Well the temperature outside is a balmy -39 Celsius and my new trainer just arrived via Canada Post. It'll be a long winter up here so I figured a trainer may be a good investment to keep (get) myself in shape this winter. MEC had an Elite Fluid Alu trainer for a reasonable price, and was described as being quiet. Perfect for an early morning ride in the living room before work, and it shouldn't wake the wife either! Well after putting the pieces together and mounting my mountain bike (Devinci Chili Pepper with knobby tires) I figure'd it was time for a test ride. Man those knobby tires vibrate and howl. I'm not sure how quiet this thing will be, but with tires not meant for a trainer, it's one wicked howling wolf. Oh well, off to the local sports store to see if they have a training tire, or a slick for my mountainbike rim. Other than that, I placed a thick book under the front tire to raise it up a bit and went for a test spin. I found the resistance of the fluid quite adequate for my needs. Not the same as a flat road on a windless day, I'd say it provides a bit less resistance but I haven't had a chance to really evaluate it.
So I figure a good heartrate monitor, and maybe a cadence sensor would be a great start towards training for summer, and with the weather up here, I've got plenty of time to test this machine. Now to figure out a good way to log my progress.
I have a fluid trainer from MEC, the stand is no-name but the resistance unit and flywheel are made by Elite. Mine is very quiet with my road bike attached and is almost midway through its second winter of use with both my Wife and I using it daily. You'll have to replace that MB tire for the winter though; i'm pretty sure that MEC carries smooth 26" tires that are reasonably priced. Good luck with it
I went out and purchased a slick. 26" Schwable Kojak is now mounted on the rim. With the bike mounted on the trainer and a couple of morning spins to test it out my wife can now sleep during these early hours. The slick made a huge difference to volume level, and there's minimal vibration now. One drawback is that the resistance level has been reduced compared to the knobby tire, however this isn't much of an issue as I just run a few gears higher to raise it up, and the resistance is quite adequate at my current fitness level. If I'm ever able to spin this puppy at a high cadence in top gear for prolonged periods, I'll give myself a pat on the back and say I've outgrown it.