I was sure my CycleOps trainer tire was going to be a gimmick. Surely it would start squeaking within a week of installing it on my trainer wheel… and I’d be relegated to writing the “well, it was quiet while it lasted” post, dejected. My high hope was maybe it wouldn’t be as noisy as a standard road tire…
Let’s back up a minute. I own a normal, “dumb” trainer. On purpose. It’s not entirely dumb, though. It’s a CycleOps Magneto trainer and it is unquestionably “neat-o”. The harder you pedal, the more resistance it gives you. 18-mph is just as hard or harder on my trainer than it is outside. With that much resistance in the flywheel, though, normal tires end up squeaking after I melt them during intervals (I’ve melted Specialized tires at a mere 23-mph). Once they’ve melted, they’re done. Every pedal stroke elicits a tiny squeak as the tire tries to stick to the flywheel. I installed a Bontrager tire several weeks ago, an AW-2 if memory serves. A terribly slow but undeniably reliable road tire, I figured if anything could work quietly on my trainer, this would be the tire. It was spectacular. For two weeks… and then the squeak appeared.
Exasperated, I remembered the shop had a couple of CycleOps tires made by Kenda specifically for the trainer. I went in for a visit hoping they still had one in stock. As luck would have it, $40 trainer tires are not high on the COVID demand list because there were four on the shelf – a painful purchase, but I needed quiet. After a couple of weeks, I have to say, I’m nothing short of impressed.
I hit 30-mph during intervals last night, several times – a full-on effort in the 50/12 gear as fast as I could pedal and not a squeak. Not even when I’d dropped down to an easy gear for recovery. In fact, I just walked over and felt the tire surface – it feels the same this morning as it did the other day. No sticky melted rubber.
The CycleOps tire by Kenda is legit. It takes everything I’ve got. And quietly. Without protest.