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  1. #1
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    My Cycling Torture Dungeon?

    Hi everybody. Longtime reader, first time poster looking for some advice on winter training.

    I live in Indianapolis and I want to keep up with the group and maybe race a little come spring. I have been riding for about a year and a half. This summer I participated in a crit and weekly group rides; I found these experiences to be the bomb. I didn't do any special training, I just rode about 100-200 miles per week, having fun, working on bike fit, technique, and the like. At this point, I feel comfortable enough on the bike to start working on some more structured training; I spin at a pretty good cadence and have decent endurance but I lack muscular strength, speed-endurance, and my power output at higher intensities is not so good. At 5'6" and 130 lbs, I am a little guy who is trying to keep up with mostly bigger and stronger riders who can mash big gears on the flats (and it's all flats unless you go about 40 miles south). Ultimately, I would like to do some road races with some elevation and attack on a climb because it looks awesome when Thibaut Pinot and Nairo Quintana do it on TV, and, as a small man, the potential schadenfreude of making bigger riders suffer is irresistible.

    OK, so these are somewhat ambitious goals and I have been basically sedentary for the past six weeks, subsisting on mostly beer and cake--I need to get going on some serious winter training to pave the way for some worthwhile spring training. My plan is to do some interval training on my indoor trainer and complement that with some weight training. Good, but the problem is in setting up an indoor trainer space.

    I live in an old house ('30s? '40s?) with my girlfriend and three cats. I actually have the perfect space to ride indoors: an upstairs sunroom; it has a very tranquil atmosphere, just play some Donald Byrd or Herbie Hancock on the stereo, pedal and watch the squirrels play, count cars going down the avenue, spy on the neighbors--it is more motivating than just watching TV. The only problem is with the entire house is rattled by INSANE low frequency vibrations generated by the trainer. I have tried moving the trainer to a position closer to a wall, away from the center of the room; also I have sandwiched several rugs between two heavy pieces of particle board to try to dampen the vibrations--this has limited the vibrations somewhat in very easy gears but in anything higher than 39-16 it gets crazy again. Fortunately, I don't have neighbors to worry about but the vibrations are so intense that I fear that 5-8 hours a week of them could destroy electronics, plumbing, household appliances, etc. They also terrify the cats, Mr. Kitty hid under the neighbors' deck for hours.

    Do these vibrations have the capacity to damage anything? I'd rather be safe than sorry, so I am thinking about moving my set up down to the basement--the only problem there is that it is the unfinished basement of a 60 year old house. It is fairly dry, but still kind of dank. Here are some pictures:
    IMG_0328.jpgIMG_6912.jpgIMG_7108.jpg
    It is mostly just dusty, I could borrow a shop vac and clean out most of the cobwebs easily enough, but I worry about molds and other nasty stuff (radon gas?) given that I will be down there sucking air for several hours each week. On the other hand, my neighbor has a nice set of free weights in our shared garage that he said I can borrow, so there would be plenty of space in the basement for that stuff. Down here, I think I would have to alter my soundtrack a little, maybe Entombed or Ministry or something...

    Does anyone have any experience trying to work with spaces like either of these? Of course I can ride outside, run, put the trainer on the porch, etc. but I think I will have the best results if I can get going on an indoor training program.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    Have you checked the condition of the trainer? Maybe it's out of adjustment, or worn out entirely. Give us some details on what you have.
    Working to make bicycling better in Springfield, MA: https://www.facebook.com/BikeandWalkSpringfield

  3. #3
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    That is a bit odd. I ride my rollers in my shop, which is sort of a cross between a garage and a machine shop. Wood floor, a little heat. I try to keep it above 50. 55 works the best. I have a couple of 24" box fans for additional cooling. My rollers are ancient, but very quiet. I use a local "classic rock" station, turned up loud. It's much more endurable when my wife rides her trainer with me. Misery loves company. Usually about a hour at a time is enough for me. I often ride them twice a day with different objectives. Every once in a while I can get some buddies to come over for trainer races.

  4. #4
    Senior Member robabeatle's Avatar
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    ^Yup, I have very old Kreitler rollers and my gf can be sleeping in the next room while I ride them.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies everyone,

    Re: Spld
    I have a Graber mag trainer. I got it second-hand, but it seems have been used very little. I like it a lot, I find it has a fairly road-like feel. What can I look for to see if it is out of adjustment? I have done some online researching about the problem with vibrations and it seems to be more the case that it's a problem with the floor/building and not directly with the trainer; the trainer's resonance is just turning the house into a giant amplifier. Based on some threads that I've looked at on this site and others, it seems that there is probably no feasible solution to muffling the vibrations in that room.

    So, I'm probably forced to set up shop in the basement, which is fine because there is more space down there, I'm just a little worried about molds, mildews, radon, etc. The information I'm trying to solicit is about anyone's experiences creating a workout area in a space that maybe doesn't have the best air quality and ventilation, at least initially.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by slavoj_bieber View Post
    So, I'm probably forced to set up shop in the basement, which is fine because there is more space down there, I'm just a little worried about molds, mildews, radon, etc. The information I'm trying to solicit is about anyone's experiences creating a workout area in a space that maybe doesn't have the best air quality and ventilation, at least initially.
    Get a high volume air filter (HEPA, UV?) for the room and a box fan to blow some fresh air in/bad air out.

    Type less, ride more.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, I'd think anotherbrian is on track, and I'd add to treat mold spots with bleach solution. Give the space a day or two with the fans and filter to fully exchange air and remove any particulates that might get kicked up from using a cooling fan on the trainer.

    In general, I wouldn't think there's much risk of anything bad happening, though. Just clean it as best you can-- realizing you can't sanitize the space-- and air it out.

    Oh, and get yourself an iPad, a music stand, and Sufferfest subscription so you have something to watch and distract yourself from the glum surroundings!
    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

  8. #8
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    I can picture what's happening, have you tried some of those rubber yoga mats underneath? Or rubber door mats from the hardware store? That should help deaden the vibes. Otherwise I would try a fluid trainer, either the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine or Cycleops Fluid II. I would be hesitant to go to that basement especially since you enjoy the upstairs sunroom so much. My guess is a fluid trainer would send out less vibration but in the end I'd be surprised if the vibes did any significant damage but who really knows.

    Another idea is to go to an audio store and buy some "dynamat". It helps deaden sound in cars with big stereos.
    2015 CAAD 10
    2013 CAAD 10

  9. #9
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    Have you tried adding some cross bracing to the joists under the sunroom? Maybe do that with 2x6 blocks between joists, and couple them to the subfloor with construction adhesive.
    Working to make bicycling better in Springfield, MA: https://www.facebook.com/BikeandWalkSpringfield

  10. #10
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    Try a sheet of rigid foam insulation with a sheet of plywood on top.


    Mark

  11. #11
    Not safe for work cyclokitty's Avatar
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    I use my trainer in the dining room no one eats in and I've never noticed any vibrations. Our house is 85 years old and located very closet to the subway so it has experienced rattling over the years. The cat sleeps nearby (sometimes too close to the trainer) and isn't worried about the noise the trainer makes. Under the trainer is a fairly thick exercise pad, that resembles a yoga mat, I bought for $9. It works a treat!

    I considered using the basement but the mix of stale air, cat's litter box, and all that wood panelling convinced me to set up in the dining no one eats in.


  12. #12
    Senior Member clydeosaur's Avatar
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    Couple things before you head to the basement:
    1. Have the floor / ceiling and joists looked at to see if something is wrong. I would like to think not, but it sounds a little fishy. Are any parts creaky or springy? Any history of termites? )
    2. Go to Homedeopt, Lowes, Dick's, Harbor Freight, etc... and pick up a pack of anti-fatigue mats. They come in packs of 4 and in varying thicknesses (1/4 to 1/2inches that I have seen.) and put them under the trainer. I'd use these regardless of the noise.
    3. Try out / borrow a fluid trainer like BamaBulldawg mentioned. THey are much smoother and quieter.

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