CycleOps Fluid 2 Bike Trainer- Will It Take A Leak?

I’ve read so many comments from CycleOps Fluid 2 owners that my eyes are starting to cross, and the leakage problem is seldom mentioned…

About the reviewer: Ron Fritzke is a cycling product reviewer with a passion for ‘all things cycling’. A former 2:17 marathoner, he now directs his competitive efforts toward racing his bike…and looking for good cycling products.

Product Quality 04 Quietness 4.5
Realistic Feel 4.5 Overall 4.5


CycleOps Fluid 2 bike trainer

Trying Out The CycleOps Fluid 2

Not too long ago, I wouldn’t have felt very good about recommending any fluid bicycle trainer other than a Kurt Kinetic bicycle trainer. The earlier CycleOps fluid trainers were noted for having O-ring failures, resulting in fluid leaks.

That problem seems to have been addressed. I’ve read so many comments from Cycleops Fluid 2 owners that my eyes are starting to cross, and the leakage problem is seldom mentioned…and if it does come up, the excellent customer service department at CycleOps is usually mentioned.

How Does This Bike Trainer Provide A ‘Realistic Ride’?

The CycleOps Fluid 2 has a larger flywheel than its predecessors which contributes to a more realistic feel. We’re talking about a 2.75 lb ‘individually precision-balanced’ flywheel. Each flywheel is balanced, just as each of your tires are balanced at the local tire shop (at least they’re balanced if you don’t want to experience premature wear patterns or annoying ‘wobbles’ in the steering wheel). This individual balancing of each Cycleops Fluid 2 roller is critical because you’ll not appreciate a roller/flywheel apparatus that’s out of balance…constantly reminding you that you should have sprung for a higher quality fluid trainer.

The reason a heavier flywheel contributes to a more realistic ride is rather simple. When we accelerate out on the road we have to overcome the inertia of our weight and the weight of our bike. Overcoming the inertia of a heavier flywheel on a trainer accomplishes the same task, making the ride more realistic.

CycleOps Fluid 2 noise level

Measuring CycleOps Fluid 2 Noise Level On Phone Ap

If the whole ‘a heavier flywheel is better’ idea still isn’t making sense…think about a trainer with a flywheel no heavier than a potato chip. You could ‘spin up’ without breaking a sweat; but that’s not how it is on the road, except if you’re traveling straight down.

The CycleOps Fluid 2 Bike Trainer’s Quiet!

Something that is frequently mentioned is the quietness of this trainer. CycleOps improved the position of the sealed-cartridge bearing to provide an ‘ultra-quiet’ ride. I don’t know if the sound level is being compared to noisy wind trainers or mag trainers, but it’s duly noted that riders are able to watch their favorite ‘Simpsons’ reruns while riding on their trainers without blowing out their TV speakers.

Calibrating For A Realistic Ride

CycleOps Fluid 2 Calibration

My Powertap Showed About 400 watts At 25mph

The CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer also has a wide resistance level due to what the company calls ‘Power band technology’. They’ve adjusted the silicone fluid levels in the power unit to reflect a road-like feel.

I don’t know if you’re aware of it or not, but CycleOps makes the very popular ‘Powertap’ power meters. What they’ve done is to calibrate the Cycleops Fluid 2 trainers so that the trainer requires 400watts of effort in order to spin the trainer at 25 mph.

Having ridden tens of thousands of miles with a Powertap on my road bike, I can tell you that the ratio is reasonable. There’s no reason to split hairs regarding if it takes 375 watts or 400 watts to go 25 mph…the point is that you’ll be sweating like a dog if you’re pushing the CycleOps Fluid 2 at 25 mph for any length of time.

Resistance Levels Are More Than You’ll Need

The amount of resistance in the Cycleops Fluid 2 is almost infinite. I’ve seen the stats of how many watts are needed to be generated at various miles per hour on this trainer. When I saw that the unit could resist up to (and probably more than) 800 watts, I knew that it had what it takes. There is no way that a wind trainer could provide such resistance…nor could a lot of mag trainers.cycleops fluid 2 power curve

Don’t forget, the company calibrated these units using their Powertap wattage meters so you can be assured that the power band is realistic.

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Some Assembly Needed

The instructions for assembly aren’t as clear as they could be. Several owners noted having trouble following the instructions, with a few noting that they got excellent help from the service department. Of course it’d be preferable to not have to call them to begin with.

One chap wrote that he was going to return his CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer for a refund because he couldn’t follow the poorly written instructions. I’d be leery of doing such a thing…much less writing about it in a review, as I wouldn’t want to risk making everyone privy to my lack of mental acuity (I keep that a closely guarded secret).

A Couple Of Notes Regarding The ‘Foundation’ Of The Fluid 2 Bike Trainer

Before getting into a few of the ‘frame’ issues, let me say that the Cycleops fluid 2 has a lifetime warranty. I include that attribute in this section because there’s nothing more ‘solid’ than the assurance that you won’t be left hanging with a faulty trainer.

The last thing you want is a frame that creaks and bends when you’re riding. The CycleOps Fluid 2 frame is made of 2 inch round 16 gauge steel, and it has adjustable footpads so that if you’re riding on an uneven floor you won’t be rocking on 2 or three legs.

The quick load cam lever is exclusive to CycleOps and lets you get your bike into and out of the trainer easily…and at the same resistance level of your previous ride. Now that’s convenient because it’s a bit tedious ‘setting up’ the whole indoor training station time and time again.

Fluid 2 Quick Load Cam Lever2

It comes with folding legs for storage, as do just about any of the top notch trainers.

A word about heat…I’ve noted elsewhere on this site that the internal temperatures in a fluid trainer can reach up to 400 degrees. Of course that’s hard on any equipment, especially equipment that includes the potential for fluid leakage.

CycleOps has patented a fan design on the Cycleops Fluid 2 that allows it to self-cool. That’s a very important feature in the ‘this trainer won’t leak’ category.

CycleOps Fluid2 Flywheel and Fins

CycleOps Fluid 2 Flywheel And Fins

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So what are the Cycleops Fluid 2 FEATURES?
  • Larger flywheel on the Cycleops Fluid 2 provides a more realistic ride.
  • This trainer will provide more resistance than you’ll ever need…unless you’re on the Tour!
  • Patented cooling technology assist in keeping the Cycleops Fluid 2 performing longer.
  • Instructional DVD provides some ideas for more effective training rides.
  • The Cycleops Fluid 2 is very quiet compared with some of the less expensive wind and mag trainers.
  • Produced by a very customer friendly company…in case something goes wrong.
The Good
  1. The CycleOps fluid 2 trainer is made by a rock solid company.
  2. This bicycle trainer is about as quiet as trainers go.
  3. The Cycleops Fluid 2 provides a near infinite power band with a wide range of resistances.
  4. The Cycleops Fluid 2 provides a road like feel in part due to a larger flywheel.
  5. Includes a training DVD.
The Bad
  1. Some customers have trouble with the Cycleops Fluid 2 assembly instructions…customer service is willing to help.
  2. History of leakage which appears to have been addressed…company replaces power units without question, should they fail.

The CycleOps Fluid 2 Bicycle trainer is for:

  1. Riders looking for a realistic road-like feel.
  2. Cyclists who want to eliminate as much trainer noise as possible.
  3. Cyclists wanting to buy from a rock-solid company that stands behind its products.

Here’s a sampling of what current Cycleops Fluid 2 owners are saying…

The Cycleops Fluid 2 is quiet except for the tire on the roller, and completely stable. It isn’t necessary to buy the next more expensive one.  And the resistance truly is road-like except without the bumps and traffic lights.  ‘John T‘ {this review has been edited for brevity… read entire review here}

My take on the Cycleops Fluid 2? Excellent product and worth the extra cash. I am nothing like a pro but I do take 2-3 rides a week for about 25-45 miles each time.  ‘Christopher S‘ {this review has been edited for brevity…   read entire review here}

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Cycleops Fluid 2 Bike Trainer
The infinite resistance curve ensures increased wattage as you increase speed for realistic statistical analysis. The Fluid 2 is surprisingly quiet, and the self-cooling mechanisms--including a patented fan design--keep the unit performing better, longer.
Save:$60.00 (18%)

12 Responses to CycleOps Fluid 2 Bike Trainer- Will It Take A Leak?

  1. Kathy Blackney says:

    I want a fluid trainer for Christmas. I consider myself not a serious rider but not a novice either. I would like to bike for exercise and would like to use it in the winter (I live in Missouri). What would you recommend in the $200-$300 range? I think there may be others who would like to see your answer in this column, too.
    Thank you,

  2. Russell says:

    I ride both a 26″ and 29″ mountain bike. Will these tire sizes fit well on this machine? Thanks.

    • Ron Fritzke says:

      Here’s a quote from the CycleOps site…

      “Will fit MOST 29er wheels up to 2.25″ width, depending on tire tread. We also recommend using a slick tire or trainer specific tire.”

      I know that the 26″ will work just fine, so it looks like you’re in business.


  3. Ben says:

    My wife wants a fluid trainer for Christmas. She is not a serious rider by any stretch of the imagination, she has a bike for exercise and would like to use it in the winter(we live in Wisconsin). What would you recommend in the $100-$300 range? No need to post this, just reply to my email, if you could.
    Thank you,

    • Ron Fritzke says:

      Sent an email your way…hope it helps with your decision.
      Thanks for reading,

  4. David in OC says:

    Ron–great insight. Really helpful in making my purchasing decision as it brought up things I didn’t even know about.

  5. Lukytran says:

    Hi Ron,

    I am about to take a Magneto Trainer, however I just got into the comment that this machine shreds a tyre in every 2 months. Is this the case for Magneto Trainer, or just due to the improper setup?

    • Ron Fritzke says:

      Hi Lukytran,

      Any premature tire shredding would be due to not tightening the roller up against the tire sufficiently. The Magneto is a great trainer.


  6. Ron Fritzke says:


    Sounds like you have a pretty accurate take on the two trainers. Because lugging it around will be an important part of the equation, the weight factor is something that should tip the scales in the direction of the Fluid2.

    I know that carrying the Road Machine from the bedroom to the living room for a workout is something I don’t look forward to due to the awkwardness and the weight.

    I hope your 120 mile ride goes well. Sounds like a noble accomplishment…you’ll be proud to have accomplished it!


  7. Cathleen Wooten says:

    Hi Ron!

    I’m new to cycling but I’ve signed up for a 120 mile ride in May and want to get a trainer since it will be winter at home until just before the ride. After reading a variety of reviews (yours and others), I’ve narrowed down my choices to the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine and the CycleOps Fluid 2. The Kurt Kinetic gets slightly better reviews overall, but it is 9 lbs heavier than the CycleOps. Since I will likely be toting my trainer around, and since I’m a newby, I’m leaning towards the CycleOps but wanted to know if there are other considerations that I am neglecting.

    Your 2 cents would be greatly appreciated.

  8. Roger Hartley says:

    I am considering a Fluid2.
    Excuse this basic, very stupid question:
    How is the ‘wide resistance level’ set?
    Is it simply by rotating an adjustment wheel on the unit, and it has no detents or set locations?

    • Ron Fritzke says:

      Hi Roger,

      There are no settings…the wide resistance level is just the result of the natural variability within the fluid chamber.


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