CycleOps Indoor Training Tire

Before purchasing the Tacx Neo direct drive indoor trainer, I spent many hours on a Computrainer with resistance created against a road tire.  I first started with a traditional Continental outdoor road tire: the Grand Prix 4000s II.  This tire lasted a few thousand miles, but was more expensive than an indoor training tire.  The Grand Prix performed great and I recommend it for a trainer setup or outdoor riding in all seasons.  It’s my go-to tire for most of my training rides.  However, to save a few bucks I tried the CycleOps Indoor Trainer Tire.  The CycleOps Indoor tire cost about $35 compared to $75 for the Grand Prix 4000s II.

 Indoor Tires are Hard to Put on

CycleOps Training Tire Yellow
CycleOps Training Tire Yellow

By their very nature, indoor training tires are stiff.  They don’t need to grip the road on turns or wet surfaces.  This hard casing is immediately apparent when you first handle the tire.  They are difficult to fold and the wear surface is rigid.  Being so inflexible, the CycleOps Training Tire was next to impossible to put on the wheel.  It took more than 15 minutes to do it, and I had to break the “effort” up into two “intervals”.  I ultimately resorted to the dreaded tire leaver to wedge the last 6 inches of the tire onto the rim.  On one occasion this resulted in a pinched tube:  do over…  The effort required to put this tire on a wheel should, by itself, be enough to convince any cyclist to use a traditional outdoor tire on an indoor trainer.  And I don’t think this characteristic is limited to the CycleOps tire.  My Continental Indoor Tire is just as rigid.

Tire Disintegration

Shortly after going through the pain of getting the CycleOps Indoor Tire on the wheel, it started to self-destruct.  By that I mean the wear surface started to “gum” up and slowly melt off.  In the gallery below you can see all the debris that are thrown off the tire (note the first image with the blacks speckles all over the plywood).  In subsequent photos you can see the “gumming” effect on the tire surface.  The surface wears away and then gums up on the tire in the form of black, gooey blobs.  Over the next few hundred miles the wear surface became so worn down, the outside edges of the tire started to lose its structure and bulge as shown in the video below.

CycleOps Training Tire Bulge Video

This video shows the bulges that formed in my CycleOps Training Tire after about 30 days, or 1,000 miles of use.  Because of the gooey discharge, rapid wear, and bulging sidewall, I though the tire was defective.  I bought another to test that theory, but the second one failed just as fast as the first.

Conclusion

If you want an indoor training tire that will last, consider using your all season outdoor road tire.  The supple surface of the outdoor tire provides a smoother feel on the trainer and will last longer than an indoor tire, in my experience.  Or, drop the coin on a Tacx Neo or Wahoo Kickr and get rid of the tire all together.  Problem solved.

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