What's the Best Tire to Use with a Kinetic Trainer?

What's the Best Tire to Use with a Kinetic Trainer?

Riders often ask us which tire works best on a trainer, and whether or not using a standard tire will have any adverse effects on either the tire or the trainer. For the best performance we recommend using a trainer-specific tire. We are obviously fond of the Kinetic trainer tire, but any trainer tire should work well. The difference between a trainer-specific tire and a standard tire is based on intended use. Standard tires are designed to grip asphalt, and to wear well when used on this very abrasive surface. The roller on a Kinetic trainer is machined aluminum, which presents a different set of requirements. Thus, the rubber compound on a trainer tire is a bit softer than some standard road tires, so it grips the roller better.

Here are a few tire tips:

  1. Keep a spare wheel: If you are using your bike both indoors and outdoors one option is to keep a wheel with a trainer tire mounted on it. If you upgrade the wheels on your bike this is a great use for the stock rear wheel.
  2. Your trainer tire works outdoors too: You can also ride our trainer tire outdoors. The color is a bit loud, but it will work fine on the road.
  3. Non-trainer tire guidelines: Some standard road bike tires will work fine as well, just try to avoid tires designed for puncture resistance or billed as high-mileage tires. They typically use a harder rubber compound, which doesn’t grip as well and results in slippage. The slippage causes premature wear and leaves rubber on the roller of the trainer.
  4. Smooth tread works better: Look for a standard road tire with a fairly smooth tread in the center designed for all-around use and it should perform reasonably well on the trainer.
  5. Keep your tire and roller clean: Whatever tire choice you make, it’s important to keep the tire clean. Wipe the tire and roller down with a bit of rubbing alcohol or glass cleaner on a rag to remove the grime that can build up—especially if you are riding it outdoors as well. Either solvent evaporates quickly and makes for superb tire contact.
  6. Fat tires? No Problem: Kinetic offers two trainer tire sizes. Our 700 x 23c tire can work on a 29-inch mountain bike wheel and offers a great solution for fat-tired bikes.

A Good Warmup Prepares Mind and Body for Success

A Good Warmup Prepares Mind and Body for Success

What you do prior to a race or any key workout is just as important as what you do during. Having a proper, reliable warm up routine should be an integral part of your training plan. This routine often sets the stage of a successful day on the bike. This time helps prepare your mind and your body for the work that you’re about to perform.   

What the pros say:

Getting a good warm up is crucial for a successful race. I like to make sure I get plenty of pedaling and a few hard efforts in before the start of the race. Lots of people think that warming up will make you tired for the race, but if done properly it shouldn’t. I always find that my first hard effort hurts the worst, so I try to get that one out of the way in the warm up. Then, my legs and lungs are more prepared for a hard, fast start. Warming up on a trainer is a great way to ensure a distraction-free, thorough, repeatable warm up for any kind of race.
— Georgia Gould, Luna Pro Team
It’s always chaotic at the race venue, so I use my warm up routine as a way to minimize that chaos. This is my time to mentally and physically prepare for the race and it allows me to go the line knowing that I’m ready to race.
— Ryan Trebon, Cannondale p/b Cyclocross World

Here’s a breakdown of the physiological and psychological benefits of a warmup, as well as a sample warmup schedule you can use prior to a workout or race.

Physiological

When you start your car on a cold wintery morning, it’s often a little sluggish and takes a while to get moving properly. The engine needs to warm up as well as the engine fluids.  The same is true with your body. You need a gradual progression to help warm up your engine. The process helps:

  • Increase heart rate: deliver blood/oxygen to working muscles
  • Increase muscle temperatures and elasticity
  • Increase body temperature, helps nerve impulses travel quicker

Psychological

As you approach a race or demanding workout, you want to make sure you’re completely focused on the task at hand, minimizing outside distractions. A warm up routine gives you the time to do that.  During that time you can run through the goals of the day and the details of the workout. If it’s a race day, then you have a chance to key in on your process goals for the race, what are the key elements you need to execute in order to have a successful race. The warm up also provides a routine and consistency, which helps eliminate variable in training and on race day. When you have a warm up protocol to follow, then you don’t waste time or energy trying to figure what to do before the race and it gives you confidence as you go to the start line, you know you’re ready to put out your best effort that day. 

Warm Up Schedule

As with other aspects of training, you’ll want to fine tune your warm up routine. This will give you the chance to dial in the details, to make sure it’s the right amount of ride time and intensity for your event or workout. The general rule of the thumb is, the shorter the event, the longer and more intense the warm up should be. Below is a starting point for you. Use it and your personal knowledge of what works well for you and tweak it to come up with your personal protocol. It’ll take a little experimenting, but with some patience you’ll be able to dial it in just right.

  • 20-25min easy on the road
  • 4min @EM (RPE of 5/10 or zone 2) on trainer, 90rpm
  • 3min @SS (RPE of 7-8/10 or zone 4)on trainer, 100rpm
  • 3min @EM (RPE of 5/10 or zone 2) on trainer, 90rpm
  • 1min @PI  (RPE 10/10, max effort) on trainer, 105-115rpm
  • 3min @EM (RPE of 5/10 or zone 2) on trainer, 90rpm
  • 1min @PI (RPE 10/10, max effort) on trainer, 105-115rpm
  • 3min @EM (RPE of 5/10 or zone 2) on the trainer, 90rpm
  • 5min easy on the road, easy spin over to start line