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Any such thing as a quiet trainer w/ resistance?

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Any such thing as a quiet trainer w/ resistance?

Old 12-20-11, 07:53 AM
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sprince
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Any such thing as a quiet trainer w/ resistance?

Just got a magnetic trainer. Can't believe how loud this thing is, or as my wife puts it "sounds like a motorcycle doing laps in the house". At the highest resistance setting, in the biggest gear, at 120 rpm it's not even enough to warm up the leg muscles. But does however do a very nice job of filling up the room with the smell of burning rubber. I also have doubts about the value of doing very high rpm's on a fixed platform since the bike would normal rock quite a bit from side to side. I'm not looking for something to train the legs, just a gentle spin to get the heart rate up for 30-45 minutes a day (my absolute boredom limit). Also could care less about an authentic "road feel". At 210 lbs., I'm a bit heavier and stronger than the typical road cyclist, so maybe I was expecting too much? Any suggestions?
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Old 12-20-11, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by sprince View Post
Just got a magnetic trainer. Can't believe how loud this thing is, or as my wife puts it "sounds like a motorcycle doing laps in the house". At the highest resistance setting, in the biggest gear, at 120 rpm it's not even enough to warm up the leg muscles. But does however do a very nice job of filling up the room with the smell of burning rubber.
It sounds like your wheel is slipping. Try tightening the resistance unit roller. There shouldn't be any rubber smell.

I also have doubts about the value of doing very high rpm's on a fixed platform since the bike would normal rock quite a bit from side to side.
If you're pedaling smoothly there shouldn't be any rocking.
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Old 12-20-11, 03:54 PM
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sprince
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
It sounds like your wheel is slipping. Try tightening the resistance unit roller. There shouldn't be any rubber smell.

If you're pedaling smoothly there shouldn't be any rocking.
Wheel may be a little loose. Tightening just makes it louder though

Should probably just clarify my questions. I have no previous experience with trainers and don't what is typical across different models, although I have used rollers a few times.

Is there a trainer that would allow me to pedal (imperfectly, or not) silently?

Are there trainers that provide a decent amount of resistance (maybe in the range of 300-400 watts)?

Are there any that do both?
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Old 12-20-11, 07:20 PM
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alan wrench
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https://www.kurtkinetic.com/road-machine-p-198-l-en.html

5 - 3000 watts. Not quiet by most standards but better than many other trainers. A trainer specific tire may help with the noise but I've never tried one.
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Old 12-20-11, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sprince View Post
Wheel may be a little loose. Tightening just makes it louder though

Should probably just clarify my questions. I have no previous experience with trainers and don't what is typical across different models, although I have used rollers a few times.

Is there a trainer that would allow me to pedal (imperfectly, or not) silently?

Are there trainers that provide a decent amount of resistance (maybe in the range of 300-400 watts)?

Are there any that do both?
I'm not familiar with magnetic trainers. I have a Kurt Kinetic fluid trainer and don't find it too loud (it's not silent though). I usually have music turned up much louder than the trainer.

The resistance increases with speed. The faster you go the more power it takes. 20mph = 262W, 25mph = 439W etc.
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Old 12-20-11, 08:28 PM
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My fluid trainer is reasonably quiet.

But I tried a magnetic trainer when I was in the process of deciding what to get, and didn't like it for many reasons ... one of which was the noise.
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Old 12-20-11, 08:30 PM
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Which magnetic trainer do you have? The decent ones I have ridden have had reasonable resistance, though not as much as a KK. No way you could just plow ahead at 120 rpm in the 53/11.

I found good magnetic pretty quiet. Fluid is louder, but more realistic. The fan you run will still be louder than the trainer.

Something is definitely wrong if you're smelling rubber.
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Old 12-21-11, 07:27 AM
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It's an inexpensive "RAD" trainer @ $89 set up with a sacrificial hybrid bike. The top gear combo is probably 50/12. At 120rpm that's a ridiculous 40mph at the tire, and I expect the tire/roller contact is responsible for the bulk of the noise. It's not that bad at lower gear combinations and reasonable rpm's, so it really goes back to the lack of resistance. I'd estimate the resistance tops out around 150 watts and the noise at more than 80dB. The tire has only a slight tread pattern on the sides, but maybe it doesn't take much to create a lot of noise. Will try swapping out with an ultra sport or trainer specific tire and adjusting the brakes to provide some extra drag.

Would be nice if manufacturers quantified the noise level. Subjective terms like "quiet" are not much help in comparisons between models. Kinetic does provide resistance figures (although I'm skeptical of the 3000 watts claim), and none seem to provide specs on the noise level.
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Old 12-21-11, 07:48 AM
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Kinetic Road Machine Fluid Trainer @ https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...reviewsratings

manufacturer claim: quiet resistance from 5-3000 watts

reviewer writes: The trainer works well, but doesn't have as much resistance as I'd like. I can run my max gear for quite a time before feeling the burn. I'l like a larger range.
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Old 12-21-11, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sprince View Post
Kinetic Road Machine Fluid Trainer @ https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...reviewsratings

manufacturer claim: quiet resistance from 5-3000 watts

reviewer writes: The trainer works well, but doesn't have as much resistance as I'd like. I can run my max gear for quite a time before feeling the burn. I'l like a larger range.
Either the reviewer has a defective resistance unit, or he has it set up incorrectly. He also doesn't say how fast he's turning that big gear, or what that gear is. A 50/12 at 60 rpm is only about 19.5 mph, for example. Personally, I don't find this review particularly helpful, and the user doesn't sound knowledgeable to begin with. A functioning, properly set-up Road Machine will challenge anyone. It's designed to increase resistance with something close to what you get while riding outdoors, and it does a good job of that. Whereas cheap magnetic trainers offer linear resistance, the fluid in the KK gives exponential.

The published speed vs. resistance curve is within a few percentage points of the true wattage up to about 500W; the "real' curve and the published one then gradually diverge, but the unit still provides progressive resistance (on mine as measured against a new Powertap). I don't know if it'll really do 3000W, and no one can do that anyway. For the meat of a cyclist's power band, they work quite well. I don't sprint on mine, but it's good for anything seated. A smooth tire is a must on any trainer.

The Road Machine has generally great reviews, in the aggregate, both here and elsewhere (example). I've also heard nothing but good things about their customer service. I have read of people getting a bad resistance unit, but those stories also ended with KK sending out a new one with no hassle.

The CycleOps fluid models are pretty good, too. My LBS had one and I tried it out. It was pretty decent, but I found a lower price on the Road Machine and went with it based on its reputation. I'm not at all disappointed that I did.

As for how quiet the trainer is: the older-style fan bikes can be really, really loud, like running a vacuum. Qualitatively, the KK is much, much quieter than that. Quiet enough to run in an apartment. They make some noise, but most of the total noise you'll make is from the tire on the roller (I've found the orange Continental trainer tire to be quietest, by far. also a PITA to mount), and the fan I run to keep cool is louder than the trainer itself. Tire squeaking is the most annoying to me, since it's high-pitched. Again, that's minimized by a dedicated, smooth tire.

If the tire is underinflated or not pressed firmly enough against the roller, it makes more noise.

Last edited by tadawdy; 12-21-11 at 01:17 PM.
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