So your an avid cyclist and really want to get the most out of your indoor bike.
However, you can’t help but notice how noisy your bike is.
I mean if your morning person and prefer to train in when the sun comes up – the last thing you want to be doing is wakening the rest of the family!
What’s even worse is trying to cycle at a slow RPM to reduce the noise as much as possible.
No, you want to be able to give your workout everything you’ve got and that means putting ‘the pedal to the metal’!
So, there is a couple of tips you can use to just make your indoor bike trainer quieter.
What Type Of Surface Are You Training On?
This actually can have a big effect on the noise when your training on your bike.
For example, if you’re training on a hard wooden floor, you may notice that your bike tends to be noisier on this type of flooring.
The reason why?
Well, according to Resonics, sound waves are not absorbed efficiently on hard surfaces such as wooden floors but instead tend to bounce off these ‘reflective’ surfaces creating a more noisier environment.
Training on carpet or on top of a rug has a much more sound absorbent surface so will certainly help to reduce any excess noise coming from your indoor bike.
Now, if you have no carpet and not a fan of rugs as part of your home decor, then there are other alternatives you can buy:
Fitness Equipment Mat
This would be the best type of mat you can buy for your indoor bike.
These mats are specifically designed for heavy duty exercise equipment to sit on top of them.
Generally made from high quality rubber or a ‘rubber-like’ material called EVA.
You see rubber is seen to be one of the most effective materials to use when looking to reduce noise or impact – especially within the fitness industry.
Most of these mats do range very slightly in depth from 5mm-7mm.
Anything more than this and you may experience ‘wobbliness’ when cycling.
Anything less than this and it may just become redundant.
For any type of indoor bike I would recommend the Reebok Protective Bike Mat.
It has a depth of 6mm which is great for sound absorption but allows you to train effectively.
It’s 155cm in length and 65cm in width which is a great size for sitting any indoor bike on.
If you wish you can also check out our list of the 5 Best Floor Mats you can get!
Exercise Mat or Yoga Mat
These are also great to have under your bike when your exercising.
What’s awesome about yoga mats is that they’re:
- Very affordable
- Ultimate space-savers
- Great at reducing the noise from your bike against the floor
Most yoga mats are made of PVC – some can have a general flat surface to them whilst others have a certain ‘sponginess’ to them.
Anything that offers least noise producing against the floor is the better option so here I would opt for a yoga mat with a sponginess factor to it.
Yoga mats also have a certain grip or ‘stickiness’ to them which is great at giving you extra support when cranking up that intensity!
Foam mats are another good option to help reduce any noise.
These are usually thicker mats at around 80mm to 100mm in depth.
Great for sound absorption and will surely reduce noise from the push momentum when your cycling.
However, the only thing with these is that as they tend to be a softer and deeper mat than an fitness bike mat or yoga mat – it can make cycling that bit more uneasy.
As the weight of the bike tends to impress into the mat, it slightly loses its stability and may cause your cycling to be off balance.
Overtime though, it will fall rightfully into place and become balanced but just be wary of this before buying.
Keep An Ear Out For Rattling Parts
So with any type of indoor bike there is always a lot of moving parts.
Whether this be the chain, the belt, the crank system or the flywheel.
If it’s the seat or handlebars – they’re should be an adjustable turn where you can tighten it up.
If it seems to be coming from somewhere inside the bike where you can’t get access to then you may have to take it to a local shop to get a fix or a new part. This is why it is important to maintain your indoor bike to keep it performing for longer!
So, whenever you are cycling just try keep an ear out for where the sound is coming from.
The majority of the time though it does come down to these 2 factors which I’ll explain next.
Are You Using A Magnetic Or Friction Resistance Bike?
So with any type of indoor bike, resistance can be generated in 4 different ways:
Now, with a fluid resistance bike you don’t tend to get a lot of noise from this as it’s a simple turbine spinning in a fluid-like substance so it’s actually very quiet.
An air bike mostly generates it’s resistance from angled blades pushing against the air – helping to create drag.
Due to it’s nature – there is not much can be done about the noise as it’s natural sound is like wind cutting through a wind tunnel.
Now, on a standard exercise bike or a racer there are usually two forms of resistance applied.
This is either through magnetic or friction based resistance.
I will give you a quick rundown on it but you can check out my full article about this here.
So a magnetic indoor bike uses magnets located at either side or just above the flywheel.
When you turn the crank to increase resistance, the magnets come closer together to the flywheel – forcing it to slow down which in turn makes you exert more effort.
As there is no actual connection, magnetic resistance is very, very quiet.
This should be barely even make any noise.
However, with friction based resistance bikes, you’ll notice two felt pads located at the top of either side of the flywheel.
When you increase resistance, these push together against the flywheel to force it to slow down.
This actual connection is what can make a whooshing noise.
When it comes to magnetic and friction indoor bikes, magnetic is always going to be the quieter bike.
Is Your Bike Chain Driven Or Belt Driven?
This is another big factor when looking at your indoor bike for noise.
Is your bike chain or belt driven?
If it’s a chain driven bike, this means it uses an actual chain that is passing through a crank system.
Exactly like an outdoor bike.
As the chain is rotating over the spindle set -this movement alone can make a clinking noise during your workout.
With a belt driven bike, this actually uses a very simple process of the pedals being connected to a system where a rubber or kevlar made belt is rotating to create your forward motion.
Belt driven bikes are very quiet compared to the chain driven bikes as there is no rattling or clinking of chains.
It’s a smooth, conveyor belt-like motion.
I have wrote a full article on this here for you to check out!
So, on overall there are means and ways you can make your indoor bike trainer quieter.
Using some form of mat to sit the bike on is certainly going to help reduce the noise level down – allowing the rest of your family to sleep in silence!
However, it really does come down to the type of bike you have.
When it comes to having a quieter exercise bike, a belt driven bike with magnetic resistance is always going to be the best.
If you feel the pushing momentum of you cycling is what’s making the noise, then I do highly advise purchasing a fitness equipment or yoga mat.
Plus it will save your floors from being scraped or scratched.
I hope this helps
If you do have any questions at all, please drop me a comment and I’ll be sure to get back to you.