Turbo trainer maintenance: the do's and don'ts

Elite Direto X smart trainer
(Image credit: Aaron Borrill)

Over the past year, our turbo trainers have been working overtime what with the COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdown protocols. Just recently, my personal turbo trainer started making a weird noise, which evolved into it sounding like a jet engine as I spun it up. This led me down the rabbit hole of forums and Facebook groups seeking to diagnose the problem; I also contacted Tacx customer support, who identified the problem from a video, and replaced the trainer under warranty.

All trainers, like bikes, have moving parts. And even the best turbo trainers, like your drivetrain, will wear out eventually and need to be replaced. So with my shiny new warranty replacement trainer now set up in my office, I wanted to find out what, if anything, could be done to keep it running smoothly for as long as possible, so I asked Wahoo and Elite what they recommend. 

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Based on the Gold Coast of Australia, Colin has written tech content for cycling publication for a decade. With hundreds of buyer's guides, reviews and how-tos published in Bike Radar, Cyclingnews, Bike Perfect and Cycling Weekly, as well as in numerous publications dedicated to his other passion, skiing. 

Colin was a key contributor to Cyclingnews between 2019 and 2021, during which time he helped build the site's tech coverage from the ground up. Nowadays he works full-time as the news and content editor of Flow MTB magazine.