Turbo - True or False

One bike shop tells me that on no account should a carbon framed bike be put on a turbo.

Other bike shop tells me it's no problem putting my ££££££££ on a turbo.

My wife tells me that if I buy another bike I'm a dead man walking.

Can I mix carbon and turbo this winter?


  • Of course you can.

    Look at any pro team warming up/ cooling down.  Carbon Frames and turbos. 

    Lots of bike shops don't seem to know their arses from their bottom brackets. 

  • Mine carbon bike is on my turbo. You need to clamp the rear wheel in place which squeezes the frame a smidge, but no harm done. Would be the same with an alu bike  I assume?


  • I dont reckon theres any squeezing of the frame  - your wheel takes that and I dont think it would transmit to the frame. Unless you crushed your wheel ? 

  • No, just a pinch. I use a turbo skewer as well, so that will dictate the width as well. Maybe I shouldnt have mentioned it, I dont want people clamping their wheels to an inch of their breaking point!

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Sounds like a load of bollo to me.

  • They claim it is something to do with the transmission of forces on the rear traingle. As I have an old steel frame on mine I have never worried about it.

    Potentially it could reduce frame flex a bit I suppose. The bike doesn't move forwards - is this an issue? I don't think so. Maybe SlowEngineer can comment.

    Yes the Pro's use turbos for warming up, but do they do main sessions on them, and do they care about the longevity of the frame?

    s-1 is a bit of a bugger especially if you haven't got close to n+1

    Road Bike
    TT Bike
    Mountain Bike
    Pub/leisure Bike (so you can leave it somewhere)
    Turbo Bike
    Cross Bike/Winter Training Bike

    So I make that 6 (and haven't got a Brompton i nthe list)

    So if s-1=

  • I'm sure everyone and their dog has seen this by now, but just in case, this is how fragile carbon road bikes are.



  • my carbon framed bike has been used on the turbo for years and with my weight and power (image) it hasn't broken yet.   it's broken me a few times over that period though.....image

  • To be honest, if I was sure, I wouldn't have posted the question.

    The shop that had the "don't turbo a carbon frame" attitude showed me two bikes that were - apparently - messed up by a turbo. Both issues were in the same spot on the rear triangle, and resembled barely visible hair lines - these, I was told, were caused by a turbo and the rocking side to side rather than forward motion - more than that, I was told that they were fractures of the frame.

    One owner came in at the time and confessed to using a turbo with the bike, and looked less than impressed at the news.

    Other bike shop is much like you lot - says it's bullsh+t and I should enjoy the bike which I bought from him.

    I'm thinking about roller bars to be on the safe side.

  • I can possibly understand some weak rear triangles cracking under excess turbo load but I don't see that these loads are likely to be any worse than causing damge by hitting a bombhole on the road which is a short, heavy impact.   my carbon framed Issac has done thousands of miles on all sorts of roads and turbo and is still good.

    I took it to Colombia last December and some of the roads out there were shocking - shall we say non-existent tarmac at times so we were riding effectively off-road.  my only issue was a front hub flange which snapped off rendering the wheel defunct - the frame soaked up the hit that caused that no problem.

    ooi - what is the frame 210??

  • i dont buy it!!! the stresses put on to the frame on the turbo are soooo much less than the road will throw at it. i've had 2 carbon bikes and both have spent plenty time on a turbo....the skewer will prevent the frame from pinching and if the fron wheel has support under it and its fitted for you properly any force points will be exactly the same.

  • Clamping your bike on a turbo probably will stress the frame in different ways than road riding will - it wouldn't surprise me if some manufacturers recommended you don't use their frames on a turbo.   I'm not saying it's a problem - I use a carbon TT bike on a turbo - but if it broke I wouldn't be admitting that if I was making a warranty claim.  Carbon frames are good at resisting forces in certain directions aren't they so forces in directions they aren't designed to resist might be an issue.  

    I'd be more cautious about using carbon forks on something with a fork clamp though - like some competition rollers have and I think some early turbo trainers.   

  • Have had a bit of a think.

    The skewer is fixed pretty solid. Normally when you apply power at the crank and handle bars (going proper hard) any side to side motion caused results in the whole bike swaying side to side. By fixing the skewer all of that twisting force would be applied to the reat triangle. This could be an issue.

    If you are Driving Miss Daisy then can't see it being an issue. If you are really piling on the power I could this may apply unusual forces onto the rear triangle that would likely create the most stress at the crank end.

    So possibly absolutely flat out sprints wrenching on the bars could cause a problem. Hard Tempo is unlikely to be a problem as the power is built more steadily and sustained.

    I did watch the video and the guy is a very good bike rider, very smooth, the bike hardly takes a hard knock at all.


  • you can put any bike on a turbo.

    you'll sweat all over it mind you.

    most carbon bikes are expensive. OK the carbon won't rust but some of the other bits might. i'm thinking myself of buying a cheap £50 ebay bike for the turbo for this reason - then worrying about the aero bars.



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  • the5k runner wrote (see)

    you can put any bike on a turbo.

    like feck you can. I am now in A&E after a day of experimenting.

    Penny Farthing - rear wheel a difficult fit and it tried to drag the turbo away
    BMX - jumps too hard
    Tricycle - wouldn't fit (If I had two turbos maybe)
    Meldy - (don't include in final list)
    ScootBike - no pedals
    Unicycle - just powered forward and ploughed my face into the ground, broke my nose

  • joddlyjoddly ✭✭✭

    How long do you get before you can't edit a post any more......image!?

  • you CAN put any bike on (that will fit)


    just might not be a sensible thing to do...


    joddly wrote (see)

    How long do you get before you can't edit a post any more......image!?

    I think till someone else posts. Or Meldy finds you and kills you.image Still free

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