Sorry... forgot to add that I touched the tire and it wasn't even slightly warm.
(thus my statement: No obvious cause.)
Perhaps cold tires do emit that burnt rubber odor?
When the tires are cold, they tend to slip a bit more at the tire to roller surface. As the tires heat up, the pressure in the tires tend to go up slightly thus pressing tighter against the roller. Less slippage. My tire tends to squeak when cold....... after it warms up there is more grip and less slippage. If there were o-rings on your trainer........ I thought you said fluid trainer, these would be sealing o-rings. If they went bad, you would have fluid leakage, which I guess you don't. Make sure you have a good tension between the trainer and tire. I've used belt dressing like what you would use on car belts to remove the glaze and add grip before. works great........ otherwise alcohol or even nail polish remover and wipe down the tire surface with it will help the slippage. YOu may not be hearing the slipping due to the noise of the trainer.
sorry for sounding somewhat sarcastic on my previous post. Had just got done replying to disturbing post on another forum so didn't mean to take it out on you.
Hope this helps........I really can't see any other cause for burning rubber smell.
On my trainer, I adjust the resistance unit to where it just touches the tire, then give it another 1 to 1.5 turns to make sure the tire makes good contact. It may wear the tire out faster, but at least it doesn't slip during hard sprints anymore.
I think you are just smelling the dust, etc., that has built up on the resistance unit. The unit gets very hot during work. Where do you think the energy you generate goes? It is converted to heat, and disipated by those fins on the unit. This is sorta like the first time a heater is turned on in the fall.
If we could just get units with generators on them and convert that power to stored electricity we could be on to something.
If your Cyclops is similar to a couple of fluid trainers I've used, thens my take on real-life possibilities:
Slipping contact roller against your tyre? I don't think so. The tension spring that holds the contact roller against your tyre is very stout. I've rarely experienced any slippage even when using it in 40-50 degree temps.
Can you actually adjust how firmly the spring loaded roller pushed against your tyre? Probably not.
The part that holds the fluid (usually has some cooling fins on it) can get very hot. Uciflylo's response is a real possibility. It was stored in a garage without much use over a period of time. There could be any number of foul smelling deposits on the resistance unit that are heating up.
If you're not sure, loan it to a fellow cyclist and have them ride it a few times. See what they think.
CycleOps Fluid2 units don't use spring pressure against the tire, it has an adjustment knob that turns a screw to tighten the unit against the tire. I don't know about older CycleOps Fluid trainers.
On my Fluid2, the side of the roller opposite the resistance unit has fins that blow air over the resistance unit to constantly cool it during the workout. Even after an hour long Spinervals tape, my resistance unit is warm but still touchable, certainly not hot enough to burn dust or other debris.
I agree. The surface doesn't get that hot. The heat exchanger on a furnace reaches anywhere from 130 degrees to 240 degrees. ON a new furnace, the smell you get out of it the first time it is operated is due to the light film of oil on it to keep it from rusting. The smell you get upon startup every year, however is correct, dust and whatever else gets deposited on it from the summer time especially if air conditioning was used. Rubber smell is from tire slippage.