There’s nothing quite like heading out into the great outdoors on your bike, however, sometimes this is just not possible in cold, wet weather. This is where turbo trainers come in. They are the perfect way to work out in the comfort of your own home, just attach it to the wheel of your outdoor bike and you’re off.
One of the main downfalls of a turbo trainer is the amount of noise they make. If you have housemates or live in a second floor flat, or just find the wiring noise annoying, you may be asking yourself: “What is the quietest turbo trainer?”
To help you out we’ve rounded up the quietest turbo trainers on the market. Get your neighbours to thank us later!
CycleOps’ The Silencer
As the name suggests, this direct drive magnetic trainer is very quiet. The self-dubbed ‘whisper-quiet’ 59-64 decibel noise level will allow you to train, whilst others are left in peace.
It has 10 adjustment levels with a remote lever, so you can go out for a gentle ride, or hit the mountains hard and get your heart racing. The trainer will fit your road bike and some mountain bikes with wheels up to 29 inches.
The only drawback is that this machine is not compatible with computers or devices. Without Bluetooth capability or ANT+ connectivity, you won’t be able to race with your friends on third-party apps.
JetBlack WhisperDrive Trainer
The magnetic resistance on the JetBlack WhisperDrive means that this direct drive trainer is very quiet. Direct drive means that your bike will connect directly to the trainer, rather than your wheel turning a roller, which will minimise the noise level.
The downside is that the JetBlack WhisperDrive doesn’t come with a cassette so you will have to attach one yourself.
Tacx NEO Smart
The TacX NEO Smart is a direct drive turbo trainer, and one of the best you can buy (read this: http://turbobiketrainer.com/tacx-neo-vs-wahoo-kickr/). It does not contain any physical transmission, such as a roller or a belt, and therefore is one of the quietest turbo trainers out there.
With accuracy within 1%, you will be able to climb hills of 25% incline, without complications of calibrations or maintenance. With a power of 2200 watts, you will be able to up your fitness game and work hard to achieve your cycling goals. The trainer can also simulate different types of road surfaces, so you really feel like the road is beneath your wheels.
This is a smart turbo trainer so it also connects to mobile devices via ANT+ FE-C and Bluetooth, to allow riders to use apps such as Zwift and TrainerRoad.
Fairly new on the market, the Elite Drivo offers an integrated power measurement and claims to be incredibly quiet. The removal of your back wheel allows for a smoother and quieter ride, with greater control for the user.
Furthermore, the Elite Drivo is compatible with a vast range of computers and mobile applications, such as Kinomap and Zwift, or Elite’s own supplied software.
Arguably the best turbo trainer on the market (read more here: http://turbobiketrainer.com/tacx-neo-vs-wahoo-kickr/), the new KICKR is a lot quieter than the original model; however, it still isn’t totally silent.
Wahoo claims that the sound is just 61 decibels, as a result of them redesigning their gearing and belt system, causing less friction and vibration. Moreover, the KICKR has some serious power behind it, reaching a resistance of over 2000 watts. Team Sky use the KICKR as their official turbo trainer when in competitions.
The machine is also very versatile, allowing you to push your limits during your work out, or have fun on online platforms. Skip to 4:30mins in the video below to get a real side-by-side noise comparison of the new KICKR2 and the older model.
Users of this machine claim that it’s 100% quiet, i.e. silent. The Catch? It is brand new and you currently cannot vary resistance. You can order now from their website but there is a delay in shipping. It was a recent crowdfunded project so they had a lot of customers to fulfill.
The model is also one of the smallest and portable trainer out there, capable of generating over 2000 watts of resistance. It also folds away and is very easy to move after your workout. DR Rainmaker stats that “it’ll be a huge disrupter in the mid-range trainer market” – Link to article.
When you use your normal bike on a turbo trainer there will be some noise. You cannot eliminate noise completely but some indoor trainers do a better job than others in the quest for a silent trainer.
If using a traditional roller based trainer then your tyre spinning on the roller makes a noise (this can be reduced by using a proper training tyre), your chain, cogs, and gears all make noise, and of course the trainer itself makes noise because of the moving parts and resistance units.
However, direct-drive turbo trainers or the new non-contact STAC Zero trainer do a very good job of eliminating all non-bike noises. From the KICK2 video you saw how quiet this new model is and this trainer is right up there as the best money can buy.
It is a balance between cost, features, connectivity, and noise, so ultimately the choice is yours. All trainers mentioned here are great so you will be happy with any. If you want to read more about the best trainers out there we have a Best Turbo Trainer article here.