How to Make Your Cycling Turbo Trainer Quieter | Step By Step Guide
Noisy Turbo Trainers are just the worse, and it can completely ruin not only your training session but the relationship between you and any of your neighbors.
I am lucky enough currently to live in a place far enough away from anyone that the noise won’t bother anyone, but it wasn’t always like this. I have lived in flats and semi-detached houses, which has made it challenging in the past to have an indoor cycling setup.
I did find some ways to help make the bike much quieter and to keep the people around me happier, and they are not always what you might think would have worked. In this article, I want to run through some cycling turbo trainer accessories and some excellent tips you can use to make your Turbo Trainer much quieter and more fun.
What makes a Turbo Trainer so noisy?
Before we start, it’s essential to speak about what makes a Turbo Trainer so noisy. Most people think it is the movements of all the parts, but you would be wrong. It actually comes down to vibration more than anything. The bike and the turbo trainer are shaking everything around it, which makes a humming noise.
Although there is noise from moving parts, understand that the vibration is the majority. What’s even worse about this is vibration travels through the floors and walls. Imagine a TV on a stand in the middle of a room, at full volume. Your neighbor would be able to hear this. Imagine it on a wall next to your neighbor’s house. This would be much louder due to the fact it can travel through the wall much easier. Do you remember as kids when you had the cans with string as walkie-talkies? It’s this concept.
How to make an indoor cycling turbo trainer quieter?
Step 1: Use a Direct Drive Trainer
Although we are talking about indoor cycling turbo trainer accessories, I have to mention a Turbo Trainer swap. Although you can make a wheel on trainer much quieter. Direct Drive trainers will give you much more silence for the money.
I went from a cheaper fluid trainer to a direct drive, and the noise dampening was incredible. The wheel-on trainers seem to radiate noise much more than a direct-drive turbo trainer, and this is due to the Direct Drive trainer having much more structure compared to the wheel-on, and everything is just held together better.
Tacx Neo 2 Special Edition Smart Trainer
The Taxc Neo 2 is a fantastic example of a quieter turbo trainer. It is much larger than many trainers, but don’t let that put you off. It hugs the ground and has a fantastic ability to dampen the noise through the blades on the sides.
- Rumble Control
- Self Powered
- Quiet as far as Turbos go
- Not the Cheapest way to make less noise
The Taxc Neo is an excellent Direct Drive Turbo trainer, and I can highly recommend it for anyone looking to change their setup for something incredible and quieter.
Step 2: Use Trainer-Specific Tires
This one goes out to anyone who has a wheel on Turbo Trainer. You will not believe the difference using a proper turbo trainer tire will do for you. Using a Trainer Specific Tires will make a difference.
They are excellent at taking the vibration out of the machine, make sure you’re not running too high a pressure not all are designed to be pumped up to the maximum allowance. You will also find the compound is much thicker, and it will take a lot longer to wear it down, unlike a traditional tire.
Elite Coperton Indoor Bike Trainer Tire
Elite are known for some fantastic indoor training accessories such as Turbo Trainers, roller and accessories such as their indoor tires. The Elite Coperton is known as one of the best. It’s a thick compound designed to last and take all the wear, and it reduces the vibration and looks pretty cool. You’re not going to mistake it for your original tire, let’s be honest.
It will help you with your battle on noise and save you a fortune on tires while your bike lives indoor for a while. It’s super easy to change and fits on a standard 700c wheel or some 29ers, and this will only work with Wheel on Trainers.
- Price Cheap upgrade for a Quieter Turbo
- Less wear and won’t ruin your tires
- It’s going to help but not completely change the noise
- Only Works with the wheel on Trainers, magnetic or fluid trainers
The Elite Coperton is an excellent indoor bike trainer tire, and it is going to benefit the bike by saving your tires for the road and also taking some of the noise away from your indoor setup. It’s a solid investment.
Step 3: Think About Matting the floor area
Many cyclists, when they come to try to make their bike trainer quieter make a mistake in not using a Mat. You can have the quietest Turbo Trainer, with the best tire on and a super quiet bike, but the minute you put it on the wrong surface, you have suddenly entered a rock concert.
I recently moved house and acquired some professional matting, and the difference this made was absolutely incredible, it really made such a difference and did reduce noise a lot. This isn’t your standard bike trainer Mat you find in your local bike shop. This particular vibration canceling gym Mat is excellent for not only core work but also serious vibration dampening.
Stalwart Interlocking Foam Mat Floor Tiles
The Stalwart Interlocking rubber tiles was a massive game changer when it came to making my bike trainer quieter. It is super easy to put together and very easy to shape around objects if needed, and I found installing it was a very easy process.
This trainer mat has a fantastic ability to smoothen so much of the noise out and stop it from traveling through the floor. I regretted not having this when I used to train on the second floor of my house and keep everyone awake in the evening. It’s very cheap to buy and very soft but durable and working on both kinds of Turbo trainers.
- Very Cheap to buy
- Seriously Dampens Noise
- Easy to Fit
- It can be used for other Workouts
- Works on all Turbo Trainers
- Not the nicest thing to look at in anything apart from a training cave
The Matting is incredible at making your Turbo trainer quieter and also keeping your floor clean, and it’s probably the highest recommendation from us. If you want to understand how this works try putting a cardboard box under your trainer.
Step 5: Keep Your Drive Chain Smooth
Something heavily overlooked when training indoors is keeping your equipment smooth. We all have to oil our bike chains when we ride outside, and if not, they get super noisy and just don’t work very well.
One vital thing is to use chain oil or lube to keep it running smoothly and as quietly as possible. The smoother the chain can glide through the gears and cassette, the less noise you are going to get going through the floor and coming off the bike.
Muc Off C3 Ceramic
The Muc Off C3 Ceramic Lube is designed for dry and dusty conditions. It keeps the chain clean and smooth running when it is predominantly dry because this it is incredible lube and perfect for indoor training.
This is also a very clean chain lube, and you won’t find it flicking all over your bike or on your turbo trainer. It will stay on the chain, last a long time, and not pick up any mess. You will also be able to use it in summer too.
- Excellent for your bikes health
- Can use outdoor too
- Very cheap
- It won’t make a lot of difference, just a little
There are a few things that can help you make the most out of your turbo trainer cycling sessions. One of them is keeping your bike running smoothly. It will not only be great for your bike, but it will also help keep it quieter.
Step 6: Use a Noise Cancellation Headset
Let’s say you have gone through the list and have done it all but your turbo trainer still makes annoying noise, this solution would totally solve the problem. Often forgotten, a set of noise cancellation can make a huge difference.
Unlike regular indoor cycling headphones, noise cancelation headsets does exactly how they sound. They cancel the noise that is caused by your trainer or any other low-frequency noise around you. So, you can focus and enjoy a quiet indoor cycling ride on your turbo trainer, even if it’s one of the louder budget turbo trainers on the market.
Silensys E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
The Silences E7 is a wireless Bluetooth headphone that cover the ear, has really comfortable ear pads and even more importantly, it has a built-in 750mAh battery that gives you 30 hours of playtime.
Aside from being able to use this noise-cancellation headphone on the bike, you can also use it on your daily walks, during gym workouts, and during long boring flights.
- Affordable price
- Long battery life
- Available in many colours
- It doesn’t have built-in memory storage
- No micro SD port
It has Bluetooth 5.0 technology and works with pretty much any modern IOS and Android device such as tablets, iPad, phones, laptops, and more.
Additional Tips to make your Turbo Trainer Quieter
Don’t Cross Chain
With the Majority of Turbo Trainers, you will have certain control over the resistance. On most wheel on Turbo trainers, this will typically come in the form of a lever that will tighten the contact roller. On a Direct Drive Turbo Trainer, this will normally be controlled via magnetic resistance.
Using these controls, if you can keep the chain as straight as possible, it will help keep the bike much quieter. When you need to change the resistance, for example, if you are doing intervals, you will have to either use the lever or electronically do it. It will keep the bikes parts going slow and not going at a high speed, this will massively improve the noise level.
This may sound like a lot of hassle, but it will drastically change the noise of your bike and keep your neighbors happier. It’s best used in slow endurance sessions.
Ground Floor Training
Having the bike on the Ground Floor of a building will be very beneficial. The ground floor is much more solid and absorbs noise much better than on a higher floor. Naturally, the high floors are built with beams, and sound travels through these very easily.
If you live in a flat, it might be an idea to invest in an exercise bike instead of a Turbo Trainer as this will be much quieter, and the people below you won’t pick up on the noise compared to a turbo trainer.
Using a Steel Bike
If you have a collection of bikes and have a steel bike to spare, putting it on your Turbo Trainer will be much quieter than having a Carbon Fiber frame on your Turbo Trainer. This is because steel can absorb vibrations much better than stiffer materials such as Carbon or even Aluminum.
Use a Vibration Plate
A very common practice that is a bit extreme is using a vibration plate. These can be made with wood panels and things as simple as tennis balls. They are commonly used by people who play the drums.
Vibration plates are not easy to make and take up a lot of space, but they will be a serious noise killer. If you’re handy with a saw and enjoy a bit of DIY, it could be an enjoyable project.
There are many ways to make your Turbo training setup much quieter. It comes down to what kind of building you are in, and what setup you are using, and it will be a different task for each person. For an even quieter indoor cycling ride, I would highly recommend you to consider one of the following magnetic resistance spin bikes. With a stationary bike, your room will stay clean and you wouldn’t need to spend on the turbo trainers, and their accessories or put apart your road bike every day. I hope this article of mine helped you make your indoor cycling turbo trainer quieter but if you have any questions or suggestions, leave a comment below. It’s always nice to hear what other fellow cyclists think and recommend.
This Article is Written By Robbie Ferri, A World Record Breaking Ultra Endurance Cyclist, Spinning Instructor, Personal Trainer, and Writer. Check Out his Youtube channel, he has really cool cycling content there.