By Robbie Ferri, Cyclist, Personal Trainer, and Group Exercise Instructor.
Indoor cycling is a huge amount of fun and has a ton of benefits for your health and
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One thing people tend not to take into account is how noisy a turbo trainer setup can be. There are many moving parts and friction that gets created when riding indoors, and it can be very annoying, not just for you but for your neighbors too. In this article, we’re going to tell you how to make your turbo trainer quieter and make your neighbors like you again.
What makes the noise?
Surprisingly the noise of a turbo trainer doesn’t come from one place alone. It actually comes from a few different sources, and understanding what makes the noise makes it much easier to fix. Here’s where the noise comes from;
The main factor which causes noise in a turbo trainer setup is actually the vibrations that come from it with the
Bikes, although when riding outside, seem very quiet, they tend to get easily lost in the wind noise. They actually can be fairly loud when stationary inside, and this can come as quite a surprise. It’s not an issue, as we will share some tips to quieten it right down.
Then you have the turbo trainer. Typically a modern trainer isn’t too loud, but some of the classic trainers you can buy, like a fluid trainer, can be very noisy if not correctly set up. Creating resistance doesn’t come easily, and there’s always going to be an element of friction.
Our Methods to Quieten your Turbo Trainer
So now we know why turbo trainers are noisy. We’re going to tell you all about our methods to make your turbo trainer quieter and to help you make it a more enjoyable experience.
Step One: The Right Turbo Trainer
Typically on the market, you will find two different types of turbo trainers. You have wheel-on turbo trainers, and you have direct drive turbo trainers. Here’s what you can expect from each.
A wheel-on trainer is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a trainer where you put the
A direct drive trainer is a little bit more complicated to set up, but you do get a better experience out of it. For this trainer, you will need to remove your rear wheel and cassette and transfer this over to the turbo. Then you attach your
Which is quieter?
If you are looking for a quieter setup, the direct drive is going to be much better than the wheel on, and it is going to have a lot more function, and structure, and you’re going to have a lot more fun. It’s worth considering upgrading to a direct drive from a wheel on to quieten your trainer.
Step Two: A Clean
Bike is a Happy Bike
Looking after your
We highly recommend that when you go to put your
This is going to make the
Step Three: Make Sure all is Tight
Next, you’re going to want to make sure that everything on the
One of the most common issues I come across on turbo trainer setups is things being loose which can make the
Step Four: Location
Now you need to think about location, and this is vital. As I mentioned before its the vibration that makes the majority of the noise is what the
Step Five: Padding
This step is the most important and best value-for-money way to quieten your turbo trainer setup. As we have mentioned in this article many times, a lot of the noise comes from vibration. If we can absorb the vibration, we can completely quieten the turbo trainer down. A great way of doing this is padding under the
You will see many turbo trainer mats on the market which offer noise dampening, but these are only a few mm thick at most. If you upgrade to a very thick mat, you not only get extra protection, but you also remove a huge amount of noise that the
In this video, I am using industrial gym matting, which is about $10 per square meter, and it’s about 12mm thick. It has a huge impact on making the
Step Six: ERG Mode
If you are lucky enough to have a smart turbo trainer and use Zwift, TrainerRoad, or other applications, you have the capability to use ERG mode. ERG is automatic resistance adjustments. So you can set a workout profile, and the turbo trainer will force you to ride at a certain power no matter what the gear or cadence you are at.
One thing you will notice on your turbo trainer is when you are in higher gears or very low gears. The
Quietest Turbo Trainers on the Market
I have been lucky enough in my career to try many turbo trainers, and here are the ones I have found to be the quietest.
The Saris H3 is an incredible turbo trainer and for the price you get a huge amount of technology. It’s also surprisingly quiet and comes with an excellent warranty.
Tacx Flux S
When it comes to turbo trainers you will hear a lot of Tacx trainers. They are incredible quality, look amazing, and also are very quiet as far as turbo trainers go.
The Tacx Flow is one of the only smart wheel on turbo trainers on the market. You can see how supported the unit is with the large feet and for a wheel on turbo trainer it is surprisingly quiet.
How do I stop my Turbo Trainer from vibrating?
The best thing to do is ensure the bike is all tightly attached to the turbo trainer and get it on a surface that will absorb the vibrations such as a padded mat.
How do I stop my turbo trainer from squeaking?
Typically if a turbo trainer squeaks, it will either be loose somewhere or require some oil. Check the chain to ensure it’s lubricated, and then check everything is tight and secure.
Can I use a turbo trainer upstairs in an apartment?
Of course, but you’re going to want to make sure it is on a thick padded mat. You could always consider a spinning bike if you were worried about noise in the apartment as they are much quieter.
A Final Note
Having a turbo trainer is a lot of fun and makes