8 speed on direct drive

Hi all, I am thinking about upgrading my current turbo to either the neo2t, kickr or the core. I have concerns about how easy it is to switch between turbo and outside riding. So does any one run an 8 speed cassette on any of the above turbo trainers and how easy do you find it going switching between the two?

It’s a claris groupset if that helps.

Cheers in advance

  1. confirm that you can run the 8 speed cassette on the trainer (there is another thread around here somewhere discussing it—I think it’s just a matter of using the appropriate number/amount of spacers behind the cassette on the trainer so that your derailleur is correctly aligned with the cassette).

  2. If you want the on/off trainer transfer to be as easy as possible, make sure you get a second, matching cassette for the trainer (i.e. so that you have one permanently on the trainer and one on the bike).

  3. At this point, getting your bike on/off the trainer is really nothing more than getting your rear wheel on/off the bike. You mount your bike’s rear dropouts on the trainer just like you would mount them onto the hub-ends of your rear wheel.


I have a neo 1 2017 version and it came with spacers that works for my 9 speed. You may want to contact Tacx directly and ask specifically if it is possible to use an 8-speed set up. As an aside, I have found that it works great for ERG mode but as I have become more fit and bit stronger, I have trouble finding the right gears when participating in events. The jumps are too large in some cases to get a comfortable cadence which makes me want to get a bike with 11 or 12 sprockets with a tighter gearing ratio.

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One 1.85mm spacer is all you need. Worked fine for me on two different direct drive trainers, no issues at all.


Thanks for the reply Fez. The

Thanks for the reply Dave. Which trainers have you used and do you run 8 speed?

Thanks. That link was helpful.

I ran Claris on both a Flux and Neo 2, but it should the same spacer on any 11 speed hub.

I found I needed to file the spacer down where the 3 rivets that hold the cassette together sit to allow the largest gear to sit flat against the spacer. A few minutes with a small file did the job, and since then, no problems. As XN says, I have the same cassette on my trainer as on my rear wheel. The trainer is a Saris H3, but as we’re really just considering the freehub, it shouldn’t make much difference which trainer you’re talking about.

A genuine Shimano spacer has recesses for the rivets. :+1:


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wife just bought me elite zumo but my mountain bike is 8 speed, is that ok??? its an 8 speed shimano cassette

ive got elite zumo, is this the same? just a spacer?

I have an 8 speed mountain bike on my neo currently. I think there is 1 spacer in there. I bought it and an extra cassette from my local bike store and they fitted the cassette onto it for me.

Yes, same principle. Trainer has an 11spd hub, the 8spd cassette needs a 1.85mm spacer because it’s a different width.

I also have a Claris 8 speed, I know the 1.85 spacer needs to be fitted but then do you reduce the cassette on the turbo trainer down to 8 or leave all 11 still on???
Kind regards

You can’t use an 11-speed cassette with an 8-speed groupset. The chain is a different width and it simply won’t work.

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