Can You Use a Turbo Trainer with an Electric Bike?

Electric bikes are a growing trend because of their versatility. One major feature that sets e-bikes apart from regular bicycles is the rate of speed. An electric bike has a motor and a battery, so you have a little help with pedaling as you go.

Do not let the motor discourage you from riding because you can still get a good workout on an e-bike. Cycling coach Tom Bell tested an electric mountain bike, and although he did not reach his target heart rate of 208 bpm, he was able to get within 10 beats during the ride.

If you have an electric bike, you probably wonder what to do on a rainy day. You can take your bike inside and exercise using a turbo trainer. What is nice about doing that is the consistency you get from not missing a day due to weather.

Can you use a turbo trainer with an electric bike? It depends on the type of wheel axle you have. You can only use a trainer if your e-bike has an externally-geared hub.

What Is a Turbo Trainer?

When you can’t ride outside, you need a plan B. A turbo trainer is a device that allows you to ride your bike inside your home by turning it into a stationary bike. The rear wheel attaches to the trainer while the front wheel stays put. You tighten the roller to the back wheel, and it is ready to ride.

A plus to using a turbo trainer is that you can keep a consistent workout, rain, or shine. There is no need to buy an exercise bike when you can use yours. The trainers come in all shapes and sizes and vary in resistance.

Can You Use a Turbo Trainer with an Electric Bike
Can You Use a Turbo Trainer with an Electric Bike

Read Can You Use a Car Battery for an Electric Bike?

Types of Turbo Trainers

There are differences in trainers due to the type of resistance and whether they are wheel-on or direct.

Wheel-on trainers produce resistance by friction between the rear bike wheel and the roller. 

Magnetic, wind, and fluid-driven trainers are examples of wheel-on turbos. Most wheel-on devices are portable, so you can fold them up, take them with you, or simply store them away.

The purpose of direct trainers is to have a permanent indoor cycling workout using your bike. They are heavy and more difficult to store, so you will need a lot of space for them to stay. 


Magnetic turbo trainers use magnets to regulate the resistance of the wheel. In many models, there are controls on the handlebars for you to adjust the magnetism.

These are usually more expensive and quieter, and provide better resistance than other types. Although they are cheaper than smart trainers, they are compatible with virtual cycle training.

Yaheetech Brand Magnetic Bike Trainer

As the title indicates, this stand uses a magnet to manage the resistance of the back wheel. It accommodates all bikes with 26-28-inch wheels with quick-release axles.

Yaheetech Magnetic Bike Trainer Stand Premium Steel Bike Bicycle Indoor Exercise Bike Stationary Workout Trainer Stand Fits for 26in-28in, 700C Wheels

The frame consists of durable, high-quality steel and rests on four adjustable foot pads to prevent the stand from damaging the floor. Turn the caps on the feet from 1-5 to change the thickness of the stand for your workout. The turbo trainer can hold up to 265 pounds.

This turbo is quieter than the average trainer, so your workout will be more enjoyable. The stand can fold for easy storage and transport. There are levers at the corner of the legs where the back wheel attaches. You can also use those knobs to tighten the stand during exercise and loosen it for folding.


  • The frame is adjustable for changing resistance on the wheel
  • The trainer is quieter than the competitors


  • It is one of the more expensive machines
  • The front-wheel riser consists of plastic

Read Can You Use An Electric Bike Without A Battery?


The turbo trainers are easier to use because they use a fan to drive the wheel during exercise. Wind trainers are ideal for amateur riders because they produce less resistance. The faster you pedal, the louder it becomes due to the air resistance.

They are reliable. The faster you pedal, the more resistance you get. Wind turbos tend to be noisy due to the wind they produce, so if your workout is a nighttime ritual, you may want to consider a quieter machine.

Can you use a wind turbo trainer with an electric bike? If your bike has external gears, you should be fine.

Cycling Deal Bike Wind Trainer

For a less expensive option, this wind trainer accommodates 26-inch, 27.5-inch, and 700c quick-release bikes, including e-bikes. Unfortunately, it will not hold 29-inch bikes.

CyclingDeal Bicycle Bike Indoor Home Exercise Wind Resistance Trainer - Stationary Cycling Bike Training Stand for Indoor Riding Converter Mount - With Front Block Riser & Skewers - NOT for 29er Bikes

Although it uses wind, the resistance it produces is reliable and effective. One thing to keep in mind with this trainer is that it is quite noisy.

It works like other trainers. Place the front wheel on a 3-cm support block and attach the back wheel to the steel stand via its axles. The sturdy frame is easy to fold so you can take it with you or store it away.


  • It is inexpensive
  • It is easy to fold and store


  • It produces a lot of noise
  • It will not accommodate 29-inch

Read Can You Ride an Electric Bike on Beach?


In a fluid turbo trainer, the rear enclosure consists of a roller, propeller, and oil that help generate resistance while you pedal. The inner fluid gradually heats up. It may take a little longer to reach your desired level of resistance, but you get a better workout.

Fluid trainers are quiet and more expensive than others. Because of the amount of resistance they produce, fluid trainers are ideal for professional racers and avid cyclists. Fluid turbos can accommodate virtual training.

Fluid trainers beat out magnet turbos when it comes to the ride. Fluid is closer to road resistance, and the flywheel provides a consistent ride without having to stop. 

Sportneer Brand Fluid Bike Turbo Trainer

The Sportneer bike trainer is ideal for any bike, including your electric bike. It has a durable, heavy-duty alloy steel frame that provides stability while you exercise. The feet of the stand contains rubber caps for skid-free riding. The turbo trainer accommodates 26 to 29-inch bikes.

Fluid Bike Trainer Stand, Sportneer Indoor Bicycle Exercise Training Stand

Thanks to the fluid-filled resistance wheel, your spinning will be smooth and quiet. You will feel like you are bike-riding outside. When you complete your workout or are about to travel, you can easily fold it and take it with you.


  • It produces more resistance
  • It is easy to fold and transport
  • It is very quiet


  • It is more expensive than wind or magnet units

Read Can We Charge Electric Bike at Home?

Direct Drive

Direct drive turbo trainers are the most expensive of all types, but they are worth the money. They are extremely quiet and can produce very high resistance, which is great for serious athletes.

Direct trainers can be fluid or magnetic-driven. They are gentler on the rear tire and last longer than most. With these trainers, you remove your bike’s back wheel before connecting to the base.

Many direct trainers are smart, meaning they can connect to a virtual app on your phone. You may feel like you are cycling in the mountains.

CycleOps Brand Hammer Direct Drive Trainer

CycleOps designed this trainer with the tech-savvy athlete in mind. It is Bluetooth-capable and can connect with apps for a virtual cycling experience. The 20-lb flywheel uses electromagnetism to produce resistance for a smooth ride.

CycleOps Hammer Direct Drive Smart Trainer

As one of the best direct drive turbo drivers, this is the closest you will get to outdoor bike riding in Oklahoma. You can use your bike, but you must remove the back wheel to use this machine. Connect the bike to the hub of the trainer, and you are all set.  


  • The legs fold up so you can store it
  • Virtual apps make cycling seem real


  • Current users have reported connection issues
  • You have to remove the rear wheel

Most electric bike trainers are direct drive and are more accurate, respond faster, and have the highest resistance of any other trainer. If you choose to use a wheel-on trainer, make sure your e-bike will fit.

Related electric bike articles:

Other Things to Consider

Are the attachments compatible with your trainer? Products change constantly, and sometimes an upgrade is necessary. If you are in the market for a turbo trainer, consider the size of the axles of your bike versus the machine.

Find out if it allows for interchangeable attachments, such as thru-axle adaptors. You may have to buy the adaptors if there are none to exchange.