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  1. #1
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    Fluid trainer fluid replacement?

    Sorry to post in the racing forum, but I figured someone here might know. I have an older Cycleops fluid trainer and it has really started to lose its resistance making it much easier to pedal than it used to be. Cyclops customer service said the fluid can break down overtime and can't be replaced. They offered to a warranty discount on something else however I'm not sure I want to upgrade just yet.

    The trainer does have an allen screw plug where it looks like the fluid could be drained. Has anyone ever changed the fluid in a Cyclops trainer?

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbrain View Post
    Cyclops customer service said the fluid can break down overtime and can't be replaced. They offered to a warranty discount on something else however I'm not sure I want to upgrade just yet.
    http://www.cycleops.com/en/warranty-information.html

    So apparently the fluid is a wear item and not covered under warranty? I wonder what is the normal lifespan of this fluid before it breaks down...
    Put a mountain biker in a room with 2 bowling balls and we'll break one and lose the other - GelatiCruiser

  4. #4
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    you could try a synthetic light weight motor oil. That is what Elite recommended when I lost my fluid to a leak.

  5. #5
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    What weight Synthetic? I have some 5w - 30 and 10w - 30 mobile one sitting in the garage. I'm also wondering about the amount to add back in, but I suppose I could just measure what drains out.

    I went ahead and called Cycleops support who is now owned by Saris. They offered a customer loyalty upgrade for just the fluid trainer unit as they don't warranty the fluid breakdown. Before I drop money on that I'm going to give the fluid replacement a shot.

  6. #6
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    I might be inclined to try 0w - 10 if I were purchasing, me I would try using what you already have. Elite indicated that I would probably just see an increase in the resistance which was ok with me. I used 5W - 20 because I had it. I did not have to put that much back in so it really did not seem all that different from what I remembered before it started leaking.

  7. #7
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    Sorry for my poor english. My case, I have a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, and believe it leaked after 2 years. The resistance unit started the become more resistance in my training, so I was stupped and open it, an could see the oil leaking an some scratching inside, so made some photos. I called Kinetic an they said I lost the warranty. A friend of mine is a made some piece that was broken an caused the problem. Now after 3 months of many self tests, I put vaseline oil inside the resistance unit to simulate the oringinal resistance. I can say it is 95% equal original trainer now.

  8. #8
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    I went to check and drain the old fluid in mine and it was almost bone dry. Now wonder it had no resistance. As far as Saris saying the old fluid trainers aren't user serviceable, that's BS. All I did was unscrew the drain plug. Then I added some 10w - 30 mobile 1 oil and it works like it used to. Glad I didn't buy a new trainer.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLSF20 View Post
    Sorry for my poor english. My case, I have a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, and believe it leaked after 2 years. The resistance unit started the become more resistance in my training, so I was stupped and open it, an could see the oil leaking an some scratching inside, so made some photos. I called Kinetic an they said I lost the warranty. A friend of mine is a made some piece that was broken an caused the problem. Now after 3 months of many self tests, I put vaseline oil inside the resistance unit to simulate the oringinal resistance. I can say it is 95% equal original trainer now.
    Did they say why the warranty was denied? They advertise an unconditional lifetime warranty for the original owner. Maybe because you disassembled the resistance unit?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by spsoon View Post
    Did they say why the warranty was denied? They advertise an unconditional lifetime warranty for the original owner. Maybe because you disassembled the resistance unit?
    yes, because I desassembled it. Look.

    Fluid trainer fluid replacement?-img_20130718_091648.jpgFluid trainer fluid replacement?-img_20130718_091802.jpg

  11. #11
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    I might try a lighter weight oil like the 0w - 10 as stated above. It had quite a bit of resistance using the 10w - 30 making it inconsistent when spinning or sprinting.

  12. #12
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    I tried the 0w - 10 for a while and it works but the trainer is jerky on sprints. In other words its not fluid. I'm thinking I either have the fill level wrong or I may try some thinner oil.

    Any suggestions on how much oil to put in?

    Saris won't tell me as they say their old Cyclops units are fluid serviceable which is BS since there is a drain plug.

  13. #13
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    I may be able to help out here, I know this is an older thread, but I have managed to come up with a decent solution.

    My other hobby besides biking is remote control cars and trucks. I have found that the silicone differential fluid used in model vehicles works well as cycleops trainer fluid.

    Amazon.com: Team Associated 5452 Factory Team Silicone Differential Fluid, 3000CST: Toys & Games

    I am not sure how much it takes because mine was not empty, I had merely topped it off. My guess is that it would be about 2 bottles though. It is designed to maintain the same viscosity despite temperature fluctuations. Feels a little heavier than stock, but also less likely to leak.

  14. #14
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    Thanks. Sarris ended up replacing the trainer for me under their awesome warranty. Real good folks over there.

  15. #15
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    I had my Cycleops trainer fall off a shelf over the summer and bent the shaft. I used a trade-in promotion that they had going at the time and replaced the entire fluid mechanism and barrel for under $100. The barrel that the wheel rests on had noticible wear.

  16. #16
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    Cycleops fluid replacement fluid

    Quote Originally Posted by jrabenaldt View Post
    I had my Cycleops trainer fall off a shelf over the summer and bent the shaft. I used a trade-in promotion that they had going at the time and replaced the entire fluid mechanism and barrel for under $100. The barrel that the wheel rests on had noticible wear.

    I am reposting this from the road bike review forum. also my first post here, but wanted to spread the knowledge.
    "
    First post for me, Hi.

    I know this thread is archaic, but it may become more relevant as time passes. I'll get to the point to start, and then explain how I arrived there.

    The Skinny: Cyclops fluid, fluid 2, and probably other fluid trainers use Mobile DTE 746 as the fluid media, and the original cyclops uses about 80cc's, give or take some from my experience. Use a large syringe to fill, and NAPA Hydraulic Jack Oil has very close properties to the MOBILE DTE 746, which can be hard to find.

    The Story: About a week ago, I started to notice the resistance was nearly gone on my fluid 1 at start up. It would gradually come back however after the unit warmed up, and as the days went by, the "warm up" time increased by a few minutes each day. On the fifth day of this non sense (15 minutes with no resistance), I decided to take some action. I noticed an oil slick below the roller, on the plastic frame piece, as well as a silver dollar sized red spot under the trainer... uh oh.

    So i immediately took the trainer out to the garage, emptied the units fluid, and loaded it up with 10w-30 (roughly 60% full). This worked fairly well, but resistance was a bit harder than I had ever remembered, but I was prepared to live with it for a while.

    In the process of emptying the fluid, and cleaning up the floor, I got a bit of the original fluid on my hands.
    So, later that day, I sent Saris a message about needing the MSDS for the fluid in the unit, as I had gotten it all over the place. Lucky me, there is the fluids trade name, Mobile DTE 746, right there on the MSDS (coincidence???). This fluid is a bit hard to find, but it is a light hydraulic oil, with a viscosity ISO 46, anti foaming, anti corrosion, yada, yada, yada. After some research, I was able to determine that 10w-30 is ISO 71 (give or take), so it is roughly twice the viscosity rating of an ISO 46 hydraulic oil, not to mention does not have the other characteristics that would be of benefit in this application. After even more research, I was able to find a small quantity of light hydraulic oil (usually sold in 5 gallon pails) at NAPA. The ISO rating equivalent of about 38, and also had anti foaming, anti corrosion, yada yada yada. I swapped out the 10w-30 for this new fluid, and the result is a resuscitated Cycleops Fluid trainer, just as I remembered it.

    I hope someone finds this useful.
    "

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