Is trainer use covered by your warranty?

I’ve previously written about how it is safe to use your carbon bike on a trainer. (Read the linked article for more details, but in summary, I agree with many industry leaders that there is insufficient evidence to support the idea that trainer use places undue stress on carbon frames.)

Given the huge number of bikes being used on trainers, it is also true that some frames will inevitably fail while being used on a trainer. What happens then? Will your frame be replaced under warranty, or will you need to pay for a new one?

User Error vs Defect

First, it is important to note that there is a difference between “user error” (such as a bike crash) and manufacturer defects (defective carbon layups, etc).

On a trainer, “user error” typically involves using the wrong skewer, or improper tightening of the skewer or skewer clamps. These mistakes can allow your bike to disengage from the trainer (especially under hard efforts) and the resulting chaos can cause real damage to your frame.

No one would expect bike makers to warranty damage caused by user error. In this case, it is common practice for manufacturers to offer “crash replacement” frames at a steep discount.

Manufacturer defects, though, are outside of the rider’s control and should be warrantied whether they are discovered outside on the road or indoors on the trainer. But sadly, some manufacturers don’t see it this way.

Which Brands Allow Trainer Use?

There is no clear answer to this, but I’ve created two lists below of brands which, based on my research, are friendly or unfriendly toward trainer usage. If you have personal experience with other brands, or your experience contradicts what my list shows, please comment below.

Trainer-Friendly Brands

Trainer-Unfriendly Brands

The brands below either explicitly state in their warranty or manuals that trainer usage on carbon frames voids their warranty, or their manuals are unclear but additional research has shown that they do not warranty damage which occurs during trainer use.

  • BMC
  • Look
  • Seven Cycles
  • Specialized
  • Trek

Marketing vs Reality

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the current situation is most (if not all) of the “trainer-unfriendly” manufacturers actively market their products with trainers:

  • We see pro teams on trainers before and after races
  • We see trainers in use in local bike shops or at manufacturer’s headquarters
  • Some manufacturers (including as Trek and Canyon) sell trainers on their websites
  • Canyon, Specialized and Trek have all partnered with Zwift on various major events

If trainer use voids the warranty, marketing efforts should not encourage trainer use.

What’s the Solution?

It’s time for manufacturer’s to explicitly include trainer use as part of the warrantied “normal use” of their bikes. This is a move that would put the customer first, and I applaud the manufacturers who have already done it.

In the market for a new bike? Make your voice heard: ask if trainer use is covered under the warranty. If it isn’t covered, let them know you are disappointed and will be purchasing another brand. If it is covered, give them your business. Dollars talk!

Further Reading/Listening


Eric Schlange
Eric Schlange
Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava


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Carl J
Carl J(@runbikebbq)
1 year ago

Weirdly, my girlfriend has a newer Giant Propel, and in the book that came with the bike, it explicitly says not to use it on the trainer (warranty void).

So maybe some bikes (aluminum) they do allow, but the carbon ones they don’t?

Was just looking up for carbon bike warranties with regards to trainers (this page was near the top), because I just recently cracked mine on my Flux.

11 months ago

Juste an update for whoever land on this page from google. About Cube which i owned a bike from. I took it directly from cube website’s FAQ Can I use my CUBE bike on a bicycle trainer? Yes. As a rule, you shouldn’t have any problems using your CUBE bike on an indoor trainer under the following conditions: Only bikes without an electric drive motor are approved for use on an indoor trainer. All pedelec/ebike models (Hybrids) are excluded from use. Before first use, check to ensure the compatibility of your bike with the trainer. Bikes with a rear wheel… Read more »

11 months ago
Reply to  AntaresFR Thanks. Yes, it is there! But in their handbook (2022 version “Roller training: The use of roller trainers that are fixed tightly to the frame, the handlebar or the fork can damage your bicycle. The use of roller trainers which are fixed tightly to the bicycle’s fork, handlebar or frame is not allowed.” “The use of bicycle rollers with fixed clamps is not permitted. By firmly restricting the dropouts and quick-release hub axles, mechanical stresses occur which strongly exceed those permitted for normal cycling operations. This may result in damage to the bicycle frame.” So “use of rollers… Read more »

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