How To: Re-Oil Your 1UPUSA Trainer

IMG_0388A number of weeks ago, I had mentioned that my beloved 1UPUSA Trainer had started to drag – making turning the pedals increasingly harder.  Again, I had done NO maintenance with this trainer, and I had it for several years.

Without rehashing the entire earlier post about this trainer, I emailed the company and received a response later that same day (Saturday).  That response detailed what to do to lube the inner parts of the trainer.  I’m a home builder by day – but I’m an office jockey (meaning they don’t let me use the tools).  In short, I’m not the most handy person.

The directions sent to me seemed pretty easy – so I set out to re-lube the trainer.  After following these steps, my trainer is back to being super smooth – and super quiet!

I thought it might be interesting to share this story in the event that you find yourself in a similar situation.  My description is an expansion of what was sent to me – and I overly simplified (in case you are also an office-jockey-type of person and need clear, simple instructions):

Step 1:  With the trainer flat on the floor (or other surface), locate the wrench attached to the frame.  It is located to the right of the large round resistance unit (or, as I like to call it, the big spinning cylinder that my bike tire sits on).


Step 2:  Remove that built-in wrench from the frame.  This is done by unscrewing the black nut holding the wrench to the frame.


Step 3:  Use the wrench to remove the bolt from the resistance unit.  This bolt is located on the same side of the trainer as the wrench.  Remember:  lefty, loosey!  When the bolt comes out, there will be a small washer that comes with it.  Set both the bolt and washer nearby.


Step 4:  Move the arm away from the resistance unit – that’s the steel arm of the trainer, not your own arm.  The official term is the “Resistance Unit Bar” (for those purists reading this).  When you move this arm away, the resistance unit easily comes apart.  In fact, the smaller plate simply fell off when I did this.  Note that there is a small spring that will be loose.  Watch that you don’t lose it.


Step 5:  Remove the larger cylinder of the resistance unit.  Note that there are 2 parts to the larger cylinder.  There are two plates that hold in 3 small steel balls.  Watch carefully when you take these apart – those little balls can roll!  If you kept everything close by, you should have all of the parts you see here.


Step 6:  Remove the larger cylinder part of the resistance unit so that the axle (the part that held all the cylinders in place) is the only thing left.  Add household oil to a paper towel (or other cloth) and apply it generously to the axle.


Step 7:  I cleaned the grime from the inner cylinder ring with another paper towel.  I’m assuming that the grime came simply from the friction that has occurred over the past few years.  After cleaning the grime, I applied some oil to the same area.  Quite honestly, I’m not really sure if I needed to, but I don’t think it hurt.


Step 8:  Turn the trainer on its side – with the axle sticking up.  Then, place the larger cylinder of the resistance unit on first (smaller side goes on first – large plate to the top).


Step 9: Clean the large plate of the larger cylinder with a glass cleaner of your choice.  Make sure you get down into the small pockets.



Step 10:  Add oil (or other lubricant) to the 3 steel balls.


Step 11:  Place the 3 steel balls into the INNER pockets of the large plate on the larger cylinder from Step 8 (Whew!  That was a long sentence!).  On a side note, if you wanted to increase resistance on your trainer, this is the time to do it.  The good folks at 1UpUSA already thought ahead and conveniently included 3 extra steel balls inside the bottom part of the frame.  If you remove the black rubber foot from the same side as the wrench, you’ll find a plastic bag with 3 additional steel balls.  You simply put these 3 additional balls into the remaining 3 (outer) pockets (you may note now that I was too wimpy to put in the 3 additional steel balls – I was trying to make the resistance easier for me now……no judging allowed!).


Step 12:  Clean off the smaller of the two plates from the larger resistance unit cylinder.  Again, you can use the glass cleaner of your choice.  Once cleaned, you’ll install that plate onto the larger cylinder – maneuvering the top plate so that the pockets fit neatly around the steel balls.  All will fit flush – as seen in this photo.


Step 13:  Clean the friction pad on the first plate you took off with glass cleaner.  This is a little awkward.  It just doesn’t seem natural to use glass cleaner on a felt-like friction pad; however, that was in the instructions from 1UpUSA – so I did what I was told.


Step 14:  Place that little spring back on the axle and reinstall the plate with friction pad (down, of course).  Make sure that spring stays in the center.


Step 15:  Hold the plates together with one hand.  Slide the resistance unit bar/arm back into place.  Insert the bolt (with washer) through the arm and down through the plates.  This isn’t as easy as it seems – and it took me a few times until I was able to get the bolt threaded into place (but maybe it’s just my office jockey skills at work….or the fact that I was trying to take a photo while doing all of the above).  You should be able to thread the bolt in with your fingers until it holds the plates in place.


Step 16:  Pick up the handy-dandy wrench and tighten the bolt.


Step 17:  Turn trainer back upright.  Replace the wrench.


Step 18:  Ride on!

11 thoughts on “How To: Re-Oil Your 1UPUSA Trainer

  1. Pingback: Weekend Warrior | Video Review: StrenDurance in Hawaii

    • Happy to hear of the success you’ve had! I’ll be doing my review on the newer version of the trainer soon (gotta do something new on my site!). And – I’ll be comparing it to my CycleOps Trainer…. Stay tuned (and thanks for reading and interacting)!

  2. Thank you! I bought a used 1UPUSA that was super noisy and gave uneven resistance through the pedal stroke. I followed your instructions (with some modifications–I must have an older version) for cleaning and lubing and now it’s running beautifully. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks, your photos were helpful. I bought a used 1UP and the jackass seller had taken the flywheel apart and put it back together completely wrong…so wrong that he had wedged the ball bearings into the weight-relief holes of the resistance plate (mine is a different model than yours). The flywheel would barely move. Some necessary washers and a spacer were also missing. He listed it as “good condition”…turd.

    • Glad this post helped – and even more glad you have it working for the next few months!

      I took advantage of temps in the 70’s in Central PA to get outside while I could. Back to the pain cave this week!

    • I’m terribly sorry for the delay in response. Was prepping and running a children’s camp and just getting back up to speed. Thanks for the question. I only had to do this once so far – but – I did put an inquiry in to the folks at 1UpUSA for their reply. They’ve always been super with their response – so – I’ll update this as soon as I know!

  4. Excellent advice. I found your write-up from a Google Search and was able to follow them pretty straight forward. My trainer is slightly different in that it had a ceramic material similar to a brake-pad surface that was in a circle about 1.5 inches wide in a ring rather than the full felt pad you describe. There was some surface rust on the opposite side that I tried to knock down a bit, but it shouldn’t be harmed against the friction plate so I didn’t worry about fully removing it.

    Additionally, I used some Mother’s Aluminum polish to reduce some oxidization on some of the aluminum parts; mostly the surface where the axle meets the tire so that there is a good mating and I reduce skipping/jumping of the tire when getting started and stopping.

    Thanks for your post!

Leave a Reply