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  1. #1
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    What are your brilliant solutions for using an indoor trainer on carpet?

    I write this from my couch still staring at the small black spot I put in my carpet last winter when I setup an indoor trainer for the first time. My solution then was to place to 2x4 pieces of wood under the trainer to elevate it. Which made getting on and off my now-several-inches-higher bike a little weird but it worked! (wood under front tire to level it as well).

    I DO have a nice cold unfinished basement where I could train, but there's no TV down there and I don't have a "spare TV". I really like training in front of the TV. Whether watching TV, or race footage, or sufferfest videos, etc.

    So what brilliant solutions have you figured out? I've considered a sheet of plywood. I know that the training manufacturers make 'training mats' but won't that sag just as much and my tire will rub THAT!? I AM replacing my trainer with a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine (should be in next week), so it MIGHT not be an issue, but, I suspect it still will be.

    Naturally, I need a solution that, itself, won't damage my carpet. Which is a thin pyle "berber" carpet.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? You guys are great for "why didn't I think of that?" solutions so before I run out and get a sheet of plywood, I thought I'd ask!

  2. #2
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    I don't think the new trainer will fix the issue. I have a kk rock and roll and it did it too. I just used spare scrap wood to raise it up like you did. If it's going to stay there for a while the plywood could look good if you try. Otherwise I would stick with scrap wood and a towel for the drips. Also you can buy anti fatigue flooring at home Depot that you can have cut to the right length. I would still probably do the wood with that under it though.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    I don't know what issue you're referring to, but I used these under my trainer.

    CAP Barbell Antimicrobial Foam Tile Puzzle Mat, 12 Pieces - Walmart.com
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  4. #4
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    cheap disposable low pile area rug over the good permanent carpet. You can get a 4 x 6 for about $25 at Home Depot or Lowe's.

    My trainer is on tile, but I suspect that type of rug would protect the carpet from damage. I go through one of those about every 6-8 months - it's where I make my dog lay down to chew his rawhide bones and other messy treats. When it gets ratty looking, adios.

  5. #5
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Get a cheap doormat and put that under the trainer.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    I don't know what issue you're referring to, but I used these under my trainer.

    CAP Barbell Antimicrobial Foam Tile Puzzle Mat, 12 Pieces - Walmart.com
    Hey, that's a great idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by lupy View Post
    I don't think the new trainer will fix the issue. I have a kk rock and roll and it did it too. I just used spare scrap wood to raise it up like you did. If it's going to stay there for a while the plywood could look good if you try. Otherwise I would stick with scrap wood and a towel for the drips. Also you can buy anti fatigue flooring at home Depot that you can have cut to the right length. I would still probably do the wood with that under it though.
    Yeah that was my fear. To be clear, I'm not getting the new trainer in order to fix the issue. I want to replace my cheap magnetic trainer with something that's a bit better.

    Quote Originally Posted by TriDanny47 View Post
    cheap disposable low pile area rug over the good permanent carpet. You can get a 4 x 6 for about $25 at Home Depot or Lowe's.

    My trainer is on tile, but I suspect that type of rug would protect the carpet from damage. I go through one of those about every 6-8 months - it's where I make my dog lay down to chew his rawhide bones and other messy treats. When it gets ratty looking, adios.
    Would that work? I don't want the tire to rub on carpet. When it happened last year, I kept hearing a weird sound and I looked down and I was grinding my tire on the carpet. Not just talking about dirt or grime falling off onto the carpet. And even if it was 'throwaway' carpet (I have some in the basement anyway), it'd still chew up my tire and screw things up wouldn't it?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    Get a cheap doormat and put that under the trainer.

    Now that's an idea! A nice rubber one or something that's 'solid' enough to prevent the trainer from sagging into it. There's so little clearance between the tire and the ground. I might do that!

    What I REALLY need is for someone to leave a big screen TV by the curb sometime so I can just train in the basement. Ha! (I actually have been eyeballing rear-projection TV's for the basement. Big, usually pretty cheap on CL; and I can set my bike up front and center in front of the TV! But my fear is that something will break and then they are IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of.)

  8. #8
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    I don't have carpet in my house but I've just used a piece of 3/4" plywood in the past. I'd be a little careful with a rubber doormat as it might leave a mark on the carpet if left in place for an extended period as they are often oil based.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
    I don't have carpet in my house but I've just used a piece of 3/4" plywood in the past. I'd be a little careful with a rubber doormat as it might leave a mark on the carpet if left in place for an extended period as they are often oil based.
    Good point! It's usually not setup for more than a couple of days at a time. I train daily but, it IS the living room after all Sometimes I have to put the bike back in the garage and the trainer back in the closet

  10. #10
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    I don't understand the problem; the black spot on the carpet is from the berber sagging and the tire rubbing it?

    Obviously I'm missing something here...
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    I don't understand the problem; the black spot on the carpet is from the berber sagging and the tire rubbing it?

    Obviously I'm missing something here...
    Yep. There is not much clearance between the tire and the ground. So the legs of the trainer sink into the carpet when you put weight on it, and the tire rubs the carpet at-speed, essentially 'burning' the carpet. Think of the effect of a burnout on pavement; but on carpet.

  12. #12
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    Possibly getting a new trainer may actually fix your problem - as with my KK and also new Kickr Snap, the tire is at least 3 inches off the ground - so no chance of sinking in and rubbing. Does your tire sit that close to the ground if you put your trainer on a hard surface?
    ...

  13. #13
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    Yeah, I'm surprised that such a low pile carpet as berber should present that problem; is it crazy-heavily padded underneath? I guess it's possible, but I'm wondering if you double-checked that it's not chain gunk getting thrown, or maybe rubber flung off the tire? But, if it is maybe just a square of HDPE, polycarbonate, or nylon sheet from Home Depot or Grainger, placed just under the trainer, would be sufficient. It would be easier to handle than plywood, won't shed stuff, is lighter, and easy to wipe clean.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    I removed the desk from my home office and made it a man cave. I had to buy the TV... which has a VGA connection. I use the TV to watch YouTube cycling videos via my old windows 7 PC.

    smallTVbike.jpg

    No carpet problems with my Cycleops (garage sale find) trainer.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    I removed the desk from my home office and made it a man cave. I had to buy the TV... which has a VGA connection. I use the TV to watch YouTube cycling videos via my old windows 7 PC.

    smallTVbike.jpg

    No carpet problems with my Cycleops (garage sale find) trainer.
    I'm thinking of moving into the basement as well. Been thinking about a cheap knockoff eBay projector or getting a rear projection TV off of craigslist, to watch YouTube videos, use Trainerroad, sufferfest videos, etc. Or even just watch TV. I like to have something going on. Of course I could get a smaller TV, but with these $150 720p native projectors (fine enough with low expectations and a dimly lit basement) and all kinds of sub-$100 big screen rear projection TV's on Craigslist, why not go big and cheap!

    So, my Road Machine came in today and it sits MUCH higher than my old magnetic trainer. No chance of tire rubbing. So, moot anyway!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RomansFiveEight View Post
    I'm thinking of moving into the basement as well. Been thinking about a cheap knockoff eBay projector or getting a rear projection TV off of craigslist, to watch YouTube videos, use Trainerroad, sufferfest videos, etc. Or even just watch TV.......
    SMtheaterPANO.jpg

    Just outside my man cave (AKA theater office) I hung a DLP projector (years ago). It's HD (although I had to convert the HDMI to VGA) and the old projectors do sell cheap now-a-days. I have considered dragging the furniture around and setting up a trainer in the theater. But I thought the 42" LED screen would be good enough... and a big step-up from the 7" tablet I used last year. Either way... I find it hard to enjoy trainer miles.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    SMtheaterPANO.jpg

    Just outside my man cave (AKA theater office) I hung a DLP projector (years ago). It's HD (although I had to convert the HDMI to VGA) and the old projectors do sell cheap now-a-days. I have considered dragging the furniture around and setting up a trainer in the theater. But I thought the 42" LED screen would be good enough... and a big step-up from the 7" tablet I used last year. Either way... I find it hard to enjoy trainer miles.
    What a nice setup!

    I definitely not thinking home theater. Actually just the opposite. Simple, chilly (unfinished basement!), and just a big image to stare at.

    I'm not fond of trainer miles either. But being out of shape is even worse!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RomansFiveEight View Post
    ... I'm not fond of trainer miles either. But being out of shape is even worse!
    +1

  19. #19
    Senior Member tg16's Avatar
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    Small electric heater and a small TV? I use that in the garage.
    Once I got the straight jacket off, my imaginary friends and I escaped.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tg16 View Post
    Small electric heater and a small TV? I use that in the garage.
    Heater? Pedal faster! Hehehe. (Says the wimp who won't ride outside when it's cold)

    My motivation for a projector or an old rear projection is actually cost, surprisingly enough. I need something with HDMI so it'll support a Steam Link (so I can run TrainerRoad), my laptop, and possibly a DirecTV box. I only own two televisions and they are each mounted on a wall. So I could spend $150 on a small flat panel, $100 on a used small flat panel on Craigslist; OR $50 on a used 60"+ rear projection TV (if not FREE, some people just want them hauled off), or even $200 on a cheap 720p projector to give me a big screen. Might as well use my basement, it's unfinished and just used for storage now. My house is ranch-style, single level. So it's got a very big 'footprint'. Which means the basement is very very big, and very very empty.

    Not sure which route I'll go. I'd like the projector route, but borrowing my dads truck and hauling away someones working but bulky rear-projection TV is a tantalizing option.

  21. #21
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    My best answer. This is only half in jest. A BUNCH of airflow really can keep dripping sweat to a minimum. In my experience that is the biggest issue with trainers on carpet.

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  22. #22
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    I train based on heartrate zones so I really try to keep airflow up to prevent that cardiac drift.

    I need one of those fans!

    If I ever find out that I'm Bill Gates' long-lost adopted son and heir to his fortune, I think I'll just build myself a heated backyard olympic velodrome. This indoor training stuff sucks, ha!

  23. #23
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    42" tv from Sams/BestBuy/Costco etc - arent they down around 250-300 bucks now?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
    42" tv from Sams/BestBuy/Costco etc - arent they down around 250-300 bucks now?
    Yeah, and back to my point. Why spend $300 on a 42" flat panel when I can get a 65" rear projection TV for $50 used, or project a 120" image from a projector for that same $300 (or less?)

    The QUALITY of the flat panel TV is better than either the rear projection or the front projection system (until you get into very expensive, very high end projectors). But I want a big image. I work out in front of a 70" TV right now. I like having that big image, it's more immersive and, more importantly, more distracting (as in distracting from hurting legs and sweat). So, for me, my money is better spent on a bigger screen for less money than a smaller screen with better image quality.

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