire.  But more importantly…when you pull it upward into the ‘locking’ position, there should be just enough tension between the tire and the roller.

Incidentally, there shouldn’t be any slippage between the tire and the roller…slippage only results in accelerated tire wear.  There shouldn’t even be any tire slippage when you do a manly acceleration.

I used to worry that if there was too much pressure I’d be putting too much ‘flex’ in the sidewalls.  But no one’s talking about excessive sidewall flex, so I’ll think of something else to worry about (fortunately there’s a plethora of possibilities if you really focus).

And oh, by the way, you use a special skewer so that you don’t mess up your good skewer…not because the special skewer is critical to the function of the bike while in a trainer. So if you don’t care if you get ‘dings’ in your road skewer, have at it.

Watch This Video For Clarity



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