If you’re the owner of a spanking new 29er bike and feeling a little frustrated at the apparent lack of 29er bike trainer options for your bike, fret not! We’ve been asked this question a few times recently, so came up with this little guide so you too can enjoy your indoor riding with a stationary bike stand that suits your bike!
There are actually a number of options for those of you with 29er wheels looking for a decent bike trainer:
- You purchase a bike trainer that supports 29er wheel sizes (there are a number of options available, see below)
- OR you go for the option of fitting a training slick to your rear wheel, instead of that knobbly MTB tread (more on that a little bit later, see below)
- OR you replace your 29er wheel with something like a 26er, just for indoor training sessions
- OR you go with a roller trainer or direct drive trainer
Trainers that support 29er wheels
First up, we’ll point you in the direction of the FOUR stationary trainers that we know of that fully support 29er wheels.
Kurt Kinetic Road Machine: one of the very best trainers around, this fluid trainer has all you need, whether you’re a pro or a beginner. It’s not cheap, but it’s seriously one of the best your money can buy, and one of the Best 5 Trainers we highly recommend. Full review here.
Minoura RDA 2429R Rim Drive Trainer: an awesome trainer branded as the world’s only road and MTB trainer (we beg to differ, but it’s still a great trainer). The trainer actually works on the rim of the wheel, NOT the tire, meaning you can save some serious $$$ if you’re an intensive cyclist. Full review here.
CycleOps Powerbeam Pro: we rank this as one of the very best 3 trainers out there, find out why here.
Bell Motivator Mag Indoor Bicycle Trainer: an old classic that typically comes in at under $100 and does the job very nicely thank you, complete with a mighty 5 year warranty. Full review here.
Fitting a training slick to your 29er
As road bikes are also 29 inch in size (but 700cc), change your MTB tires to a road slick or trainer specific tire, and then you should be able to fit most trainers. AND you’ll save your normal tires from wear and tear and be a lot less noisy (those knobbly MTB tires make a ton of noise!). Once you have that trainer/road slick on, your big 29er tires will be like any other 700cc road tire, the fact it’s a 29er won’t make a difference.
Replace your 29er wheel with a 26er
This is another option for those of you with 29ers and struggling to get it to fit your trainer. Simply switch it over to a 26er for indoor training purposes only (obviously not for outdoor use!). Don’t forget that with an indoor trainer you don’t need any brakes, so there’s no need to bother with disc specific wheels, etc.
Buy a roller trainer or direct drive trainer
Rollers can make things very interesting, and some serious cyclists swear by them. But they do take some getting used to, and need a certain level of skill and concentration (otherwise you’ll end up like this).
They’re also quiet(er) and you don’t have to worry about burning through your tires or being locked into a trainer. We highly recommend these rollers to get started with.
Direct drive trainers are fairly new to the scene of indoor trainers but offer a great alternative. They enable you to remove your entire back wheel and slot your chain right onto the trainer. As most bikes now come with a quick release, this is typically a job that takes a matter of seconds. Some excellent direct drive options to consider here are the CycleOps Silencer and the Lemond Revolution 1.1.