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Can You Use an E-Bike on a Turbo Trainer?

can you use an ebike on a turbo trainer

Turbo trainers are the new way that bike riders can stay fit during the colder months, without having to take their bike out in the cold. These are devices you can hook your bike to indoors in order to create resistance, a similar effect to being out on the road.

However, if you aren’t familiar with how much force your turbo trainer provides it could weaken the bicycle. E-bikes are slightly different from regular road bicycles. Can you use an e-bike on a turbo trainer?

Yes, you can, but not all e-bikes will fit. As long as your e-bike fits, you shouldn’t have a problem using it indoors. However, if it doesn’t fit you could damage the bike or the trainer. 

Why You Would Use an E-Bike on a Turbo Trainer

Bikes are made to be taken outdoors, and they can be a great form of exercise. The thing with exercise is once a person falls off the track, it’s hard to hop back on. Any bike rider who spent all of summer and autumn getting in shape on their e-bike is likely to lose progress if they stop during winter.

The reason why someone would use their e-bike on a turbo trainer is that they can still get a good workout in the comfort of their own home. The idea of putting an e-bike on a turbo trainer may seem kind of strange since they have a motor to help the rider go fast without using strength. What would be the point in that? 

E-bikes can still be used as regular bicycles though. All you have to do is select “zero assistance” from the control system and you will be able to use the pedals regularly. A lot of people only have one bike, and if that’s an e-bike then it’s the only option they have to use on a turbo trainer. 

Other than keeping out of bad weather, there are a few more reasons people may use an e-bike on a turbo trainer. It is a lot safer when roads are slippery to use the bike on a turbo trainer. Since it’s set up right there in your home, it’s a lot more time-effective than going out or to a gym. 

A lot of people find that using a turbo trainer helps them with targeted training. They can do a time-specific workout on a particular area of fitness. It allows them to customize their workout according to their plan. It can also be a great way to work out your legs for a warm-up.

How To Use an E-bike on a Turbo Trainer

A turbo trainer can be used to turn your e-bike into an indoor trainer. Before you attempt to set one up, the most important thing is to make sure you have one that is the right fit. This is how you can make sure that you have a comfortable and safe indoor ride. 

Another thing that you should do before starting is take efforts to protect your floor. Using an e-bike directly on a hard floor puts the floor at risk of damage and wear. Even if you have air conditioning and fans, using a bike indoors is a completely different experience than outside. There won’t be any wind to cool you off so you’re very likely to sweat more inside.

We recommend using one or two yoga mats to protect your flooring. A mat or carpet won’t provide enough protection to keep the floors safe.

It’s also a good idea to protect your bike as well. Since sweat can eat at metal, always put a towel over your handlebars. This could prevent the sweat from getting under the bar tape so it will last for longer. If you have a spare rear wheel you should use that to prevent wearing down the one you use outdoors.

The Outdoors
The Outdoors

Since you’re using an e-bike you will need a direct drive trainer. The real-wheel mounted trainer is likely too small to use with an e-bike. Always follow the instruction manual to ensure everything is set up safely. Once everything is set up, you can use your e-bike on the trainer like a regular indoor trainer.

We recommend using a bike trainer like this one that has a fair amount of space in the rear for adjustment. You will want to make sure that your bike’s rear axel will be able to fit on the trainer in order to properly mount.

How To Make the Most of Your Turbo Trainer With an E-Bike

One of the best ways to make the most of your e-bike is to have a designated area for your turbo trainer. Even if you don’t have a spare room to keep it in, a designated corner or spot will help keep you motivated. Make sure it’s in a good area where you can set up a fan or two. An open window nearby is a huge plus.

Make a workout schedule and stick to it. One of the best ways to make this effective is to keep it in a diary or agenda. It is also a good idea that you identify your maximum heart rate to know your training zones. E-bikes often require more energy to pedal, so you may use more energy than a lighter bike.

That being said, don’t forget to fill your body with the proper nutrients afterwards to refuel your energy. After an intense workout, your body will need some carbohydrates and rehydration. No matter what time of day it is, don’t neglect your body’s recovery. Your muscles will need the energy to recover.

Could Turbo Trainers Damage Your E-Bike?

If you are not careful, there’s always the risk of sweat corrosion which is why it’s important to have a good setup. Wheel strain is another issue that can arise with using an e-bike on a trainer. This is because the rear skewer will take on more stress when it’s set up on a turbo trainer than outside on the road.

All that strain could lead to bending or flexing, which may cause the frame to disconnect from the trainer. This is a major safety concern that could result in injury. Always make sure the trainer is set up per instructions.

To avoid damage to the tires, only use the turbo trainer with a smooth rear tire. It’s also a good idea to turn off all of the electrical components on your e-bike before using it on the trainer. This will avoid using up excess energy from the motor so you won’t have to worry about charging the battery. 

Final Thoughts

If you want to turn your e-bike into an indoor trainer then you can use it on a turbo trainer. Always make sure you have the right size of trainer for your e-bike or you won’t be able to set it up. Keep things cool so your bike doesn’t get damaged over time from sweat, and always make sure to clean it down with a towel when you’re done. 

With the proper setup, your e-bike can be just as effective for a workout indoors as it is outside. The trainer provides the same amount of resistance as you would get from a ride on the road.

Unlike being outdoors though, you’ll be able to customize your workout to work on specific areas. Now you won’t have to store your e-bike away over winter. 

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