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11 Best Fluid Bike Trainers (Reviewed Nov, 2020)

Indoor bike trainers allow serious bikers and even professional cyclists to train indoors. During the freezing winter or scorching summer, you can turn to a bike trainer so that you don’t have to compromise with fitness. There are different types of trainers, and fluid bike trainers are one of the top choices. This is due to their compact size, road-like-feel, and near-silent operation.

There are many fluid trainers available in the market. The differences between them are not too obvious. Also, the only way to know which ones are the best is by using them in person, which is not always a possibility. Therefore, we have taken it upon ourselves to test out various popular options and determine which are some of the finest fluid trainers for your bike.

Each trainer was judged based on their performance, quality, ease-of-use, etc. In this article, we have discussed how each product is measured up in detail. We have also included a buying guide for your convenience. Even though all the trainers in this article are excellent choices, the CycleOps JetFluid Pro Trainer stood out from the rest. Hence, we have entitled it as our ‘Overall Best Choice’.

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A quick view of our selected list of top fluid bike trainers:

BikeWeight (lbs.)Our Ratings
CycleOps JetFluid Pro1593
Elite Qubo21.1692
Songmics Trainer21.690
Sportneer Trainer24.288
CycleOps Fluid 2 Original1885
Saris CycleOps Fluid21886
Alpcour Trainer25.983
Travel Trac Comp15.480
Conquer Trainer23.478
Yaheetech20.0675
Unisky22.0574

11 best fluid bike trainers you can buy today

BikePreviewDimensions
(L × W × H)
Weight
(lbs)
Wheel Size CompatibilityRoller MaterialResistance AdjustmentScore
CycleOps JetFluid ProNo products found.30” × 20” × 16”15650b, 700c, 26", 27", 29"Precision-machined alloyClutch knob93
Elite QuboELITE Qubo Fluid Home Trainer 201623.23” × 22.04” × 16.34”21.1620” to 29”Elastogel coverGravity-style frame92
SongmicsSONGMICS Fluid Bike Trainer Stand, Double Seal and Lower Noise, Black USBT02B27.6” × 22” × 16.5”21.626” to 29”, 700cSmooth metallic rollerAdjustable screw90
SportneerFluid Bike Trainer Stand, Sportneer Indoor Bicycle Exercise Training Stand25.2” × 24” × 7.9”24.226” to 29”, 700cSmooth metallic rollerAdjustable knob88
CycleOps Fluid 2 OriginalCycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer28” × 21.5” × 15.7”18650b, 700c, 26", 27", 29"Precision-machined alloyClutch knob85
Saris CycleOps Fluid2Saris CycleOps Fluid2 Indoor Bike Trainer, Black, One Size, SAR9904T28” × 21.5” × 15.7”18650b, 700c, 26", 27", 29"Precision-machined alloyClutch knob86
Alpcour TrainerAlpcour Fluid Bike Trainer Stand – Portable Stainless Steel Indoor Trainer w/ Fluid Flywheel, Noise Reduction, Progressive Resistance, Dual-Lock System – Stationary Exercise for Road & Mountain Bikes19” × 19” × 18”25.926” to 29”, 700cSmooth metallic rollerClutch knob83
Travel Trac CompTravel Trac Comp Fluid Trainer White21” × 20” × 16”15.424”, 26”, 27”, 700cSmooth aluminium rollerAdjustable screw80
Conquer TrainerConquer Fluid Bike Trainer, Pro Indoor Bicycle Training Stand27” × 26” × 20”23.426”, 27”, 700cSmooth metallic rollerClutch knob78
Yaheetech TrainerYaheetech Fluid Bike Trainer Stand Indoor Bicycle Exercise Stand Mountain & Road Bike Portable Foldable Cycling Training Stand w/Fluid Flywheel,Quick-Release,Riser Block & Noise Reduction24.5” × 21.5” × 16”20.0626” to 28”, 700cSmooth aluminium rollerAdjustable knob screw75
Unisky Trainerunisky Fluid Bike Trainer Stand Indoor Exercise Bicycle Training Stand Mountain & Road Bike Flywheel Stand25.39” × 20.87” × 7.09”22.0526” to 29”, 700cSmooth aluminium rollerClutch knob74

1. CycleOps JetFluid Pro: Has unique self-centering attachment, features enhanced cooling mechanism | Overall Best Choice

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The CycleOps JetFluid Pro was delivered pre-assembled. Setting it up was easy, taking only a few minutes. It was able to accommodate every road/mountain bike we tried and even a tandem bike. In terms of performance, the trainer works very well, providing comparatively smoother and better feeling resistance than a lot of other brands. You will have to increase cadence if you want more power. For slow pedaling or cools down, this trainer works perfectly.

The unit turned out to be not as silent as advertised, especially when pedaling at high speeds. The whining noise won’t be a problem if you use earphones/headphones, but if you don’t then you will probably have to turn up the volume of your speakers or TV. The JetFluid Pro does not come with any sensors. However, you can pair it up with speed or cadence sensors and use Zwift or other apps. Overall, it functioned excellently and is a great and affordable option over a stationary bike.

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CycleOps JetFluid Pro Trainer

2. Elite Qubo Fluid: Easy-to-use gravity style frame, elastogel roller, offers better tire protection

Elite Qubo Fluid

  • Dimensions: 23.23” × 22.04” × 16.34” (L × W × H)
  • Weight: 21.16 lbs
  • Roller Material: Elastogel cover
  • Wheel Sizes: 20” to 29”
  • Bike Compatibility: Most common road, mountain, or city bikes
  • Resistance Adjustment: Gravity-style frame
  • Attachment to Bike: Fast fixing lever clamping system
  • Frame Type: Folding frame
  • Data Measurement: Speed, power, cadence
  • Connectivity: Misuro B+ sensor (purchased separately)

Features & Considerations
  • Gravity Style Frame: You don’t have to adjust the roller against your bike’s wheel. Instead, the frame falls onto the roller when you sit on the bike with the correct amount of contact between roller and tire.
  • Smooth Resistance: Inside a casing filled with oil, an impeller turns as you pedal, generating progressive resistance. There is no separate flywheel, the impeller itself acts as the flywheel.
  • Elastogel Roller: This special material was developed by Elite to improve adherence of tire and reduce slippage. It also decreases noise by 50% and tire wear by 20%.
  • Easy Clamping: Locking the bike with the trainer is very easy. All you have to do is position your bike and push down on the lever to secure the bike in place.
  • Connectivity: It is compatible with a separately bought Misuro B+ sensor. This can measure speed, cadence, and power and also connect to E-training or third party apps.
  • High Compatibility: This trainer can accommodate any wheel size between 20 and 29 inches. It is also compatible with most common bikes having 130 x 135 x 5 mm hubs with a quick clamping system and 142 x 12 mm with thru-axle.

Some Weaknesses
  • The frame does not remain perfectly upright.

The Elite Qubo Fluid has given a truly amazing performance. First of all, you have to install the resistance unit to the frame. After that, the setup of a bike is very easy. It clamps onto the wheel with the simple push of a level. The best part is that there is no need for tightening the roller against the wheel. The frame utilizes the rider’s weight to simply fall onto the roller. This simulates the resistance and friction of being on the actual road. Additionally, almost any common bike can fit on this trainer.

The noise levels were very low and there was no complaint from neighbors or even people in the same home as the tester. It operates smoothly and generates progressively harder resistance as you pedal faster. One flaw was that the frame did really stay completely vertical. However, this can be solved with a piece of paper. Setting the trainer up with speed, power, and cadence sensor allowed for enjoyable virtual training.

Elite Qubo Fluid

Elite Qubo Fluid

3. Songmics: Widely compatible, features a double-sided locking system, has a free riser block

Songmics Fluid Bike Trainer Stand

  • Dimensions: 27.6” × 22” × 16.5” (L × W × H)
  • Weight: 21.6 lbs
  • Roller Material: Smooth metallic roller
  • Wheel Sizes: 26” to 29”, 700c
  • Resistance Adjustment: Adjustable screw
  • Attachment to Bike: Dual side dial adjustment
  • Frame Type: Folding steel frame
  • Data Measurement: No
  • Connectivity: No

Features & Considerations
  • Realistic Resistance: The combination of a flywheel and a fluid encased impeller produces a smooth and progressive resistance that feels similar to the road.
  • Dual-sided Locking: The trainer can be fixed to the rear wheel by adjustment dials on both sides. This ensures better security and stability.
  • Smooth Roller: The metal roller is quite smooth which reduces noise caused by roller-tire friction. It also significantly decreases the wear and tear of the tire.
  • Good Compatibility: This trainer can work with wheels measuring from 26 inches to 29 inches, and even with 700c wheels.
  • Riser Block Included: A free front wheel riser comes with every purchase, allowing you to keep the bike straight and not pointing downhill.

Some Weaknesses
  • The maximum resistance is not challenging enough for advanced riders.
  • Setting up can be difficult for some due to poorly designed instructions manual.

The Songmics Trainer Stand took about half an hour to assemble and set up with a bike. The instructions will probably prove more difficult for beginners to follow. It is mostly made out of steel, but some critical parts are plastic. However, considering the price this is acceptable and so far they have lasted well. Attaching to the bike takes a bit of time because of the tightening knobs on both sides, but this made the setup more stable. Most commonly used bikes can be used with this trainer.

There was pretty much no complaint about the actual operating performance. It also proved to be decently quiet, definitely much quieter than wind resistance trainers. The one major issue is that the resistance did not increase by a lot at higher speeds. Hence, it may be better suited to beginner or intermediate level cyclists. Our tester had Wahoo sensors and was easily able to hook up with Zwift, which is a great addition to your indoor training.

Songmics Fluid Bike Trainer Stand

Songmics Fluid Bike Trainer Stand

4. Sportneer: Portable design, offers silent spinning, quick setup, includes accessories 

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Sportneer Fluid Bike Trainer Stand

  • Dimensions: 25.2” × 24” × 7.9” (L × W × H)
  • Weight: 24.2 lbs
  • Roller Material: Smooth metallic roller
  • Wheel Sizes: 26” to 29”,700c
  • Resistance Adjustment: Adjustable knob
  • Attachment to Bike: Dual side dial adjustment
  • Frame Type: Folding steel frame
  • Data Measurement: No
  • Connectivity: No

Features & Considerations
  • Road-like Resistance: The impeller rotating in fluid and the flywheel provide resistance which is both smooth and progressive, much like a road bike.
  • Dual-sided Locking: For stability and a more secure fit, there are locking tension knobs on both sides of the trainer.
  • Smooth Roller: The roller made of metal has quite a smooth surface which reduces noise caused by roller-tire friction and decreases the wear and tear of the tire.
  • Good Compatibility: Most common bike frames use 26 to 29-inch tires or 700c tires, all of which can be used with this trainer.
  • Accessories Included: When you buy this trainer, you will also get a bag for carrying the folded trainer and a front wheel riser block to keep the bike level.

Some Weaknesses
  • The frame was very slightly tilted to one side.
  • Maximum resistance may not be hard enough for experienced riders.

The Sportneer is an indoor bike trainer that you will love. It provides a smooth, road-like motion and resistance, unlike other types of trainers. There is a whirring sound produced at high speeds, but that is to be expected. Also, it wasn’t loud enough to cause you or anyone around you any problems. Although it was mainly tested with a cyclocross 700c aluminum cycle, we tried attaching other bike types and sizes. Safe to say, it was able to fit all of them.

There isn’t any frame leveling capability, which usually wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately, the unit we received was slightly tilted to the left. This was solved with a bit of paper. Another drawback is that pro cyclists may find the resistance to be a little easy. That doesn’t mean that you can get a great workout on this machine, especially if you are not that experienced. All in all, this is a great fluid trainer to buy and the price is absolutely worth it.

Sportneer Fluid Bike Trainer Stand

Sportneer Fluid Bike Trainer Stand

5. CycleOps Fluid 2: Has a large flywheel, features self-cooling system, progressive resistance curve

CycleOps Fluid 2 Original Trainer

  • Dimensions: 28” × 21.5” × 15.7” (L × W × H)
  • Weight: 18 lbs
  • Roller Size: 2 inches
  • Roller Material: Precision-machined alloy
  • Noise Level: 64-68 decibels at 20 mph
  • Wheel Sizes: 650b, 700c, 26″, 27″, 29″
  • Bike Compatibility: Common bike frames with rear dropout spacing of 120 mm, 130 mm and 135 mm.
  • Resistance Adjustment: Clutch knob
  • Attachment to Bike: Spring-loaded bolt-action lever
  • Frame Type: Classic folding frame
  • Data Measurement: No
  • Connectivity: No

Features & Considerations
  • Smooth, Realistic Resistance: Not only is there a fluid resistance unit, but there is also a separate flywheel, making its motion as smooth and road-like as possible.
  • Self Cooling System: The flywheel has been designed in such a way that it creates airflow around the fluid casing and hence, keeping it cool.
  • High Compatibility: This trainer is highly versatile and can be used with practically any bike frame or wheel size.
  • Easy Attachment: The spring-loaded bolt-action lever offers quick and easy attachment and detachment of your bike’s rear wheel.
  • Less Tire Wear: The roller is made out of a precision-machined alloy that helps to reduce tire wear without causing any slippage.
  • No Assembly: You can start riding within minutes once you get it. This is because there is no assembly required.

Some Weaknesses
  • Not totally stable on uneven surfaces.
  • The flywheel loosened itself after some use and needed to be tightened up.

The CycleOps Fluid2 Original is one of the most popular fluid trainers in the market. In our opinion, it does live up to its reputation. The product is delivered fully assembled. Setting up your bike is quick and simple. It uses a spring-loaded lever rather than a knob which is easier and faster. Make sure to place it on a flat surface, otherwise, it is a bit unstable. If you continue cycling for a long time, you’ll notice that the resistance increases slightly, even at the same speed. This is probably because of the fluid getting heated up, but this isn’t a big deal.

Using this trainer felt pretty close to the type of resistance you would feel on an outdoor cycle. The fluid resistance and separate flywheel help to achieve that. It also features a self-cooling mechanism that will probably make the trainer last longer. There was an incident when the flywheel loosened up a bit and started making a high-pitched noise. This was unexpected but easily fixed. Fortunately, so far that hasn’t occurred again.

CycleOps Fluid 2 Original Trainer

CycleOps Fluid 2 Original Trainer

6. Saris CycleOps Fluid2: Enhanced cooling system, compatible with apps like Zwift

Saris CycleOps Fluid2 Trainer

  • Dimensions: 28” × 21.5” × 15.7” (L × W × H)
  • Weight: 18 lbs
  • Roller Size: 2 inches
  • Roller Material: Precision-machined alloy
  • Noise Level: 64-68 decibels at 20 mph
  • Wheel Sizes: 650b, 700c, 26″, 27″, 29″
  • Bike Compatibility: Common bike frames with rear dropout spacing of 120 mm, 130 mm and 135 mm.
  • Resistance Adjustment: Clutch knob
  • Attachment to Bike: Spring-loaded bolt-action lever
  • Frame Type: Classic folding frame
  • Data Measurement: Sensors required
  • Connectivity: Compatible with Zwift or other apps

Features & Considerations
  • Smooth, Realistic Resistance: The pedaling experience on this trainer is very smooth and gives a road like feel thanks to the flywheel and fluid resistance.
  • Self Cooling System: The flywheel also doubles as a fan. It creates airflow over the resistance unit and enhances the cooling process.
  • High Compatibility: Almost all common bikes with wheel sizes 650b, 700c, 26″, 27″ and 29″ can be used with this bike trainer.
  • Easy Attachment: Attaching and detaching your bike to the trainer takes only seconds with the easy-to-use spring-loaded bolt-action lever.
  • Less Tire Wear: The roller is made out of a precision-machined alloy that helps to decrease tire wear and also reduce the amount of slippage.
  • No Assembly: Since the product is delivered to you fully assembled, there won’t be any hassle or time wasted fiddling with instructions and screws.
  • Connectivity: If you buy speed and cadence sensors, you can connect to apps such as Zwift or Rouvy to take your indoor cycling experience to the next level.

Some Weaknesses
  • Not totally stable on uneven surfaces.
  • The price is a bit too high.

The Saris CycleOps Fluid2  is a newer and upgraded version of the original CycleOps Fluid2 trainer. It does come at a bit of a high price, but you get a sturdy well-built machine that simulates road cycling pretty well. We think this deal is well worth it. Not to mention the self-cooling design which will help to make it last longer. You’ll need to replace your rear wheel’s skewer with the quick release skewer provided, and it can be left on for outdoor use as well. Mounting the bike was easy and it stayed firmly in place.

There is some sound produced that can be eliminated with a smooth trainer wheel. The best feature of this trainer is that it is compatible with various sensors. With these sensors, we were able to connect to Zwift, Rouvy, TrainerRoad, etc. These apps will really motivate you and make your workouts more enjoyable. The tester for this product hooked up his smartwatch. You’ll need a USB cord and an ANT+ dongle to use with a computer. However, these devices won’t cost you much at all.

Saris CycleOps Fluid2 Trainer

Saris CycleOps Fluid2 Trainer

7. Alpcour: Offers progressive fluid resistance, has a safe and sturdy construction, includes a carry bag

Alpcour Fluid Bike Trainer Stand

  • Dimensions: 19” × 19” × 18” (L × W × H)
  • Weight: 25.9 lbs
  • Roller Material: Smooth metallic roller
  • Wheel Sizes: 26” to 29”, 700c
  • Bike Compatibility: Road and mountain bikes
  • Resistance Adjustment: Clutch knob
  • Attachment to Bike: Dual side dial adjustment
  • Frame Type: Folding steel frame
  • Data Measurement: No
  • Connectivity: No

Features & Considerations
  • Smooth, Progressive Resistance: The impeller spinning in a fluid creates higher resistance as you pedal faster. The flywheel ensures smooth motion.
  • Dual-sided Locking: You have to lock in your bike with the trainer using adjustment knobs on both sides. This allows for a more secure fit.
  • Smooth Roller: The metal roller has a smooth finish that does not cause too much tire wear and also ensures low slippage.
  • Good Compatibility: Various road and mountain bikes with commonly used 26”-29” or 700c wheels can attach to this trainer.
  • Free Accessories: A riser block is included for the front wheel. You also get a sturdy carry bag for the convenience of transport.

Some Weaknesses
  • Produces quite a bit of noise, especially with a mountain bike.
  • Some of you may find assembly difficult due to the poor instructions.

The Alpcour is a decent indoor trainer which will serve you well during the winter months. Many of the negative reviews that we’ve seen are about the bad instructions. True, it will take some time for first-timers to figure out the assembly, but it should take less than 10 minutes if you have some experience. In terms of resistance and motion, it performs very well thanks to the flywheel and fluid resistance. Nearly all commonly used road or mountain bikes are compatible with the trainer.

The frame is pretty robust and reliable. Also, the locking knobs on both sides provide enhanced security and stability. With the purchase, you’ll get a convenient carrying bag for the unit and a front wheel riser block. The riser is a bit small but sufficient. On the downside, the trainer is a tad bit noisier than what would be preferable. This was especially true when we used it with a mountain bike. Nonetheless, it is a great fluid bike trainer.

Alpcour Fluid Bike Trainer Stand

Alpcour Fluid Bike Trainer Stand

8. Travel Trac Comp: Offers fluid resistance, has an external flywheel, easy setup, features a folding frame

Travel Trac Comp Fluid Trainer

  • Dimensions: 21” × 20” × 16” (L × W × H)
  • Weight: 15.4 lbs
  • Roller Material: Smooth aluminum roller
  • Noise Level: 87 decibels at the highest effort
  • Wheel Sizes: 24”, 26”, 27”, 700c
  • Bike Compatibility: Most road and mountain bikes
  • Resistance Adjustment: Adjustable screw
  • Attachment to Bike: One side dial adjustment
  • Frame Type: Folding steel frame
  • Data Measurement: No
  • Connectivity: No

Features & Considerations
  • Road-like Resistance: The smooth, progressive resistance is provided by an impeller rotating inside a fluid-filled casing and an external flywheel.
  • Good Compatibility: Other than those with 29-inch wheels, this trainer can accommodate just about any road or mountain bike
  • Smooth Roller: Damage to the tire is reduced thanks to the smooth surface of the aluminum roller. It achieves this without any increase in slippage.
  • No Assembly Needed: You won’t have to deal with the hassle of putting together the item since it is delivered fully assembled.
  • Silent Running: All fluid trainers are relatively quiet, but this trainer proved to be one of the least noisy ones out there.

Some Weaknesses
  • The feet at the base are made of hard plastic which may slip on smooth floors.
  • The motion in the first few minutes feels slightly jerky.

The Travel Trac Comp is compact and foldable, making it easy to store and carry. Because this product is delivered pre-assembled, all you have to do is take it out of the box and clamp it to your bike’s rear wheel. You’ll have to get a riser block, otherwise, the bike will be leaning downwards. The frame is very stable, but the feet of the base is made of hard plastic. Therefore, if you have a smooth surface or wooden floor, it might slip. Adjusting the roller to the tire is a two-step process involving a tension knob and a locking ring.

The noise level of this trainer was surprisingly low at low/moderate speeds. This is among the quietest bike trainers that we have tested, unlike the trainers mentioned before. Conversely, there is a slight problem with the motion and resistance. We noticed that the first 2-5 minutes of pedaling feel a bit jerky. However, it eventually smooths out after this as the fluid gets warmer. Other than that there are no issues with the performance.

Travel Trac Comp Fluid Trainer

Travel Trac Comp Fluid Trainer

9. Conquer: Features progressive resistance system, has a stable wide frame, includes riser block

Conquer Fluid Bike Trainer

  • Dimensions: 27” × 26” × 20” (L × W × H)
  • Weight: 23.4 lbs
  • Roller Material: Smooth metallic roller
  • Wheel Sizes: 26”, 27”, 700c
  • Resistance Adjustment: Clutch knob
  • Attachment to Bike: Dual side dial adjustment
  • Frame Type: Folding steel frame
  • Data Measurement: No
  • Connectivity: No

Features & Considerations
  • Realistic Resistance: The resistance is provided by an impeller spinning in the fluid. This and the external flywheel ensures a smooth motion and progressive resistance.
  • Dual-sided Locking: The clamping of the trainer onto the bike wheel can be tightened from both sides providing extra security and stability.
  • Free Riser Block: The riser block provided can be placed under the front wheel to keep the bike parallel to the ground.
  • Good Compatibility: Except for large 29-inch wheels, this trainer is compatible with pretty much any commonly used bike/wheel size.
  • Affordable: This fluid trainer is one of the least expensive bike trainers that you can find in the market.

Some Weaknesses
  • Generates a significant amount of noise.
  • The maximum resistance is not too high for advanced riders.

The Conquer Trainer is a great option, especially if you are a beginner. Even though the resistance feels pretty realistic, it does not increase to a level that would be challenging enough for avid bikers. However, it is more than enough for amateur riders. Another point is that it is very cheap. So, those trying out a fluid trainer for the first time can purchase it without hesitation. It is also compatible with almost all bikes that are frequently used. Moreover, you get a free front wheel riser block as well.

The Assembly of the unit was quite simple and easy. After putting it together, the first thing we noticed was the stability and sturdy construction of the product. It attaches very securely to the bike’s rear-wheel thanks to the two tension knobs on either side. One problem with using this trainer is the amount of noise it makes. It’s a bit too high considering that this is a fluid resistance trainer. Other than that, the quality exceeds the price.

Conquer Fluid Bike Trainer

Conquer Fluid Bike Trainer

10. Yaheetech: Functional indoor training equipment, road/mountain bike compatible

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Yaheetech Fluid Bike Trainer Stand

  • Dimensions: 24.5” × 21.5” × 16” (L × W × H)
  • Weight: 20.06 lbs
  • Roller Material: Smooth aluminum roller
  • Noise Level: 50 decibels at 24 km/h
  • Wheel Sizes: 26” to 28”, 700c
  • Resistance Adjustment: Adjustable knob screw
  • Attachment to Bike: Quick-release lever clamping system
  • Frame Type: Folding steel frame
  • Data Measurement: No
  • Connectivity: No

Features & Considerations
  • Realistic Resistance: The fluid resistance unit and the flywheel provide motion with a progressive resistance that feels very similar to road cycling.
  • Easy Clamping: Locking in your bike to the trainer is very easy. While other trainers have an adjustable knob system, this one can be done with the simple push of a lever.
  • Silent Running: This fluid bike trainer surprisingly generated the least amount of noise out of all the trainers tested.
  • Good Compatibility: You can use nearly all common bikes and wheel sizes with this trainer. However, it is a little small for 29-inch wheels.
  • Affordable: Just about anyone can afford this unit. Even though it is so cheap, it is still good enough to handle some heavy use.

Some Weaknesses
  • The bike tilts very slightly to one side, which can be fixed with a mat.
  • The maximum resistance is not high enough for advanced riders.

The Yaheetech is one of the most affordable indoor trainers that you can purchase without regretting your decision later on. It definitely has a simple design, but the build quality is good enough for heavy use. You’ll have to assemble it when it arrives. The instructions are okay, but putting it together is fairly intuitive and most of you should not face any problems. We were able to fit many different bikes onto this trainer. The frame size is a bit small and hence, not suitable for 29-ers.

The quick-release lever in place of a tension dial makes mounting/dismounting a bike much faster. We were surprised by how quiet this unit is, even while pedaling at high speeds. Safe to say you can use it without ever annoying others around you. The feel of pedaling motion was great as well. However, the bike did not attach in a perfectly upright position. It was barely noticeable, but there was a slight tilt which was fixed by placing a mat under one side. Overall, this trainer is simply great value for money.

Yaheetech Fluid Bike Trainer Stand

Yaheetech Fluid Bike Trainer Stand

11. Unisky: Firm and stable frame, smooth spinning, double locking system

Unisky Fluid Bike Trainer Stand

  • Dimensions: 25.39” × 20.87” × 7.09” (L × W × H)
  • Weight: 22.05 lbs
  • Roller Material: Smooth aluminum roller
  • Wheel Sizes: 26” to 29”, 700c
  • Bike Compatibility: Road and mountain bikes
  • Resistance Adjustment: Clutch knob
  • Attachment to Bike: Dual side dial adjustment
  • Frame Type: Folding steel frame
  • Data Measurement: No
  • Connectivity: No

Features & Considerations
  • Road-like Resistance: The impeller rotating in fluid and the flywheel provide resistance which is both smooth and progressive, much like a road bike.
  • Dual-sided Locking: The trainer can be fixed to the rear wheel by adjustment dials on both sides. This ensures better security and stability.
  • Smooth Roller: The smooth finish of the metallic roller’s surface helps to keep tire damage to a minimum and also slightly reduce noise.
  • Good Compatibility: Various road and mountain bikes with commonly used 26”-29” or 700c wheels can attach to this trainer.
  • Accessories Included: When purchasing this trainer, you will get a free riser block. You will need it to keep the front wheel at the same level as the rear wheel.

Some Weaknesses
  • More noise is produced by this trainer than any other on this list.
  • The resistance may not be challenging enough for high-level bikers.

The Unisky Trainer is a solid indoor trainer for home workouts. The person who tested this trainer is 6 feet 5 inches and weighs 200 lbs. The sturdy steel frame was strong and stable enough to support him cycling at high intensities. The wide base and double locking helped to achieve this. It might not fit a few bikes that have thru-axles, but it is compatible with the most commonly used road and mountain bikes. Assembling the trainer is a bit of a task due to a poorly designed manual, but the setup is as easy as with other fluid trainers.

The performance of this trainer was pretty good. It has the smooth, gradually increasing resistance that a fluid bike trainer should have. The only two complaints with this unit are the noise and resistance level. Although not super noisy, it generates the most sound out of all our chosen products. As for the resistance, it isn’t at a level where it would challenge advanced riders or simulate steep climbs. But overall it’s great for beginner and intermediate level cyclists.

Unisky Fluid Bike Trainer Stand

Unisky Fluid Bike Trainer Stand


Buying Guide: Fluid Bike Trainers

1. Bike and Wheel Compatibility

The first thing you should think about is whether your bike can be used with the trainer you have in mind. Some bike trainers are universally compatible, while others can accommodate only specific types and sizes. The size of the wheel, the spacing between rear dropouts, and even whether your bike has a thru-axle or a skewer matters. Although, you shouldn’t have a problem with the most common road and mountain bikes. Simply check the manufacturer’s list of compatible sizes. Most trainers require you to replace your bike’s skewer with a provided quick-release skewer which is designed to fit into the clamping system. Once replaced, you can just leave it on for your regular outdoor rides as well. For a detailed guide on setting up a bike trainer, watch the following video:-

2. Size and Storage

The sizes of fluid trainers are sometimes one of the reasons for buying them. They are typically quite compact, measuring not more than 30 inches in length and width. The majority of fluid trainers also have foldable frames that become completely flat. Due to this, they are very easy to store or carry with you anywhere. On the other hand, many users may find that direct drive trainers, wind resistance trainers, and some magnetic trainers are just a bit too bulky.

3. Resistance and Power

The resistance and feel are probably the biggest arguments for choosing a fluid trainer over a magnetic or wind trainer. Fluid trainers more closely simulate the experience of cycling on the road. Just like a road bike, the resistance provided is progressive, meaning the difficulty increases as you pedal faster. The power-speed curve of a fluid trainer has almost the same shape as that of outdoor cycling.

Flywheel and roller

However, all fluid trainers do not feel the same. Some will feel smoother and more realistic than others. If possible, you should try out a unit before buying it. A few trainers have jerky motion in the first few minutes, but this smoothes out as the fluid warms up. Generally, as the fluid(usually oil) heats up, the resistance increases and you will get more wattage at lower cadences.

4. Flywheel and Roller

There are two types of fluid bike trainers in terms of a flywheel. The more common type has an external flywheel which is linked to the impeller and resistance unit via an axle. In the other type, the impeller itself acts as the flywheel. Both systems work well, but we know that heavier flywheels provide a smoother motion. Hence why the first type is more common since the flywheel can be larger. The roller is what actually makes contact with the bike’s wheel. Most rollers are made of aluminum and have smooth surfaces. This reduces the amount of wear on the tire.

Flywheel and roller

Image: Flywheel and roller

5. Durability and Stability

The frame must be strong and stable enough to withstand high intensity pedaling. The base should be wide enough and have enough friction with the floor. The weight of the product adds to its stability. Although, it shouldn’t be so heavy that it becomes difficult to transport. Most fluid trainer frames are constructed using steel tubing, which is strong enough for most riders and workout routines. There are mainly two types of mechanisms for securing a bike with the trainer. One type uses a bolt-action lever which provides quick and easy locking. The other type uses one/two threaded knobs. This system is slower but more secure.

Bolt-action Lever Threaded Knob

Image: Bolt-action Lever and Threaded Knob

The main source of failure of a fluid trainer is usually the resistance unit. Eventually, the casing/shell starts to leak fluid. This occurs due to wear and tear at the O-ring seal of the impeller shaft most of the time. However, there is no need to worry since they last for years, if not decades. Some modern trainers use magnetic coupling, eliminating the O-ring and drastically reducing the chance of leaking. We recommend you look for a product with a long warranty period.

6. Noise Level

A bike trainer is meant for home use. So, you definitely don’t want to produce loud sounds that would annoy you and others around you. Fortunately, most fluid resistance trainers generate a low amount of unwanted noise. Nonetheless, due to differences in quality, construction, and materials, different units produce varying levels of noise. Many other factors influence noise levels. These include resistance unit design, roller material, tire type, etc. There is also the noise that comes from the moving parts of your bike itself. Of course, that is something that you can’t really change.

7. Sensors and Connectivity

There are many cycling apps such as Zwift, Rouvy, Sufferfest, etc. that allow you to immerse yourself in a virtual world, where you can ride on various routes/maps and also interact with other cyclists around the globe. To use these apps, you’ll need sensors for measuring speed, cadence, and power. Most fluid trainers do not have such built-in capabilities. However, you can buy the sensors separately and attach them to the trainer. Then you can connect to your tablet or computer and enjoy it. Make sure to check if a specific trainer is compatible with sensors.

Speed and cadence sensors

Image: Speed and cadence sensors

8. Accessories

One crucial accessory that you’ll need is a riser block. This is placed under the front wheel to make it level with the rear wheel. Otherwise, the bike will be in an awkward downward leaning position. You might also need a quick-release skewer to be able to mount your bike. This depends on the trainer and your bike’s frame. Many fluid trainers provide a free riser, skewer, or even a carry bag when you make a purchase.

Riser block

Image: Riser block

F. A. Q.s

Q.1. What is a fluid bike trainer?

Ans.: A fluid bike trainer is a type of indoor bike trainer with which you can train or workout at home with your bike. Fluid trainers have a shell/casing containing a fluid such as oil or liquid silicone. The roller, which is rotated by the bike’s rear wheel, is linked to an impeller. This impeller rotates inside the fluid-filled casing and resistance is generated due to drag against the fluid. Fluid trainers are very popular because of how similar it feels to ride a bike outdoors. The resistance is progressive, meaning that pedaling harder will increase the difficulty. Most of the time there is also an external flywheel that maintains momentum for a while even when you stop pedaling for a bit.

Q.2. Are trainers bad for your bike?

Ans: The only harmful effect that a trainer has on your bike is that the rear wheel gets worn out over time. You could use old or spare wheels instead of your actual rear wheel when using a bike trainer. Another solution, which we think is better, is to buy a trainer-specific tire. They cost around $30, can last for years, and produce less noise. However, you can’t use such a tire on the road.

Q.3. Fluid vs Magnetic Bike Trainers

Ans: We’ve already talked about fluid bike trainers. A magnetic bike trainer, or mag trainer for short, uses magnets to create resistance. This system is similar to that of a stationary bike. Both fluid and magnetic trainers are excellent for training with your bike at home. They are both very easy to use and have compact, foldable designs. However, there are some differences which are given below.

Fluid TrainersMagnetic Trainers
Progressive resistance, similar to outdoor cyclingLinear resistance, similar to stationary bikes
Resistance level increases as you pedal harder and can keep increasing indefinitely until failure of unitResistance has a maximum limit and needs to be adjusted manually
Usually more expensiveLess expensive
May breakdown due to possible fluid leakageBreakdowns rarely ever occur
Produces less noiseProduces more noise

Conclusion

Bike trainers are the perfect solution for cyclists who can’t go riding outdoors for various reasons such as weather. If your budget isn’t high enough for direct drive trainers, but you still want something that’ll give you a realistic road-like experience, then fluid bike trainers are the way to go. After all our research and testing, we can safely say that if you purchase from one of our chosen products, you won’t be disappointed. We hope this article proves useful to you. Happy indoor training!

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Last update on 2020-11-25 at 11:30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dion Lewis
My name is Dion Lewis.

I’ve been cycling from my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions.

At my college life, I took a part time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally.

Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or a bike gear.

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