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One of the most annoying things about bike trainers is their noisiness. It disturbs you, your family members, and maybe even your neighbors.
So, how to make a bike trainer quieter? In this article, you find out proven tips that I tested myself or gathered from people from all over the globe.
If you have a tip you would like to share and contribute to the community, make sure to leave it in the comments section below.
#1 TIP: Use Trainer Specific Tires (Wheel-on Trainers Only)
Wheel-on trainers tend to be noisier than high-end direct-drive trainers. The rear wheel of your bike is set against the cylinder, and the friction between these two parts creates noise and vibrations.
If you use your wheel-on trainer with knobby tires (typical for mountain or gravel bikes), the noise is worse than with road bike tires that are smooth.
That’s why manufacturers developed trainer-specific tires that are made of different materials than standard bike tires.
These tires improve the traction so they won’t slip when you start pushing hard and also reduce the noise.
Another benefit of using trainer-specific tires is that you save your expensive road bike tires because wheel-on trainers can eat them pretty quickly.
Or browse the best bike trainer tires…
TIP: You can also use used tires for your trainer instead of trainer-specific tires but you won’t benefit from lower noise.
#2 TIP: Use Trainer Mat
Pedaling on bike trainers creates vibrations. These vibrations cause unpleasant noise that you want to avoid.
A quality trainer mat doesn’t have to be expensive but helps a lot. Furthermore, it protects your floor against scratches and damage done by sweat.
When choosing a trainer mat, make sure it is:
- Big enough
- Made of materials like rubber or polyvinyl chloride (more know as PVC)
- Not too thick (thickness around 0.2 inches [5 mm] should be enough)
- Odor proof
Here is an example of a popular bike trainer mat from Cycling Deal.
- 60×30 inches [152×76cm]
- Made of odorproof PVC
- 0.24in [6mm] thick
- Non-slip bottom
#3 TIP: Lube Your Bike’s Drivetrain
Riding indoors doesn’t mean you don’t have to take care of your bike’s chain. You should lube it properly with a chain lube to increase its longevity, reduce wear and noise.
There are dry lubes, wet lubes, and wax lubricants. According to Zwift, the best lubricants for indoor training are “traditional” wax lubricants because they keep your drivetrain (and floor) clean. However, the dry lubes are fine too.
#4 TIP: Build a Vibration-Absorbing Platform
There are a lot of tutorials on how to build a DIY vibration-absorbing platform. These tutorials are usually created by drummers but their goal is the same as yours – reduce vibrations and noise as much as possible. The only difference is that you put your bike trainer on them instead of a drumset.
If you are not as skillful or you simply don’t have time to build a complex platform, stack a few interlocking rubber tiles on top of each other and put your trainer on them.
The stack will raise your rear wheel, so you may also take advantage of a front-wheel riser that levels your bike into a more comfortable position.
#5 TIP: Get a Quieter Bike Trainer
This is probably the last option if your current bike trainer is too noisy and the tips mentioned above did not help to reduce the noise to an acceptable level.
Bike trainers’ technology progressed a lot in recent years. Direct-drive trainers are as quiet as a level of normal conversation (60dB). In the end, your bike’s drivetrain makes more noise than the trainer itself.
You don’t even have to spend $1000 on it. Take a look at the following table to get a better idea about the prices of bike trainers.
|Up to $300||Low-end wheel-on bike trainers
|$300-500||Smart wheel-on bike trainers
Rollers with resistance
|$500-1500||Direct-drive bike trainers|
|Above $3000||Bike simulators|
If you need some assistance with choosing a bike trainer, I recommend reading my how-to choose a bike trainer guide. If you know what to look for, feel free to browse my roundups of the best bike trainers on the market.
Bike Trainers Noisiness FAQ
To make your bike trainer quieter, I recommend trying the following tips:
- Use Trainer Specific Tires (Wheel-on Trainers Only)
- Use Trainer Mat
- Lube Your Bike’s Drivetrain
- Build a Vibration-Absorbing Platform
- Get a Quieter Bike Trainer
Do you know any other tips that make bike trainers less noisy? Feel free to share them in the comments below.
Preview picture source: Wahoo Fitness