Trainer Set Up

Thru-Axle Skewer with a Tacx Direct Drive Trainer

Setting up your smart trainer is easier than it looks. With some practice, you'll soon become an expert. This video walks you through the process step by step, using a bike with a thru-axle wheel and a Tacx smart trainer.

  1. Pick your spot.
    Make sure there’s enough room for your bike and the device you’re running Zwift on. Also, make sure you have access to power for the trainer. A strong WiFi signal is critical. You also want to be sure that your trainer is compatible and set up properly for your bike. If your rear wheel is an 11-speed thru-axle, make sure your trainer is also set up for 11-speed thru-axle.
  2. Unfold the trainer. Extend the legs of the trainer and adjust the feet for stability.
  3. Plugin the trainer. The electrical port is underneath the trainer.
  4. Grab your bike.
  5. Shift the bike into the smallest cog on the cassette.
  6. If you have rim brakes, open your rear brake.
    If you have disc brakes, be sure to insert a brake pad spacer into the gap between the pads. This will prevent the pads from staying
    closed if you pull the brake lever. If you don’t have a spacer, remember not to pull the rear brake lever. This will prevent you from
    having to pry the pads apart to restore the gap when you want to put your rear wheel back on.
  7. Remove the rear wheel.
    Open the thru-axle and remove the axle.
    The derailleur is spring-loaded and can be rotated clockwise to allow the wheel to “drop out.” Avoid touching the chain to keep
    your hands clean. 
    Pull the bike up and away. You can add slack to the chain to clear the cassette by pushing the cage down with your finger.
    Store the wheel in a safe place. 
  8. Lower the bike frame over the trainer. Again, add slack to get the chain around the cassette.
  9. Insert the thru-axle with the appropriate adapter that’s included with your trainer. Make sure the dropouts are flush with the trainer.
    Adjust the front end of the bike to line up the frame with the axle.
  10. Add weight to the saddle in order to seat the frame securely. Screw-in the thru-axle and give yourself just enough space so that
    when you throw the lever, it’s nice and snug—enough to leave a mark on your hand.
  11. Rock the bike back and forth to make sure it’s stable.
  12. You’re ready to Zwift!