BASICHow to Select a Model
About Tire Drive Model
About Rim Drive Model
Training Purpose Difference
Q: I'm a beginner, which model is suitable for me?
A: It varies depending on your purpose, circumstances, and budget.
The best trainer model varies depends on your training location, circumstance, purpose and bike type. Each model has its own benefit and weak point so it's important to choose a model by considering your desired training content and the trainer's performance.
For example, a beginner using a roller could be dangerous, and using an MTB with knobby tire on a tire drive trainer would be terribly noisy that it would disturb your neighbor's peaceful life. And, if a beginner whose muscles are not yet developed used the strongest trainer it would cause serious damage to their body, and perhaps become frustrated by indoor training.
Generally speaking, we recommend you to start with M60-D; the weakest performance tire drive trainer. Later, as muscle conditioning gradually builds up, you can upgrade the model.
We strongly recommend that you ask your local bike shop or well-skilled riders to assist you in selecting the best model for yourself.
Q: What's the advantage/disadvantage of the tire drive trainer?
A: Advantages are quietness and natural resistance.
Disadvantage is the wear on your tire.
The advantages of the tire drive trainer are:
1. Natural pedal feel
2. Stronger resistance
3. Basically quieter than others
The tire drive trainer drives the rear wheel at the outer edge of the tire directly via the roller, so the pedal feel becomes better because you use the wheel size maximumly. And the combination of the rubber tire and alloy roller is good for avoiding slippage, so it allows to increase the flywheel weight then it can increase the total resistance power.
In addition, the tire drive trainer has fewer number of moving parts and the tire works as a cushion to absorb the vibration, so this system can maximumly reduce the noise.
The tire drive trainer must wear down the tire, and it cannot be avoided due to its mechanism.
However, if you correctly adjust the compression level of the roller to the tire, it could be expected to keep in the same level you use the bike on the actual road.
Q: What's the advantage/disadvantage of the rim drive trainer?
A: Advantage is no wear on the tire.
Disadvantages are slippage and louder noise.
Rim drive trainer system doesn't touch the tire at all, so the biggest advantage on this system is "No tire wear". We can say you can use rim drive trainer on a wheel without a tire!
This feature allows you to mount an MTB with knobby tire without replacing the tire or the whole rear wheel for expecting smooth training. And in case of using with a road bike, you don't need to worry about the tire even on the warming up before race.
The disadvantages on the rim drive are:
1. Occasional slippage and jerky pedal feel because the roller drives the slippery rim side wall, especially at the time of strong pedaling
2. Narrower adjustability of resistance control due to its magnet mechanism
In addition, rim drive uses a belt to transfer the rotation from wheel to Mag unit and it occurs belt driving noise, so it's generally a little noisier than tire drive model.
Q: What's the advantage/disadvantage of the rollers?
A: Advantage is enabling real feel training. Disadvantage is unstable for beginners.
Rollers are the oldest style of indoor bike trainer compared to any other stationary bike trainer.
On rollers, you ride the bike on three freely spinning rollers, so that you will not be supported by anything and you must maintain the balance by yourself. The bike stands by itself due to its wheel's gyro moment.
Therefore, the roller is not easy and it requires some innate talent such as maintaining the balance well.
Advantages of rollers are:
1. The most natural and fun riding feel
2. Less tire wear because rollers doesn't apply any artificial brake
3. You can concentrate on training because you must maintain the balance whenever you ride on rollers.
Disadvantage is that it is difficulty to ride, especially for beginners, but this can be solved by having an assistant beside you or just using rollers next to a wall.
In addition, the noise level is a little louder than tire drive trainer.
Q: What's the purpose difference between stationary trainer and rollers?
A: Stationary trainer is good for building up muscles.
Rollers are good for improving your total riding skill.
The stationary trainer, including tire drive and rim drive, holds the rear wheel stiffly so you can ride at any style without any special technique allowing you to focus on building muscles or increasing your cardiopulmonary function.
Also tire drive trainer is sometimes used for checking proper riding form, because it allows you to remove both legs from the ground.
However, the stationary trainer completely holds the bike, so you might develop bad habits such as just pushing down the pedal (not rotating) or sitting in wrong position (not in the center of the saddle).
Rollers are the best device to learn proper riding technique such as correct sitting point, correct applying of weight, no load to handlebar, and smoother pedal rotation including pilling leg technique.
The steering character will be changed to a quick one once you ride on rollers. You won't be able to ride smoothly if you don't maintain your balance perfectly. This unstableness occurs because one or more of above points are wrong. In other words, if you can ride on rollers smoothly, you can ride on the actual road at maximum performance without any wasted motion or energy.
We understand quietness & less vibration is the most important point for those who live in an apartment house. It's also true even on an independent house to make your family happy with your indoor training.
We have been focusing on this point for many years, and it's our unique selling point from all other trainer manufacturers.
Other companies are focus only on the resistance power or flywheel weight but don't care about the quietness which every trainer owner all over the world really wishes for.
Their version of "Quietness" means you can't hear the noise from 50 meters away from your home. But what we are aiming is the "real" quietness to much closer location such as next room or your below neighbor. They don't care how seriously people are worrying about the noise from trainer.
The quietest and least vibration producing-model is the latest V-series.
V-series is originally designed to have the widest resistance range and the finest pedal feel as well as the quietest model ever.
The VFS series was developed to be "the quietest trainer in the world". VFS's performance is now a little bit behind the V-series but it is still at an excellent level most people can be satisfied with.
Rollers have tubular roller drums so the noise level are louder than trainers. The main reason for the noise is from continuously hitting of the tire tread to the drum surface.
However, we put a styrofoam insulator in each drum to reduce the noise level on Action Magroller and Advance.
Limited Warranty Policy
Q: What should I do to train quietly?
A: It is more efficient to reduce vibration than to address noise itself.
In the actual scene of indoor training, vibrations to the floor will be transferred further than noise itself. So it's more efficient to cut the vibration to expect quiet training.
To reduce the vibration to the floor, you should apply an anti-vibration mat beneath the trainer. Our Training Mat 2 and Extra Pad Set are made of a special material that reduces the vibration up to 75%.
Placing a styrofoam plate would be a nice idea, but a too thick pad will disturb the stability of trainer and yourself, especially when getting on and off the bike. Using a thick blanket would be a nice idea.
It is impossible to completely delete the noise from the resistance unit. Because our unit is cooled down by the air flow, if you close the gates, the unit will heat up and will cause damage to the inside mechanism such as melting plastic material. Do not cover the resistance unit.
If you use a tire drive trainer, replacing the rear tire to the specially designed one (like our Dualist) would be a good solution to reduce the noise from the tire.
In addition, do not pedal too hard. Keep reasonable speed (below 30 km/h) constantly for effective training and reducing noise level.
Q: Do I have to use the supplied quick release skewer?
A: If your bike is equipped with a quick release, replace it with ours.
The coupling (the metal part which clamps the rear wheel axle from both right and left side) is designed to fit our own quick release skewer head. Especially on the latest GYRO and the new M series trainers, they don't permit you to use your own skewer due to the coupling design. An old Shimano skewer might be able to be used, but we don't guarantee the stability and safety.
In the case that you suffer any trouble or accident caused by using your own skewer without replacing it to our own skewer, we have no responsibility.
Note: If your bike is equipped with a plain hub nut instead of quick release skewer, you will not need to use the supplied skewer.
For a hub nut scenario, you need to remove the black plastic piece "Grommet" from the right side coupling on the old generation trainers, or you need to replace the left side coupling bolt to the optional one on the latest GYRO and new M series trainers. The standard coupling bolt's hole size is too large to the standard hub nut.
It's not realistic to change your hub nut type wheel to a quick release type, because it requires a change to the hub itself and it also requires a re-build of the whole wheel. You can replace the rear wheel from a hub nut type to a quick release type. They have compatibility.
Q: What's the purpose of the supplied MagRiser?
A: To level your bike for better training position.
When you install the bike on the trainer, the rear wheel must be lifted up to avoid contact with the floor. If you get on bike in this condition, the front wheel is positioned lower than the rear wheel, and you may have bad habit to apply unnecessary force to the handlebar.
MagRiser lifts up the front wheel to level your bike.
Do not hook the front tire to the edge of the groove on MagRiser. It's made of blown plastic and it will be collapsed due to your weight. Set the front tire to the center of the groove.
Q: I hear a squealing noise from the rollers even after they're warmed up
A: Tire air pressure is too low.
On rollers, the tire has been compressed much harder than on road because the roller drum surface is not flat. It increase the area the tire touches the roller. And, you are automatically steering side to side to maintain the balance on rollers.
At that time, you can hear the squealing noise between the tire and the metal roller. To erase this noise, you should check the tire air pressure first. In most case, this will solve the problem.
The air volume on the narrow 700c size tire which is usually adopted on road bike and city cross bike is limited, so the air pressure level can be decreased rapidly.
Every tire and tube has a lot of micro holes on its surface due to rubber construction, and the air will keep running away from those holes continuously.
The proper air pressure can be calculated with the total weight of your body and bike weight. But we can say roughly that 100 psi or more is safe. Ideally, stay within 70 - 80% of the maximum pressure which is indicated on each tire.
Q: Doesn't Minoura have training software to use with PC?
A: Minoura used to be the pioneer in this category, but doesn't prepare it anymore.
It is a fact that indoor training can become boring because you see same view all the time. And we agree it would be a nice solution to solve this problem by showing a virtual course on PC screen and set the target training level.
We at Minoura produced "ICE (Interactive Cycling Experience)" system in 1996 which connects to the PC to enjoy indoor training, but unfortunately it was too early. Microsoft just started to sell Windows95 and USB was not popular at all for transferring signal.
After that, Elite (Italy) and Tacx (Netherlands) produced similar system, but the basic mechanism is exactly same to our ICE system and there has been no technology growth since then.
Our basic strategy is the "Trainer must be available to be used at anytime, anywhere".
A PC connecting system requires an electric power outlet to drive the system, and you are not allowed to use the system outside. For same reason, the electric motor resistance system produced from Tacx or CompuTrainer is limited to use in-house. This doesn't allow you to use the trainer in the outside for warming up before race. Thus, it alienates the value of trainer.
So, if we produce a similar system again, we ought to combine it with a self-generating system or battery drive one.
Q: Can I generate electricity from my training?
A: Possibly, but there is no merit on the cost.
We often see electric generating system demonstrations by bike at some events. It's technically possible. We were working with a special company to develop this system and we were able to generate 150W power constantly.
However, it is not cost-effective. it requires expensive additional devices such as an inverter to enable the generated power to be used directly on ordinary equipment. It costs at least $2,000 (except trainer) in retail price. We doubt that people would be satisfied with this level of cost only so that they can generate just enough power to charge a cell phone or power an electric fan.
Also the current generator motor's spinning feel is too rough against trainer, so it cannot be expected to provide a quiet and smooth training.
We are supplying our Mag unit to an American company, Windstream Power, as OEM. Their system can generate the portable battery to bring the electric power to anywhere you want.
Q: What's the quick release skewer?
A: A convenient device to remove and install a wheel quickly.
A standard bike wheel is installed on the fork with a plain hex nut (called as "Hub Nut"), but on most sport bikes, a wheel equips with a special device named "Quick release skewer" to enable the remove/install from/to the bike in mere seconds. By operating the side cam lever, it can tighten and release the wheel very quickly.
Here are the basic cautions on using quick release skewer. For more information, refer the guide book or ask to your local bike shop.
1. Do not try to rotate the cam lever to tighten the skewer like as an extension lever of nut.
2. (Especially on the front wheel) Do not lean the wheel and insert the axle to the deepest position of the fork cut-out.
3. Adjust the opposite side nut to be that you start feeling resistance when the lever comes on the same line to the axle.
4. Fully push inward the lever with the power that the lever leaves stain on your palm. Too less resistance means you don't tighten the skewer enough, and you need to release the skewer and adjust the nut precisely.
Some of our trainers equip a remote shifter. It allows you to adjust the resistance level without getting off the bike, and it is usually installed on the handlebar or stem.
Turn the lever toward the L mark, the resistance level will be decreased. Turn the lever toward the H mark, the resistance level will be increased.
The non-remote model has a small lever on its resistance unit (except VFS non-remote version) to adjust the resistance level manually, but you should not operate it while using trainer. You can also adjust the resistance by shifting the bike's transmission gear.
However, using a bike's gear instead of shifter device may cause jerky pedal feel because too wide gear ratio will occur too big torque difference.
We think you should use the same gear ratio you usually use on road even while getting on trainer in order for expecting more natural riding feel. We strongly recommend to have the Remote Shifter.
Q: Does Minoura offer personal training coach?
A: No, we don't do any individual coaching.
To expect safe and efficient training, we suggest you to ask to a professional sports trainer or medical doctor to get the best training program exactly you need.
We are the hardware manufacturer and we don't offer any software support to individual users.