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First turbo trainer (needs to be quiet)

livblivb Posts: 59
edited November 2012 in Road buying advice
I'm looking to get my first turbo, but I live in an old converted house style flat with quite thin walls and floors. What would you recommend? Also can't be too pricey I'm on a bit of a budget! Max £150 ish.

Also if you had a choice of turbo or garmin 500, which would you choose to improve your cycling?



  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    2 things...

    1. Noise - no turbo is going to be THAT quiet and you need a big fan going full on to keep you cool when you use it anyway, otherwise your performance will likely be severely held back. On top of that, most people find music playing loud enough to be heard over the turbo and fan, is a big help in getting through quality turbo sessions...your neighbours may not appreciate you riding a turbo in a worthwhile way in your flat :twisted:

    2. A Garmin will make zero difference to your cycling - riding will make a difference to your cycling. 50-75+ hrs on a turbo over the winter, doing quality work, when you otherwise wouldnt be riding, will have a big impact on your riding while a shiny new Garmin sat on your handlebars while the bike leans against the wall, will make no difference whatsoever ;)
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • livblivb Posts: 59
    Hmm so how can I stay fit through the winter then? If I used earphones for music and a window to keep me cool... then what can I look at in terms of turbos. Or will that still not work? I really need to improve my cycling and the dark winter nights are only leaving me with a few hours on the road.

    For example I've seen this ... l-trainer/
    is it any good, are there any others similar?
    And how noisy would it be compared to a loud washing machine?
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    Believe the elite is quiet. If you get a turbo tyre and a mat/old carpet to put it all on it gets quieter still. You will need a big fan, I paid £30 from amazon. I tend to stick ear phones on for music,otherwise you do need it cranked up to hear anything.

    I've a Tacx satori, it's not the quietest but is fine with a turbo tyre for me to use late night without waking the kids.
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    I've just bought an Elite Crono Fluid ElastoGel Turbo Trainer from Wiggle for £158. I've set it up upstairs in spare room. Seemed reasonably quite but my wife was not too happy that the vibration was shaking the windows downstairs in the kitchen - that was despite having a mat (Cycle Ops £45) and trainer-specific tyre fitted. Yesterday I bought a roll of 3mm foam-type underlay from Homebase. I've cut 3 sheets of that to size of the mat and with that under the mat it has cut out most of the vibration downstairs. Although the trainer was only £158, with the mat, front riser block, trainer tyre and underlay meant my total spend was the best part of £270.

    The turbo is a bit boring though, so I found a criterium race video on You-tube to watch as I was on it. The video was shot on a head-cam so as if you were in the race, sort-of, so I'll be looking for videos like that to keep me motivated.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    Rollers instead?
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • I'm on the top floor of a two storey 1920's house with thin wooden floors covered in carpet. I just picked up my first turbo (Elite Qobo) and on first use I had it sitting on a thick rug - noisy and vibrating the whole room! God knows what it must have sounded like downstairs! I then went out and bought some 5cm thick polystyrene and a sheet of MDF - better but you could still feel the vibration. I then went out and bought a paving slab and that did the trick! I'm going to add a rubber mat into the mix too. Rug + slab + rubber mat. It's worth a try!
  • livblivb Posts: 59
    Thanks for the suggestions, not sure how much space I have for a slab etc. only have a small room.

    Are rollers good? Surely you can't change resistance and mimic hills? Sorry I don't know very much
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    my rollers are considerably quieter than my turbo BUT I'm not sure its the noise of the turbo/rollers that will be your problem. As said above, its the vibrations and resonating through floors and walls that will likely cause your neighbours the biggest problem. I'm not convinced rollers would really stop this.

    As far as resistance, you simply use your gears to add resistance. The smaller diameter the actual rollers then the higher the resistance they give, and even a small/medium size roller like my Cycleops alu rollers, will have you needing to produce 350+w in 50/11 before you start to feel like you're running out of resistance. The other thing is that if you reduce tyre pressure just slightly you add considerable additional resistance in the same gearing - 5psi makes a very noticeable difference. Some units also offer variable resistance but I'm not convinced they are that useful.

    Maybe you need to speak with your neighbours and see if you can find opportunities when they arent in, or agree some specific times when they wouldnt mind you making some noise for 1 hour? To be of any benefit, an hour on the turbo needs to be a pretty hard effort, or you're just wasting your time. Simply quietly spinning will not maintain your fitness...
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    livb wrote:
    Thanks for the suggestions, not sure how much space I have for a slab etc. only have a small room.

    Are rollers good? Surely you can't change resistance and mimic hills? Sorry I don't know very much
    After reading this thread, I'd steer clear of rollers:
  • ... 31436.html

    i bought the above when it was £100. they had 6/7 trainers on the shop floor ranging from £80-£300 tried them all, and the above is quiet by a HUGE margin. The others sounded like jet engines, this one is like the noise of a high powered fan.

    I ride with a fan on a stool in front of me, the turbo is just a bit more noisy than the fan
    Road - Cannondale CAAD 8 - 7.8kg
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  • I got a Cycleops Mag (Basic) for £150 from Evans. I think its regarded as being on the low end of medium for noise but it's quite bad for me. I'm on wooden floors with a couple of gym mats so was never gonna be quiet but was surprised at the noise AND vibration. The fan is a must too, i don't think a window would be enough. And headphones. Still noisy with those in. Luckily i'm moving to my garage at the new house soon otherwise i would buy a big bit of carpet and a rug as well as use my gym mats. I think my next trainer will be a fluid one though as they generally have more resistance too.
    My advice is save up more money, after a possible trial of some different trainers from a good local bike shop if possible.
    Specialized Roubaix Sport Comp 2013
    with....gears of war.
  • The Tacx Sirius is easily the quitest Turbo I've ever had (and I've had a lot over the years including fluid ones). It was easily useable in the room next to a 1/2 year old when they'd just gone to sleep and it's the only Turbo my wife let stay in the house as it was quiet enough not to bother her either. I'm relegated to the garage now, wish I'd never sold it :(

    Way under your budget here... ... =GBP&cn=gb plenty of cash left for a decent fan (the open window won't cut it, believe me) and maybe a mat to dampen the vibration even more and protect your floor.
  • lofty102lofty102 Posts: 138
    @ foggymike, was this a good turbo trainer? Any good points other than noise? Why did you get rid of it?
    2010 Mondraker Factor RR
    2014 canyon ultimate cf 9.0 sl
    2016 Planet x pro carbon
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  • Ive got an Elite Crono gel in the shed, I stick my ipod in and open the door to the shed............happy as! :D
  • Would your neighbors really be bothered by a bit of noise for an hour every couple of days, so long as its at a reasonable time?
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