Bike trainers, also known as turbo trainers, are pieces of equipment that allow you to attach the rear of your bike so it is stationary while you pedal to turn your rear wheel which is on a roller. This allows you to train indoors in rain, snow, and ice so your training is not interrupted and remains consistent all year round. To be as much like cycling on the road as possible changing gears increases and decreases the resistance so this can be carefully chosen to specifically suit you as much as possible.
This is advantageous as not only does it allow you to train in all weathers, it also allows you to train on your own bike, so any fitness you gain is transferable to when you ride outside. One of the biggest advantages of trainers is the ability to control your training and efforts you put in without having to stop for traffic or slow down for corners or downhills.
There are 4 types of trainers available. Wind trainers create resistance as the roller that is spun by the rear wheel is attached to a fan that spins against the air. Fluid trainers work in the same way as wind trainers however the fan is submerged in oil, making the resistance much more adjustable and the spin of the wheel much smoother and softer. Centrifugal bike trainers use metal plates to push against the roller that is spun by your rear wheel to produce resistance, and magnetic trainers use magnets to slow the roller.
|Bike Trainer Model||Type||Compatibility||Portability||Extras||Our Rating||Price|
|Fluid||N/A||Foldable||Compact and lightweight. Heavy flywheel for performance. Progressive resistance.||Read review||
|Fluid||26 in, 27 in or 700c wheel||Foldable||Power Tuned technology with cool operations.||Read review||
|Magnetic||Fits 22 to 29-inch wheels||Foldable||Automatic resistance changes.||Read review||
What is the downside of bike trainers?
One of the biggest downsides to trainers is the noise they make. The movement of the roller and parts inside can create noise, and some vibrate creating even more noise. The different types of rollers make different levels of noise. Wind trainers make the most noise like the sound of the fan pushing the air can get very loud, and they are not recommended for those living in apartments or with roommates. The quietest bike trainers are fluid trainers as the noise they create is dampened by the oil, so can make almost no noise.
The noise they make can also be reduced in many ways. One of the most common methods is to use it on a carpeted floor, as the carpet absorbs some of the noise and dampens vibrations from the trainer. However, this does not really absorb too much noise and can put the trainer off balance. The most effective method is to use a trainer mat, a specially designed mat to be put underneath a trainer that dampens as many vibrations as possible and absorbs a lot of the noise, so those on the floor underneath you will no longer be able to hear it. Trainer mats are also designed to reduce the likely hood of your trainer tipping or falling off balance. Some other suggestions to dampen the noise can be read here.
In this guide, we review the quietest bike trainer products to help you make an informed decision.
Quietest Bike Trainer Reviews
The quietest type of trainer available in the fluid trainer, so if quietness is a huge factor in your buying choice these are the ones you should look at most, however, they are also the most expensive type. Other types should also be considered, however, as they can be just as good for a fraction of the price, as shown below in the list of the quietest bike trainers.
Cascade is a small cycling company known for its trainers above everything else. The FluidPro is their best fluid trainer and is designed to produce as little noise as possible all while having one of the lowest fluid trainer prices available.
As a fluid trainer, the Cascade FluidPro makes less noise than any other type of trainer, however, it even excels in noise dampening compared to its fluid trainer counterparts. It also features a patented Quick-connect technology that makes connecting the bike an easy process. It can also fold down to be much smaller so can be stored easier.
On the other hand, the Quick-connect system has been known to make the bike less firmly held by the trainer, so although it is a feature designed to speed up setting it up, it can take more time to check the bike is in properly anyway. The legs of the trainer do not lockout so when in use the trainer can rock slightly which can grow to be an annoyance over time.
- Smooth like cycling on real roads
- Well built
- Easy to set up
- Not as quiet as possible
- Front legs do not lock
CycleOps Jet Fluid Pro is the Quietest Bike Trainer
The CycleOps Jet Fluid Pro is produced by the company CycleOps, a very large and popular producer of trainers, and creators of some of the greatest trainers available. For quietness this trainer is one of the best on the market, combining the already quiet running of a fluid trainer with their years of experience in producing trainers.
One of the biggest advantages to the CycleOps Jet Fluid Pro is just how quiet it is. In addition to this, it is also extremely easy to set and put bikes into it securely. It is said to be one of the most realistic trainers compared to riding on the roads as it has progressive resistance that increases as you put in more and more effort much like riding on the road. It is even used by some professional riders.
The biggest disadvantage of this trainer is the price. It is significantly more than most other trainers as it is just so good, however, if money is no object this is one of the best. It is also extremely large so even though it does fold up it is still large and not particularly convenient for storage.
Kinetic Magnetic III
The Kinetic Magnetic 3 is produced by the famous cycle company Kinetic, which are known for their quality trainers as well as low prices and is the only non-fluid trainer on this list. It is a magnetic trainer so the resistance is created by using magnets to slow the spin of the roller. This makes it much quieter than wind trainers and not as silent as fluid trainers, however, it does get close.
Kinetic Magnetic 3 is one of the quietest magnetic trainers available. It sounds much like a fluid trainer, if not a tiny bit louder, however, is a fraction of the price as it runs using magnetic resistance which is cheaper to build. Its lack of noise is due to its sturdy and solid build, which also makes it a stable trainer that can be used on any surface. It also changes resistance automatically depending on the power that is being put through the pedals so it is as close to riding on the road as possible.
The only problem many have had with the trainer is it being hard to put and take your bike out of it before and after training and can be quite fiddly to set up, though after practice and using it a few times this becomes second nature and much easier.
- Realistic road feel
Although the CycleOps Jet Fluid Pro is the best and quietest bike trainer on the market, if I were to buy one of the selection it would have to be the Kinetic Magnetic III. The Kinetic is a fraction of the price and only slightly louder, possibly even to the point that it isn’t noticeable unless they are compared side to side. Reliability is also a factor, as magnetic trainers are known to have less problems that liquid trainers, which can leak and break if not handled correctly.