Should I get an extra wheel?!

Hi all, I’ve been using Zwift for a few months on a Trek Domane AL2. I’ve put a training tire on and am using an old Tacx basic trainer but it does the job. Now that the weather is picking up, I want to get back out on the road on weekends but I know in the week I wont go out and will use the trainer instead. The problem I have is, I would have to keep changing the tire every time and must admit that I’m not that great at doing that! I know I can use Zwift on the road tire but that’s not what I want to do.

Should I get a spare wheel, put a spare Shimano HG31 cassette on it and put the training tire on that? I have disc brakes but I wouldn’t need brakes on the spare wheel. I could then just swap the wheel out when I need to.

Or is that just madness?

Also would I cause an issue if I accidentally pressed the brakes and the disc wasn’t in place? Not that I would try and do that.

That’s what I did for a few years before I made a dedicated trainer bike.
The Disc brake issue is tricky.
If you squeeze the brake lever without a disc, you can over extend your brake calipers.
I have no brakes on my trainer bike because I wanted a clean handle bar to mount things.

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If you do this you will want to get a disc caliper insert to protect your brake pads should you accidentally pull on the brake lever.

Depending on how much you want to spend, an alternate approach would be to purchase a Direct Drive trainer. Yes, a good bit more money, but why sink money a couple hundred dollars (assuming USA currency for this discussion since I don’t know where you are located) into a wheel if you could spend a little more and have a much nicer trainer experience. Depends on how much you use Zwift. If you enjoy Zwifting in the winter, spending $899 USD or less can get you a pretty darn good Direct Drive trainer (or find one cheaper used). Now you don’t need a second wheel, you have a smart trainer instead of your current manual setup, and a greatly advanced Zwifting experience. It may not be in your budget but I thought I’d toss it out there as food for thought.

Hey Joel. Thanks for coming back. You make a good point, I’m new to cycling and Zwift so started on a low budget for this year. I suppose I thought I could get a super cheap wheel and not bother with the disc brake but I did fear that might be a problem.

I think I’ll continue on the trainer wheel for a few more weeks until it warms up a bit and then change the wheel. I can always leave my MTB on the trainer for when I want to Zwift.

Thanks again.

A few months ago, I was checking out FulGaz, and in the video, the cyclist was following a car through the English countryside. The car tapped the brakes, and I grabbed both of the brakes on my bike. Pretty immersive…

So, yeah, you could accidentally hit the brakes while on the trainer.

That can work. If you put the MTB on the trainer, make sure it has a slick tire. You don’t want to have a knobby tire on a wheel-on trainer.

I had a MTB on a wheel on trainer for a few weeks, with the knobby tire.
It is sort of like the opposite of a good massage and makes parts of your body go numb that you don’t want to be numb.

If the extra wheel doesn’t have a brake disk, just slide a brake insert in the caliper.
Its really not a big deal and your LBS has a bunch of them laying around and they will give you one.
You should have 1-2 already anyway.
All the ideas suggested will work.
Pick one and go.

Thanks everyone for the replies! My MTB already has a slick tire as I used to use it on the trainer, plus I find it much easier to change the tire on that! I’ll have a chat with my LBS and maybe let you all know what I decided. Thanks for your help.