Direct drive trainer concerns

I’m looking at my first direct drive trainer and have a few options, the Wahoo KICKR and the Elite Suito, but now I’m seeing that people are having serious issues if they have a 7-speed bike, of which I have two bikes with this setup. I also have an old Cannondale that’s a 6-speed. I’ve seen tons of posts from people who’ve struggled to make this work, many of whom have done quite a bit of research, many of whom have been able to get the bike mounted but had difficulty pedaling, may of whom have seen the chain go slack and seen slippage when shifting when the spacers are put in to accommodate 6 or 7 gears in the back…these are just a few things and I’m wondering if a direct drive is even the best option right now or if I should just stick to my KICKR Snap until I one day have a bike with more gears. Thoughts? Are direct drive trainers meant to accommodate a larger set of gears?

They do accommodate a larger range of gearing options but there’s a cut off point I’m afraid.

The fact of the matter is the geometry of 6&7 speed frames is different to those that came later and in order to make direct drive work needs a little bit of magic of which the costs to the manufacturers outweigh the benefits given the likely small number of potential users of 6/7 speed.

It’s a bit like the Zwift Play not being manufactured in different models to cover different types of handlebar that are in the minority of users.

I’m afraid it’s one size fits all methodology.

By the way, you can probably get your bikes to fit. You just need to widen the gap between the rear dropouts. Not by much and i advise to do so at your own risk!

The question is whether the space between the rear dropouts of the frame is 126mm or 130mm. Most older 6 speed bikes are 126mm and will not fit on a direct drive trainer. A 7 speed bike might be either 126 or 130. You can take the wheel out and measure the frame, or ask a bike shop to answer the question.

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